the kids

Much of our time was spent with the children who live near and hang out at First Love Community Church. It's summertime there, so school is out of session. Most of these kids have at least moms, some have dads, but some have neither.

This is Jeffte (Jeff T). He was precious! I think he was 3, looked about 2.
His grandma Mila Rose and his mom Ahn (she taught us bead work) were around off and on during the week.
Jennie (pink) is a college student (19) who works with the kids. She was practicing with these kids for their special dance for Sunday's service. They danced to "Who Am I." 

Gino is in the yellow. He's the pastor's son. I didn't get to know many of the boys during this trip.

Here's Jay & Kaitlyn learning the dance, too. I showed off my dance skills for about 2.5 seconds before remembering that I don't dance well. ha!

Jeffte again. His older brother looks just like him, too.

the kids were singing us another song in Tagalog, their native language.

playing Duck, Duck, Goose with us. We were hurting for games to remember to play!

This is Charesse. On the church's last trip to Tanza (the town we were in), Pastor Charlie was holding her during church. He yawned and she saw his gold tooth, so she stuck her hand in there to investigate. Hilarious when he tells it. But I took a shine to her right away.

Sandra was sweet too. She was about 2-3 (probably just a small 3). You can see a skin tag on her right cheek, but you can't see that her right ear is not formed all of the way. I have no idea if she can talk; she didn't make a peep that I know of, but that doesn't mean she wasn't just shy. I don't remember who her mom was or if she had a mom?

Charesse and Jesse were brother and sister. We first met Jesse when he was being harshly disciplined by their mom for not wanting to take a bath. It was a little more than I could handle. But the kids were very sweet to us despite having a harsh mom. She did ask me if I wanted to take them home. 

Cider is about 4 years old. This was during our excursion of shopping for groceries with two women (including his mom, Leah) to stock their new sorry sorry (variety) store. His loved that powdered sugar doughnut!

these kids are lined up for one of the two weekly feedings provided by the church to neighborhood kids

Kaitlyn serving; this trip was so neat to see her mother's heart bloom.

Jay serving; she was so willing to help in any way possible.

I got a chance to serve, too; this soup was HOT!

the tweenagers eating outside in the shade. The girl in the colorful dress is Mary Joy. She has a mom but her dad is "sidelined" which basically means he's not around (or that's what I perceived).

Pastor Charlie sharing some food with Sandra. I liked watching the guys interact with the kids throughout the week.

This is Camille; she's 5. Her mom, Irene, was one of the other ladies starting the variety shop. When we were grocery shopping, she kept popping out these English words for things. Then she kept saying "Elmo" but I couldn't see an Elmo anywhere. I think she saw an E and knew E meant Elmo, but I thought she might like her own Elmo.

This is Camille's brother John-David. He's deaf and my heart broke for him. He knows a little sign language (not ASL) and his mom knows even less. And I just hurt wondering who will share the gospel with him. I don't know enough sign language to communicate well, sadly, but I did have a good time looking through my camera's pictures with him, telling him the signs I do know (tree, airplane, car). And yes, he's flipping the west side gang sign. So much of western pop culture pervades here (as in the Angry Bird clothing we saw everywhere and the peace signs and gang signs), but they probably don't even know what it means. They've seen this sign on tv and think 'well it must be cool.' So sad. I mean, some of the boys at the church were wearing fingerless gloves with marijuana symbols on them! 

Camille and another brother. This was the first time we'd seen this brother without him toting around their 8 month old sister. They are standing in front of the sorry sorry shop. Up and running!

the boys took a shine to Jason

Some of the girls: Jobel, Jolyssa (that may not be right but it's close to her sister's name), and Mary Joy

They were all braver than I, holding the baby without a diaper. :)

Jay with her math flashcards. These kids blew me out of the water. They could beat me in a math bee any day.

Kaitlyn handing out candy. These kids (and women) were gaga for candy! We went through SO much while we were there.

The kids were just so attention starved. If they have parents, the parents are busy! They latched on to us right away.

they love their picture taken; the girl in the back is photo bombing Charesse and I.

She was sweating with her hair down so I added my clip and ponytail holder so we were like twins LOL

checking out the work on Lisa's house and we had a little entourage of kids.

they also liked the stickers we brought!

bathing in the well. They did seem to bathe regularly so I thought they smelled pretty good.

This is Steve, who was part of our group. Sandra and Charesse took a really liking to him. They would sit and stroke his arm hair; one of them was playing with his chest hair at the top of his shirt. So sweet. They probably don't have grandparents!

Lhaine (Elaine) was one of Leah's daughters (who started the variety store). She's 16, a professing Christian, and has hopes of going into computers in college. She's smart and sweet. 

I would have taken them home in a minute, but I think customs would have stopped me. :)


Theresa said…
Beautiful pictures. It sure does look like it was hot there- glad you survived serving the hot soup. It seem like candy is a big hit in other countries.
Love looking through your pictures :) Hope you enjoyed your trip!

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