Family Is Everything

Family Is Everything

(The above picture was drawn by a ten-year-old girl at Children’s Shelter at Cebu. Her assignment at school was to write down and draw a goal she has for 2018. Out of all the things she could have put, getting a mom and dad was her top goal for this coming year.)


I think I am like most people; I often take for granted the things that I have, especially the things that I’ve always had. I take for granted that I can dress myself in the morning and go about my day with a fully functioning body. I take for granted that I have people I can talk to when I feel overwhelmed by life.


The children I work with don’t have something that I take for granted most days: family.


The longer I work at the Children’s Shelter of Cebu the more I realize the magnitude of this “normal” thing I’ve always had. Family is everything. When you are at your worst and aren’t sure if tomorrow will be much better, family is there. When something fantastic in your life happens like getting married or your first job, family is there. I serve in Cebu with a group of beautiful children whose biggest wish is to have a family, to know that they always have a solid foundation they can come back to.


A few evenings each month I am on “bantay duty.” Bantay, in Cebuano, means to take care of. When the houseparents have an evening off, I get to eat supper with the kids, play with them, do homework with them, and lead them in devotions before bedtime. As I put them to sleep, I ask each child what they want me to pray about for them. Almost every time it’s the same response: a mom and dad. Most of these kids have come from families that were severely broken and unhealthy, yet they know that they need a secure foundation when life is big and scary, arms that will always be open and accepting.


What a blessing it is to have a family. Might God be leading you to expand your family and answer these kids’ prayers?


by Ben Bonnett