On the Saturday before we were all to take a break for Christmas, we went to the Harvest House Children of Christ Orphanage in Tibungco, Davao City bearing our little gifts for the kids who live there.
We knew getting to the place would be quite a journey as we had a long drive ahead of us, but what we did not expect was how far the orphanage really was from the city. It was a hot and dusty December day, but with light and hopeful hearts, we made the trip because we wanted to spread the love and joy this Christmas.
The Harvest House is a facility that caters to abandoned, neglected, and orphaned children with ages ranging from newborn to 16 years old. We were told they used to have a lot of benefactors before, but as these dwindled down (mostly due to budget constraints after the worldwide recession hit), they soon found themselves in want of more resources for the children. But the staff, house parents, and children are resilient and they continued to make do with what they have. Despite this, they were really grateful for the food, toys, and clothes we had for them.
We met the kids who have been through so much in their young life, and we were saddened to think how such wonderful, beautiful, intelligent angels could be abandoned and unloved by their parents and families.
Even so, we saw in them the hope of a better future and the promise of becoming more than they are as they felt cared for and appreciated by those who are around them – even if their caretakers are not blood relation, they seem to us like they feel they belong to a real family. The team spent a good part of the morning with the kids, playing and letting them eat and share their stories with us. We also got a short tour of their living spaces.
With these interactions, we felt so grateful for our own lives and how lucky we are to be part of families that cared for us and loved us. We left with a different perspective on things and a prayer of hope for the children at Harvest House — that one day, we wish they become more than what their circumstances are.
Jefford also shared his book review for “Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work”.
Harvest House Orphanage
Purok 8, HHMIM Compound, Upper Communal, Tibungco, Davao City
Ms. Jeanette Leyva – President