Two Saturdays ago I went with some co-teachers to Bacolod Boys’ Home to spend an afternoon with orphaned and homeless boys aged 5 to 17.  It was my first time to go there and I didn’t know what to expect.  I just wanted to tag along with some of my friends because I had been invited several times to visit with them.

When we got there, we were divided into pairs and told to see to the boys in the different cottages.  About 25 boys lived in one cottage and there were four cottages, I think.  I was with a teacher from the IS (grade school-high school dept of La Salle) and she had been visiting Boys’ Home for several years now so she knew how to handle the boys.  Anyway, we asked them to form a circle and we prayed and talked to them.  I taught them an action song I learned from BLD.  We also let them read the story about how Jesus calmed a storm in the Bible (they had Hiligaynon bibles in their cottage) and asked them questions later.  I was really surprised at the way these boys answered.  They seem so mature, even at a young age – most of them were between 12 to 16 years old. 

Later when we asked them what else they needed – aside from clothes and food, which they were provided with, they said they needed a basketball.  I really thought they were going to ask for money.  But they had such simple needs.  Although these kids didn’t have families and they had t-shirts that were either too small or too big for them, they felt they had everything – except for a basketball, of course.  Going there made me forget my problems for just a little while and it made me see things from a different perspective.  I guess it made me realize that compared to other people, I still am blessed in a lot of ways and that there is so much I should be grateful for. 

When the kids thanked us for coming, I thought to myself that I should be the one thanking them because I think I learned more from them than they did from me and they touched me more than I did them.  It was really a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go back.