I received an SMS message last January 24 around 8pm from one of my colleague informing me that two of the girls in our Home Care were missing and a group of our personnel were looking for them all over the area at Laguna. It was already dark that night, I was at Malungon, Saranggani Mindanao when the message came in. The news made me restless — More so, because of the distance. What can I do? I am islands apart to where the action is. So many thoughts came in — Where are they now? Why did they ran away? I waited until past 12 midnight for updates but without a good news. I told the staff to rest and sleep and to continue searching the following day.
Running Away is quite a norm to the kind of children we serve in our organization. The children we are taking care in our Home Care are former street dwellers — they literally roam around the streets in Metro and live to survive from hour to hour where there were no rules, no boundaries, no routines, no authority figure — they are on their own. In our society, they are the despised and the unwanted. Visions of Hope Foundation VOH Website, where I am currently serving at rescues and provides holistic programs such as a decent shelter, nutritious meals, access to education, health care, a home life where we have social workers and house parents who serves as their parents and family as we reach them out and move them away from the life on the streets.
We have several cases of run-aways in the past years for different reasons but manage to find the children in less than 24 hours or in a few days. We give them the time to reflect on their actions and even the freedom to choose if they want to go back and live with us again. We know for the fact that we cannot force the children to what we want and what we think is right but we offer to them an option that we are their family — God’s spiritual family and community where they can feel loved and safe.
Each passing day, in between hours , I would think of our two girls within the day if they have eaten, if they are safe and alive. I lift them to the Lord in prayer and ask the Lord to take good care of them for I know He cares and loves them more than all of us do. I would even wrestle in my prayer against the enemy whose been robbing the children under our care. The enemy has been trying different tactics to put us down because of the work we do to advance the kingdom of God on earth. The Lord reminded me of Isaiah 54:13 and assured me that He is in control. I was at peace. I memorized that scripture because it was a promised I claimed last 2014. The scripture says ” All your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children.”
My heart is settled but I was telling the Lord to give me an assurance that they are alive and are well. These two girls are so precious in His sight and even to me and to our staff. They are like jewels — rare, colorful, beautiful and authentic. They are hard on the outside but inside they are priceless. I miss them — I miss how they ask so much of my attention whenever I am at the Home Care. They will do so many antics just to make you notice them — seeking for affection and affirmation. Twenty Five days has passed without any news for their whereabouts until the day I arrived from a study tour at the Holy Land. I got the best news ever this year — one of the girls showed up at our half way house in Metro Manila. She is alive and safe. I elatedly thank the Lord and asked Him to keep the other girl safe wherever she is. Lo and behold, the following day — the other girl showed up as well and my heart leaped for joy with thanksgiving because the Lord has once again proved that He who promised is faithful.
Do you have a situation you are going through that seems impossible? Every battle begins when we are on our knees. Pray. Hold on to His Word. The world out there is deceitful — but the Lord promises victory over His children.