Liesl and Francine Finally Meet…

September 29, 2020

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

I first started INA child sponsorship eight years ago when a man from the Philippines visited Melbourne and shared the difference that sponsorship had made in his life. He explained how the consistent money given enabled him to attend school instead of working at a young age to support his family.

It challenged me. I began to think, “Can I do without $45 each month to positively impact someone in need?” Without hesitation, I chose to sponsor Francine.

Liesl and Nathan receive a warm welcome.

We arrived in Biñan and were welcomed into the family home. Glass windows were non-existent, just openings at the front of the house. The size of the house was equivalent to the size of my family lounge room back in Melbourne.

They did not own a fridge, washing machine, car or air-conditioner – with the temperature sometimes reaching 50 degrees! We discovered that Francine’s father works 8am-9pm 6 days a week and the commute is 2 hours each way. How have I ever complained about getting home at 6pm after a ‘big’ day at work?

Francine welcomes Liesl to her family home in the Philippines

Francine could speak some English and shared how she would like to be an air hostess one day. Travelling overseas for a holiday is not an option for people in poverty, so she sees it as an opportunity to see beyond the Philippines. Nathan and I felt blessed by this generous family who had so little but were willing to offer so much.

Through ChildLink, the girls [we sponsor] were financially supported but also emotionally supported through our letter writing. Francine showed us her school awards and explained that she is in the top 10% academically, which made us really proud. Her family is able to afford nutritious foods and clothing. The family as a whole have been impacted, not just Francine.

Francine cried when it was time for us to go and I bit my lip as I held back my own tears. As we drove off from the Biñan slums, I was sad that I was unable to spend more time with Francine but
I was so thankful for the precious time we had. – Liesl

Liesl and Nathan support several children through ChildLink. They flew to the Philippines in January of this year to meet Francine and her family for the first time, after years of writing to one another.

Learn more about INA’s ChildLink program at www.ina.org.au/childlink/

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