this year has been amazing, being able to go to the philippines with my team of five other people.
i knew it was important that i lead a team. it was such a privilege to be the primary leader of a trip and so crazy to lead alone. I have been to other countries and assisted teams, but its completely different when you lead alone.
I learned a lot about myself, desires and passions i had put to rest.
talking with friends, i've realized that i have been put in a box of "this is all i can do"
i put myself in that box for fear of change.
man, am i thankful i made myself get over it.
I learned my deep need for community and i learned a different level of vulnerability that i have never known before. I learned a lot about communication and how to love. I am still learning those last two things, a lot.
My team blessed me so much and showed me new characteristics of God. They showed me that vulnerability is necessary at times, that honesty is very important, that believing in myself is vital and that it is okay to have emotions.
I have never laughed or cried as much as my time spent in the Philippines.
Our time in our first location seemed a bit more low key in comparison to the hustle and bustle in Manila.
Manila was spent doing day care ministry and youth group ministry as well as home visits in essentially, what we call "the projects" here, but its much much worse there.
everything around us in Tondo, the location of "the projects" smelled of garbage. It was very dirty and people's main jobs and way of living was scavenging for scraps of garbage. They would sell it on the street and "make a living" when in reality they all barely scrape by. It's crazy.
They have families that they need to provide for, make sure get to school. A lot of the time they're not able to send their kids to school because of finances. if they have a need for health care, which most of them do because of tuberculosis and other illnesses that are common in that area, they must pay for it up front.
This is difficult and next to impossible because of finances.
I saw that education is extremely needed in these places.
Which made me think of the importance of community development.
just going through a lot of processing, processing loss and embracing it. having a grateful heart for all the beautiful experiences i've had thus far in life.
curious for the future and choosing to trust the One who holds my heart.