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Mindanao: Justin the Chicken Farmer

Hen and Chick

The following story comes from Stef, the children’s publication of SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. (Translated and edited from the original.) The story is told by Justin, a teenager from Mindanao, an island in the Philippines.

Justin’s Story
Do you like chickens? I do. I have a lot of them. Well, I take care of a lot of them — and also turkeys — in the orphanage where I live.

Why do I live in an orphanage? I’ll tell you why. But first let me properly introduce myself.

I am Justin, and I live on Mindanao, a large island in the Philippines. I like chickens, but I also like listening to music. And besides being a chicken farmer, I am also the handyman in the church. So I am very busy.

Of course I go to school every day, too. I go on a “tricycle.” It’s a motorcycle with a little shelter built on top where they can fit a lot of people. Here on Mindanao almost everyone uses a tricycle to get anywhere.

Why I Came Here
I came from a different place on the island of Mindanao. The area where I used to live is quite dangerous. Christians’ villages and homes there are attacked by armed “rebels.” They attack Christians because they think they whole island should belong to Muslims. So they want to take houses and land from the Christians.

Our village was attacked several times. We had to run for our lives.

When I was 7, something very bad happened. My dad died. He worked in the fields as a farmer. He was also a helper for the village leader (like a mayor). The rebels were fighting against the leader.

One day the leader drove through the rebel area. Rebels exploded a bomb under his car. The leader, my dad, and another person died.

Angry
At first, when my dad died, I was very angry toward the Muslims who did it. I couldn’t think of anything else every day. “When I’m bigger, I’ll get revenge,” I thought. I wanted to become a soldier and fight them. But things turned out differently.

Life was very hard for my mom. We had hardly any money for food or other things.

Justin’s story will be continued in the next post.

Photo credit: Bin Gregory / Flickr (bingregory) / Wikipedia / CC BY 2.0




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