After fifteen hours of flight time, hours sitting on the tarmac, sleeping on benches in the Manila airport our latest set of visitors arrived at the Dao Diamond. These adventurous women, Marianne Rongholt a long time IDEA Board Member, Deb Canan a past IDEA Board Member, Dona Kabeary, and Scotti Hilbert made the long trek from Billings, MT.
With only an afternoon and evening to catch up on sleep and ward off the effects of jet lag these tenacious women gathered at 6:00am with their suitcases full of teaching tools, games and prizes and headed off on the two hour van ride to Talibon.
As soon they pulled up children were peeking out of the windows signing, Good Morning and I Love You. The children get so excited when then have visitors. Each one wondering, “Could this be My Sponsor?”
The visitors started first by bringing out some alphabet dice and had them work in groups to make words. It was delightful listening to the squeals and sounds that come out as the children got excited working together. Their hands were flying at a furious pace and their faces so expressive. Then it was on to a math project using foam dominos. Of course a bag of lollipops is always a big hit!
But these ladies weren’t just here to teach reading and math, what was most important to them was making sure these precious children knew and understood the good news of salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
Using the Wordless Book and Scotti as their interpreter they spelled out step by step the plan of salvation. The children were then given the materials to make their own book so they could share this story with their friends and family. How precious it was to see them signing that they too loved Jesus and had a pure heart.
Their plan is to visit all of the schools so next was Jagna. This was a special school for Marianne. At this school was her sponsored child. She was so excited to see him and get to spend time with him. She made it a special point to take him shopping at the market and get some of the things he needed.
He is the only deaf player on the city basketball team. His favorite team is the Chicago Bulls. So through the generosity of Marianne he purchased a Chicago Bulls baseball hat, basketball shoes, a shirt and shorts. He said he was going to save them for the upcoming tournament because he really wanted to look good.
With hugs all around the team loaded up and headed back to the hotel. With hearts full and basking in the glow of all the love that was shared by these precious children they were energized and ready to do it all over again.
How blessed we are to have those who love and care about the children here at IDEA. Being a sponsor
is such a special way to show the love of Christ to those in need. Getting a chance to meet that sponsored child in person, priceless!