The Villasenor Family
Another group of dirty children were roaming the streets of San Pablo. They were noticed several times, by Jeff and Rowena Pessina, with bags, picking through garbage. One day while having lunch at a local restaurant, they saw them again, sorting through garbage. Rowena went out and invited them into the restaurant, where EJ, Jefferson and Mary Grace were given the best meal they had eaten in a long time.
Rowena interviewed them and listened to their stories, and learned that the two boys were siblings, and Mary a cousin. Every day, rather than go to school, they were required to go out and search for things of value to earn money for food. They said they all lived together with their dads (who were brothers).
It turned out that two “broken families” were staying in a tiny, dark, hot and unventilated room. Five kids and the two dads, one of whom was very sick with tuberculosis. Mary Grace’s mother had left long ago. No mothers, no money, no medicines, and no food had forced the kids onto the streets every day to beg and scavenge for survival.
We immediately coordinated with social services, and within a couple weeks both fathers had agreed to release all five children. Soon they were brought to the FTC interim center, where they immediately started receiving medical treatments, assessment, personal care, and basic education. At the interim center children are given time to develop physically, mentally, and academically. Once they qualify (in social development and academic readiness) they are then moved to the main boarding home center and, if possible, enrolled into Frontline Christian Academy (FCA).
We’re happy to report that all five kids are enrolled at Frontline Christian Academy! Though their age does not fit their grade level, they are eager to learn, enjoying school, and progressing rapidly. The basic education, moral values, study habits and daily devotions at the Interim Center has paid off well, and they now can interact with other kids and truly focus on their studies.
These successes are made possible only by people working together. That means prayer and financial partners, Frontline staff and volunteers, all committing time, talent and resources for a worthwhile objective. Through this teamwork, these children have been given back their childhood. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful work!