The Hope House has grown to seven!
On January 29th, our four new girls arrived at the Hope House. We have a new set of three siblings (ages 8, 10, and 13) and a 15 year old. We are beyond thrilled to have these girls with us, and we are in love with them already! All of these children were taken from situations of online sexual exploitation, having been abused by a family member.
We normally only take in children ages 13 and below at the Hope House, but after seeing the case study of this 15 year old girl, I felt the Lord was asking me to take her in. She had no family members that she could go to, so she could either join us at the Hope House or stay in the local government facility in her city. It didn’t take long at all to know we had made the right decision.
After being with us for less than 24 hours, she asked if she could give her life to Jesus and be baptized! We hadn’t even discussed this topic yet. It was simply the presence of Jesus that touched her heart during a prayer time, so we prayed right then and there and took her out to the ocean the next day to be baptized.
When we announced that we would be doing a baptism the next day, two more girls asked if they could also be baptized! One of our original three girls asked to be baptized…she had been living for Jesus, but hadn’t been baptized yet, because she was shy. So with big tears, she said she had made her decision and wanted to “be bold now”! The other was the 13 year old who had just arrived. She had given her life to Jesus before coming to us and wanted to make it firm by being baptized right away!
What a joy this last week has been with these new girls! Baptizing three girls on their 2nd full day with us was so far beyond what I had imagined would happen. It’s so amazing to see the Lord do things His way. In the beginning of the Hope House He gave me a strategy and instructed us to set a specific atmosphere in the home and told me that if we do that, then He will do His part. He has done just that, and we are seeing so many beautiful things take place with these girls. During the worship time on their 3rd night with us, one of the house moms asked the girls what the Lord was speaking to their hearts. Our youngest, 8 years old, spoke up and said that she is very loved and cried. How incredibly precious is the love of God for these girls!
Since the girls arrived, there has been so much more activity! We have participated with them as they have sung their hearts out to Jesus. We have played a fun Filipino game with them using flip flops like a baseball and coconut trees for bases. They have done arts and crafts, laughed and run and played their little hearts out with their new friends. They have chased Macy, the Hope House dog, around the yard and through the house countless times and dressed her up in their own socks and t-shirts. They are learning about discipline, making good choices, and rewards and consequences for their behavior. They’re learning to do chores, to be polite, and to have manners. And they’re learning that they are safe, that they are loved, and that they have value. Thank you SO much for all that each of you have done to help make this possible. YOU have a big part in what the Lord is doing!
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About Crystal Harden
Crystal has been a part of the Hope For All Children team in the Philippines since 2011. Hope For All Children is focused on four areas of injustice in the Philippines: orphans, malnutrition, human trafficking, and abortion.