Former Cairnbulg pastor travels to Philippines to meet sponsored child

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A former Cairnbulg pastor has recently returned from a trip to the Philippines where he met a child he has been sponsoring.

David Haggath, 69, a former pastor at Cairnbulg Assembly of God Church, travelled to the country to meet 7-year-old Ivanne - a child he has been sponsoring for a year through charity Compassion UK.

Mr Haggath said: "“Meeting Ivanne was unbelievable.

"I kept looking at him and shaking my head, thinking: ‘This is a real boy, not just a photograph anymore.’

"He was very excited on the day, he enjoyed showing me his basketball skills."

Ivanne lives in the mountainous community of Trancoville, approximately 300 kilometres north of the Philippines capital.

He lives with his grandparents, two of their children and two siblings, since his parents are unable to care for him - adults in Ivanne’s area typically earn around £15 per week.

Mr Haggath said: " “The house was tiny but it was tidy and cared for. It was not the kind of place even a small family would live in the UK.

"There was very little space and it struck me how fortunate we are."

Mr Haggath was very impressed by the Compassion UK project staff, including Ivanne's caseworker who used to be a sponsored child himself.

Speaking about Ivanne, Mr Haggath said: " “I saw how much the sponsorship had changed his outlook.

He told me he used to be anxious about whether he could attend school.

"Now he doesn’t need to worry about being able to afford uniform or school equipment, he even dreams of becoming a policeman one day."

Mr Haggath sponsors Ivanne £25 a month which enables the boy to be part of his local Compassion project where he receives nutritious meals, emotional support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.