Well after many hours of packed vans, busy airports and uncomfortable planes, all teams are back home, safe and sound! What an amazing 3 weeks it has been and it has all flown by! Praise God for His protection travel-wise, as well as health-wise, where we had no major incidents on any of the trips! We can already see the impact the trips have had on students, as they've made life-long friends, experienced new cultures, seen God work & move and grown in themselves!
This morning we had a Debrief, discussing the future and our safe transition back into Australian culture. Tips were given and questions were asked, which will make it helpful for Christmas time. After Debrief, we ate lunch at the resort, with a hefty meal as afterwards it was snorkelling, scuba diving and massage time. Scuba divers had a lesson in the pool before being taken out to the reef. They saw turtles and reached 9 metres. For the snorkelers, they had a good time out in the water and saw some amazing fish, turtles, and colourful coral. Those getting massages had a beautiful view of the water and felt relaxed afterwards. Had dinner again at the resort – amazing western and Asian dishes – and delicious dessert paid for by the gracious Emily. After dinner, a few of us went to bed to sleep, to the beach to read, or had an after dinner swim. All in all, debrief has been an outstanding experience and to experience it with our unified team was something we’ll never forget.
- Meg & Debbie
After 3 weeks of eating all rice,
It was starting to taste not so nice.
But at the resort
We went and bought
Some weetbix and bananas to slice.
The team woke up early this morning with eager anticipation to get to the resort. After a quick bite to eat, the usual 2 eggs and toast, we packed all our stuff separating a daypack of clothes for each person to take down to the resort. We also gathered the left over ministry materials that we donated to Earl, our host.
Our last day of ministry came to an end today.
Starting with another trip to Cebu prison, this time visiting the youth section. There were around 100 young guys, most aged between 15-18, who were all sitting and waiting for our arrival. We started off with singing ‘Days of Elijah’ and then continuing on to show our ‘Kapling’ skit. The guys really got into it and enjoyed our presentation. Then it was their turn to present for us; with a song and some mad beat boxing, which was awesome! After it was finished, our girls left to visit the female youth located upstairs, while the guys stayed; playing basketball (with Andrew blocking people left, right, and left again), watching dances and chilling with them. Being able to see guys our age in prison made us realise how real the poverty cycle is and how fortunate we are. It expanded our minds of the world.
Our second last day of ministry has come to a close. Typically the roosters starting crowing from 5:30am but we had the luxury of a sleep-in till 8am. Breakfast for most was two eggs and bread, served with a fork and spoon (knives aren’t common). The morning was spent at a privately owned beach resort, where the water was blissful (not too warm but not too cold). Unfortunately it was low tide, so the water slides were out of action but the hammocks over the water were nice and relaxing. Tim did a devotion on the Holy Spirit in a hut there as we sung some worship songs with myself and Tim sharing the guitar playing. Capping off the beach visit was seeing crabs on the rocks. As there wasn’t much sand underneath the water but rather lots and lots of rocks and an equal amount of seaweed.
As today is Sunday, naturally we went to church like last week, but this time we attended ‘The Church of God World Missions’ church. They run 2 services in the morning, so as a team we decided to split into 2 groups to go to both services. They ended up being the same service but different times, so it ended up working well. Worship was mostly simular to Australian/western churches, but with a bit of Philippino culture thrown in as well with dancers dancing up the front.
Instead of waking up at 6.30am for a 7 o’clock breakfast we were allowed to have a sleep in because breakfast for today was at 8.30am. After breakfast we had time to waste before we had to head to our first program for the day, so we went for a walk to the supermarket to top up on supplies. The super market was huge, it is sorta like Costco as it had a warehouse set up and people were buying things in bulk for what could last them a couple of months, while we were in there I bought myself Koko Krunch (cheap version of milo cereal) and some milk so I could have it for brekkie as I was missing cereal, I also had a look around at some of the other shops and came across a junky shop but you had to leave your grocery bags in a pigeon hole to reduce our chance of shoplifting (even though it wasn’t my intention) and you got it back before you left. We then headed back to our motel and got in our mean, green, travel machine and went to a feeding program at a local school.
We woke up in the lovely motel rooms this morning, which was bliss. We had yummy eggs on toast at our motel downed with some coffee, which was so good. After a short devo we hopped on our bright green bus and headed for the lush green mountains, that kind of reminded us of a less tropical Mount Dandenong.
We went to visit a woman’s prison at the top of a picturesque mountain. After a climb, we arrived at the prison which was different to what we would think a prison environment would typically be, the guards appeared more relaxed and easy going. Walking into the prison the women inmates were smiling and greeting us.
This morning was our first day at our new base at Church Of God (COG), and we all slowly woke up one by one to get our breakfasts. Tim and Em went in to have a meeting with the pastors of the base, and came to the conclusion that our accommodation wasn’t the best for when people are getting sick and with a gastro virus being passed around! Therefore, we have migrated to home #3, a motel around 10 minutes from the COG. We have gone back to 4/5 in a room with amazing wifi and air conditioning!
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