in Children of the World - 4 min read
Children of the World Alumnus Graduates
It’s hard to believe that our Children of the World International Children’s choir is wrapping up their 11th tour this month. Over the years, I have seen these incredible children bring smiles to thousands across the U.S. who can’t help but be captivated by such joyful and engaging messengers. Since inception, Children of the World has ushered in over 35,000 child sponsorships, a monumental accomplishment that is certainly making an eternal impact.
Recently, I was reminded of our very first Children of the World team in 2000—and one child in particular stood out. He was from the Philippines and his name is Rey (pictured on my right). He was barely 10 years old when my family and I hosted him in our home. His toothy grin and curious disposition immediately endeared him to us and is something that, over the years, I haven’t been able to forget.
When I met Rey, I found out that his father was in prison and his mother was left to care for Rey and his three brothers all on her own. They lived in extreme poverty, and he had little hope for the future.
I just received the letter below from Rey. The shy 10-year-old I once knew has grown into an accomplished, mature, and confident young man. In fact, Rey just graduated from Cebu Aeronautical Technical School through the college scholarship fund set up for Children of the World alumni. He is now pursuing a career in commercial airline work.
His story embodies the purpose of Children of the World, the value of sponsorship, and ultimately, hope. Rey’s letter speaks for itself and I’m thrilled to share it with you:
I am Rey from Children of the World’s first team. I am really thankful that God has used somebody to help me in reaching my dreams and goals in life. I have been part of the sponsorship program since 4th grade and now, I just graduated from college. I was able to earn a degree in Bachelor of Science in Airline Management through your help. Thank you so much for that great opportunity for me to become somebody out of nobody.
My dad has been in prison since I was 7 years old. Because of your partners here in the Philippines I get to be one of the lucky kids to be sponsored and start dreaming for the future. Even though my Dad is still not with us, I am still happy and thankful that God is there always, filling the gaps of my earthly father.
I’ve encountered lots of challenges in life but still I didn’t give up, for I know that God has purpose why He gave them to me. During my four years in college, challenges in school, family and personal life came in, but still I fought for what I dreamed to become someday. You also gave me the strength and courage to pursue and overcome those challenges in life. When I went up to the stage to accept my diploma, I really don’t know the feelings I felt. I was nervous, excited, surprised…etc., I really don’t know. I came to realize that this is it! This is the day. The day that I’ve been waiting for.
Words are not really enough in expressing my gratitude and joy of your help. Without you, I would perhaps be still nobody. Right now I am still searching for that job that best suites to degree and to my skills and abilities. Whatever possible jobs came in ought to be considered as a privilege. It will be my pleasure to help my family and provide them a better life in the future.
Thank you so much for the help. I will never forget and you will in my heart forever. I Love You Guys!
Rey’s story reminds me of a very important quote from Mother Teresa: “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” We will, unapologetically, always be about the children—because they matter. Lives can be changed and transformed in miraculous ways, just like Rey’s has been. Thank you for joining us as we change the world . . . one child at a time.