There have been a lot of long days here. A lot of hard moments. Times when I’ve been tested physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But none of the days here have been bad. God has been so noticeably present that it would be hard to say anything had been bad. He has blessed me beyond what I can put into words. I’ve felt a massive shift somewhere inside. My eyes have been opened to the situations here in the Philippines, and I feel so humbled and grateful. We head for HOME in the morning, bright and early as usual. I cannot wait to see my children and hug them until they can’t breathe.
Our day started early again. We traveled by bus to Naga Airport, boarded a Cebgo flight, and landed in Manila before noon. We checked into a really, really nice hotel called Rizal Park Hotel, which was finished in 1911 and is absolutely gorgeous! After we dropped off our bags, Daryl, Tracey, Matthew, and I caught a Grab Car (kind of like Uber) and traveled around 45 minutes to dine at the only gluten-free, celiac-friendly restaurant in the whole country, I’m pretty sure. (Since leaving Jalen and the ladies at the church, that is). It was delicious and Matthew was able to bring home dinner and breakfast for himself. We were pretty excited!
We caught another car and went back to the Mall of Asia for some souvenir shopping. I’m not big on shopping, but I am glad I got the chance to buy something special for the people who helped get me here and helped watch my children while I was gone. And some Mother’s Day gifts as well. When we came out it was pouring rain and we waited for quite a while for our next Grab Car. The gentleman finally picked us up, took us to the 7-Eleven (these have been a priceless place over here), and then brought us back to the hotel. It is 6:24 PM and I’m already in my jammies! I didn’t sleep very well last night and I am really looking forward to crashing out in this huge, comfy bed. More than that, I’m looking forward to going home tomorrow and seeing just how God affects me long-term. We have a 6- to 7-hour layover in Chicago tomorrow, so I hope to get these blogs live using their (hopefully) better Wi-Fi. We’ve taken over 2,000 pictures here!
Compared to Daet, Manila is first-class. If anyone ever visits this amazing country, I hope you’ll see more than Manila. It’s not a true representation of the humble-hearted, poorer-but-blessed people of this land.