Meet Ann. Ann is an implementer for Compassion’s Child Survival Program in the Philippines. She works directly with the moms and babies registered at our local church partner in the community of Karuhatan in Metro Manila.
Ann and fellow implementer Irma set out on foot to visit the homes of families registered in the program. They travel to the slum community where Angel and her little boy, Aries live. Angel’s home doesn’t have electricity during the daytime, as power is rationed in this neighbourhood.
Aries suffers from a congenital defect that affects his digestive system. He will need surgery in the future. He gets regular checkups with a paediatrician through the Compassion centre and when surgery is required, it will be covered through Compassion’s Complimentary Interventions.
After checking Aries’ health and talking with Angel about how she is doing, Ann and Irma pray for the family.
Their next visit is with Mila and Liam. Their tiny room is above a narrow flight of stairs.
Liam was born premature and is below the normal weight and height for his age. He also suffers from a hernia. His health challenges are a burden on the family, as Mila’s husband is unemployed. Mila works as a massage therapist—a skill she learned through the program—but doesn’t earn much, as she has to care for her son. But through the support they’ve received in the program, Mila says her family has been drawn closer to God. One of her older children is also registered in the Child Sponsorship Program.
Angel and Mila are just two of the moms in Karuhatan’s Child Survival Program. Ann and Irma have the opportunity to visit many moms and their little ones. They make sure they are healthy, they help them practise what they’ve learned in the program and they pray with and encourage them. Each family has different needs, and each is special in God’s eyes. On every visit, Ann asks for a list of prayer requests and concerns that she and other staff can help with.
“I experience a different kind of joy and fulfillment that I think is beyond words,” says Ann. “It’s something I cannot explain, a feeling of seeing God’s grace and greatness in the smallest of things. And I want the children to learn to appreciate this, too. I want to use the talents and gifts that God has given me, to share this with the children.”
Story and photos by Edwin Estioko, Compassion Philippines