Traditional Filipino Christmas star lights were hanging in the trees, a nativity scene shined bright behind us, carolers walked around the central part of the city singing Christmas songs as we sat on the steps enjoying the scene before our eyes.
"Picture time!" someone yelled, which is most commonly heard in the Philippines. Myself and other Filipino friends gathered to capture this moment. As I looked to my right, a young Filipina girl sat on the steps staring at me. This moment was no different than many other moments where children sat arm's length away in amazement of the white lady. I reached over to put my arm around her and invite her into our picture. In a polite and shy way, she pulled away making it known that her interest was only to watch, not to participate.
After the picture, I turned once more to view the sad face of this beautiful Filipina girl. With gentleness in my voice, I began to inquire about her life. Althea, 11 years old, shared how she came from a home of 15 people, all of which served Allah. She was in the market with her sister selling items to help feed her family. She continued sharing how she struggled with life inside of a home where her parents fighting drove her mother to leave the home quite often. She desperately desired to help her mother.
I shared with Althea about a local children's ministry that could assist her and her family with rice and vitamins. Through the love of Jesus Christ, we were able to minister to her. I asked Althea if she would like to receive Christ as her Savior?
On this beautiful night where the birth of Jesus Christ was being celebrated, a young Filipino girl experienced the benefits of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Soon after this moment, she heard her sister calling her to leave. She thanked us and ran away.
At the same time a friend approached us inquiring, "What just happened? That girl that you were talking to just ran away with a big smile on her face."