Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ms A!

Abegail... my oh my.. where to start the next post in the series?? Ate C had gotten Abegail 2 days before my team and I arrived at GH last summer in June 2009. I remember when I first saw her... she was sitting in the exersaucer and was this tiny little thing, but her blank look was what I remember most. She just stared and watched the other kids...she was so not used to these surroundings. The life she was used to was quiet and little attention, little nourishment... she was used to being neglected, now with all of these other little kids running around, she didn't know really what to do. She was so weak, she was 16 months old and couldn't sit up. Whenever I or anyone else would pick her up, she would spread out her arms and legs and hold on for dear life. She was starved of attention.

And now for the ... "Today" section... TADA....

"Thank you.. thank you.. please... keep it coming!" haha!

This little girl, AbbyGirl, as I have nicknamed her, has the most spirit I've ever seen. She is mischevious, bold, sneaky, smart, cuddly, bullying, adorable, loving, sweet, loud, stubborn, and throwing a fit... all within the first 10 minutes of waking up! She is an absolute handful, but she is an absolute blessing at the same time!

Can't you just see the mischief in her eyes??

She, as many of them, never ceases to make me laugh every day! She has so much life in her, its miraculous how food, water and love will transform a child...who'd have thought?? (Please note the extreme sarcasm.)

However, with all that life in her also comes a bit of a drama queen, and we are currently in the process of reigning in the temper tantrums (you have to love working on a daily basis 9 babies that are all in their 'terrible two's'...) and she is actually doing very well, she's starting to really get that she is not allowed to turn into a fish and start flopping on the ground when she doesn't get her way.. oh and those little kicking of the legs when she gets mad... that is stopping too. But one thing that I'm really coming to realize is that its through the disciplining in the midst of a temper tantrum and then seeing her come through it and being able to love on her and say, "Ok, now that that is over, let's go play." and seeing her learn.. seeing her eyes ponder whether or not to go for the ground flopping like a fish.. or to just go play when something doesn't go her way... to see her thinking through it and then watching her run off and play...that is why I'm here! To love her, to SHOW her that God loves her, and to possibly help mold her in the direction of becoming a Godly young woman. And its during those battles of wills, when she decides to throw tantrum after tantrum after tantrum after tantrum in one day... that's where the bonds are being made. I love her, and all the kids, so much, I love them enough to stick through the tantrums and to demand that they behave better than that... and they see it...that's why my legs get ambushed whenever I walk into the Toddlers' room... and I love every minute of it!

Here are a few more pictures of my adorable AbbyGirl! Enjoy!

Still a CuddleBug!

Isn't she adorable??? How could you not LOVE that smile??

I love the LIFE in her eyes!!

Dear LORD, I thank you so much for Abegail's precious life. I thank you for Ate C and Gentle Hands, that she was rescued and given a second chance at life. I thank you for allowing her to thrive at GH and grow to be an absolutely beautiful child! LORD God, please continue to watch over her life. I know that You have a plan for her, I pray that you would raise up now a forever family for this precious child, that she would be raised in a family that she knows without a doubt that she is loved by her family, and by You her Creator and Savior! I thank you for the abundace of blessings you pour on me each day through Abegail and the other children at Gentle Hands. Thank you LORD! Amen.

~ To God Be the Glory!


So, every day when I go down to the Toddlers and see them and they swarm my legs and yell "Hiya!!" or "HIIII!!" or whatever they want to say as a greeting for that day, I most always respond to each of them either "Hi (name of child)!" or more often "Hi baby!"

Well this past week, I walked down through the play area and Augustine, oh my precious little boy that is starting to love talking, looks at my from where he's playing and with a smirk and about as much game that can come from an almost-3-year-old says, "Hey baby.."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Have I mentioned that I love these kids!?!?! They make my heart so happy! I love watching them grow and discover new words and phrases!!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ms. J

Ok, so next up in the series, Ms Jonalyn! I remember the night before we got Jonalyn, we were gathered in devotions at Gentle Hands and Ate told us about a little girl in Malabon that was going to die if we didn't get her soon. They had been trying for months to get her, the social services knew about the case but wouldn't force the removal of the child.. although the child was obviously going to die if not removed from the home. We had a special night of prayer that night, we didn't even know the little girl's name. We prayed that God would rescue her, that He would allow us to get the little girl, that He would be glorified through all. We prayed, we prayed with faith, but in the back of our minds.. we knew it might take this little innocent life dying to make the community wake up the treatment of their children.. we prayed that her life wouldn't be needed for that realization to hit home.

