The Story of One - ebook
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M y dad is missing. Last time we lost him, we found him after a few weeks. But this time its been months and we still dont know where he is. Sometimes at night I worry about him and if hes warm.
H e used to work on the farm, strong as a water buffalo. But one day he came home and just kept saying, They are going to kill me, they are going to kill me, they are going to kill me, over and over again. I was really scared. Nothing has been the same since then.
N ow we know that no one is trying to hurt my dad, just that his mind is sick.My mum had to work really hard to earn money and look after me and my three older sisters at the same time. She got paid 1200 pesos a monththats $28 in your moneyfor being a maid at a big house in the nighttime as well as during the day.I got lonely sometimes.
T hen my mum got sick too, but in a different way. She gets tired really quickly and a doctor told us there is something wrong with her heart. She needs something called an ECG test to find out what. But that would cost 140 pesosaround $3.30 in your money. That amount would buy our food for a whole week!Now she cant work, so Im not lonely anymore. But now I worry about her too.
I nstead my sisters have to work to earn us money. Alfie is 14, Alma is 13 and Hazel is 12. Alfie and Hazel sell steamed duck eggs to motorcycle-taxi drivers in the evenings after school. Alma has stopped going to school to help our mum at home.Im six, and they say Im too small to work yet. They call me Little Angel, even though my name is really Angelica.
I am really a very lucky girl. As well as my sisters, I have lots of friends at the Compassion child development centre in our village and a sponsor who writes to me all the way from South Korea. I nearly missed out on being registered, because we didnt know the centre was opening. But Michelle, one of the ladies from the centre, heard about us and came to visit four timesexcept mum was always out working.
A fter a month, the centre was ready to open, but Michelle still hadnt seen us. So she decided to visit one last time, late at night and during a storm so we would definitely be home!Michelle always tells me it was the first time in her life she was thankful for lightning, because it lit up the way across the bridges to our stilt house. Otherwise she might have fallen in the swamp!
W e were so surprised to see her! Mum says when Michelle arrived in the middle of the storm, she knew how much Compassion cared and that they really wanted to help us.So now I go to the Compassion centre, and we all go to church next door to it. Mum says Compassion reminded her that God never forgot about us.
I love going to the centreits my second home. I play there with all my friends and the workers tell us stories. They help me to study, and now I can read and write on my own.Best of all, we get lovely snacks and fresh, juicy fruit. A few months ago, it was Hazels birthday. I saved up my food from the centre to give her when she got home from work.I felt so happy to share it. Hazel cried.
O ne of the best things Ive learned at the project is how to talk to God. This is what I say:Lord, please make my mother healthy and help my father find his way back home. And Lord, all the money that you see just lying around, please get it and give it to us so that my family wont be hungry anymore. Amen.When I talk to God, I know that one day, everything will be okay.
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew18:5