A Young Missionary

Patricia lives in one of the crowded slum communities of Santa Mesa, Manila and that is known as breeding ground for thieves, criminals and prostitutes.

The winding path to her home is so narrow that only one person at a time can pass through. Children play and run along the narrow maze of alleyways, throwing rocks at houses, cursing at people and threatening other children. They are noisy, dirty and disrespectful.

young girl smilingPatricia had enough of them and one day decided to do something about it. She decided to teach them the Bible so that they can change their ways. She gathered these rowdy children aged 5 to 10 years old so that she can teach them about Jesus.

Patricia is only 12 years old.

“I teach them about Jesus … so that they can become better children. At first, it was just a teacher-student game but soon I realized that I could actually teach these children for real.”

For two years now, she has taught the children every Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., with an average of 11 students at a time.

“If they won’t come, I fetch them and tell them they should listen to God’s Word since they’re not doing anything important anyway.”

Patricia doesn’t want to be a teacher or missionary but says, “I will keep on doing this so that (these children) won’t grow up to be criminals.”

Patricia is an average grade six student. She enjoys studying math and wants to be an accountant someday. She and her four siblings, grandmother and parents cram inside a tiny windowless, cement hovel. Her parents have no steady jobs.

During the week, Patricia goes to a nearby public school like most of the children in their neighborhood, but on weekends she gets busy preparing for her “class.”

As a Compassion-sponsored child she goes to the Calvary Foursquare Student Center every Saturday to hear Bible stories, learn practical skills in life and develop good Christian values. This is where she gets her inspiration.

“Whatever I learn at the (student) center I teach my students.

“Last week I learned about Gideon. And so on Sunday afternoon I narrated Gideon’s story to my students and taught them to be brave because of Jesus.”

She also explains that she borrows a friend’s illustrated Bible so that she can show colorful pictures to keep them interested.

Vicky, a caseworker at the student center says they learned about Patricia’s neighborhood class from the mothers.

“The mothers told us there’s this young lady in our neighborhood who is calling together little children so that they can listen to Bible stories.”

Patricia may not know it but people in the community appreciate what she does. A neighbor said, “We are very proud that there’s a young girl like her in our neighborhood. How we wish there were more.”

Student center staffers also admire what she does. Vicky reveals,

“She is a quiet girl. I have known her to be a very responsible child but I had no idea that she is a local missionary in her own neighborhood. I find that amazing.”

Little Danica, one of Patricia’s 6-year-old students, points to Patricia and says, “Yes, she is my teacher. She teaches me about Jesus.”

39 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Christie April 18, 2016

    Patricia, thank you for what you are doing to teach children about Jesus!! 🙂

  2. missionary olayiwola obededom March 5, 2010

    I need to know more about you and God will bless you.

  3. Pastor Johnie July 31, 2009

    Hi Patricia your story is so great This coming Sunday I will challenge all our children to do the same. May God bless you.

  4. Mike Stephens July 14, 2009



    We visited a Foursquare project in Manila and it may very well have been her project it was PH-238. I should have simply asked but I was not thinking about it at the time…I easily could have dropped off a gift!!!!!!!

  5. Mike Stephens July 14, 2009

    @Chris Giovagnoni

    Great to know we can send a gift to the project, I knew this but it helps to be reminded!!!!!!! It was great to get to meet Edwin!!!!!!! He told me to come back so I don’t want to disappoint him!!!!!!! hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

  6. Mike Stephens June 20, 2009

    @Dwight – Dwight we could visit and drop some things off at the country office or even request to visit her project and enjoy her class and give the gifts then. However it might be a few months or even years until I can visit again 😉 But who knows!!!!!!!

  7. Vicki Small May 18, 2009

    @Chris Giovagnoni – Chris, that’s great!! Thanks!

  8. Chris Giovagnoni May 18, 2009

    Whenever we publish a post about a child, we always let the sponsor know about the story and share any extra photos we may have.

  9. Vicki Small May 18, 2009

    @Dwight – Dwight, if Patricia says anything in her letters to her sponsor, and/or if her sponsor reads this blog, her sponsor could send some things to her. That would probably increase the bonding between them, too.

    Another gift idea her sponsor could consider is sending her a small gift with a suggestion that she use it to buy an illustrated Bible for herself, so she doesn’t have to borrow her friend’s.

  10. Chris Giovagnoni May 18, 2009

    @Dwight – I didn’t mean to communicate that you can’t help her, but I definitely understand how that came across, because my answer was about “policies.”

    I encourage you to consider a $25 center gift that you recommend be used to help her ministry. The church partner cannot arbitrarily dismiss a recommendation. The gift will be used according to your wishes unless they deem it to be in clear conflict with the center’s best interests.

  11. Dwight May 18, 2009

    I am sorry that compassion will not let us help this child…but I understand all organizations have procedures. But we can still pray for her ministry.

  12. Chris Giovagnoni May 18, 2009

    @Dwight – You can send a gift to the child development center by calling 800-336-7676 and speaking with any sponsor relations representative.

    Child development center-designated gifts can be between $25 and $1,000. You may recommend the use for your gift but can’t “designate” that it be used in a certain way. Your recommendation will be followed unless the center has a greater need for the gift to be used in a different way.

    As for giving a gift to Patricia directly (i.e., a child gift), the internal board that oversees our sponsorship program is still discussing how we should handle situations like Kamrul’s in the future – specifically how that type of request fits in with our philosophy that each sponsor has a one-to-one relationship with his or her sponsored child.

