What Are You Doing?

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.

Dear Compassion,

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.

two men and woman standing with girl
Pastor Alba (left) with Emilda and her parents

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.

God bless,

Joseph Alba
Pastor, Salem Christian Life Center

Make a donation to allow Emilda to compete in the International Special Olympics.

12 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Prof Sandee May 2, 2011

    I see the need was completely met. Is there a web site that will show the Special Olympics? I want to watch for Emilda and cheer her on.

  2. Lisa March 8, 2011

    Oh my goodness!!!!! Someone must have made a really big contribution today. We only need $375 more dollars!!! (Thank you and many blessings to whomever that was!)

    Emilda’s going to Greece! 🙂

  3. Kathi March 1, 2011

    Is there a deadline?

    1. Chris Giovagnoni March 2, 2011

      The deadline is when we reach the full goal. You can track our progress on the donation page. Right now, we’re at 63% of the goal.

      1. Kathi March 2, 2011

        Thanks, Chris.

  4. Judith Tremblay February 28, 2011

    Ok, this post got me to donate. Not the other posts, not the “order” on Fancorps.com…but the quote about the change in the hearts of the other kids, from teasing/bullying to “If Emilda can go to Greece, who knows what God can do in my life.” Running brings joy to Emilda, and being able to compete internationally brings hope to all of the others at her student center (and any other child who has heard her story).

  5. Mike Stephens February 28, 2011

    Well it’s all downhill from here hahahaha we’re over half way! 😉 Emilda’s story has a lot of unique things that encouraged/inspired/intrigued me so it was very easy for me to give $20. I am thankful I get to be a part of her journey to win the GOLD MEDAL in Greece the birthplace of the Olympics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …ideas for Lisa carwashes, girlscout cookies, bake sales, running races like a 5k and 10k, I am almost in a position to do a race 😉 If I could get 200-500 people at $20 or so that is $10000 at $20, times 500 people. I could present it to our running club and one of the head guys I actually saw at the GMC the other day 😉 It couldn’t hurt to ask 😉 I look forward to watching the video of her race! I look forward even more to watching her break the tape 1st! GO EMILDA! I BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL WIN! I Cor. 9:14 “Run in such a way to make the prize yours Emilda!”

    1. Lisa March 1, 2011

      Mike, presenting it to your running club is SUCH a good idea! Anyone else out there belong to a running club who might want to do the same thing?

  6. C.G. February 28, 2011

    “There is nobody in our church who can claim the credit. Only God.”

    What a sweet truth! Indeed, none of us can really claim any credit for good ourselves. Just because we perhaps have more material wealth than others, we think we can take credit for ourselves – when in reality what we have, whether great or little, can only ever come as an undeserved gift from God!

    I can only speak from my own experience, and that is of a wretched tendency to think “This good idea is mine”, “These good results are of my own doing”, “I did this”, and so on. That mindset is partly a product of culture, I imagine, but also simply a part of human nature. It is Pride. So I fight it, deliberately giving credit where credit is due: to God alone.

    From the poor, the persecuted, and the suffering many great lessons can be learned. Faith is a big one. It is a sweet, wonderful dependency on God that is an area of struggle for those endowed with significant material wealth, freedom, and peace. Thank you for this reminder.

  7. Lisa February 28, 2011

    p.s. Here’s the link to donate…


  8. Lisa February 28, 2011

    Hey Everybody — We have raised over half of what Emilda needs to go to the Special Olympics. We still need $9,370.

    Does anyone here have any creative ideas of what we could do to raise the remaining $9,370?

    Is there a group of business executives out there who could pool their resources and get Emilda to Greece? Is there a Christian recording artist who would want to take this on as their cause for 2011 and make up the difference? Could everybody who has already donated, make a second donation in the same amount and that would put us over the top?

    I’m just brainstorming…

  9. Ryshel February 28, 2011

    Praise Jesus! I love hearing about what our Glorious Lord is doing in other people’s lives! He is so good!

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