Wood Backgrounds

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Filipino Fun... PI Pt. 3

So I was thinking...that my family and friends and I had such an amazing time in the Philippines this summer serving with KIM. We saw amazing things and were able to experience God's love in sooo many ways. Here are some of the recaps of an amazing trip.
Warning: Picture overload!
Family photo after church 
 We were able to experience soft drinks in glass bottles, which you had to pay a deposit on. If you didn't want to take the bottle with you, you could have a 'coke in a bag.' They would pour the drink directly into the bag and top it off with a straw!
 Two of our group members experienced a local delicacy, balut. 
Otherwise known as unborn duck eggs.   
Jeff's son commentated on a college league basketball game at the Mall of Asia arena while we were there, so we stopped by to experience a true Filipino basketball game! The drums were so loud!
Being from the South we couldn't resist finding a KRISPY KREME!!! Look at the amazing flavors we found at the Mall of Asia! Butterfinger, Oreo, Carmel Crunch... 
 The same day we went to feed at Tent City we stopped by a local spot: Daranak Falls
 A few of us swimming!
Amazed at God's glorious beauty. 
 After school I stopped by the Children's Home nursery where our team was creating a beautiful Noah's ark mural to brighten up their rooms. We painted each room a different animal, so we had a giraffe room, monkey room, elephant room, and lion room. 
 Finished ark minus the giraffes.  The main room had animals and flowers that covered all the walls as well as this ocean wall. 
At the grand opening of the nursery, ribbon cutting and all!
 Oh the Jeepneys! Public transportation is the main way to get around in Manila. These Jeepneys cram as many people as they can inside with blaring music and crazy driving. Fun and scary all at the same time! We did learn to always go with the ones that have the most designs on them, designs equal more experience!
 Loving on the babies in the nursery. 
 We were able to take the kids from the Children's Home to the mall for pizza and ice cream on two of the nights we were there. The boys loved the ice cream, here is my buddy JayPee. 
 There was also a great play place in the mall that the kids played in before dinner! 
Precious Zarinah and Angelica!
 My Filipino family! Aria, Gerald, JayPee, and Jessica
 KIM threw us a great BBQ on the last day we were there. Here are all of the kids 
from the Children's Home, Jaz Home, and the workers for the organization.
The Alabama team at the last devotion at the Children's Home! 

It was such an amazing time filled with fun, fellowship, and amazing works from our Creator!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good Morning Teacher Rachel... PI pt. 2

So I was thinking... that my joy comes from teaching. It doesn't matter if it is at my school in the states or if it is across the world at the Cuatro Christian School that is directed by Kids International Ministries. During my 2 weeks in the Philippines I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a class of 32 students from grade 3. I walked in on my first day in grade 3 and was immediately met with a greeting. Actually whenever anyone comes in, the students stand to their feet and greet their guest.
So every morning as I stood in front of the class to teach these precious 3rd graders I was greeted with "Good Morning Teacher Rachel, it is nice to see you again!" It was the perfect way to start my day.

CCS has two sites, one for 4-6 and one for K-3, so every morning I would walk through a path of green trees and up the hill to the primary school. This was the same school that our construction crew was working on to help complete the 2nd & 3rd floor. The school rooms were not air-conditioned and consisted of concrete floors & walls. The rooms were about 10 x 10. Their school was different from mine but one thing I realized was that kids are kids, even across the globe.
 Maddie walking from the school to the tree path. 
On the first day I was immediately thrown into the show. I was asked to teach Math, Science, Reading & English everyday. So from common/proper nouns to heredity & Roman numerals I jumped into the 3rd grade. It was fabulous! I loved every minute of it and found my joy in the Philippines. It was also heart breaking at the same time. You see while my classroom is beaming at the seems with supplies, my Filipino one was quite bare. I taught reading from one book, as I walked around to make sure all 32 curious faces saw every page. There was no Math or Science book just simply a pad of paper where they recorded the notes I wrote on the board. While the supplies were very slim, the presence of the Lord, the smiling faces, & the eagerness of students wanting to learn was abounding. 

Every morning, before snack & lunch, & before leaving a student prayed for the whole class. They studied the Bible in their native language as well as English and had memorized more verses in the two months they had been in school than I have this year. Their love of the Lord was amazing and their eagerness to pray in front of the class was overwhelming. You knew they were talking with the Lord when they prayed, thanking Him for all they had and for the visitors they had sent them. You see they don't see themselves as lacking anything, they are just thankful that the Lord has provided them the opportunity of an education and a meal for the day. Everyday was such a blessing. 

On my last day, the students threw me a party. They preciously brought me a gift, all that they had to celebrate my time with them. To say that I shed some tears is an understatement, I was so moved by their generosity however, not surprised because they know how to be an example of Christ and to give all that they have without thinking twice. 

 Jonathan helping blow up the balloons.
(They all said 'Happy Anniversary")
 I was asked to sit on the stage while the students told me how much they 
would miss me and presented me with cards. 
 Arnold & Ren at an assembly. 
 Silly girls!
 Precious John Christian
He gave me this lovely treat; a milky cheese flavored cupcakes!

I was given an amazing opportunity, by an amazing God to go and teach children about everyday things and was in return shown the true LOVE of the Lord and found joy with 32 lovely students. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

They've got that joy, joy, joy, joy...PI pt.1

So I was thinking...about all the joy I saw while I was in the Philippines. We were blessed with the opportunity to do many things while we were in Cainta: feedings, construction, painting a nursery, and teaching were just a few.

The feedings were a humbling experience. As soon as we got off the plane and to the center a small group of us went on our first feeding. K.I.M provides 2 feedings a day, 5 days a week, that serves 7 communities.
Dad and I carrying the meal to the community. 

The cooks at the center would cook this soup mixture that was full of rice, vegetables, & dehydrated meat. 1/2 a cup would provide the children with 11 grams of protein! We would drive to the community and then carry the meal in, while yelling 'feeding' the whole way. Children with bowls, mugs, tupperware, & plastic bags would come running to get their meal, smiling, wanting to take pictures & see themselves, & asking about us & where we were from. It was an eye-opening experience seeing their homes and living conditions. 
However, I never saw a child's face without a smile on it. They were always so excited to see us, that it was heart-wrenching when we would get to the end of the tubs of food, knowing that there would sometimes not be enough. Their bellies were full & my heart was touched by their smile. 

The 2009 tsunami hit communities in Manila and the government moved one of them to an area now known as tent city. The 1st Monday we were in PI we took the hour drive out to provide a feeding and receive more blessings from these people. This was by far the feeding where I saw the most people from the start.
 Waiting in line, to the left a few of our team members were treating 
some sick children & mothers
Z & our new CA friends dipping out the meal

We met some great people here and were able to sing 'Jesus Loves Me' and share some of the gospel. Another friend from CA and I were able to go into one of the homes, which was the size of my room at home. There was a small loft area where the 6 family members all slept, but they were able to share with us about their life and how they knew the Lord was with them. Their joy in the midst of what we would consider very, very little was incredible. 

Skyler and I helped this little girl take her                                                    Enjoying a hot meal 
meal to her home with her little sister
Holding a sweet little friend from the cutest family of siblings Maddie and I met 

Though they have little, they have joy. Joy that is prominent over there in the midst of little & eaisier to see than it is here in the land of the plenty. I hope we are all reminded of the many joys the Lord has given us and be thankful, I know it has changed my heart. 

"Joy is not in things; it is in us."

Richard Wagner

Check back in for the next parts of my trip.