    And in anticipation of a potential question, I’d like to make a distinction between giving gifts to a child and helping a specific child with a medical need, like in today’s blog post.

    Alexander and his need for heart surgery is a specific medical need identified by his development center. The latter is the key.

    Many children have medical needs, but it’s up to church partner to identify needs that are beyond what our sponsorship program can address and that require specific assistance. This was done in Alexander’s case. A Complementary Intervention (CIV) proposal was submitted asking for funds to pay for his surgery.

    CIV is the part of our holistic child development model that “complements” and augments our core programs in situations like disasters, medical needs, etc.

    Child gifts and family gifts are a feature of the sponsorship program. They are governed by our gift policy which is meant to strengthen the sponsor/child relationship without creating dependence on part of the child or disparity among children in the sponsorship program. As a result, the gift limits are small in comparison to a medical need, like heart surgery, or a need in the wake of a disaster.

  13. Dwight May 17, 2009

    Like some people did with the family (Kamrul) that needed the bicycle/ cycle van… can we send a child gift for her to use for the kids in her group? Maybe that will buy some supplies. Or send a gift to the project to buy supplies to give her?

  14. Kim Edge May 16, 2009

    Now we need to get those young rowdies signed up and sponsored too! 🙂

  15. Sara Benson May 16, 2009

    Originally Posted By DwightDoes the project provide materials and support for kids like her who want to reach out?

    I was wondering the same thing. The story said that when teaches the kids things that she had learned in the project, is there any way to get her more pictures and materials to be able to teach? I think that this is a great opportunity to encourage this gifting in her and help her to continue to sharpen her talents.

  16. Amy Wallace May 15, 2009

    This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂 No one is too young to be used by God!

  17. Lindy May 15, 2009

    Wow! Somehow I missed this blog. My daughter just called and told me to read it. I’m so glad she did. I pray Patricia will be full of God’s wisdom and surrounded by His protection!

  18. Michelle Sheba Tolentino May 15, 2009

    We came from the same Compassion project and from the same community. I am so proud of her!

  19. In Him May 15, 2009

    Wow, this is another very inspiring story of how God is showing himself Faithful and real through this young woman!
    It makes us excited to think of the plans God has for each of our sponsored and correspondence children.
    Stay in touch, and have a blessed weekend!

    Andy and Miranda – In Him

  20. Vicki Small May 15, 2009

    @Ken M. – Hi, Ken! I agree that Patricia will no doubt be a leader, in the future; however, I’d say she’s quite the leader, today!

    Can anyone spell LDP?

  21. Brittany May 15, 2009

    God has wonderful plans for her…He is using her in an awesome way!

  22. Dana Williams May 14, 2009

    What a precious girl! My children and I will be praying for Patricia and for the little ones she is teaching.

  23. Ken M. May 14, 2009

    At times children are able to do things adults can’t do, aren’t willing to do and sometimes even afraid to do. Patricia is a future leader.

  24. Heather May 14, 2009

    What an amazing and brave little girl! I never did anything like this because I was always so shy! She probably has no idea the impact she’s having on the other childrens lives but someday she’ll find out! The kids will remember that someone cared about them and taught them 🙂

  25. Dwight May 14, 2009

    Does the project provide materials and support for kids like her who want to reach out? I would assume she is reaching kids who are not part of compassion or the church.

    Edwin, every time I see a story with your name on it I know it is going to be a good story, thank you for taking the time to post this story.
    Edwin, tell her we are all very proud of what she is doing!

  26. Stacey May 14, 2009

    That is an amazing story!! Jesus was around her age when He first wanted to teach. If she’s teaching now, there’s no telling what God will be doing with her when she’s older! It’s just phenomenal.

  27. Mike Stephens May 14, 2009

    I teach them about Jesus … so that they can become better children. At first, it was just a teacher-student game but soon I realized that I could actually teach these children for real.”

    It’s amazing the power a game can have!!!

  28. Mike Stephens May 14, 2009

    it is hard to say all the reasons II Samuel 23:8-23 is my favorite Sarah, but if you read it I think you will get a better understanding

  29. Mike Stephens May 14, 2009

    B/c of their amazing feats…

  30. Dwight May 14, 2009

    …that’s a beautiful story…and a future leader. Thank you Edwin for the story.

  31. Sarah Charles May 14, 2009

    @ Mike Stephens

    Why is that your favorite?

  32. Sara Benson May 14, 2009

    Wow. The beautiful faith of a child that says, that is wrong, I can fix it, I can share Jesus with them.

  33. Mike Stephens May 14, 2009

    I will request her lesson be on II Samuel 23:8-23 my favorite part of the Bible. 😉

  34. Sarah May 14, 2009

    What a precious little girl! 🙂

  35. Mike Stephens May 14, 2009

    Maybe we can be privileged to hear a lesson on the upcoming sponsor tour!!!

  36. Mike Stephens May 14, 2009

    What a huge impact she is having on her class!!!

  37. Sarah Charles May 14, 2009

    All I can say is “WOW” 🙂

  38. Vicki Small May 14, 2009

    Wonderful story! Patricia is a great, living example of what Wess talked about in Too Small to Ignore: God has called a child to do what adults in the neighborhood apparently could not do. They may have been afraid that the children would all turn on any of them. God bless Patricia!

    Her sponsor(s) must be so proud!

  39. Juli Jarvis May 14, 2009

    Wow — that is a beautiful story! What a beautiful young lady! “And a little child shall lead them…”

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