Compassion MOPS Blog
Hey there MOPS moms!
If you made it to MOMcon this year, you may have had the privilege of meeting Kiwi or hearing her story at The Compassion Experience. If you haven’t heard her story yet, get ready to be inspired …
You can call me Kiwi. I was born in Bacolod City, Philippines. I am my mother’s fourth child.
And the first child to survive.
My first two brothers died of jaundice — something that can be treated if you can pay for it. My third brother couldn’t have a normal birth. The doctors cut my mom open. Not a C-section … just … cutting. Without sterilizing. Without anesthesia. My mother screamed from the pain. But she survived.
My brother did not.
Dad didn’t take it well. He drank until he passed out. Every day. For years.
Mom finally recovered from my brother’s death — physically that is. After losing three babies, she pleaded with God to give her a baby. Then, she met a pediatrician who said, “You can have a child, but you must have prenatal care.”
That’s why I survived. That’s why my younger sister survived, too.
Growing up, I lived with my parents, sister, aunts and uncles in a little hut. We never had enough to eat. Rice filled our bellies. But it would not keep us alive forever.
At the market, I dreamed about apples! I’d never had an apple. They looked amazing! But Mom said we couldn’t afford apples, not even rotten ones. But one week, my aunt mailed us an apple. We all gathered around with anticipation. We each got to take a piece! It was as wonderful as I had imagined!
But night after night … we went to bed hungry. I didn’t see any future for me.
The Love of Jesus
One night, my Dad actually came home sober. He’d heard a preacher say, “God loves you so much, He sent his ONLY Son to die for you — to pay the price of your sin!”
My Dad knows the pain of losing a son. He had lost three of them. “If God would choose to sacrifice his Son, He must love us,” he said. My Dad became a Christian that night! And then we became a Christian family! There was joy in our house for the first time.
Then, something miraculous happened! The church my father brought us to had a Compassion program! I was enrolled! They helped me with food, education and medical needs. The staff asked me, “Kiwi, do you know God loves you? In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, ‘I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you!’” Maybe God did have a plan for me after all.
Hopes and Dreams
Eventually, our family moved to Manila so my parents could find work. There was a kind lady at my new Compassion center. She read Jeremiah 29:11 — the same verse the other teacher read to me!
Since my parents still couldn’t find good jobs, Compassion gave us food and medical care. Truly, they kept us alive.
And then, I graduated from high school. Me! Kiwi! Many of the poorer kids from my neighborhood went overseas. But the jobs were not what had been promised. They were forced to do things that they did not want to do. I didn’t want to work as a slave. I wanted to work in the medical field, like the pediatrician who saved my life. “God, you’ve saved me from so many things,” I prayed. “Will you provide a way for me to go to college?”.
Then, I found out Compassion would help me pay for tuition! I graduated from college as a physical therapist! I am married now, too. Recently, I brought my family to an apple orchard. I wanted to celebrate how far God has brought us by picking our very own apples!
I’ve seen SO many miracles in my life. That’s why my husband and I sponsor two Compassion children. I want to do for another child what my sponsors did for me!