I spent some good time with the girls. I reaffirmed my commitment to helping them live out God’s beautiful and unique plan for each one of them. They seem to be surprised every time I come back, perhaps in disbelief that we care enough to keep coming back. They are used to many organizations coming and going, but rarely do any stick around long term.
I encouraged them to keep going to school so that when they graduated, they can receive a NingNing scholarship to go to college. Justine has set an awesome example for the younger ones to follow. They really respect her and look up to her. I told the girls how well Justine was doing and how proud we are of her. Their faces lit up as they imagined the possibilities for their own futures.
I had the girls go around in a circle saying what they wanted to be when they “grow up.” They are seldom given the chance to dream, as they are expected to go straight to work – usually as street venders or scavengers – to help the family survive day to day. I encouraged them to dream, to tap into their imaginations and share whatever came to their hearts and minds.
Some of them were shy at first. Others knew right away. We had several aspiring chefs, a couple teachers, one “seawoman”, nurses, an “industrial engineer”, a doctor. Then, I asked the girls to express these dreams in a drawing. We provided the paper and crayons and let them create their own masterpiece…
I was so impressed with some of the drawings that came out of this exercise. I plan to make them into cards to sell as a way of raising awareness and funds for their education.
NingNing, the tagalog meaning for “sparkling, glittering, glowing, shining”, couldn’t be a better word suited for these girls. Its as if a huge treasure chest filled with gifts and talents is hidden within each one, just waiting to be unleashed into the world. I pray that by creating opportunities for them to go to college, this will increase the chances that many of these drawings will turn in to realities!
As I was watching the girls draw out their dreams, I was reminded of the verse in Psalm 34:7 that says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them.” It was the strangest thing, but I felt as if there were angels encamped around us. I’ve never felt such a strong, tangible presence before. There was so much light radiating throughout the room, and a peace that was hovering over the girls as they focused intently on expressing their dreams on paper. It was beautiful!
And then as I was on the airplane heading back to Singapore, I noticed this picture…
It made the hair on my arms stand on end! Does it not look like the light is in the shape of angels wings? I felt encouraged to believe that heaven’s angels are indeed watching over this community – providing, protecting and preparing the way for them to live out the beautiful destinies laid out before them.
Please keep the girls and their precious future’s in your prayers. May we stand together and refuse to let the darkness of poverty keep the light from shining on and from these NingNing stars!