Meet Wyne Wyne.
I fell in love with this three year old and I spent my day trying to capture her personality on camera. It’s hard to imagine that this little beauty was once on the edge of death.
I listened to Wyne Wyne’s mother describe the day her child almost died. With tears in her eyes, her mother said that God saved her baby’s life.
As an infant, Wyne Wyne had grown sick and her mother could not afford to go to the doctor. In desperation, she came to the church where a Compassion Child Survival Program exists, and with her nearly dead infant in her arms, she asked for help. The director of the program thought it was too late when she saw the baby lying motionless. They had little hope, but they began to pray as they rushed the baby to the hospital. The doctors did not give them much hope either as Wyne Wyne was already too far gone.
Yet, God did a miracle and brought the baby back to life. The director, the mother, and the doctors said there was no other explanation for the child’s healing except through divine intervention. Through it all, Wyne Wyne’s mama became a Believer and gives God all the glory for saving her baby.
This week, I have been in the Philippines visiting a Child Survival Program where 40 moms and their babies come to receive training, support, education, spiritual teaching, healthcare and friendship. They learn to nurture and love their babies in ways that will help their children thrive. They learn about hope, dreaming for their children, and the love of Christ.
The moms I met live on less than $1 a day. It’s hard to imagine.
I sat in a home of one of these moms and I can’t even begin to describe the conditions. The mother I visited lives in a room on the second floor of a small cinder block building with a tin roof, where 19 people share less than about 800 square feet of living space. I climbed the ladder to get into the room only to discover the space was about the size of my closet at home. Stacked with bunks, her poorly ventilated area apparently sleeps her family of seven. The mother shared her joy of recently receiving electricity. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like living in this dark, windowless, unventilated room. Today, a fan blew on my face keeping me cool while I listened to this mother tell me how there are days she has to choose which one of her children should eat and which children could skip the meal. She described to me the painful event of the choice of who gets the small piece of chicken her money could barely afford. Yet, as her baby crawled around on the bed, the mama smiles and says she is thankful for the Child Survival Program because, “this one has enough food.”
The mothers I met this week live in a rough area where the streets meet crime and children fall victim to drugs, gangs and prostitution rings, where people have no hope so they conclude the life they have is all they deserve.
Amongst the hopeless, these babies live.However, the moms I met this week are different than what their neighborhood would dictate. They have hope despite the poverty surrounding their lives. The world around them may be desperate, dark and without ventilation, but their hope is placed in the God that saves a dying baby, and their future seems bright because they believe their children will break out of the bondage of poverty.