The following letter is from Emilda’s pastor, Joseph Alba. He talks about the inspiration your efforts are giving the church and the children in the development center in the Philippines.
Hi! My name is Joseph Alba, and I am the pastor of Salem Christian Life Center. I was also the director of Salem Student Center at one time, and Emilda’s teacher.
Thank you for everything you are doing for Emilda. Truly, our Father’s will always exceeds our own limited expectations.
Two years ago, Emilda and 98 other registered children were transferred to our center. She was frequently teased (maybe even bullied) by her classmates. At the time, I told them, do not belittle Emilda, because someday she is going to make us all proud.
Two years ago, Emilda’s mom asked me as center director if the student center could cover the 300 peso [U.S.$6.92] cost of Emilda’s psychological examinations, a requirement for Emilda to participate in the National Competition phase of the Special Olympics.
When the student center consented to cover the examinations and all the other training needs, I never imagined that anything like this would happen.
Almost all of our church members, which include the staff of the student center, live in the same squalid living conditions. For example, during our worship service two Sundays ago, I asked the congregation if there was anybody who had a million pesos in the bank. Nobody stood.
How about ten thousand pesos? Still nobody stood.
How about a thousand? Still nobody.
I then asked, how many of us here owe someone else more than 500 pesos? Everyone laughed, and almost everyone stood.
Isn’t it amazing that impoverished people like us are able to:
- run a student center with more than 380 children?
- have a Child Survival Program?
- give gifts to another set of 240 children through Samaritan’s Purse?
- have an aqua-culture livelihood project run by the men’s fellowship?
- host more than 20 women’s life cell groups which regularly meet?
There is nobody in our church who can claim the credit. Only God.
Jesus has come into our lives, and because of that, somehow there is the light and the certainty that things will be better.
What you are doing for Emilda has inspired the children of the student center, as well as our church.
The possibility of Emilda going to the Special Olympics sets the bar of hope so much higher for everyone. Many are thinking,
“If Emilda can go to Greece, there is no limit to what God can do in my own life.”
God is too amazing and wonderful. It is a privilege to have people like you as partners in God’s work of changing lives and releasing families from poverty in Jesus’ name.
Pastor, Salem Christian Life Center