What a day. It commenced with a typical Filipino breakfast of rice, cinnamon bread, apples and corn beef (lots of carbs as energy for the big day ahead). Jordan kick-started the day with his devotion, he explored the difference between being expectant for God as compared to being expecting (yes very confusing at first). We then gathered together to pray for the day, this was done differently to western culture, with everyone praying aloud simultaneously (as opposed to one after the other).
In one of the teams first outreach opportunities so far aside from the slums and the beach, we ventured out to a nearby farm. The drive there took roughly an hour but time flew as it still feels strange to be driving on the ‘right’ side of the road, with motorcycles hectically swerving in and out on both sides of the lines. Josh and I arrived before the rest of the team as we had travelled with the other Filipinos in their van (which actually turned out to be really lucky as it was less stuffy). We spoke to one of YWAM staff members about her life as a missionary; it was intriguing and eye opening to hear her plans for the future.
Arriving at the farm we were told it was run by one busy couple and their young son. There were ducks, goats, dogs, pigs, a cat and lots of greenery. With lots of work to do, we were split into groups and allocated jobs:
We all relished the short break where we got to try some freshly picked papaya and had some sweet bread rolls alongside it. It was then back to work in the blistering heat for a short while before lunch under the shelter. Lunch consisted of chicken, more rice, a salad and more corn beef. The afternoon involved more hands on physical work, planting a variety of crops (eggplants, basil, lemons, cassava and 5 coconuts as a legacy of our efforts at the farm) as well as digging up and carrying sand from the riverbed to use in the cement for the construction of the retaining wall.
There is big vision for the future of this farm, to use it as a place to train other Filipinos in the best farming practices in a completely organic way (using mint to keep insects away etc.), to be a retreat place and also to be a self sufficient for the farm in providing for the immediate community. It was rewarding to be a part of helping take a step in achieving this goal. Wrapping up the day was a fulfilling western meal of spaghetti and meatballs, a blissful shower and hours of card games.
In the Philippines, the culture is by and large very friendly, but we are continually reminded of the freedom and opportunity we have. We may not know how to truly comprehend or react to this but one thing we do know is that after today’s hard work it won’t just be the pigs snoring tonight.
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