Charles grew up not having enough food on the table. He wore tattered clothes and was not sure about his future.
Both his father and mother labored hard in the rice paddies all day long but brought home little money. When his mother got sick, they did not have money to take her to the hospital.
Charles never found out why she was sick. She just grew weaker by the day, until finally she died. He still wonders if the disease his mother succumbed to was curable.
Charles has all the reasons in the world to be sad. But he is not sad. Today, Charles is a pastor with faith in God and a positive outlook.
“My main goal in life is to help poor children, educate them, and lead them to the Lord.”
When Charles turned 16, he attended a youth camp for Compassion-assisted youth and it changed his life completely.
“The guest speaker talked about the Potter’s Hand, and I pictured myself in the hands of God.”
He now considers that everything that happened in his life was “by design of the Master.” The hardships he and his family endured were for a purpose.
“That Compassion camp in 2004 had such a big impact on me. We talked about confession and transformation, and these two things established my life.”
It was in that camp where Charles gave his life to the Lord. He went back home a changed young man and began leading, teaching and counseling his fellow young people at church and in the center.
He later entered Bible school and spent five years pastoring tribal people in the mountains of Negros Occidental, a province of the Philippines.
Charles’ heart bleeds for youths because he has seen many of his friends who began well in the center grow up to become rebellious teenagers. He has counseled young women who got pregnant out of wedlock, young men who fell into drug addiction, and many others who have lost their fire for the Lord.
Charles is now one of the young pastors of the Ma-ao Central Evangelical Church in Ma-ao, Negros Occidental. He serves as a caseworker for Buasdamlag Child Development Center, teaching and caring for sponsored children, and at the same time evangelizing and discipling their families.
Every day he visits the families he serves. He makes his rounds on a borrowed bicycle early in the morning to remind the children to come to their classes at 9 a.m. Then he goes back to the center to fix the room, clean the area and prepare his materials.
Every day he teaches seven to 10 of the 4- to 5-year-old students about “everything they need to know: the alphabet, arithmetic, songs and Bibles stories,” and he sees himself serving little children for Jesus for a long, long time.
“I am excited to soon see the fruits of my labor in the lives of the children as they will grow to become successful in life. What makes me happy is to see these children learning how to read and write and knowing the Lord.”