For many years Frontline has ministered to children and adults on the streets of San Pablo. In 2005 however, we elevated this aspect of our ministry, and started Face the Children (FTC).
One of the first steps after raising funds was opening a drop-in center near the city center that would be a safe place for children to come. At this center the street kids — dirty, sick, and hungry — were able to shower, exchange their dirty clothes for clean ones, and eat a healthy meal. This also came with a couple hours of basic education and Bible lessons. This was a successful effort in reaching out and connecting with abandoned, abused and dangerously neglected children.
By end of July 2006 however, the leadership was disturbed that the children, though being cared for in the day time, were not allowed to stay and be protected during the nights. FTC at that time had no authority (permit) to keep children overnight. Reluctantly, and yet with a new plan in mind, the doors to the “Bayan Center” were closed. Shortly thereafter, our CHURCH was opened up for the kids to come and stay during the evenings, offering all the same as before, but at different hours. Dozens of kids made their way to the church, and slept on the floors. Through these efforts, many children connected with Frontline, and entered into what is now a much more developed and established FTC Program.
But as the program developed, we felt the missing link of an interim care center for new children coming into FTC, prior to full integration into the FTC program and life in the boarding homes. Integrating kids fresh off the streets into the mix of those who have been developing for months or years can and does present serious challenges.
In September 2011 a renewed effort was underway to open an interim center for incoming children, where they could be safe and receive nurturing to give them the opportunity to change, grow, and eventually move on to the FTC boarding home center. Thanks to the Lord, and caring donors, a facility was rented and preparations got under way to fix up the facility (which was ten rather dilapidated). In early 2012 a social worker and house parents were hired, and immediately we began to bring in children rescued from situations of child labor, and other forms of abuse.
This is part of the heart of Frontline… to reach out and help people find their way back to God. With these children we are doing it by bringing them up in the knowledge of the Lord in a strategic environment of safety, love, and personal development. They are truly being given an opportunity for life by the grace of God, and we are privileged to be a part of the task.