Sunday, July 28, 2013

Come and Listen

I remember when I got the confirmation e-mail that I was going to the Philippines for the whole summer. It came in early January, and my first thought was that it was going to be so hard to come back. 

Well, here we are. Came down the Ulot River for the last time today. Said a lot of goodbyes. I am going to miss this life so, so, so much.
I've been trying to figure out why it is that I think everything about life here is so exquisitely beautiful. I think it has to do with the knowledge that all people are created in God's image, and then seeing his creativity manifested in the diversity of cultures. To come from a place where the standard is air conditioning, endlessly running water, and escalators, and learn to use fans, pump a few bucketfuls of water to last the day, and trek through mud, weeds, and caribou poo... I love this! Everything is new and I feel like I see new facets of my unchanging God's character reflected in my resourceful Filipino friends and their simple lifestyles. In many ways we are so different, and yet at our core there is more in common than not: we relish good food; we laugh when embarrassed or nervous; we are irritated by flies, mosquitoes, and ratchet cats. We long to belong, to be known. Eternity has been set in our hearts, and all our restless wandering on this earth will only end when we rest in the One who created us for Himself. All of us deserve wrath and punishment, but are offered grace and new life.

That's why I came to the Philippines. And, to be sure, it has been a beautiful and rewarding summer, sharing this Good News from God's Word with so many who've never heard. I have learned a lot, witnessed a lot, laughed a lot, struggled a lot, grown a lot. God has shown Himself to be faithful and mighty.
Only let me remember, lest I give in to the temptation to dwell in the past once I return, it's also why I wake up and go to work and go to class (usually) the other nine months of the year. I have one year left (Lord help me!) on the mission field that is Winthrop University and Rock Hill.

On that note, I'll be headed back that way in just about a week.

So this is my last post from this side of the world. For now.

grace & peace