On a normal day at YWAM Cebu, we wake up to the sound of chicken’s crowing, dogs barking and basketballs bouncing on the court outside. A special breakfast of pancakes and fruit inspired many pancake-eating competitions, the losers taking extra kitchen duties!
During the morning, the ‘cool’ part of the day, we were taken on a tour of the city. We explored some of the religious monuments, forts and churches originally built by the Spaniards during colonisation. It was great to see more of the city and especially to learn more about Filipino history. The religious history particularly helps us to better understand the culture of the people that we are interacting with.
We then had a quick visit to the mall where the internet addicted foreigners were able to get some wifi. On the drive back through Talisay City, the contrast between the spotless mall and the dusty, dirty slums was very confronting. Looking back the mall gives a feeling of deception; attempting to create it’s own shiny clean paradise while shutting out the dust and grime of the outside world. The mall reminded me of western culture in that respect. How often do we stay in our own comfortable society and desperately try to ignore the troubled world outside our borders? A challenging thought.
The afternoon brought a visit to a second slum area where we were able to perform the skit we had practiced and to be more involved in the kids’ ministry there. Personally, singing songs and acting felt frustratingly futile on our first visit. It seemed that we were ignoring their dismal situation and pretending that a hug and a smile was enough. However, God has challenged me, and perhaps others, to see that even if we gave these kids everything they physically needed, (healthcare, education, housing), if they don’t have Jesus, they have nothing. It was only then that I began to realize how important this ministry was in bringing the light and love of Jesus to such a dark place.
Over all it was a great day! It was slightly overwhelming with so much to absorb and reflect on but it’s very exciting to see God at work as He uses these experiences to challenge our thinking and change our hearts.
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