travel-to-philippines The Compassion Bloggers are in the Philippines and I have come along with them. As usual, I have no idea what to expect but I’m hoping you’ll follow along to find out with me.

To get us started, here is some good information:

  • 37: the number of volcanoes located on the islands of the Philippines; 18 of these are active.
  • 19: the number of typhoons that pass through the Philippines every year.
  • 92.2 million: the number of residents in the Philippines, making this country the 12th most-populated country in the world.
  • 322: the number of Compassion-assisted centers in the Philippines.
  • 1 billion: the number of text messages sent daily by the more than 68 million cell-phone subscribers in the country. This little fact has given the Philippines the title of “text capital of the world.”
  • 57,579: the number of children registered with Compassion in the Philippines.
  • 7,107: the number of islands that compose the Philippines.

I’m going to be completely candid now: Numbers like these, the sites, the smells, all the differences of the culture, my own reality coming full force against another’s reality, all my desire to capture what I am experiencing and bring it to you — all of this results in a very interesting mental mess when I am traveling with Compassion.

It’s not healthy for me. And to be honest, I’m not even good with numbers. So you can imagine my dilemma.

Of course, I’ll place blame where blame is due. That would be me. I let too many things overwhelm and in many ways overcome me. Which results in me missing out on the most important number — one.

I DO want you to come along. I do want to share with you, in the best possible way I can, what you are doing to transform and encourage children in poverty. So I need to get my wits about me. I’d appreciate your prayers.

I also need to have the focus Jesus has. He leaves a whole flock to go get the one that departs. At this point, I am not sure I would even recognize a stray if I had to look over a whole flock.

This is our journey, infused with Jesus’ focus. I am going to focus on the child, the one Jesus leads me to, the one who may be alone.

It is an honor for me to provide you with information that enhances your sponsorship experience. What would you like to know? I will try to get answers to your questions. I believe your questions will inspire and encourage me to stay focused.

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  1. Paul
    May 29, 2011
    at 7:58 pm

    I’m glad to pray for you.

  2. Barbara Ferraro
    May 29, 2011
    at 11:17 pm

    As an advocate and also a sponsor of a child in the Philippines, I am interested in all that you will have to say. I am praying to be able to travel to the Philippines perhaps next year to meet this child, who is the latest one to be sponsored, I have 7 others. The letters I get are actually written by his mother. He is in the ACDC Project.

  3. Marvin
    May 29, 2011
    at 11:52 pm

    I pray for your group… my question…what do they really feel? Past the fun of having people visit…they feel good for that one day but what does it really feel like as they live from day to day?

    • Brianne McKoy
      Jun 2, 2011
      at 5:21 am

      Hi Marvin,
      Thanks for your question! After visiting three child development centers so far I feel like I can answer your question. They truly seem very content and they are full of joy. The children are constantly talking about Jesus and they love to sing to Him! I am sure there are days when they do feel down but from what they have expressed to me in the past few days, the Filipino children are joyful and filled with hope! It has been so encouraging to see!

  4. Brian Robinson
    May 30, 2011
    at 8:38 am

    Please let us know the names of the places you are visiting, with your impressions.

  5. May 30, 2011
    at 9:18 am

    I can already feel what you are experiencing … through your words. Peace and rest to you as you bring us His perspective.

  6. Autumn
    May 30, 2011
    at 12:08 pm

    Will you be able to tell us the projects that will be visited? We’d really like to know :) In some of the other blogging trips, the centers visited were a mystery. The blogging trips are awesome! Thanks!

  7. May 30, 2011
    at 3:21 pm

    My mother and brother both sponsor children in the Philippines. Their children are in PH280 and PH668. I am curious to know what Compassion kids from the Philippines eventually go out and do after they graduate from the program. Do they most often stay in their original geographical region and work? Do they tend to move to bigger cities or out of the country for opportunities? What kinds of jobs are there waiting for them? Do female graduates have as many opportunities as male graduates?

    Is Christianity accepted and embraced in all parts of the country? What is the number one challenge for children in the Philippines overall? Is there any one issue that they are dealing with as a country that impacts its children?

    Also, what is special about the Philippines? What do the children love about living in the Philippines? What are their favorite activities, hobbies and pasttimes? What do children do for fun there?

    I hope you all have a wonderful trip! I am so excited for you all and just love reading the blogs that come out of these trips.

    • Brianne McKoy
      Jun 1, 2011
      at 6:15 am

      Wow, Lisa! That’s a lot of questions! A lot of great questions! I have some answers for you: First of all Christianity is accepted throughout the country although Catholicism is the dominant religion.

      I was able to interact with more sponsored children today and I asked them what they enjoy doing. They answered, volleyball, basketball, reading, singing, playing music and one precious girl said she loves watching The Passion of the Christ :)

      Hopefully I will have answers to your other questions before I leave the Philippines!

      • Jun 1, 2011
        at 1:07 pm

        Sorry for so many questions! I huddled with my mother & brother and between the three of us, those were the things we were most curious about. :)

        Thanks for answering them and thanks for the great info!

        • Brianne McKoy
          Jun 2, 2011
          at 5:32 am

          I have more answers to your questions!

          First of all, I talked to a Compassion case worker today and she said that many of the children, after they graduate the sponsorship program, go on to get vocational training. Many of them get training in fixing computers, teaching or construction. As for the University graduates, I was told that most of the sponsored children graduates from Manila are female. We were able to visit 4 LDP students today and all of them were female!

          As for a common problem in the Philippines, I do not think I can speak for the country as a whole but the caseworker did express that several of the sponsored children come from broken homes. Either their mom or dad just left one day or their parents are divorced.

          I also asked some of the children and the caseworkers what they love about the Philippines. They all said that they love the food and the people! I agree about the people! Filipinos are very hospitable and full of joy.

          I hope that answers some of your questions. Thanks for your curiosity!

  8. Brianne McKoy
    May 30, 2011
    at 4:09 pm

    Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers! I honestly feel so covered by them! Keep ‘em coming :)

    Below is a break down of what centers we are visiting. Please know that it is not unusual for our schedule to change…frequently :) I will keep you updated if there are changes. For now, here is what is to come:

    Tuesday 5/31: visit center PH-238 (we will specifically be visiting the Child Survival Program center connected to this child development center).

    Wednesday 6/1: visit child development center PH-227

    Thursday 6/2: visit child development center PH-222

    Friday, 6/3: visit child development center PH-210

    And there you have it!!

    • Brianne McKoy
      May 31, 2011
      at 7:55 am

      Also, here are the names of the centers:
      PH-238: CCFC Lifestream Ministries Inc. Student Center
      PH-227: Kapatirang Kristiyano sa Coloong Child Development Center
      PH-222: Capital City Alliance Church CDSP
      PH-210: Isla Student Center Program

  9. May 30, 2011
    at 8:49 pm

    I’m loving all of the photos of the mail going in and out — the mail distribution area, the bins of mail. Love it!

  10. Wendy W
    Jun 1, 2011
    at 7:32 pm

    You are north of Manila? Have you been to the market? Do the young people take intrest in learning the traditional dance, and making back packs and such out of bamboo, or something simular to it? Take time to enjoy the natural beauty like orchids growing in the wild.

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