Newsletter: Mark’s Story
Meet Mark D. He is described as responsible, hard-working, trustworthy, grateful, persevering and ambitious.
Four years ago at age 15, Mark ran to catch a bus while it was still moving. He just barely got hold of the handle by the door when the bus accelerated. Before Mark could get both feet inside, he was swept under the bus and the back tires crushed his left leg. He managed to get medical help, but his leg was amputated above the knee. He was forced to take a year off from school, as he recuperated physically.
A year later, his parents separated and his father disappeared. Mark’s mom had to find work to support her six children, so she moved to the large city of Manila, taking with her the two youngest. Mark was left, not only recovering emotionally, but also responsible to support and raise three younger brothers. At the time the boys were twelve, eleven and eight years old. The four of them stayed in the house together and Mark focused on teaching responsibility. Mark’s mother sent $10.00 a week to her sons, which was to supply food, clothing (including school uniforms for all four of them), school supplies, and other living expenses. This would prove to be a big stretch for Mark financially, but he persevered and got creative.
Mark got a weekend job at a vegetable garden working twelve hours each Saturday. This resulted in an extra $1.75 income per week. He also attended school full time and helped his brothers complete their studies.
Four years later, Mark is still working the vegetable garden on Saturdays, is extremely proficient in moving about using his cane and crutch (walking to and from school every day), and will graduate this month from high school near the top of his class. What a feat!
When students in the USA graduate from high school, they are most commonly asked, “What are you going to do next?” Well this young man, too, has dreams. The first is physical. He wants a prosthetic leg. Fruit Bearers Ministries wants to help. In the past we helped a child from Negros Oriental get a prosthetic leg, and we would be privileged to do it again. With our local Philippine connections and medical networking, we believe we can achieve this with only about $1,000! This would cover travel expenses to Cebu Island to get fitted and ready, discounted prices for the actual prosthesis and any medical attention needed, and travel expenses to return to Cebu Island to finally get the new leg.
Second, Mark dreams of going to college. This would be an investment for his vocational future. Incredibly, in the small mountain town of Mabinay where he and his brothers live, there recently opened a branch of Negros Oriental State University. Mark wants to study Computer IT, keep living expenses low by living in his house, and continue to raise his teenage brothers to be responsible young men that will finish their schooling years. We want to help him by providing scholarship money.
Our staff in Mabinay is in regular contact with Mark. We believe that by meeting his physical and emotional needs, we show God’s love which stirs Mark to continue seeking Him. Our prayer is that our regular contact with Mark and the help we are able to provide for him physically and financially will impact him spiritually. We’ve seen it happen in dozens of other lives. Our prayer is that the Spirit of God will also work mightily in Mark’s life!
One would never know, by talking to Mark, that his teenage years unfolded the way they did. His perseverance and ambitious choices make him stand out amongst his peers. And so we ask, will you help Mark realize his dreams?
If you want to help financially, you can send a gift to Fruit Bearers at PO Box 833, Duvall, WA 98019. You can also give on-line at Donate Now. It is a blessing to work together with you, as we empower people with disabilities in the Philippines!