Again, to tell this story properly, I must go back to the very beginning. You see, I have always wanted to go on a mission trip. I always thought it would be Africa. So many of my friends had gone multiple times or even lived there. Every person that went, I begged to take me along. Connected to our September Philippines trip was a February trip to Ghana. I was excited about the Philippines, but WOW…Africa!!!!! So I began to get immunized and plan with my team all the things we would need to do to be prepared for the Philippines which was sort of a “stepping stone” at times in my mind.
My friend Julie was on our team and she was overseeing the orphanage part of the trip and the three men were overseeing the ministry, micro-finance, and local church part off the trip. I felt like I was on easy street. I know schools. I was going to spend time with the director all week, sort books for their under construction library, and see how the school functions to see how our church could better support them and make a plan for future teams. Julie was having massive “baby” showers for the orphanage, she had to pack and arrange for all of it to be shipped via shipping container. That girl worked hard. I got some shots and a passport.
I had a nervous stirring in me for weeks prior to leaving. This was my final post…
It is hard to believe that in 24 hours we will be on our way to the airport. I have been asked numerous times if I am “ready”. The answer is, I am ready in every way, except one. I am ready to fly 22 hours on a plane, I have sprayed my clothes with bug repellent, I have planned what to take, I have purchased food items for the missionaries we are visiting, I have piles of items ready to be packed. From a world view, I am ready. However, I think I can say for myself and for the rest of the team, my HEART is what is still unprepared. I can not begin to imagine the emotional roller coaster we are about to ride. While looking at all the GOOD THINGS that are happening in the area we are visiting we will also look upon people who are living with only tarps for shelter. 6,000 of them. We will have the privilege of feeding them. FEEDING THEM…they do not have food. I pray that we will get to feed them more than food. I pray that by feeding them food for their bodies, we will also be able to give them food for their souls. How can it be that the same God who has allowed me to live in this country, in this season of humanity has also allowed them to live there? Without food or shelter. This is where my heart is unprepared. I am afraid of being angry with God. I am afraid of the sights and the smells. I am afraid that I will not be able to get the images out of my mind. I am afraid I will forget.
Pray for us. Pray for our safety, pray for well bodies, pray for sleep, pray for great things to be accomplished, pray for God’s plans for us to be clear. But also, pray for our hearts…
Oh…how I can not believe how ALL of these prayers were realized! I asked people to pray that God’s plans for us would be CLEAR! Don’t get me wrong, the trip was awesome. I left the Philippines with a passion and a love for the poor that I never imagined possible. I left with a love for that country that I never imagined. I left without the desire (at this time) to go to Africa. I also left with the love of a dear child who stole my heart…truly on the first day, when I was so tired I could barely see straight. This child was deemed “unadoptable” by the government. Unable to have a family. Unable to be rescued. Truly an orphan. With no hope. Wow. It reminds of myself before a Great Rescuer showed up on my behalf. My love was clear though…even during conversations Chad and I had while I was still there. When we came home we knew our only option was a sponsorship. A way to financially support this child who could not be adopted. God had birthed something in me already though…as a great blogger, Ann Voskamp said the other day”…birthed the realest real…His kingdom coming.” And I didn’t even know it.