Friday, November 23, 2012

Mom & Dad in the Heart of Our Community

Dear friends and family,

For the very first time, Wes & Linda Coffey (aka Mom & Dad) stepped foot on Philippine land. They travelled to the opposite end of the globe from our home in Ontario to my home-away-from-home here in Manila. However, this was no ordinary visit. This was truly a mission. By God's grace, they impacted so many lives here throughout the month of November, and they will not be forgotten by our community. Their compassion and loving kindness left an impression that would best describe them as "second parents" to my friends and to the children and youth. I'm also blessed, because my parents now have a much greater understanding of why I would chose this lifestyle of servitude to Christ and to the street children in Manila - as difficult as it is move far away your own family. However, "Tatay Wes" (Daddy Wes) and "Nanay Linda" (Mom Linda) have truly been embraced by the people here as part of a much larger family.

I want to share with you just a taste of what my parents experienced over the last three weeks. Since I've always believed that, like our actions, a simple photo can speak or reveal so much more than words, here is a number of photos from my parents experiences in Manila. I've included captions, but these pictures alone speak volumes about the love my parents shared and experienced, including the injustices and pains they felt in the communities here.

Mom & Dad arrive at our team's drop-in center and office
First ride in a Philippine "tricycle" - a motorbike with a sidecar
The harsh contrast from privilege to poverty quickly hits hard
Visiting Jace (the eldest boy in his family) with his siblings.
His family is homeless and lives under an overpass. Jace
is in our Sponsor-A-Child program in which someone is
sponsoring his education in elementary school.
Visiting the Napacor Community. In my arms is
Louie-Jay - one of our most charismatic daycare students.
Reymark (bottom right) is another of our students. 
Squeezing through tight walkways of squatter homes 
Visiting families we're reaching out to through our programs
Arriving at the Sucat community. Our involvement here started with
a simple feeding program. Now many of the children are recipients of our
educational programs, and we have a strong relationship with the families.
Typical homes in the Sucat community

You need to cross over a river by this tree trunk to reach some homes 

Mom & Dad helped with a fun children's program in various areas
Walking on coconut shells in a relay race

A tiny infant takes a nap on a bench outside

One night, my parents helped out with our Night Life program. Here
my team goes out into the streets to reach out to street kids & youth
(many of which are abandoned or runaways without a home). We invite
them to our drop-in center for some food, a bath, and games or stories.

Enjoying some food at the Night Life program

Mom & Dad read a story and also assist with the crafts at
the SLC (Simula Learning Center) - our daycare in Alabang. 
They also helped out at Educare - our daycare in Makati.
Mobbed by the kids as we arrive in the streets

Ate Cecile leads the street kids in a prayer before our program
Thoroughly entertaining games

My mom was so blessed to know Janine -  one of the youth we are
tutoring to help pass her high school equivalency exam. While riding
in a jeepney, a hand from outside reached through the window and
snatched my mom's necklace. However, Janine chased down the thief,
confronted him, and told him to hand it over!! He spit the necklace back
out of his mouth where he was hiding it. ...we'll never forget Janine's
incredible bravery and kindness to our family. She is truly a hero!
Dad's energy and fun personality was a delight for the kids
Mom hands out a snack
Perfect timing - Mom & Dad's trip coincided with our annual
camp for street kids and youth. Each of the campers are clients
in our Sponsor-A-Child program (sending them to elementary
and secondary school) or in ALS (high school equivalency exam).
Rizal Re-Creation Camp was founded by an American missionary
Counselor Linda and her cabin of giggling, fun-loving youth
Dad and his boys
I had the joy of being a counselor for the youngest boys
And of course, my parents had the opportunity to spend
time with Jam's parents and family.
I hope you enjoyed this brief photo tour of my parents wild and unforgettable adventure here in Metro Manila. As we send them back to Canada, I pray that you'll be moved and inspired by the stories that they will gladly share with you. And from us Filipinos (and Filipinos-at-heart), we can only say a big THANK YOU to Nanay Linda & Tatay Wes for everything you've done for the children and the families here. We are forever blessed by your compassion through His great grace and love.



  1. Wow pretty amazing. I was wondering how things were there recently. It truly seems you are walking in the light..

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    thanks for taking care of our fellow Filipinos who are in need. Though they are poor they are still happy. We believe that if we stay together we can survive anything worst that will happen. Again I thank you personally keep up the good job. GOD BLESS YOU and YOUR FAMILY.

    To your Mother and Father in Canada. Mam/Sir Thank You so much for giving them your time. Few people do this things. May God Gave you good health to your love ones. You have a good son.
    You have definitely molded a good loving son.