we met the little boy who lives with his elderly father just over the wall in the jungle.
today we went to the wall and with the help of the roving watchman, met the old man.
he's 72. a toothless, skinny, polite, pleasant old man.
he's so thankful for our interest and help in his child!
i was able to communicate with him as he speaks perfect Tagalog- not a dialect as so many do around here. i'm guessing he's had a bit of education- he told me he used to be a carpenter before in a high-class subdivision near here.
the story is that 35 years ago someone took pity on him and 'gave' him this little piece of jungle to take care of and use, and now it 'belongs' to him. (probably not on paper though)
then about ten years ago he married a 'young' girl, who gave birth to this little boy emmanuel, and then proceeded to die of asthma. (i'm guessing tb actually, because i'm pretty sure the old man has tb)
so little emmanuel lives alone with his old daddy in the jungle. the only work the old man can do is to make charcoal and sell it at the market.
as we talked across the wall, all my grandkids, neighbor kids and emma peering over as well, it was apparent to me that the old man really loves the boy. he told me they had scheduled surgery for him at a local hospital when the child was 4 years old, but never pushed through because of financial difficulties. and the little boy is very attached to his father...when i mentioned our foundation, and possibly helping them, emmanuel immediately asked, "daddy you come with me?" and the old father reassured him that he would.
i asked if he'd ever gone to school...the dad said yes, but he always ran away.
i'm not sure how this is all going to work out.
for now, we are giving them one good meal a day, and we gave emmanuel a ball yesterday to play with. he has no toys. nothing but sticks and other stuff you find in a jungle.
it remains to be seen how this will all play out. we certainly don't want to disrupt their peaceful life, but only to be a support and a help.
help us to pray that God's will be done in the lives of this little family.
next week, we will bring a social worker to investigate and then we'll decide what can be done.