It has been two weeks since we returned from our Missions trip to Boracay, Philippines. It was an amazing experience to say the least. It seems so long ago now but I have needed this time to process and reflect on a trip that has changed me.
We were a team of 24 – 19 students and 5 adults. We were privileged to have with us Charles Thompson from St Georges in Rhode Island. Starting the trip we were strangers but we ended the trip as great friends. I know Charles was a gift from God as he brought skills to the group that were very much needed. Our colleagues Andrew Wiese and Brittany Johnson, joined the team too. I loved how supportive and team-players they were, always serving with gracious hearts. It was great to get to know them better too.
We experienced a country of great contrast. Huge resorts on the front of the beach and then abject poverty right behind. The church we served here, has 18 different feeding sites where they share the gospel and feed the kids and give them vitamins and tend to medical needs. You can see the cups of food in the second pic down below.
We also had the opportunity to meet the Ati people – the indigenous people of Boracay Island – who were removed from the island by the government and placed on another island. These people are so beautiful; they are shy but welcoming, needy and only have one meal a day. In one instance, our students told the story of ‘Daniel and the lions den’ to the kids, they really wanted to colour in their pictures but just held the pen… They didn’t know what to do. It felt like going back in time when we visited their village.
“Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.”
Elbert Green Hubbard (1856-1915) American Writer
During the week we also helped with constructing the third floor of the ministry building. In this building there is already a small christian school and the Red Cross. Our students were so hard working – for more than 4 hours – for two consecutive days – we poured concrete and with working with our sister school TCIS, we made a record of 75 square metres of poured concrete to finish the third floor. Wahoo!
This week I have found myself wanting to go back. Wanting to be there with people of so much joy. These people moved me. They challenged me. They loved me back. We came to give but in return we received so much.
God has called each one of us to spread His love.. I pray that more people will take up this and give… with simply what they have in their hands.
Have you got a place on your heart for missions? Are you wanting to serve somewhere?
“A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it
A song’s not a song ’til you sing it
Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay
Love isn’t love ’til you give it away!”
Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960) American Song Writer
One of our students has made a movie clip of highlights of our trip. I will post this up soon too 🙂