You may remember me mentioning Vicky in a post shortly after I got here. She first came to the Philippines as a missionary in 1980, and works in another village. I had the amazing privilege of spending nearly two weeks with her there. I'm not quite sure where to start, but it was wonderful- the perfect mix of working and resting.
Vicky has a lovely alto voice, and we had so much fun singing together. One night we even stayed up late singing hymns! I went on walks through the jungle with her or Heidi, Vicky's co-worker, and loved having the chance to see more of this beautiful country and getting to know each of them better. I was able to help with lots of little things, and enjoyed it so much! Vicky gives away a lot of clothes to the babies and toddlers in the village, and while I was there we organized the bags she had brought from the States and made a decent sized dent in her supply as lots of mothers came by asking! One day Vicky, Heidi, a lady from the village and I took a long hike to visit another area nearby. We were gone for 5 ½ hours, and estimated that we hiked for a total of 4! We visited some houses there and had fresh coconut, and even got to see a big waterfall! We were all tired, but it was so worth it.
I particularly enjoyed the chance to be more involved with the people in the village. Lots of ladies and kids would come to the porch to visit, and though I obviously couldn't understand the conversation, it was still great fun, and I made friends! I did manage to learn a few words and phrases, both from being surrounded by it and from asking questions. Vicky and her co-workers have been there a long time, and there is a church that meets under Jonathan and Heidi's house. The Talbots are just getting started here, and so it was nice to be able to see something on the other end of the spectrum. I was there for two Sundays, and it was especially fun to try and sing along with the worship songs! I knew some of the melodies, which helped. Everybody made me feel so welcome, and made it very, very hard to leave! I definitely left a piece of my heart there.
I anticipated a lot of growth and stretching taking place during the trip. It did, but it didn't look at all like I thought it would. I wrote pages and pages in my journal, but I'm not sure how to summarize it here. Through talking with Vicky, seeing the way she interacts with the people in the village, and just by living there for awhile, God taught me so much about patience, loving people with His love, trusting Him with our weakness, following Him no matter how hard things get, resting in His love for us, being willing to endure suffering when it comes (because it will surely come), serving, and really, just what it is to be a missionary. It was a full, joyful, peaceful, challenging, growing time. I thank Him for it, and I pray both that I will never forget all of that God taught me and that He'll lead me in applying it.
Will you join me in praying for God's continued work in that village?
I was surprised to see the stone paths in the village. So pretty!
The bridge over the river
Ladies visiting on the porch
The view from Vicky's porch
coffee in progress!
Out for a walk... isn't it beautiful?
Vicky and new baby Darren
Me, Vicky, and Heidi before our long hike
In the jungle... I can't believe I get to do this!
With Arsilie (I doubt I'm spelling her name right...) by the waterfall
This beautiful basket was given to me "for remembrance." I will surely never forget!
These are the clothes for the village babies.
Yes, it was wonderful... but there were still some moments I could have lived without!
Jonathan, Heidi, Vicky and me right before I left. I wasn't ready to say goodbye!