6 years ago I was in CYT's production of "Scrooge." I was one of the Cratchit children, and a wonderful lady named Mrs. Nikki played my mom. I've enjoyed getting to know her over the years, and have prayed for her family as they adopted several children from the Philippines. That dear family moved to the Philippines less than a month before I got here! Right now, among other things, they have a learning program for special needs orphans, and their long-term hope is to begin a special needs orphanage. (If you'd like to read more about their ministry, scroll to the bottom of this post on their blog, or check out www.bartimaeusproject.org). This past week, CYT performed Scrooge for the first time since I was in it, and I'll be honest, when I found out they were going to be doing that, it launched one of my more painful periods of homesickness. God is so good to me though! This past Thursday, while the cast back home was in the midst of their final dress rehearsal, I was in the Philippines arriving at Mrs. Nikki's house, getting a giant hug, and enjoying talking about people and places we both knew. That night we even watched the old Scrooge DVD! Being with that family on this side of the world was so surreal, and I'm in awe of God's perfect timing. Whoever would have imagined 6 years ago that we'd all be here together?
I spent a week with them, and it was so much fun. I got to see areas of ministry quite different than what I've seen so far, and even participate a little. I got to spend time with some wonderful kids during their Saturday program. I had my first up-close encounter with some beggar girls, which deeply impacted me. And I saw other areas of Luzon, striking both in poverty and beauty, as we drove to visit their older son for an afternoon. It was both horizon-broadening and refreshing, and I'm deeply thankful for the blessing of time spent with old friends, even so far from home!
The Cratchit family of 2007
6 years later, watching the Scrooge DVD with my on-stage mom and reliving old memories... and during the opening night of Scrooge 2013, no less!
Reading to one of the Bartimaeus Project kids on Saturday
Bartimaeus kids again- such sweet girls!
Helping decorate the tree was good medicine for this girl who loves Christmas and is missing her family!
More squatter houses, with Manila in the background
I've been in the Philippines for over 4 months now, and this was the first time I got around to taking a picture of a jeepney!
Visiting their oldest son at the shelter for former street kids where he works