At Little Children of the World and Little Children of the Philippines we pride ourselves on being a family ministry. Our goal is to serve families and children in the Philippines, but even more, family is woven into the DNA of this ministry. Generation after generation are carrying the torch to continue the mission.
Perhaps the most obvious example is that of the Founders. Bettie and Doug Elwood, Peggy and Dean Houk, and Luther Carroll began this ministry over 31 years ago. Their children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren are now at the forefront.
Peggy and Dean Houk’s daughter, Glenna Waller, has been serving as LCW President since she assumed that position when Bettie Elwood retired in 2009. Her daughter, Melanie Waller Foster, currently sits as LCW Treasurer. In addition to being staff, she also has served on the Board of Directors since 2016. She served on the Advisory Council prior. Melanie and her two children, Jake and Brittany Foster, travelled to Dumaguete City together for the first time in 2008. Jake traveled to LCP again in 2013 and Melanie again in 2019. Brittany served in the Philippines on short trips over 10 times, and she currently resides in Dumaguete City and serves as LCW International Liaison. Brittany was appointed to the Advisory Council in 2018. Glenna’s grandson, Lane Waller, has also been a sponsor and traveled to LCP for a volunteer trip in July of 2019.
Bettie and Doug Elwood’s son, Philip Elwood, has faithfully served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2013. He served on the Advisory Council before that. He leads the Livelihood Committee, and aids in creating sustainability projects for LCP. He visited LCP in 2013 with his daughter, Megan.
Outside of the founding family, it is very obvious to see how important family is within this ministry.
Cerila Patrimonio has worked for LCP for twenty-four years. Her oldest daughter, Marla, was a sponsored child and scholar all the way through her bachelor’s degree. She is currently serving as LCP Community Management Council President as well as serving on the LCP Board of Trustees. Her youngest daughter, Marie Lou, married an American, David Abbott, and moved to the United States. Marie Lou is currently LCW Vice President of Sponsorship. She and her husband both serve on the Advisory Council, and they have travelled to the Philippines many times with their son, Alex, to volunteer.
Mila Varina is another long-time LCP employee. She has faithfully served LCP for twenty-four years, and now, her daughter, Janice, who is an LCP graduate, is serving as Chair of the LCP Board of Trustees
Carmenia Benosa is the Executive Director of LCP and has been on staff since 1997. Her daughter, Carmela, an LCP graduate, came to work in the LCP Sponsorship office for 6 years after she graduated from college.
Many couples choose to serve as volunteers on the Advisory Council/Board of Directors as husband and wife. Families come as one to volunteer at LCP. There are so many examples of how families are serving in this ministry together. And even though most staff are not biologically family, we become family as we work together to serve the children. We are so thankful for the familial culture that LCW/LCP has been able to build. We look forward to what the next generation holds!