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.
We walked around a corner to see what was at least 150+ women sitting down waiting for us, many with smiles on their beautiful faces. We sang a few worship songs with the women, and it was very surreal to see women with poor circumstances so passionate for Jesus in the worship. We also sang a couple songs with actions to the women, and I saw many of their faces had beaming smiles.
We found out earlier that many of the women did not have secure financial support outside the prison to assist in providing essential necessities. Whilst in the prison we were able to buy a few homemade key rings and mini purses to support the women, which was amazing to know we were contributing to them in some way.
Before we knew it we left for lunch, from what did not seem like enough time in the prison. Lunch was varied through the group at a nearby shopping centre, but the majority of the group tried ‘Jollibee’ a common fast food restaurant in the Philippines. Simply, Jollibee smells worse than McDonalds, which is a clear indication that it is not that flash, however we had to try it.
For the afternoon we had a children’s ministry and feeding program not too far away. We arrived at a pre school next to a noisy main road to sing, perform and interact with kids from a nearby slum. Overall I think we sung the songs well despite the lyrics and actions being slightly rusty, and the program being mostly improvised. The kids enjoyed themselves very much, joining in the songs and bursting with laughter. We also had some time to interact with the kids and blow balloons, bubbles and have conversations.
In our flash green public transport we headed back to the church for a much-deserved dinner consisting of more than one vegetable (WHAT!), watermelon and the classic white rice. I think I can speak on behalf the group that today was another day that showed us the Lord does provide and is all we need. In which is evident in the women inmates lives, as many of them put their entire trust and hope in the Lord, despite their poor circumstances.
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