From the Desk of the LCW President, Glenna Waller: Thank You!
Dear Friends of LCW/LCP,
Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, our prayers have been answered. Thanks to you, our sponsors and donors, all the LCW/LCP budgets were covered for 2016. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful support and prayers. God has used you as His hands and feet this past year to change the lives of thousands of children, youth and parents in the Philippines! God continues to keep His mighty hand on this ministry and blesses all the work at LCP.
Did you catch the movie, “Homeless to Harvard”? It told the story of Liz Murray, a young woman born to “flower children,” both addicted to cocaine. Watching their lives self-destruct, she vowed her life would be different. She returned to high school and won a scholarship to Harvard. While living on the streets she earned a degree. Liz now serves as a mentor and model for young people facing similar obstacles to survival and success.
Little Children of the Philippines has its own “Homeless to Harvard” stories. Since 2001, 244 students have earned associate and bachelor degrees through the LCP College Work Scholarship Program. As one year ends and another begins, this marvelous program deserves a highlight. Although it is only ONE of the many programs and services provided by LCP, the college program illustrates the larger vision of what we seek to do.
In 2001, Dr. Lee Betts, a college president and I shared our passionate vision to make a college education possible for the young people of the Philippines. We knew a college degree would serve as a launching pad to escape poverty and to help others as well. So many students have been successful, and significantly, they are reaching back to help young people now in the ministry. They teach Bible school, lead worship and act as mentors to younger children. LCP alumnae are also giving back by providing scholarship aid to students now in college.
As the following stories illustrate, these students have overcome incredible odds to reach their goals.
After Vincent’s parents abandoned him at the age of 7, he dropped out of school. His life took a downward turn and he began using alcohol. His future seemed bleak until he met Bob Hanson who helped him move into a LCP dorm and connect with a sponsor. Their support enabled him to attend college and graduate in 2013. Vincent accepted Christ as his Savior while at LCP. He became a youth leader, taught Bible school and mentored younger students. After college graduation, Vincent obtained employment and continues to give back to LCP’s ministry.
When Christopher’s father was murdered and his mother abandoned him he was left on the streets of Dumaguete City. He did whatever he could to eat and began using alcohol and drugs. He found a job washing busses and met a LCP worker who helped him move into one of the LCP dorms so he could begin school. His struggle continued as he rebelled at the structure, but eventually he came to recognize he had to stay in the dorm if he wanted to achieve his dream of an education. He gave his life to Christ, played in the worship band and taught Sunday school. After college graduation, Christopher landed a job and continues to give back to LCP.
Theresa was born with Valgus, a disease that causes deformities in the knee and ankle. Through LCP’s “Children with Disabilities Program” she received an operation that made it possible for her to walk. Although her family is caring and supportive, she faced discrimination because of her disease. She credits LCP with giving her the spiritual, intellectual and physical strength to conquer her obstacles. She says, “It is not easy to win every battle, but do not give up. Always give your best, let God do the rest, and trust God to help you soar so high.”
In reading inspirational stories of these remarkable young people, several ideas stand out. First, they believed in themselves and faced adversity with courage and faith. For all their courage and faith however, it is unlikely that they would have come this far without people who were willing to invest in them for many years.
To highlight the College Scholarship Program does not in any way suggest that it is more necessary or important than any other program. Rather, it portrays with great clarity what happens when we stand with people for as long as it takes to help them reach their goals. Someone has said, “Do not overestimate what you can do in a day and do not underestimate what you can do in a year.” How true. It may even take several years.
So as one year ends and another begins, the LCW/ LCP staff and I thank you for your faithful support of this ministry. Every gift is an investment in the life of a human being. It is truly a hand up, not a hand out. In the course of a year LCP, will touch over 5000 lives. We can do that because you care enough to give faithfully and generously. It is staggering to think that children can come to us from the streets, where they may have been terribly abused, but can emerge in ten or so years as strong and capable people. Yet by God’s grace that is exactly what happens.
We praise God for your generosity and for your continued commitment to LCW/LCP. May God bless you in this coming year as you continue to be a blessing in the lives of others.
Through the love of Jesus,
Glenna Houk Waller