Children grow up answering the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” over and over.
Theresa always wanted to be a lawyer, and it was at the child development center that she learned to dream about her future. When she was younger, one of her favorite activities at the center was pretending to argue with other children in a debate.
“During our time to debate, I was really very happy. I enjoy being able to express my opinions and being given the chance to fight for them.”
Today, Theresa is 17 years old and in college. Although her childhood dream was to be a lawyer, she is taking a course in computer animation.
Theresa took the course because it was offered to her on scholarship at the AMG Skilled Hands Technical College in the faraway province of Bulacan. At first, she didn’t like the idea of moving away from home to live in a dormitory.
“I didn’t want to go to Bulacan, but when I learned that it was for a scholarship, I took the chance. I told myself I’d take this course just so I could finish college, but it was in that school where I discovered God’s real plan for me.”
Theresa was a student at the Malabon Child Development Center. Currently, her father is out of work and her mother works in a factory earning less than P100 (US$2.40) a day. Theresa has two sisters. At the center, Theresa actively participated in youth group and has been a member of the praise and worship team.
In the Philippines, it is not typical for children to leave for college. Usually, Filipino children live with their parents throughout college and even after college until they can afford to live on their own.
“Separating from my family and my ministry at church was my first challenge in moving to Bulacan. But the Lord is teaching me now to depend on Him alone. Now, I enjoy being away from my family so that I could totally depend on God.”
Theresa is one of the 28 sponsored youth who are studying at the AMG Skilled Hands Technical College through our ministry’s Complementary Intervention’s Non-Formal Education funds.
Ten more students are studying in the same college as scholars of AMG. They come from 13 child development centers located on the island of Luzon, where Bulacan is also located.
AMG stands for “Ang Manggagawang Gumagawa,” which is Filipino for “the worker who works.” It is a private school that operates based on Christian and biblical principles.
According to Alexander, a school supervisor,
“AMG instills in our students the fear of the Lord, because this school believes that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
According to Anne, another sponsored youth studying at AMG and one of Theresa’s newest friends,
“I experienced in this school the Lord working in my life. He showed me once again that He is truly alive.
“God’s provision in my life is truly amazing and I really don’t feel that I deserve it. It is really a blessing that I passed the Computer Hardware Services course, and now I have a certificate that I can use to find work later on.”
AMG offers job placement. All of its students are guaranteed to find work after college. These 38 students are taking two-year courses in Computer Programming, Computer Animation and Electronics.
Four other students have already finished a one-year course in welding and now they are all employed and earning an income.
Tricia is studying Computer Animation, just like Theresa. She also misses her family back in the province of Albay. She misses them because she knows that there are days when her family doesn’t have food on the table.
Tricia’s father is out of work and her mother tries to earn a little money by cooking and selling local rice snacks. Tricia has nine siblings and she shares with us,
“There was no way for my parents to send me to college. Often we can’t even buy food to eat. This is why I am very thankful for being able to study here, get a college education, and eat three meals a day while I’m in school.”
Anne speaks for the other 38 students when she says that her main goal is to finish college, land a good job, and be able to help her family.
“I also want to help children in our student center in whatever simple ways that I can. I would like to share all that I learned here in Bulacan, not only in the technical skills but also in the spiritual aspects of life.”
Today, Theresa has dreams of attending Bible school.
“If God wills, I would like to study in Bible school. But for now, I will continue to pray and seek God’s direction in my life. As I continue to study here I can see that God is changing me little by little, and I can see how good our God is.”
On behalf of the students studying at that technical college through Complementary Intervention funds, Theresa wants sponsors to know,
“We are so grateful for all the people who have allowed us to study here. Otherwise, our parents could not send us to college.
“We are very thankful to have been chosen to enter a good college for free. We are truly growing spiritually and skillfully. I think we are growing in all aspects of life here. We are so thankful.”