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!
After lunch we headed off to a leprosy hospital in a Jeepy that had benches along both sides of the van and a rad air circulation system due to its lack of windows. In the first part that we went to, we performed a new song for them (Days of Elijah) and then they performed for us too! It was kind of sad speaking to some of the people living there, and one of the girls I spoke to was only 18 years, but was diagnosed with leprosy last year. Whenever I asked her about anything, you could see that she wasn’t very confident and she repetitively said how much she missed her family, which hit pretty hard. She mentioned that she didn’t know when she would see them next but that they were the only thing getting her through.
Next we went to the cottages where we met some older ladies. They were so beautiful and couldn’t stop smiling and laughing at everything that we said. The one lady that I spoke to said a couple of times that she was basically deaf but that didn’t stop her from talking! I found out from her that she was told she had leprosy at the age of 7! She told me about her husband and about how he died in 1979 but that luckily none of her children got leprosy. It was beautiful to hear about her story, and as we were saying goodbye, I took her hand and placed it on my forehead as a sign of respect to your elders in the Philippines, and it was easy to see that she was completely overwhelmed and couldn’t believe it. I could see that she had truly been outcast by her community and by society, and that through someone showing her respect, her confidence had gotten a little boost.
Today I really saw how the little things, such as merely listening to what people have to say or even just visiting those who are lonely can make such a big difference on their lives. They seriously take the smallest acts with so much gratitude and its beautiful to see how easy it is to make an impact on their lives.
As Sarle mentioned, quite a few team members have gotten sick in the last week, with symptoms of a gastro bug. The team is staying in good spirits, but if you could join us in praying for the team that would be much appreciated! We have an exciting week ahead with COG, and we’d hate for sickness to get in the way.
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