Written By Lily Mae G. Quilbio, Visayas Children’s Program Coordinator, Operation Blessing Philippines

“OB is a blessing to our son, Gian Carlo, and to our family. The Bless-a-Child Program led us to know more about Jesus, the joy of loving one another and having faith because there is hope for everything.  And this is our life now, happy and full of hope,” said Janice Picardal, 24.

Gian Carlo Picardal, 5, was identified as a 3rd degree malnourished child, weighing 11 kgs, with a height of 87 cm last May 2015 during our assessment and evaluation for the BAC project in Mantang, Taft, Eastern Samar.  After 6 months of feeding and monitoring, last December 2015, during our health checkup, he weighed 15 kgs with the height of 109cm. The health teaching teaches Janice how to take care of the health of the family, from proper hygiene to food preparation.

When Janice found out that Gian was malnourished, she was hurt because she thought that he is normal when it comes to health because he is an energetic child. But now she knows why her son has been malnourished, it is because of the food she had been serving her family. Before, she only served what the kids like – hotdog, noodles and canned goods – but now she serves a different menu with vegetables in it, and Gian loves what she is serving. She is grateful to be part of the BAC, and that there was nothing else wrong with Gian’s health based on his normal lab results.

Since the feeding started, Gian has gotten sick twice, but just with common cough and colds, and this does not hinder him from going to school.  He can now read Tagalog sentences, add and subtract, and is always part of programs because he can memorize his part fast.

The Biblical Parenting leads her to become a more effective mother.  It has given her wisdom on the proper way to discipline the child. Her relationship with Gian and his sister, Jhandie, is now sweeter and smoother.  She saw the changes in Gian.  He has become a Kuya to Jhandie and helps with some household chores like keeping his beddings, cleaning the house and fetching water even if he is not told. The family takes time to talk before going to sleep and during meal time.  The father is so happy, because he too has seen the changes.

“Gian is a blessing to us. Thank you, Operation Blessing, you mold Gian into a child every parent would love to have.  We were not church goers.  We only went to church for special occasions, but because of what you have taught our son, he leads us to church every Sunday. He leads us into prayer before going to bed and every meal.  His younger sister, Jhandie, follows his lead, and she too knows how to pray at her age of 3,” Janice proudly continues with her story.

Janice is also thankful that she is learning to save through the Bayanihan Banking Program, as well as for the livelihood opportunity provided to them in the form of peanut butter-making, which allows the family to be together instead of her husband having to go away to work as a construction worker.

It was December 22, 2015 when we had the turnover of livelihood to our BAC parents, and by December 23, 2015, Janice was able to make and sell the peanut butter. When I called her before New Year, she told me that she was able to prepare more food for their Media Noche and give gifts to their children because they were able to sell more of the peanut butter.

“To Operation Blessing and the donors, thank you for taking care of my son.  Thank you for teaching us, the parents, to love them as you have shown us. Thank you for blessing us not only for our physical needs but above all with the word of God that keeps us stronger.  Thank you for leading our families to a thankful, hopeful, joyful life,” she ended happily.