May the Lord SMILE on you and be gracious unto you.
New Living Translation
That is exactly what the Lord did for me on this trip to the Philippines. I was very blessed to be able to go back to Manila, Philippines for three weeks from June 5-28 to work with Kids International Ministries and the Lord smiled on me through every single one of these kids and the people we formed relationships with throughout our time there. Last year was our first trip and we knew we had to go back for longer after being so touched by these friends.
My brother was there 2 weeks before my mom and I arrived and we all agreed that this trip was very relational. God revealed his plan for us through each story we heard and each smile we received.
We were able to be a supportive audience to an amazing woman who shared her beautiful testimony for the first time and learn how God has brought her life full circle from loss and shame to bringing life into this world by being a midwife.
We were able to love on the precious children in the children's home who have been abandoned by their birth families but who have been placed by their Heavenly Father into a larger (34 children) family who cares and supports them.
We were able to hear another testimony of the woman who runs the home for unwed mothers. God brought her through this same event 20 years earlier and now has given her the blessing of being a sound voice in these women's lives.
We were able to feed the hungry through the feeding ministries, encourage the teachers before beginning a new school year, and even help in the pregnancy clinic where woman got to hear their baby's heart beat for the first time.
God blessed me tremendously this trip through the small everyday aspects of life.
I smile when I think of the people who work at the Ministry Center and how many laughs we had and how full our bellies were after Malou's desserts.
I smile when I remember the sweet children who would climb up in your lap
during nightly devotion.
I smile when I remember helping Jenny learn her multiplication facts and the joy and smile on her face when it finally clicked and she could do it by herself.
I smile remembering the songs the kids sang to us, the peoples' faces at every feeding and the laughter of 300 school kids as they began their first day back for a new school year.
I have a lot to smile about, I've been blessed to grow up in the states with a loving family, a good job, and supportive people in my life, and the LORD continued to SMILE on ME through this trip. I was blessed by the smiles of people who I consider part of my Filipino family, the kids in the home, the workers, the community and the JAZ girls and my smile will be forever changed because of it.