Just before COVID-19 shut down the world, I was in the Philippines with Compassion Australia.

Simply by the fact that I was born in Australia, I have had more opportunities than I deserve and I live a very ‘comfortable’ life. The same can’t be said for Rusty, a young boy who lives with his parents in a shanty owned by his grandmother.

When we met the family, Rusty’s dad Ricky was working as a farmer and earning around 300 pesos per week. That’s just 20 Australian dollars for an entire week’s work.

Rusty’s mum, Thelma, cares for her five children in their small makeshift home. The family often struggle to meet their basic needs and they often go into the forest to gather edible plants to eat.

The children lug heavy buckets of water to their shanty from a nearby creek. They don’t have the luxury of just turning on a tap. While many of us have more than one toilet in our homes, Rusty’s family shares a toilet with another family.

One day, a heavy storm was battering the roof and the walls of their home. Rusty’s family decided to move to his uncle’s house where they thought they’d be safe. But on the way, Rusty slipped and fell, hitting his head on a rock. To stop the bleeding, Thelma rushed him to the hospital where he had to have stitches.

When Rusty and his family were evacuating their home for the relative safety of his uncles’ house during a storm, Rusty fell and gashed his head on a rock. His parents borrowed the money to pay for his medical needs. They’re still paying back the debt.

Things will get better because Rusty has been registered with Compassion and is waiting for a sponsor.

Please take a couple of minutes to watch this video of the day I visited Rusty’s home.

I know that life would have become even harder for this family since the pandemic. Can I ask you to consider sponsoring a child like Rusty and bring hope into their life? Please sponsor a child today.

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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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