Camp Follow-Up

A side-street in Cubao city was eerily quiet.  We followed Becky, a longtime street kid worker, into the alley way bearing day-old pastries donated from a local Starbucks.

We were doing follow-up with street kids that had attended camp the week before.  A handful of kids after camp get involved with the local church and get plugged into education and discipleship programs, with some even agreeing to stay in a kids’ shelter.  Most, however, return to their familiar lives on the street, living the only life they know.

      This boy’s sandals got stolen while he was sleeping.

Seemingly from nowhere, a familiar face runs up to us. He remembers Jason from camp, and his name registers in my brain. Christopher calls for his friends, and suddenly there is a group of eight or nine boys around us, eating our pastries.

      Ate Becky on the left, Christopher in the middle,
                         Pastor Lino on the right.

We had fun hanging out with these boys, still young enough to get excited over pastries and pose for the camera. I shared my testimony with them while they were eating, with Becky translating. I was aware that there was little of my story that they probably related to, but I prayed that my adolescent decision to follow Christ was one that resonated with them.

Becky told us that she has been following up with Christopher since camp. He has agreed to attend ALS (Alternative Learning System, equivalent to the States’ GED), and to be discipled by Pastor Lino. He used to be a regular glue sniffer*, but hasn’t sniffed since learning from Pastor Lino about what it means to be a leader and a role model for Christ.
Christopher has just begun his journey on the road to change, breaking the cycle of street-living in his family. As a natural leader, the other kids look to him and listen to what he has to say when he talks about what he learned at camp. With a high school degree and mentorship from Pastor Lino, he is on his way towards making a difference in the lives of other street children for Christ.

*Many street children sniff chemicals such as roofing glue or paint thinner to achieve a high that lessens hunger pains and other realities of the streets.

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