Thursday, June 27, 2013

One of my favorite days

Who was I kidding? Two months is not a very long time. Not at all. And seeing as we are trying to reach 5-6 barangays (villages) along the river in that time span, that leaves less than a week to spend in each one. Just enough time to put names with faces & families with houses & get our feet wet talking about what it means to know & follow Christ. Just enough time for goodbyes to get tearful. Just enough time to leave lots of room to wonder whether decisions were authentic & will last.
In this last barangay we saw the Gospel received by many with great joy. We saw a hunger for God's Word. We watched a whole group of women get all excited about baptism and--of their own volition--propose that we hike a ways to a nice beach, all of us & anyone who wants to come, and celebrate their baptisms & share a meal afterwards. So on a gloriously sunny day in the middle of rainy season we did just that. That was one of my favorite days. Of my life thus far.

Things I've learned: 

  • pretty much all the names of body parts in Waray, courtesy of the faithful mob of kids that follow us around every waking moment; 
  • that I love jackfruit; 
  • that peanut butter truly does go with anything (but also that Filipino PB blows American PB out of the water. The ingredients label reads like this: peanuts, sugar, ...); 
  • to be okay with perpetual sweat and stink; 
  • how to imitate some of the phrases our ballin' translators use a lot; 
  • that there are some things, like halo-halo, that are worth the slight risk of diarrhea

Gifts of grace in my Filipino life: 

  • some of the most spectacular daily miracles (sunsets) I have ever seen; 
  • the first cold thing I've put in my mouth in two weeks; 
  • team time in the river as we all bathe/swim/jump off of overhanging trees; 
  • downpour heavy enough to shower in (which, of course, we girls did); 
  • lots and lots of shared laughter and singing.

Please continue to pray: 

  • for the new believers we've had to part with--that they would be fiercely hungry for God's Word and that they would READ and that their roots would go down deep & strong & they would grow grow grow; 
  • for team unity; 
  • for continued health & safety.

grace & peace- Ruth