I am Ruben. I have lived with Columban Fr Donald Kill for many years. To me, Fr Kill is my Lolo, my Grandpa. He has shown me a new way of life. My own family is very poor and on top of that my father drinks a lot and often gambles away his money. He cannot care for us as he should because of this.
A teacher of mine asked me if I would like to be King of Hearts in the fundraising project. I asked Lolo Father if it was ok with him and he told me he would be pleased to help me. However, Lolo has so many others to care for. He could never raise the funds so that I could be the King. I know he gave me more than he should have and cut other things out of his budget to give me what he could. I went around the village where I live. No one here is very rich. Some have good jobs, but most are just struggling to pay the monthly payments on their homes. They could never give the amounts needed to make me King for a Day.
I know how difficult is to raise the necessary funds. I am content and happy just to be able to go to school and have enough to eat and decent clothes to wear. But when no one else would accept the challenge, my teacher asked me.
It is sad for me because, even though I had many donations for the project, the number does not make any difference. The only thing that counted was the amount of money inside the envelopes, not the number of envelopes. My friends and neighbors are poorer people who just struggle to get by each month. They can only give smaller amounts.
To me it just does not seem right that the votes of my many friends and neighbors mean so little and that those who are richer can just buy the honor of Being the King for a Day.
So often it seems that is how politicians get into power and hold on to power in our country. You have to be rich to get power and you get richer because you have the power.
But I am rich in many other ways. I know that Lolo wants me to be a successful person when I finish school. He has taught me that God loves me and I am special in God’s eyes. He taught me how to look in the mirror and to find God’s love right there in the image in the mirror. I cannot be King for a Day at the School, but I am a King everyday because I have found life and love and hope living with Lolo Father Kill.
(Ruben Enocian is 18 years old. Because of his family problems he dropped out of school and was thus delayed in proceeding with his education. He is now a well adjusted young man growing in wisdom and age and grace as he lives his new life at Balay San Columbano in Ozamiz City, Philippines.)
Columban Fr Donald Kill first went to Ozamiz City in 1972. Since then he has dedicated his life to helping the poor, especially the youth who are in great need of finding life.