We went the next morning to Malabon for our weekly outreach...and, as Ate was walking through the windings of Malabon, the father walks up and hands the baby to Ate, "Here.. take her."

If that is not a miracle, if that is not the workings of prayer then I don't know what is!!

When we rescued Jonalyn, she was 15 months old and weighed a whopping 9 lbs. She had tb, worms, and was stained in dirt and was so weak she could barely sit up.

Today... she is absolutely beautiful! She has a cute little round tummy, just as a precious sometimes mischevious 2-year old should. Just the other day, last week I believe, she learned a new word... bahot, which means stinky in Tagalog. Well her and Augustine were both learning this word and had fun informing me that Raphael was bahot (had a poopy diaper.. thanks guys), so I'm trying to tell them to be nice and not call others bahot, when Jonalyn (who is in the process of potty training) looks at me with the saddest most innocent eyes and says slowly, "Ate... bahot." as she points to herself. I quickly told her it was ok as I scooped her up and ran to the CR (bathroom)... we were a little late.. but it was so adorable to see her look up at me almost embarassed and point to herself.. bahot. Too cute!

Jonalyn is currently learning new words and just enjoying life as a sweet lovable toddler! Every morning I look forward to her big snuggly hugs and kisses, she is such a sweetheart, especially with the rough start she had in life. Her and Abegail are best buds, and as I call them, my Double Trouble Duo. They are both so so silly, adorable and 'slightly' mischevious, always together.

I love this picture of the 2 (or 3, with Augustine in the background) of them. It so catches their personalities. Jonalyn and Abegail always together, but always with Abegail leading and in charge and Jonalyn just kinda going with it and saying, "Ok Abegail.. sure.. let's go for it. Might as well.." With Abegail the whole time yelling, "AHHHH!!! Ready or Not...HERE WE COME!!!!"

Oh how I love these kids!

Dear LORD, I thank you for the miracle that is Jonalyn's life. I thank You for how You worked so evidently to rescue her a year ago. I am awed at how You have renewed her and brought her from a dying lifeless baby, to a beautiful bouncing toddler. Continue to watch over her Father, continue to guide her and lead her till one day she can understand the immense love that You have for her. I pray for the day that she would realize who You are, that You are her Savior, that You are her Guide, her Rescuer, her true and loving Father!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mr. A!

So, things have settled down a little bit here at GH. Ate is home, lifting much stress off my shoulders, visiting teams have gone home, the kids are in school during the day, settling into a fairly steady daily routine. So, as my last posts have shown, my blogging inspiration is coming straight from the mouth of my kids that I work with every day. So I figured I'd start a series of posts letting you all have the wonderful pleasure of getting to know the darling children that God uses to bless me every single day!

Since I've been working with our toddlers for the longest, I'm going to start with them and who else to start with other than Mr. Augustine!
Oh.. where to begin with Augustine. When I first met this little guy back in summer 2009, we called him our little old man, because he acted so old. He would stare at you, studying your face, taking everything about you a way judging you to see if you would meet the requirments to be his buddy... everybody always passed as his heart is HUGE, he loves everyone! Last summer, he never spoke.. even when you asked him a question, he would never answer... he would simply point. That was his trademark, ask him a question and he looks at you and up goes the arm with his index finger looking you straight in the eye! Adorable!
But in the last 7 1/2 months... he has hit his talking stage! What a delight to witness him during this precious time! He knows my name, and delights in calling me "Bittneey" ... quite bold since all the other kids and other caregivers refer to me as 'Ate Brittany' (Ate is a term for respect meaning older sister). The caregivers have been trying for weeks to get him to say Ate saying 'no, that is ATE Brittany.' ... Each time he looks at me and says, "Bittneey" ... and laughs, melting my heart!

