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Philippines

Hello everyone!
Just wanting to let you know that we are all having an amazing time together. God works in strange ways and that is exately what he is doing on our trip. By the grace of God we are all so close already and able to surrender up our past and be vulnerable for one another.

However, to really describe our times together is impossible, but here is alittle of what we are all going through. The first word to mind when thinking of our trip is far is humbling. You never really know how well you have it until you are brutally confronted with reality. The first night in Cebu I realized that this trip was going to be life changing. The culture shock we were all struggling with is hard to comprehend. From the smell of poverty on every street, to the makeshift homes made of tin sheets and cloth clustered together in remote parts of the city, to the naked children running around with scraps of garbage in their hands for toys forms the Filipino lives that we are trying to work through. But despite living in nothing their belief in God still is stronghold. I can’t really explain how much I have been impacted by the children. I don’t know if its there little toothless grins smirking up at you or their big watering brown eyes staring back at you. Each time entering into a new community i think it will be alittle easier leaving then the time before. Howvever, in that short amount of time that we are with the children they touch my heart in ways that have never been done before and makes it almost impossible to leave them. Their openness to everyone is remarkable and even though we can’t communicate well there is a mutual understanding of appreciation on both ends.

For me speficially though Riverside seemed to really touch my heart. It was our first time meeting the Filipino children and we all didn’t really know waht to expect. I kinda figured that they would be shy, but they were the exact opposite of that. We were on the street and they had all come running up the hill to greet us. Everyone had atleast 5 children hanging from every part of their body. We all just talked, played tag, sang the numerous American songs that they surprinsgly knew better than me, and just embraced each others presence. After that I was practically running into the other communities were were going to!

Once we think we have seen it all we are continually shocked with more poverty in these childrens lives. Busak was our first time going into a community where people lived. Homes shackled together, hoards of flies swarming around, and rabed animals all just reaffirmed the nothingness that these people were living in. The feeding at CCAC just showed us the happiness of children despite their situation. They all had thier bowls and spoons ready for the feeing and were all willing to share with the kids that had nothing. Lorega was even more poverty stricken community we have been to. The people of Lorega live among a grave yard. A tomb might be a bed or a dinner table for the night. It just once again reenforces how lucky we really are and how much God has blessed us and continues to bless us to the day.

We have one week left of ministry. We had two days of rest and we are preparing for the hefty schedule we have for the next cople of days. We are all excited to get back out on the field and excited for the ways God is going to continue to work through us!

Thanks for all your prayers. God bless.

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