Greetings from the Philippines!

I am lacking in creativity right now so I will let you all in on some inserts from my personal journal.

Outreach Day 3
Baguio City
Wed, Dec16
There is a chill that seeps  in through the window and I pull my covers up to my chin to keep warm. The faint smell of smoke follows and I am instantly taken back to when I was young and we still had our wood burning stove. It is the Christmas season and I am completely at home here in the Philippines! After a very busy and emotional school I find some much needed rest. I am ready to pour out, to mother this team, to love these beautiful Filipino people. God you know me so perfectly, that this was exactly where I need to be. I am fully alive! The sun has started to hit the houses on the mountainside and the early morning fog completes the picture. I wake up with the feeling of being completely loved and completely in love.

Day 8
Bagong Village (Pop. 200 families. Thirteen displaced by the recent typhoon.)
Mon, Dec21
An amazing hour and a half jypnee ride along windy mountain roads. Then we hiked for 45 minutes to get to Bagong.It was breathtaking, like nothing I’ve ever seen before! After lunch the boys started working on the house we were going to be building. Us girls went exploring and walked up beside this huge landslide. There was a couple houses directly beside the slide and it appeared that one had been taken out. I sat on a rock and just tried to imagine how terrifying it would be to hear the rocks start falling and loosing all control of you and your  families safety.
For dinner we had cow intestine and then Yela and I drank cow poo soup. Not as horrid as it sounds, just thinking about what it was while trying to swallow was gross.
After din din we had an evangelistic open air outside and  about 50 or 60 villagers came. It went really well and practically everyone stood up to receive Jesus at the end- praise the Lord!

Day 9
Bagong Village
Tues, Dec 22

From 9 30 till lunch I used a nail to knot countless wires to connect the metal support beams for the house, it was a blast! Sarah killed the chickens for lunch. After lunch I picked some coffee beans and ground them so they could be dried. The woman here, Jenny, says she sells them for about 75 Pisos a kilo. Later we helped shovel cement into buckets to get passed along and poured into the foundation of the house. Ate pig brain and ear for dinner. Another great open air. After the service this little old man came up to me and thanked us for bringing enjoyment to the village since the typhoon came. The stars are so clear and bright tonight, how they tell of His glory!

(Pouring cement for the foundation of the house.)

Day 11
Thur, Dec24

Left Bagong. Had a delightful ride on the top of the jypnee back to Baguio. Sam and I went to the mall and ate way to much food. Good and relaxing.
 
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Day 15
Lo-oh ( “ December to Remember” Youth Camp, 4 hour van ride away)
Mon, Dec28

You can see your breath in the early morning air.

Today was absolutely perfect! Camp is going well, Celeste, Sarah and Mandy preached, we had game time, growth groups, amazing food. To start tonight off George led us in worship and we somehow ended up in the front having a dance party.  After Mandy taught she had an alter call and Holy Spirit showed up- people were crying, trembling, getting slain in the Spirit. And then we topped the night off with more dancing!

(With some kids at the camp.)

Day 17
Drive from Lo-oh to Baguio
Tues, Dec 30

Today I met a little girl named Ruby Lee and realized just how naturally wicked my heart is.

A bus lost its breaks and went over the mountainside. We arrived shortly after. Subconciously my first thought is cool we get to see an accident.
I get out of the van, cross the street and see the bus about 100 meters down below. Most of the passengers are up on the road, recovering from the shock, some men are still at the bus helping others out. I walk over to a jypnee and peer inside at the injured, who are about to leave for the hospital. People are trembling, blood is speckled on men and women and children. I look at the pool of blood on the ground and am struck with the reality of the situation. This is not a cool outreach story, these are real peoples lives being affected. I am helpless to help so I mumble some prayers. I spot a little girl weeping in the squatting position a few feet above me. I climb the slope and sit beside her, rubbing her back trying to comfort her. She has cut her lip and so spits continuously trying to see if its done bleeding. Her mom shows up and tells us how the accident happened. I ask for her daughters name. It is Ruby Lee, and her mom asks me to stay with her as she goes to get the rest of their stuff. I sit there in the dirt and try to withold my tears. A few minutes later her mom returns and we leave. We get back into the van and I welcome the conviction that sets in. Accidents arent cool anymore.

Day 18
Baguio City
Thur, Dec 31

Today I have lived 23 years. I don’t even think its possible to love life any more than I do.
As per my request we had pizza, donuts, and watched Braveheart. At 11 we walked to the mall and watched fireworks go off all over the city. On the way home our team linked arms and skipped down the street screaming out “Happy New Years!” to everyone we passed. A memorable birthday!

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