EVENT

Christmas with Kids With Purpose International

Paula Belo

It wasn’t my first time to visit a children’s home. The first time I went was when one of my best friends celebrated her 18th birthday at one with a lot of toddlers. It was more like a children’s party, and as much as I wanted to engage with the kids, most of those who approached me for help were under the age of three. Their concerns were how to open a juice pack, and if I could take more pictures of their cute little faces.

Leading to ROHEI Foundation’s Christmas celebration with Kids With Purpose International with that experience in mind, I prepared myself for a day of opening juice packs, handing out crayons, and cleaning up after the little ones.

I was very excited to bless children by serving them.

It turned out to be the complete opposite.

Getting to Know The Kids

 

Upon arriving, we were greeted by worship music blasting through the speakers as kids of various ages were gathered in tables. We were asked to sit with them and get to know one another. I asked them about their age, favorite subject, favorite food, favorite sport, and hobbies, and dream job. I was pleasantly surprised to find these kids were mature and wise for their age. A lot of them mentioned that math was their favorite subject. Most liked vegetables (Yes, vegetables!) as their favorite food. For sports, some liked soccer, some liked basketball, and others liked swimming. Most of the children liked doing creative activities such as singing, painting, and dancing. One wanted to be an astronaut, another wanted to be a doctor, some wanted to be engineers. When asked why, they said they wanted to help people and help their home.

When asked where they wanted to go on vacation, they would say places like Australia, America, or some places in Europe. I was expecting them to cite food or theme parks as the reason why they wanted to visit these countries. I was proven wrong when they told me, “That’s where my best friend lives now because her forever family lives there.” They beamed with so much hope and excitement when talking about their other friends who had already been adopted by their forever families. It warmed and broke my heart altogether to hear that they frequently pray about finding their very own.

After the small talk, some of them shared about Jesus and how much they liked going to church. They all go to the local congregation near their home and are active participants. They even have a wallboard to track their church activities. Every time they talked about Jesus and their church, their eyes lit up with so much joy and excitement.

 

The Christmas Ornament

After a few activities like ornament-making, games, a dance number, and giveaways, we huddled into groups to pray for the children. It was an overwhelming surprise when they offered to pray for us, too. After prayer, we started cleaning up the area. We toured their extremely tidy home, which the children look after themselves. Their study facilities were well-equipped as donors were very generous towards the home.

While packing up and gathering art materials, I noticed one ornament that a child placed on the Christmas tree. During the activity, each kid was asked to design an ornament and write things they were grateful for. This particular one said, “I’m thankful knowing Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” This was a child who knew exactly what mattered most in His life. He knew Jesus.

I had to step aside to compose my emotions. Here I was thinking that I would be blessing these children by serving them, but I ended up being blessed by their faith and hope. These children knew that they were loved and that God was their Father. Despite the circumstances that surrounded their young lives, they believe that God has a great plan over their lives. Regardless of everything they’ve gone through, they were filled with so much joy. The only thing that would make things even better for them is a God-sent family to love and nurture them.

I stepped out of the children’s home praying that someday, I would be an answer to a child’s prayer. Just as I had been adopted into God’s family, it would also be a privilege to welcome a child into my own. I realized that as a Christian, I have so much love to give because He loved me first.

If I were to make an ornament now, I would surely count the children of Kids With Purpose International as some of the blessings I am thankful for.

 

 

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