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FOUNDLING

She is just little, her tiny little face is astonishing really.

Her narrow brown eyes search my face, skeptical.

And for just a moment, her eyes hold mine.

I dare not blink, for fear of losing this moment.

Carefully, gently, I touch her hand.

I can protect you, I whisper.

I can love you.

And the silence deafens us both.

Her fingers gingerly curl around mine.

And we sit like statues.

Our breathing synchronizes and I feel her relax

Ever so slightly.

 

Will you come with me? I whisper.

Eye contact, again.

How brave you are little one,

To trust me.

She has been housed in a government facility after being found by her father’s dead body on a sidewalk.
A concerned citizen stopped to help her.
I think she is about 5 years old.
That is all we know.

The past three weeks has brought us 5 children that belong to a category called ‘Foundling’.

These are children simply found.

On a street corner, in a parked jeepney, in a market, wandering…
with no identity.

Some of them get lost in the swirling chaos of the streets.
Some are left intentionally for someone else to claim them.
Some are orphaned and find themselves all alone with no where to go.

No one really knows their age.
No one knows their birthday.

Sometimes, they don’t even know their own name.
They have no rights.
No birth certificates, no homes, no parents, no one to hold them, no one to protect them, no one to love them.
And no one to advocate for them.

We have given a name to many of these children; a name they can call their own.

We have loved them until a family has come forward willing to adopt them and be their family.

We are passionate about the ‘foundling’.

Because we believe that God sees them.

God knows who they are and where they came from.

In him they are, indeed we all are, truly found.

Gentle Hands Inc. was founded by my parents 30 years ago when they moved from Canada to the Philippines as missionaries.
Time has come full circle, and now after many fruitful years they prepare to return to Canada, for good.

We have the opportunity to purchase their home, located in an area we have long prayed about opening another center in.

Our vision is to transform it into a home for foundling girls, ages 4 to 8 years old.

To make this a reality would require $150,000 USD to purchase the house.

This is money we would need to either raise outright or receive as a long term interest free loan.

Please pray with us and if you are able to assist financially please email charity.graff@gentlehands.org and nathan.wheeley@gentlehands.org

How can you help?

View our 2015 Accomplishment Report online!

Report-Mockup-2What an incredible year 2015 was at Gentle Hands. Every year we are required to submit to DSWD our years prior accomplishments. It’s amazing to reflect and see what a remarkable year we have had and how God has truly been present through it all.

Enjoy!

What you do not know.

What you do not know is that two years ago he was broken.

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This afternoon, I sat in the crowd and watched five of my children proudly walk across the stage to accept their diploma commemorating their graduation from Grade 6.

This is a huge event in the life of a Filipino child because for so many children, it is a struggle to attend school daily, never mind to complete 6 years of education.Graduation 1

By the Grace of God, these 5 did it and the announcer’s voice roared their names across the speaker. I was taken aback by how straight and tall he stood before the long line of hands to shake. Department Heads, teachers, and a famous politician who he did not know, shook his hand and patted his shoulder saying, ‘Good Job, Boy’.

And I think if I could have one minute of that man’s time, I would have something to say.

Yes, sir, they have done a good job. And yes, they have graduated. But…

What you do not know sir, is that the young man in front of you, was once a little boy in torn, dirty, shorts, barefoot, hungry, unbathed, angry, and very confused. His mother dead, and his father jailed, he was unwanted by relatives and he was frightened.
And what you do not know, sir, is that the beauty in front of you, cried for months straight when she first came to us; the grief, horror, and unexpected relief from her life of pain, almost too much to bear. She was devastated.
And what you do not know, is that the young man before you, was orphaned by Yolanda; the effect of the trauma almost destroying his mind. For months, the nights were haunted by
memories, fear, grief, and terror. He was nearly out of his mind.

 

And sir? What you do not know is that until just two weeks ago, that shy, young woman shaking your hand, was hopeless. No uniform, no lunch money, no school supplies, yet for the last year she has attended school. Four years older than all her classmates, she was determined to finish, knowing that in this culture, education is her only hope. She was alone.

And what you do not know, only two weeks ago, did my own girl bring that frightened young girl home to me. Mom, we need to help her, she pleaded. She is all along. My girl; her own little life fragmented by abuse, but her spirit resilient and strong, healed.

Maybe when you carry such wounds, you see them more easily in others.

The young girl’s story was familiar. Abandoned by a cruel mother and left to her father who beat her and did things that fathers should never do to their daughters. Sometimes she would sleep in the park, not even a peso in her pocket. Sometimes, she was okay. Sometimes she just wandered the streets, avoiding going home.

When we came tonight, we walked to the gate of the school, and her eyes filled with tears. I cannot imagine her feelings as she saw all her classmates with their parents, standing proud, in the line up.

Sometimes she would sleep in the park, not even a peso in her pocket. Sometimes, she was okay. Sometimes she just wandered the streets, avoiding going home.

But sir, that you do not know.

And what you also do not know is that despite all odds, despite a very persistent and determined enemy, that despite abuse, abandonment, and being orphaned, they stand.

How these five came into our care is undoubtedly the Hand of God.

How they have grieved, healed, and grown is nothing less than a miracle from above.

And the resilience, beauty and hope that is real and alive in their lives, is only the work of the spirit of a Living God.

And the plans, the awesome plans of a Great God, are for them to prosper, to not be harmed, and for them to have a hope and a future.

And that, sir, you should know.

On Mother's Day

To the mother who many years ago, brought her dying little boy to my front door and begged me to keep him… to save his life… thank you for trusting me.

To the mother who handed me her son with tears streaming down her face. Almost too exhausted to speak… thank you for trying. I understand. Read more

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Adoptable.

This little boy was referred to us from another foundation just a few months ago. Born with visual and hearing impairments, he was surrendered for adoption but complications and slow development made the “powers that be” decide he was not adoptable.

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Progression Athletics International visits GHI!

Shane Hanson, Founder and Coordinator of PAI (Progression Athletics International) brought his skill and passion for kids and youth to Gentle Hands and Malabon.

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4 Siblings

We went to pick up an abandoned child that was referred to us from a government facility. My social worker and I were prepared for the worst. Desperately underfunded and overcrowded, whenever we were asked to take a small one from this center, we were prepared to do so without hesitation. They were not set up to care for infants. Teens and older kids who were in trouble with the law, were made to care for the little ones. That was their punishment. Oh, the abuses I have stumbled upon because of this system of so-called discipline.
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A Gentle Hands Christmas

Team Koza rocks again!

Who would think to spend Christmas in an orphanage would be so much fun!

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