Transformation in Manila

Manila Children

Over the last few days I’ve heard incredible stories of transformation as I’ve been part of a group visiting the work of Compassion in Manila, Philippines. I’ve had the privilege of traveling here with some former colleagues from 98five. They’re taking the opportunity to tell Perth listeners about the people we’re meeting and the life change we’ve seen.

One of the people we’ve met is Maritess, the mother of a child being sponsored through Compassion. They live in extreme poverty. Their monthly rent is around AU$60, yet it’s a struggle to make those payments and they live constantly with the fear of being thrown out of their tiny home.

Maritess thanks God that he used one person to change her life. She said that it was her son becoming registered with Compassion that helped her decide to start attending the local Wesleyan Church which partners with Compassion.

She explains some of the change in her life in her own words.

Before, I always fought with my neighbours and my favourite pastime is gambling. It is also the means of my family’s living as I worked as a jueteng lady (illegal number games in the Philippines). Everyday was a burden for me because I am not content with what we have. I always nagged my husband for our tight budget and I was often getting angry with my children. I would hit them with a coat hanger to the point that it was broken on their bodies.

Little by little I came to know Christ and all the blessings that came to my family. My Christian life was not easy and because of the help and trust of our Lord Jesus Christ it changed my vision that I must trust God because he is the one who gave me my life when I accept him as my personal Saviour I changed my life. If you accept God you don’t have to worry in what you need because everything will be given.

Maritess said she felt the love of our God because all her prayers were answered according to his will. She says her family is doing well they are able to provide for their children’s education.

Now me and my family accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and became covenant members of the church. My ministry is being a 3 years treasurer in women’s ministry and leader in independence area bible study and I thank God for this ministry

I love the fact that while Compassion is working specifically to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name, it’s not only the children who benefit. Families and communities are being transformed.

The story Maritess shared with us is just one of many transformational stories we’ve heard in the short time we’ve been here. I’ll write about more of those stories in the coming days.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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