Quick Story: This afternoon I was on duty with the Big Kids (ages 4 and up) and had to run in the Toddlers' Room for something. I walk in and they all start yelling, "Hi!" "Hey!!!" "Ate!" and then there's Augustine's voice, "Bittneey!!", I say Hi to my babies as I go to achieve my mission of, I believe I was grabbing the thermometer, and am headed back out.. but the whole time, as the others have calmed down, "Bittneey... Bittneey! Bittney.. Bittneey.. Bittneey!" is continued to be yelled out as he is following me around the room and as if with some urgency, so as I'm reaching the door to go out, I turn to him and answer his repeated beckoning, "What sweatheart?" He looks at me, gives me an adorable little smile and says softly, "Hi..." AWWW!! I then left.. after getting a kiss and hug from him of course!

Oh my sweet boy, I love you more than you will ever know! May God continue to watch over you and protect your path through this life! I know He has big plans for you, as He has already brought you through so many obstacles in your young life! I pray He reveals Himself to you in His timing and that you come to depend on Him for everything in this life! I love you Augustine!!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Conversations with kids...#1 (I'm sure there will be many more to come)

Me and G - Taygaytay - Jan 2010
So, I've been meaning to blog about this for a while now, and am just now getting around to it. About a week or so ago, I was on shift downstairs with the 'big kids' but with 5 in public school and 2 pairs of 2 in school here at GH, the morning shift is pretty laid back with not much excitement, which is great because it allows me to talk and spend some good one on one time with the few kids that I'm in charge of in the mornings.
One of those kids is G, pictured above and at the top of my blog. G is about 7 years old I believe and loves asking questions. There was music playing one particular morning that me and G were sitting on the couch in the play area and talking and I wasn't really listening to what song was playing when G looks at me and asks, "What's sin?"
Oh boy.. ok .. so.. I try my best to explain what sin is... "Sin is when we disappoint God or go against what He wants. Its like when we are bad or do bad things." I go on thinking about how to put it so that she will understand the weight of sin and the weight of what Jesus did, because you can't very well explain sin without explaining that Jesus paid the price for our "But Jesus came and took our sin. Like... it's kinda like when we are bad.. like say you do something really bad and you should get a spanking.." She interupts me rigth there smiling as she's thinking about all of this and she asks, "Wait....who's giving me the spanking??" "Well, that's not really the point, the thing is, you've done something really bad, and you need to get a spanking as a punishment for what you did.. but Jesus, Jesus came and took your spanking, he took your punishment. That's what Jesus did when He came and died on the cross, He took our punishment for things that we did." Again, I'm trying to put this on a child's level so she can grasp the weight of it all.
I'm kinda holding my breath, wondering what the next question would be. I wasn't expecting, her looking at me, seeing the wheels turning in her head, she cocks her head and says, "So... Jesus gots a spanking??" (Didn't see that one coming...HAHAHA!) Umm... well, "Well, sorta,.. kinda... in a way, yes. But Jesus got much more than a spanking, He came and He died for us. Jesus was the only person to ever live that didn't sin. Everyone else has sinned, we all have sin in our lives. But Jesus came and He took our sins, He came and took the punishment for our sin."
She looks at me and I see the questions forming, not knowing what they will be, I see them coming, "You? You have sin Ate Brittany??"

"Oh yes Sweetie, I have lots of sin."

She still looks as if she's trying to take it all in, "What about Ate Jordan,.. and Ate Kyla? Do they have sin?"

"Yes, they have sin as well. We all have sin, everyone has sinned."

"Even Ate Char?? What about Kuya Evan??"

"Yes, even Ate Char and Kuya Evan have sinned."

At this point, she was still thinking and taking it all in, when our one on one time had to end. I'm looking forward to this next week, when I get to talk to G some more! Who knows what questions will come next!

~ To God Be the Glory!