I miss my family so much right now it is nearly debilitating. I’ve never, ever felt so lonely or dejected as I do right now. I know much of it is because I am so exhausted. Because
overall today has been a good day. I woke up so excited to get back to the school grounds and see those beautiful smiling faces. We had breakfast, morning service, and then broke into divided sessions. I got to teach the preschoolers again. Today they were more talkative and less afraid of me. We learned about how God formed each one of them and knows everything about them, about how He created them special with unique talents and interests. We made bead bracelets with yarn and I asked them to remember to pray when they looked at their bracelets. They thought that was pretty amazing. Pretty colored pony beads aren’t exactly in vast supply around here. We sang songs and played games with balls. It was so much fun, and their laughter is amazing. Toward the end of the class they called me Mama Sara. What a blessing!
I went shopping with Melody and Jenny today to the big grocery store. It’s really nice! They have security guards checking bags as you come in and stationed throughout the store. There was a wide variety of foods, and I even found Green Tea flavored Kit Kats (yes I bought some to bring home to try). After our trip to the store we met up with the rest of the team at the basketball court and watched the guys play again. It is so hot and humid, they were completely exhausted afterward and we still had more to do! The Filipino team won but not for lack of a great effort on our guys’ part. Many of the teen girls sat around Tracey and I and wanted to take pictures with us or simply talk to us. And they cheered every time “handsome Matthew” got the ball (to the point their squeals hurt my ears). It was hilarious. He is every bit the heartthrob here. But he handles it with a lot of dignity and grace, and bright red ears sometimes too. (Love you Matthew!)
The work these men and women are doing here is important and it is genuine. They truly love their fellow man and wish to see them saved. We were privileged enough to attend their graduation ceremony for 4 students from their Baptist Bible Seminary. Pastor Avel founded the school several years ago (8 I think) to train young men and women in the ways of God’s word. They also work to train preacher’s/pastor’s wives and I can’t figure out why we in America haven’t figured that out ourselves. What a brilliant idea. The ceremony was every bit as formal as a graduation ceremony in the States, and just as long too ha!
I have been purging my heart of the impurities since the moment I got here. I only hope
that I can bring the excitement and fire for God home with me and make it last. I’ve learned so much from these people I hardly feel like I am helping them. No, truth is, they are helping me. And the messages the men have been preaching have touched me every single time. I’m in tears many times a day. I’m going to bed exhausted and full, and in the morning I’m rising early to spend time in quiet prayer and meditation with God. The camp ends tomorrow and we get to go to the ocean to see a baptism. I’m excited to see the ocean from the ground and not just the plane! Keep those prayers coming because I certainly need them. We all do. The devil is fighting us even now, but he won’t win!
(Hover over some of the tile images, they have captions with descriptions.) The featured image photo was of a line of Jeepneys parked at the radio station. We went there this morning to listen to Daryl preach, but found out the station was closed because of the local elections. I think a politician bought out the station for the day.