A warm welcome from the CMSP staff and children greeted Heiko and Markus, the two young mission volunteers who arrived from Germany recently. They are here for an intensive exposure program to learn more about the ministries of CMSP and the local culture. They were welcomed by the children with special songs and poster greetings to make them feel at home. They were very much impressed with the warm hospitality of our people, the rich taste of Filipino food and various tropical fruits at the Children’s Village. They were amazed to see the children always smiling and playful, polite and respectful.
CMSP Executive Director Dinah U. Macaranas welcomed them and talked about CMSP programs and services. CMSP is grateful to CMD for this joint effort at enhancing our partnership in mission, and in strengthening cooperation and goodwill among mission friends and partners. CMSP hopes to further enhance awareness and support for its programs and services in fulfillment of its vision towards “a life-changing ministry for children.” To this end, we praise and thank the Lord our God for this wonderful opportunity to serve and work together in the best interest of our needy children.
My name is Tra Mi Hoang, 19 years old and a Mission Volunteer from the CMD. My parents are both Vietnamese but my older brother and I were born in Germany because my parents immigrated to Germany when they were younger. I had a happy and sheltered childhood because of my loving parents. I always wanted to go abroad and this dream came true. I always told myself that if I had the opportunity to go abroad, I want to do something meaningful. I think supporting needy children and helping the staff is a good thing, isn’t it? My intention was always to share the happiness and love I got to know during my whole life.
When we arrived at the Children’s Village, we were very warmly welcomed by the children and staff. They sang a song for us and then, all the children came and gave us a hug. It was really nice and I immediately felt at home here. My first impression is that it is a really joyful place. I thought the first few days would be very hard for me, because I would miss my family and friends. Naturally, I still miss my family and friends, but at the same time, I am very happy to be here because of the friendly reception and all the kind, friendly and helpful people around me. I have spent most of the time playing and talking with the children. The children spent a lot of their free time outside, playing basketball, running around and playing many games that were new to me.
The first thing I noticed was that basketball is really the most popular sport here in the Philippines, like soccer in Germany. All the boys are playing basketball. Even the girls like it too. I also noticed that the children here are really happy, always laughing and joking. It is really nice to see that they are happy although they are separated from their family. Seeing the children’s joy also lifts up my spirit. So anyone will always be in a good mood with all these children. Moreover, many children also told me that they really like it here at the Children’s Village. They are really happy to have the chance to go to school and they really appreciate this opportunity.
I have also met some former children of CMSP who keep coming back to visit the Children’s Village and their former house parents. Some of them are now working here as a social workers and houseparents. It seems to me that CMSP is really doing a good work among the children. I am currently staying in the houses with the children. I really like it because it is always fun to be with the children and have the chance to get to know them better. Most of the children already do their school work on their own. The children who are living in the same house strongly feel like they are real siblings. They all are taking care of each other and are helping one another.
I’m really glad to be here and to have this opportunity to serve. I’m also feeling happy for the children because they have the wonderful chance to grow up in such supportive and caring environment. It’s a life-changing experience.