“We should always be reminded that God is doing great things in your life. Bear it in mind that, ‘One day God will turn all your pain into a great story.’”
These powerful words were spoken by 23-year-old Mary Rose Oniot. Mary Rose is a Field Communication Officer for FH Philippines and has been a part of Food for the Hungry’s great story since July 2019. Did you know that 98% of FH staff are from the countries where they work?
Mary Rose (third from left) poses with her FH Child Sponsorship Team.
Mary Rose is photographed with a gathering of FH Philippines’ larger staff.
Mary Rose first heard about Food for the Hungry when she was 10. Long before Mary Rose joined the FH family as a staff member, her great story began when she became a sponsored child.
“I was in Matictic in the Philippines, about two hours north of Manila, where I live and work today. FH is a popular organization in our community, and I am so grateful to have qualified as one of the beneficiaries,” Mary Rose says.
Through FH activities, Mary Rose encountered the Lord. Some of these FH activities were led by her current church leader, Pastor Mong. Mary Rose also fondly remembers field officers Ate Elvie and Ate Jacque, who inspired her. “Ate,” she explains, is a term of respect used to address someone considered an older sister or friend.
“They really modeled for us the genuine compassion of a field worker, which I admired,” she says. “I decided then, because of them, that one day I wanted to serve vulnerable families. ”
Pastor Mong was Mary Rose’s childhood pastor and continues to serve at the church today, where she still attends.
Mary Rose (second to the left) began her FH journey as a sponsored child.
As a Field Communication Officer, Mary Rose has many duties in her busy schedule. But she starts her workday with a devotional every morning at 8 a.m. After that, her tasks vary each day.
“One day I am busy coordinating with volunteers in the community and reviewing correspondence. The next day I might visit communities to collect SDO requirements, with the help of our volunteers,” she says. Mary Rose describes her role as challenging but fulfilling. She says her favorite part of the job is visiting communities.
“It is my honor to hear their stories and give them encouragement as a previous FH-sponsored child. That is what FH brought to me.”
Mary Rose believes that God placed her in this job, for which she says she is “forever grateful.”
“I believe it was my calling, to represent Him in serving people. Working and serving the Lord at the same time is truly a rewarding experience,” she says.
Mary Rose visits one of the communities she serves through FH Philippines.
Mary Rose (left) and a few recent FH Philippines community volunteers.
Mary Rose says that God continues to teach her through her current role.
“God is teaching me to trust Him wholeheartedly, and to trust His plans over mine,” she says. Many jobs have been lost as a result of the pandemic , she says. She is the oldest of her siblings, and the only one still employed. “By His overflowing grace, the Lord allows me to remain in FH. Praise God! Yes, the Lord remains faithful.”
Secondly, she says, “God has taught me to have a grateful heart. And that, in the midst of this crisis, we should always find things to be thankful for.”
As a former sponsored child, Mary Rose understands the impact of sponsorship.
“Before, when I did not yet encounter FH, my mindset was I am not able to finish my studies due to poverty. But FH came and brought hope to a child like me.”
That hope, she says, is rooted in knowing that everything is possible with God.
“FH supports me with my studies and in all aspects, especially spiritually. And that could not be possible without the sponsors. Child sponsorship greatly improves the lives of vulnerable children. And yes, my life as a former sponsored child was really improved and transformed.”
Mary Rose enjoys being an example of how God can turn our pain and challenges into a great story that honors Him. Learn more about Child Sponsorship today!
Continue Reading other Great Stories:
Carlos’ Story: How Child Sponsorship Pays It Forward
Communities Transformed Through Child Sponsorship
Get to Know Raquel Muñoz: FH Leader in Child Sponsorship