Living high up on the mountains, Gerome Bensing would not have been registered in Compassion’s child sponsorship program (CDSP), because his’ home was too far away from Compassion’s church partner. Because CDSP wants to ensure that each beneficiary participates in all student center activities in order to fully benefit from the program, they want the children to not be residing beyond 5 km from the church which is more than a 30-minute walk away. Gerome’s home is a two hours’ hike going up hill.
“But our church leaders saw the need of this family, and so they decided to register Gerome anyway as long as he and his parents promise not to be absent from the student center,” explained Jun Legarte, center director. True enough, Gerome is always in his CDSP class.
Every Sunday, he would hike down the mountain with his father or ride a motorized public tricycle if one passed by. Gerome’s father is a basket weaver. He sells 3-5 baskets every weekend so that he could feed his children and send them to school throughout the week.
“It is tough getting to the center from where they live,” Jun said, “and so his sponsor stepped in to help. He sent a family gift to Gerome so that he could buy a bicycle. He’s been riding it since on his way to church and back.”
The sponsor had also sent roofing and construction materials to help the family improve their house and make it sturdier and more livable. Gerome is grateful to his sponsor, who lives in the US. “Thank you,” he said. “Now I just enjoy myself riding my bike to church, especially going down.”