I met Janice (nickname Jaja) on my first trip to Manila and I was quickly drawn to her friendly and happy personality. Janice grew up with two brothers and three sisters. Her father was a fisherman and her mother sold the fish.
Her father was an alcoholic who often got violent … Jaja remembers him beating her mother, pushing them and hanging them by their shirts on nails in the wall. When she was seven years old her father died of a stroke. This took away their source of income, making things extremely difficult for the family.
A little while later the government reclaimed the land their home was on, forcing the family to find another place to live. It was at about this time that a friend invited Jaja to church and she was able to join a church camp. When a camp counsellor told her that God loved her even when everything was going wrong and when others didn’t, Jaja accepted Christ into her life.
It was eventually through a German missionary at the church that she connected to the Bukang Liwayway sponsorship program. This helped Jaja get through school (though she still struggled a lot with finances) and she graduated with a degree in business admin.
Today she helps manage the sponsorship program at Bukang Liwayway. When asked what she wanted to do in the future, she said she actually wanted to be a nurse and go to Africa to be a missionary to help others. I could see her passion and care for all the Bukang Liwaway scholars (sponsored kids) and her genuine desire to seek God.
As we talked, she pointed to God’s faithfulness and said that his love for her was shown to her through many people throughout her life… that it was present all along. I have been so touched by her kindness to me and inspired by her desire to help others. I hope this comes in time!
Melanie, Serve Asia Worker