Angeline was just a teenager when her father was placed on the “most wanted” list in Cebu City, Philippines. For months she hid in her bedroom while dozens of strangers crowded into her home to buy drugs from her father. She would find drug paraphernalia scattered around each morning, her father not even trying to hide the evidence from her.
“He would tell me, ‘I am a businessman,’” says Angeline, “but I knew what he was doing was illegal.”
Home was no longer safe for Angeline. As a Compassion-sponsored child, she knew that she could go to the church, specifically Pastor Joel, for help. But Angeline soon began turning to the girls in her neighborhood instead — young women who roamed the streets at night, drinking and going to clubs.
“Angeline is like a daughter to me,” says Pastor Joel. “I was so sad to learn of the path that she was on. But I talk to her every time I can, and I encouraged her to come to us for help and prayers.”
By the time Angeline was 15, she was barely coming the Compassion center. Staff visited her frequently, encouraging her to come back, and on one of those visits, Pastor Joel told her about a summer camp. Angeline reluctantly agreed to go.
At first, Angeline remembers just going through the motions. She closed her eyes during prayer and mouthed the words of the worship songs, but she was distracted, wondering what her friends were doing back in the city.
But on the second day, Angelina decided to give camp a chance. And that moment of willingness, of surrender, was all the Spirit needed to fill the broken girl’s heart.
“All of a sudden I started to cry,” says Angeline.