I was on my way out to the province. I'm determined there's no place like it. Farmers plowing the soil with water buffalo instead of a John Deere. Rice fields everywhere you turn. Hammocks made from fish nets and rice bags. Fresh air and blue skies. It's a slow pace. It's a different perspective.
We arrived in the town where we'd be setting up camp. I took my hammock... I always love sleeping in that thing. It reminds me of the good ole WinShape days. The only place I found to string it up within a decent distance from my team was centrally located between a big cow and a pig's stye. One morning, I'm convinced the mama pig gave birth. She was squealing like nothing I've ever heard. I can't think of any other reason to Oink to that caliber... except for the fact that she must have been giving birth to a bunch of little piglets.
Trips to the province are always filled with moments that make me think... "Is this real life?"
One night I almost got eaten by a pack of mangy dogs. These are the kind of dogs that aren't seen in America... unless they're on the vet's table with a rabies testing kit on the side table and a strong potential to be "put to sleep." I think they must have figured out that my hammock was a bit out of place. I brought a new white girl scent to the area and they sure smelled it. I woke up in the middle of the night to a chorus of barking... the scary kind. They were growling and showing me both rows of their teeth. The only thing between me and them was a mosquito net and a hammock made of parachute type material. Needless to say, Jesus was on my side. I was praying and rebuking those dogs in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and protector. After about ten minutes of my heart rate beating at the pace of an 7 minute mile, one dog got mad at the other and they had a brawl against themselves out in the rice field. I eventually got back to sleep.
After the night turned to morning, I was in perfect position to see the sun come up. It was a glorious sight, and the Lord reminded me that His mercies are new each morning. We had a great day. We had kids club each morning, and went to share with people up in the mountains during the day. At night, we trained the young people that were already believers. The following days, they joined us and helped us during kids club and afternoon sharing time. It was a wonderful trip and gospel seeds were spread far and wide.
I came back to Manila with a few enemies attacking my insides... I'll spare you the details. Let's just say that I'm not sure that my internal track with ever be the same.
It was a good time to slow down, look up at the pretty blue skies, and admire the Creator of it all.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first then to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'the righteous shall live by faith.'" Romans 1:16-17
"Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word." Psalm 119:37
"Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle." Psalm 140:7
"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 23:18
|The view out of my hammock each morning.|
|I loved sleeping beside this guy.|
|Blue skies and fresh air... two of my favorite things about the province.|
|This guy woke me up each morning by pulling on my hammock strap.|
|Vacation Bible School with the kids in the morning!|
|This darling little girl colored Jesus... and made his hair orange. I think something was lost in translation.|
|My sharing partner for each afternoon.. love this gal.|
|Riding back into town in the sketchiest van ever.|
|Leaky roof? Just dangle some cans from the ceiling.|