Growing up in a community surrounded by water, Jacky became an expert swimmer, helping her parents feed the family with the fish she caught.
Jacky Metran's goal is simple: "I want to serve the Lord with all my heart, life and soul." In fact, since she was a young teen, Jacky has dreamed of serving the Lord as an educator. "When I was a freshman in high school, I taught a children's Sunday school class and I loved it," she says.
As a student in Compassion's Leadership Development Program (LDP), Jacky is seeing her dream come true. On April 16, 2004, she graduated cum laude from the program. Jacky attended Febias College of the Bible in Manila, Philippines, and received a degree in Christian education. She was chosen to address the parents at this year's Leadership Development Program graduation ceremony. LDP valedictorian Jairus Melchor gave the valedictory speech.
Completing the LDP is a milestone for Jacky, who plans to pursue a master's degree in theology at the Asia Theological Seminary.
The Gift of Education
Like 40 percent of families in the Philippines, the Metrans are victims of poverty. Their home is on the Bay of Manila. The water level there has risen to the point that houses sit on stilts and people get around by boat.
Jacky's father, Dioso, does his best to support the family as a day laborer and her mother, Carina, cleans homes. The Metrans are grateful for the opportunity their daughter has had to attend college. "I don't know what would have happened to Jacky without Compassion," Carina says. "My husband and I would never have been able to send her to school."
"We always tell Jacky that we hope poverty will end with her," Dioso adds. "We also remind her how privileged she is that, through Compassion, she has people who care for and support her."
Passing It On
Jacky knows how blessed she has been, not just for the formal education she has received but for the opportunity to develop in all aspects of life. "Compassion trained me not just intellectually but also in my social, physical and spiritual life," she says.
She looks forward to a future free from the bonds of poverty. Even more, Jacky yearns to help other children as she has been helped. She hopes to use her Christian education training to establish a Compassion project in the Manila church she attends.
"I believe the concern I feel for others is a message from God," she explains. "I believe He has called me to do His work through a Compassion project because people, especially children, are in my heart."
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