We are off and running here in the Philippines! It feels like we are all settled in and have been here for a week, but it has only been two days! We arrived in Tacloban at 11pm on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning we slept in until 8am, ate breakfast and were off to meet the vice-mayor of Tacloban. After a pleasant meeting and lots of photos, he invited us to visit parts of the community rarely seen on television, but still recovering from the storm eight months ago. We then drove around to visit those communities hardest hit. Wednesday afternoon we caught up with laundry and settled in. Fernando Tan shared his testimony at group devotions.
Thursday we jumped right into our schedule.
6:00 wake up
6:30 library reading
1:00 Bible study
2:00 work projects
5:00 bath and laundry
7:00 GG and memory verses
8:00 group devotions
9:30 lights out
Thursday morning we visited a community still completely destroyed and struggling. We handed out juice and bread to the children and talked to the people and offered encouragement. We had many great conversations. Already the team is realizing how blessed we are and how much we take for granted.
Thursday afternoon we began the construction part of our work by clearing debris, burning trash and even building a few benches for a gathering place where we can all sit together.
It has been a great start to our summer. The team is doing well, the sun is intense and we have a few red faces even though we are using sunscreen! We were blessed with a cloudy afternoon today making the hot, humid day more bearable. It has been HOT!!! But there have been very few mosquitoes!
Thank you for all your prayers for our team!
From the team:
It is only the beginning of my third day here, and it already has been the most life- changing, heart-wrenching thing I have ever experienced. Yesterday morning we went out to a small neighborhood stricken with poverty and pain. I have never been as humbled as to see these families, these children and the conditions in which they lived. At the sight of one juice box or one piece of bread, a mass of dirty, excited children would appear almost instantly. The way I feel for these Filipino children is nearly impossible to verbally portray. I can’t wait to see what God continues to do in us and through us this summer in the destructed city of Tacloban.
Recently Tacloban was hit with a giant Typhoon that destroyed a lot of houses and killed many people. There were even giant ships that ended up on shore and destroyed many houses. But the people remain hopeful. It is really amazing. All of our lives we take for granted. I have only been here a few days, but my life has changed.