God answered my prayers and has surrounded me with kids! Most days neighborhood children come to play, color, and chalk at our home. One of them is named Francis. He’s eleven years old and comes regularly to spend time with us.
He’s hilarious! He loves to have jam sessions and sing Bruno Mars songs together. The other day he and some of his friends came over to draw and color. When I asked Francis what his picture was of he said that it was his guardian angel named Olivia. I said “Wow! Your angel and I have the same name.” And he said “Yes! It’s because my guardian angel is YOU!” Even though that’s not exactly true, I was so touched by his innocence. If God sent me to the Philippines only “to be his guardian angel”, it’s worth it!
He really loves to come to mass with us, too. He and his cousin got to receive their ashes on Ash Wednesday for the first time! However, Francis never made his first communion, so he can’t receive Jesus when he attends mass. Every time we go he begs me to let him! He’s even snuck into the communion line twice, and gets mad at me when I tell the priest not to give it to him. Please pray for me because I want to talk to his parents about if they would allow him to receive his first communion!
About three weeks ago, he came by our house after dinner one night to invite me to his dad’s birthday celebration. He kept telling me “Please, pleaseee come! You are my very best friend in the whole wide world!” How could I say no?! I went along with one of my mission partners, and it ended up being a really great experience. I got to meet and talk to his family. I found out, though, that Francis has quit going to school since about a week before we arrived. Unfortunately, in the Philippines it actually isn’t uncommon for kids to stop going to school. I started praying so hard that he would change his mind and go back to school. My team and I prayed everyday, and I received news this week that Francis’s father is making him start school this week! Praise the Lord!!! I talked to Francis about it, and he’s surprisingly really excited to go back. God totally heard our prayers and worked another miracle. Please pray with me for Francis that he remains motivated and excels in school.
A couple days ago, Francis came over yelling for me at the gate. When I went outside to see what he needed, he said he had a gift for me! When I opened the little box, inside was a bracelet and a picture of him as a baby! He quietly looked at it for a moment with me, and then finally pointed to it and said, “That’s my mother holding me…my real mother.” He lives with his father and step mother. His mother went missing years ago. This gift was so special to me because I wouldn’t guess that he has many possessions of his real mom.
Please pray for Francis! Pray that he would do well in school, that his parents would be open to letting him receive his sacraments, for his family to grow in love, and for him to one day see his real mother again! Also, pray that my mission partners and I have a great impact on his life, and that we would be examples of God’s love to him everyday!
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14