Philippines 2017_Day 1
"Enroute to San Isidro" _Yin Tse
The whole team finally got to meet each other at Manila airport. Despite long-haul flights for most of the team within the last 24 hours, the travelling was not over yet. It took another hour’s flight from Manila to Tacloban, plus a three to four-hour bus journey down to Delores and a 45 minute boat ride until we reached God’s Children’s Home in San Isidro; our home for the next five days.
We made a stop at Delores before embarking on the boat, which gave us the opportunity to have a look around the church and orphanage, where we'll be running the clinics and seminars. I was stunned by what I saw when I entered the church. Across the back of the stage was a beautifully hand painted mural, with the words:
Of all the verses in the bible, this was the same scripture that shaped DOXA, the worship conference I was involved with six months ago. What were the chances? They were halfway
through the Sunday service when we arrived. Although I didn’t understand what the preacher
was sharing, I could see and hear the passion she had for God and His Word. The way they sung worship also stood out - no chord sheets, no projector, no screen - everyone was singing off by heart! A mixture of songs in English and Tagalog, all sung with vibrancy and reverence to our almighty God and Heavenly Father. The kids from the town hung around the back,
curious to see what’s going on. It's not surprising when there’s voices young and old, from
across the nations, gathered to sing in unison praises to the One who gives us life and is worthy of all honour, glory and power.
The sun was starting to set as we travelled across the river to San Isidro after the service finished. It was such a beautiful sight! We were greeted with a very sweet welcome from the kids at the orphanage and a hearty meal that was prepared for us especially. Even in the very few early hours of this trip, I have been captivated and encountered God’s presence through his wonderful creation and am waiting in anticipation for what He’s got in store for us
all in the days ahead.
"Next stop: Sun, Surf and Smiles" _Elliot Wong
Time elapsed (starting): 0hr 0mins
The team met over breakfast. Introductions were brief, for we had to set off for our long journey ahead. Arriving at the airport, and picking up the final few, we had the glimpse of the team in its entirety (a good looking team if I may add.) Checking in all that we brought along, physically to the airline and mentally and spiritually to God, we boarded the plane and off we flew.
Time elapsed (take off and counting): 1hr30mins
Time elapsed (landed and counting): 4hr30mins
On landing, we were greeted with beautiful sun, surf and smiles. Tacloban is a popular destination for its amazing beaches. Despite this, Pastor Fely's greeting for us outshone all that we saw. Enthusiasm and excitement were exchanged. Credit going to Yin, we developed a call out to ensure everyone was accounted for. Count off!!!
7. Jung Yin
10. Hui King
11. Ai Seok
Charged up on airport side food, we began the next leg of travels. From Tacloban, we needed to travel by van to the Eastern Samar province. Luggage in 1 van, 1 to 6 in another, 7 to 13 in the last, the 3 van convoy set off for The Town of Sorrows (we'll be changing that soon enough): Dolores!
The van ride was a portal to another world. Unfamiliar scenery of corrugated steel shacks and palm jungles replaced the sun and beach. Curious faces and foreign culture replaced telephone service. The sun was already setting. Arriving in Dolores, attracting attention left, right and centre we boarded the last leg of the journey to our destination. Met by the River of Life Missions (RoLM) team, and riding on their most used mode of transport, we headed towards the small village of San Isidro, the orphanage and base camp.
Time elapsed (on boarding and counting): 9hr00mins
We arrived late. Our dinner and hosts have been waiting. The kids at the orphanage welcomed us warmly. The young leaders surprised us with their worship and inspired us to invest in them all the more. Pastora once again explained the origins of the mission at San Isidro (that's a story for another time) and reinforced the visions and prayers for our arrival.
Already impressed with what we've seen and heard, tomorrow the real work begins.