A Sweet Investment

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Salve in the Philippines.
​Salve in the Philippines.

This time, cookies and cake are more than comfort food when bake sale helps one family rebuild their home damaged by Typhoon Haiyan

When Typhoon Haiyan​ struck the Philippines in November last year, it caused severe damage in the Aklan II community. A long-time Canadian sponsor who had formerly sponsored a girl in Aklan II contacted World Vision Canada to find out if her former sponsored child and her family were safe.

The former sponsored child, now a university student, is still well known by the staff in the Philippines. Salve is an honours student, working toward a degree in education. She is also still involved with World Vision activities, acting as a child leader and a member of Aklan II’s board of trustees, representing more than 6,000 registered children. Staff members in the Philippines permitted Canada’s office to tell the young lady’s former sponsor that Salve and her family had survived the typhoon and were safe. That could have been the end of the story. But it isn’t.

Salve’s family hadn’t escaped the typhoon unscathed: the family’s home was ruined. When World Vision Canada’s manager of child sponsorship effectiveness, Michelle Lowther, contacted the Philippines, she learned that Salve’s father had patched up their home, but it still lacked a roof. What was worse, Salve, who was on track to graduate at the end of the school year, had her scholarship frozen and was in need of US$400 to cover her tuition fees.

Before: Typhoon Haiyan severely damaged Salve's home.
Before: Typhoon Haiyan severely damaged Salve's home.​

Salve’s story stuck with Michelle. She was reminded of a song, “The Power of One.” Says Michelle: “The message given to me in my heart was this is the ‘one’ that I could make a difference in.” Next came the idea of a bake sale at World Vision Canada’s office. The baked goods prepared by staff would be sold as a “sweet investment” with the money raised going toward Salve’s tuition and maybe, if enough was raised, fixing her family’s roof. “I was afraid of failing her,” Michelle says. “But I also try to live by the mantra Just do it afraid and trust God for the rest.”

God may or may not have a sweet tooth, but more than a few staffers at World Vision do. The bake sale was a soaring success, bringing in just under CDN$1,000. That was enough to cover Salve’s remaining tuition and to get the materials to cover her family’s home with a new roof.

After: Salve poses in front of her repaired home.
After: Salve poses in front of her repaired home.

A few months later, after the funds had been sent to Salve and her family, Michelle received a letter from the recent graduate. Salve closed her thank-you note this way:

Let me leave you this bible passage from the book of Romans 15:6:

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Jesus Christ so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May all of your life forever be blessed.

So, yes: a sweet investment.

. . .

The Response to Typhoon Haiyan Graphic.


This article appears in the Winter 2014/2015 issue of Childview.





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