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Review for Lingap Childrens Foundation, Jackson, MI, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

This article tells you why the Lingap center is so vital to the children and to the people in the surrounding villages. People who have nothing give all thay they have to the Lingap center. The actions of those so less fortunate than us speak volumes of what the Lingap center is all about.This article will tug at your heart. Read this and you be the judge of the importance of the Lingap Center. This update letter is going to be a bit different from previous editions. As you will recall, Itypically try to tell you how the Lingap children are doing and I am very pleased to announcethat all are doing just fine. The school year is moving along and all have survived the firstmarking period. Our 15 college students are doing remarkably well and our two collegegraduates have landed jobs with the Marriott Hotel in Cebu City!!, jIn this edition, I would like to focus on one of our other important outreach activities. In August,Fr. Geoff Rose, OSFS, the Lingap Chaplain, went with me to visit the Lingap Center (his fifthvisit). Along with the Lingap staff and LonnieCooper, our Peace Corps volunteer, we tookthe opportunity to celebrate Mass at several ofthe squatter villages in the area. The followingweekend, Fr. Geoff conducted a community-wide retreat at St. John de Sahagun CatholicChurch in Toledo City. We used an interpreterwhich was a unique but tremendous and funexperience for all of us!The squatter villages providethe roots for some of theLingap children and many stillhave families living there. It is at these locations that we hold our StreetChildren's Education programs five days a week. Fr. Geoff and I, however,wanted to reach out to the street children's families and extended families in adifferent manner. It was the first time that many of the villagers had ever been toa formal church service and we did it in their own little communities (outside). Itwas really a touching and unbelievably rewarding moment. One thing that struckme especially, was when they took up a collection afterward -- for us!! In onelocation, they donated the equivalent of $1.61 and at a second location, approximately $0.83.Clearly we were not expecting donations, but they wanted to give back for all that has been donefor them! The donations came directly from their hearts and they were given to us with a senseof amazing pride and joy.In one village, a lady prepared a feast for us after Mass consisting of rice, roasted chicken and(warm) Coke. I seriously doubt that her family had ever had a meal like the one she hadprepared in our honor. It was her way of expressing gratitude to us for taking the time to visitand especially for celebrating Mass together with them. They were so honored to have a priest and me visit their homes that our hostess did everything she could for us. She was crying as we Celebrated Mass in Larap Village
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She served us because it was such an unbelievable honor for her family. She refused to join us since it was her ‘privilege’ to serve us. We had to eat it of course, but we left as much as we could soshe would have food for her children. These villagers have nothing - nothing at all and live inthe worst possible poverty - yet they took up a collection during Mass and then later fed us!! Itsimply demonstrates that those who have nothing are the most generous of all. I am reminded once again of one of my favorite quotes from Bob Pierce who said: "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." My heart was certainly broken, yet filled with joy - it isreally difficult to describe my feelings in this situation. But I will freely admit that I absolutelylove the work that we do.As mentioned, the villagers seldom, if ever, had attended a formal church service. The church istoo far away for most of them and travel is difficult at best. Further, they are not particularlywelcome or at least they don't feel that they are. On the following Saturday evening, as we weredoing the community-wide retreat at the church, to our amazement, many of the villagers cameand filled in the front pews! I knew they were there because I could see them through my tears.Fr. Geoff added: "What an honor and a privilege it was to bring the Mass to these villagers.They were powerful experiences of the Body of Christ. To see many of those same faces come tothe retreat, told me that we had definitely accomplished our goals for this week!"This is just one of many examples in which the Lingap Center is empowering those who are lessfortunate. While our focus is always on the children, we are concerned about their communitiesand families as well. All of you, our supporters and Place at the Table sponsors, have made thispossible. It would not have happened without you. I can only thank you all so much for makingit possible. Together, all of us really are making a very big difference in many lives, both youngand old.As I remember those moments in the squatter villages, I am reminded of a quote from Jonas Salkin which he said:"I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.”

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