Feeding the Homeless with Lilia’s Place

218 Commentsby   |  05.28.11  |  Cebu, Philippines

5-27 Friday we spent all day with Doug and Lisa Simpson, a family that moved to Cebu 2 years ago in hopes of starting an orphanage. They ended up getting involved with the homeless instead. They have two older sons (one that I actually have met at ACU… small world!) and two adorable little girls that they’ve adopted. Lilia’s Place is named after their oldest adopted daughter, and it helps get homeless families off the streets and back on their feet. They have a three bedroom apartment that they use. Three famlies (with about 20 kids) live in two of the apartments, and the third apartment is set up as a school for the children. Doug and Lisa also help feed homeless on the streets every other Friday through an organization called Cebu Missionary Foundation. CMF is run by Lucy (from Australia). Lucy is another amazing person who helps absolutely everyone she can. She has even helped a man that was dying from infected grease and fire burns, a man that had been kept in a dog cage by his family because of mental illness, and even a schizophrenic that started attacking her. CMF does a lot of the same things that Lilia’s Place does- giving homeless women jobs, providing a school for the homeless children, providing medical care, and providing a church for them (http://cebu-mission.org/ has more information on the organization). CMF is located in the middle of a huge dump site where many of the homeless live. There were a ton of children and adults picking through the trash. They build their houses wherever they can find the littlest bit of space between the trash out of whatever scaps they can find.

We quickly made friends with the kids there. They loved posing for pictures and would bust out laughing when they saw themselves on the camera screen. They thought it was the funniest thing. Notice the one boy without pants. It’s very common to see poor Filipino children without pants or any clothes at all. You even see that on the main street in the city. After looking around the dump site we helped prepare some food that we would hand out to homeless families later on that night. Later that night about 20 of us loaded into that back of a flatbed truck with three HUGE pots of food, bagged mango and bread. We headed to a cemetary in the dark to begin handing out the food to the homeless. Cemetaries in the Philippines are aboveground. They slide the caskets into openings in a cement wall. A lot of the homeless will make their beds on the top of the cemetary walls. It was mainly children that came bringing pitchers, big tupperware containers, bowls, or whatever they could find to fill with food. After that we drove up and down the streets handing out plastic bags of hot rice mixes we had made. The mixture was kind of runny like porridge, and very hot. We had to be careful filling the thin, plastics bags in the back of a moving truck. It was quite a sticky job! We also were only supposed to give the food to homeless people because merchants would sell it for money. Because a lot of Filipinos are very poor, it’s sometimes hard to tell the homeless from the merchants. The merchants will sometimes live on the streets in their tiny shed-like stores to protect their stuff. It was really fun hanging out with the Simpsons all day and getting to know them better and hear about everything they’re doing here. One of the neatest things is that the moms living in their apartments that used to be homeless now come to help cook and feed other homeless. We got to spend most of the day with those ladies as well. They are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. They are constantly smiling. Jennifer, one of the moms, knows pretty much everyone on the street. It was really awesome to see these ladies give back to people that are where they used to be. I’m looking forward to the next feeding!

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