So orginally I was going to put loads of pictures on here, but it is taking forever. This Vision Trip was a huge success and it was amazing. I had been looking forward to the Philippines for a couple of weeks and finally it was friday. While heading to the airport, a friend of mine whom I haven’t talked to in a couple of weeks called me and wished me happy holidays. Before he called me, I was looking at old phone messages from him. What a coincidence. When I told him I was heading to the airport, he told me he was at the airport. Another Coincidence!
The only person I knew besides my parents and my family friend on this trip was Corrie. There were a little bit under 20 people I still had to get to know. Friday night, we were all exhausted from the week, got to Manila, went to bed shortly after. Also because we had to wake up at 5:00 the next morning. The next morning, I was suprisingly awake. We got on the plane to Bacolod. We rushed to the hotel, and off to our busy day of activites.
We first went to a slum that the ICM is planning to help rebuild. The slum was dirty, hard to live in, and dirty. When we walked through, the amount of children who just stood there looking at us, when we waved and smiled, they shyly smiled as well. It was beautiful.
We then went to the Medical Clinic, it is a twelve month program that the ICM holds. Seeing all the kids running around, all the different families that were there. Many were holding a small child in their arms. The many people that were sick, they are blessed to have the ICM being there. I cannot imagine who easy it is for them to get sick, because of the area, the nutrition.
We then proceded to another village for the Feeding Program. In order for us to observe the feeding program, they had to wait for us to arrive. The villagers waited from nine o’clock in the morning until we got there which was around noon time. When we handed out the grains of rice, from their faces, you could tell that they were happy. They are so thankful to have these grains of rice to feed their family. I also had a chance to shoot a few shots at the basketball hoop in the village. The villagers were all very amazed, and it was fun listenning to them cheer. How often do they have a chance to interact with people from a totally different country than them?
The last stop before lunch was the Care Office in Bacolod. Where it originally started from. At the office, they introduced some of the ‘special’ cases to us. I have never seen anything like them. Later on, I found out that up in the mountains, there are many of these cases or worse. It wasn’t uncommon. It is a miracle that some of them are still alive. It really puts things into perspective for us. They are living such a tough life, and yet their heart for God has no boundaries. We prayed for each of them individually. After we prayed for one of them, she started praying. Even though I couldn’t understand her, I felt her pain but her love for God. She started crying, and I knew she was crying to God. It is amazing.
After lunch, we took a two hour bus ride down to Kabankalan. Where the Celebrate Jesus was held. Celebrate Jesus was a christmas presentation for the ICM program recipients. There were a total of 30 different villages, in total of about 2000 people. There were representatives from different villages and they had a singing contest. It was a place for them to celebrate christmas as well as what the ICM has done. I will never forget Corrie’s improvised speech that the crowd enjoyed very much. It was very enjoyable watching the contestants, and of course, seeing Daniel Mayhugh and Primo again. Unfortunatly, Arnold and Jebong was not there. But they were with us in God’s presence. Lots of people were blessed, and lives were changed.
We had a chance to have dinner with the Care staff and volunteers after Celebrate Jesus. To get to know them, and to get to know how they started to work with Care. It was good meeting new people and spending time with them. We were all exhausted by the end of the day, although Corrie and I sure didn’t take any naps on the two hour ride back.
Sunday was an early morning as well though not as early as five in the morning. We headed to church in the morning. It was an outreach type of service, in the middle of that particular village. It was a small open area that villagers can come together and praise the Lord. We went and had a chance to introduce ourselves and say a little something something. I talked about how God has brought me from quitting the basketball team to serving more. Talked about how waiting is not wasted. Wait upon the Lord. While we were talking, each of their faces were priceless. They nodded to many of the things we said, they said Amen freely, it was a different community. They are on fire for God, their heart for God is so big. We interacted with them for a little while before we had to head for lunch. They all enjoyed our company, they were excited and they always had a smile on their face!
Sometimes I wonder why God has allowed this to happen. Allowed this country and some other countries to be so poor, to have some people be born with many disabilities or problems. But God has a plan and he knows what He’s doing. Perhaps it is there for us to witness God’s work, God’s healing.
Not only did the people in Philippines recieve joy from us, i’m sure we all learned many things from this trip. It was a very good trip to put our life into perspective, how different ours is from theirs. They live in such a poor country and yet, they are joyful for the things they have. Not only did I enjoy the things we did and it was very eye-opening. I also had a great group of people who had the same passion to help, and the love for Christ. Even though it was only two days, we got to know each other and we enjoyed each other’s company
I wait for the next time I have the chance to go to the Philippines to work with Care Ministry. My heart is there, to reach out and to be a part of their lives. Every day, I continue to be more and more amazed at God’s work. I trust more and more in God’s plan for me, in what he has set in for my life and I am so excited for it. It was a fun trip. I miss it already. Thanks guys!