Gracie’s Christmas Wish Come True

Story and photos by John Williford, director of Happy Horizon Children’s Ranch, and Babylene Bocayes, Philippines Field Content Specialist

Child Champions at Happy Horizons Children Ranch in the Philippines introduce music and other life-changing opportunities to young girls who’ve gone through a lot of pain in life, like Gracie*.  Her life changed when she received a very special gift from her Child Champions.

At Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch, a nonprofit rescue home for vulnerable children who experienced abuse and who come from hard places, Christmas is one of the most anticipated times of the year when children make a Christmas list of their top three wishes. Most of the kids ask for bags, jeans, or shoes, but Gracie* only had one wish. She wanted a guitar.

When Gracie was 8, she experienced abuse that left hopelessness in her heart. She felt ashamed and sad when she entered the rescue home in the Philippines.

Child Champions at Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch help bring healing and hope to children living in poverty like Gracie by providing opportunities to dream and eventually pursue those dreams. One of these opportunities is through music. Child Champions encourage children at the ranch to play musical instruments or sing songs. Gracie was fascinated with music.

One Christmas morning, Gracie was so happy to receive what she wished for: a brand-new guitar! With this gift, Gracie started to learn how to play. Now, she plays the guitar every day.

Seven years later, Gracie, along with several other girls at the ranch, leads music during Sunday church service. She is also teaching young girls how to play guitar and making a difference in their lives.

This transformation from a hopeless and ashamed girl to a confident musician full of hope has only been possible by the support of Child Champions and sponsors in her life.

John Williford, director of Happy Horizons, says, “Thank you! Your generosity is changing the lives of children in desperate situations. Your gifts are providing the daily care, love, education, safety, and healing to the kids of HHCR.”

John Williford wishes for Gracie and all the children at Happy Horizons to have a solid foundation to a hopeful future by knowing Jesus, who is the reason for Christmas.

*Not her real name. Her name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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