let the morning bring forth words of your unfailing love.
i woke up tired today. i guess i am still not better from all of 5 days from that mission trip.
it was great by the way. that trip. i have learned sooo much and i have had my heart broken on top and bottom of that gigakit mountains. broken heart not because somebody broke it but because God's heart is broken knowing that there are so many people on that mountain that have no opportunity to hear his word.
ptr. roland and his brother were a blessing to us all. they were so passionate about their ministry. ptr. roland's father, we call him tatay also, was the one glue for the whole community over there. when he heard that there are 48 of us from cebu that are coming, he tore down his own little house and build a new one so he can accommodate all of us. he was so selfless. they also made us a brand new toilet! i mean we were prepared to squat it out there to relieve ourselves but there was really no need. he gave us access to his own unlimited supply of freshly picked pineapples, a harvest of sweet potato, kamoteng kahoy, coconuts, native chickens, fresh pako, and even frogs.
while i was there i notice something that i rarely do here in the city and that is contentment. they were contented with what they have and talks about how to expand the ministry over there. here in the city i worry about what i would wear. is it appropriate with the occasion? are the colors coordinated? have i updated my social media account or visited the mall lately? when i think about it i became more aware of how shallow i am a lot of times.
then i met the lumad (native mamanwa tribe). they all look so illiterate and they are. most of them have barely finished grade 1. but they are a good people. easy to please and they have readily accepted Jesus as their Savior. talking to them, i am once again dumbfounded of how ptr roland and other workers over there manage to share the love of Jesus to them. as for me i would'nt know. arm with my degree in theology and my "knowledge" about modern church i would be disappointed, i know that. because ministering to them you need not have a lot of degree. ptr. roland only finished grade 2 himself. but he was so willing to learn and to share the love of Jesus to them.
the lumad accepted our gifts to them cheap toys and cheap flashlights but the way their reacting to it you would think they got an original barbie toy or an expensive flashlights. i felt so guilty because buying those toys and flashlights, i was not even giving it my all. looking at them i wished i did more. they ate the bihon and chicken adobo and rice with gusto. and those food were so simple here in the city, so common that even our beneficiaries sometimes whine and tells us to cook something else.
we got there in bag-ong jerusalem late saturday afternoon and spent the night sleeping on slabs of woods and some slept on the ground in the church (the church has g.i. sheets for roofing and wall for the pulpit but the rest of it is open, it also has dirt for floor) we woke up at 5:30 am to do our group devotional. we were told to wear something nice because the christians over there look up to other christians and that the service will start at 8:30am. it was raining but we were not even finished with our devotional yet when the lumad started arriving. they were slowly trickling down the trail to the church at 6:30 am in the pouring rain. i know then that all of us where thinking the same thing. we will never be late again for church. how we? when we go to church in our nice dresses, hail a tricycle to get to church, sit down on a real chair (even if its plastic) with a back, with real musicians and singers (that actually sounds nice) with fans blowing on our faces, with coffee or juice or water awaiting us, with proper toilets. our roads are paved and it only takes 15-20 minutes from our home to our church. never again would i think that i am less blessed. when i was talking to them i found out that they have to walk for two hours almost to get to church.
so from trails, to food, to comfort, to sleeping on floors, to church without walls (literally), to sacrificing personal needs, to dresses, to worshiping using only hands and mouths, to walking, to toilets, etc --- God has been telling me, telling us all that there really is nothing more important than following the call of Jesus in our lives. whether you are on top of the mountains or on a crowded city.
we were heading out on our way home when one of the little boys over asked us, "are you coming back?" but he asked it in a tone that definitely meant we are not coming back. it touched my heart because that little boy was us.
a long time ago we were also visited by people who did missions trip and and they also said they were coming back. but like that little boy we likewise did not believe that they would and they never did. (some did)
so it is a challenge to me and to us all to keep this passion for the people over there alive in out hearts. there are two things that we would like to do.
+ build walls for the church
+create a water supply for them.
it is good for my heart to be broken for the things that breaks the heart of Jesus. that was my prayer then and it is my prayer now.
Lord, you are our God. where we go you would be there and your name will be glorified. amen.
may 11, 2017