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As a young Filipino’s eyes are opened to biblical principles, he abandons fatalistic beliefs about poverty.Franklin Catapang became a sponsored child when he was 9 years old. Now 20 and about to graduate from college, he boasts, “I had an American sponsor who sponsored me until I finished high school. He always wrote me letters and sent me pictures.”

As a young beneficiary of the Child Sponsorship Program of Food for the Hungry, Franklin was interested only in the material benefits of sponsorship. He was not too excited about attending Bible studies or going to church. He doubted if God existed or if He was even concerned about his life.

But Food for the Hungry walked alongside church and community leaders to patiently demonstrate God’s love to young Franklin, even encouraging him to help out in the children’s ministry. Slowly, the shy Franklin gained self-confidence and began to understand that God loved him and wanted him to reach his full potential as a human being.

Franklin vowed to pursue a college education even though he knew his parents couldn’t support him financially. “God provided the means,” Franklin says. Franklin was appointed to a community youth counselor position, and with the responsibility came the privilege to enroll at a nearby university for free.

Franklin also applied for assistance through Food for the Hungry’s Child Vocational Scholarship Fund (CVSF), which helped subsidize other expenses. He also received a government scholarship that he used to help his siblings with their school needs.

Clearly, Franklin is a powerful example of the transformation of heart and mind. Once an insecure young man and now a vibrant believer and soon-to-be teacher, Franklin promises, “I cannot pay Food for the Hungry for all its help,” he says, “but I can help make a difference in another person’s life. I can be a child sponsor – first to my siblings, then hopefully to other children too.”

Read more about Food for the Hungry’s sponsorship programs here.

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