This past April, I spent a week in the outskirts of Manila, Philippines along with 18 classmates from International Community School (ICS), as part of the school’s annual Week Without Walls service trip. We worked with Kids International Ministry, an establishment that helps thousands of children and families living on the streets by meeting their physical needs, and introducing them to the Gospel and God’s word.
Our mornings were spent teaching girls aged from 7-16 how to swim, as drowning is known to be a major cause of death in this area. Clad in colorful swimwear that was either too big or too small, the girls were extremely excited to be taught how to float. Some of the more heavy work included tearing down old buildings and constructing new ones. We spent evenings assisting a nearby children’s home by playing games, singing, and reading with the orphans. You would think that after a second reading of the same story they would hope for a new one, but that wasn’t the case. I was surprised how such a small act brought them such a great amount of happiness.
On other days we traveled to other villages to serve them what could be the children’s first hot meal of the week. It was a simple blend, but they often ran back for seconds, sometimes just to interact and play with us. When we started to take off on our vans, they chased after the vehicle, trying to hop on (and sometimes succeeded).
ICS will return to Manila next April, to offer a hand to these children again.
Jenai Quan, Senior at International Community School.
From Expat Living, Nov. 2010