It’s been three weeks now since I first saw the burn on this little girl named Ading. We were out at village outreach and as all the kids were sitting down to listen to the Bible story, I saw this horrible burn on her upper thigh. We found her mom and she said that hot coffee had been spilled on her a couple of days ago. She was clearly in pain and I could tell the burn was starting to get infected. Jonah and I, another volunteer, took Ading and her mother to the hospital to get it checked out. I knew that because of how bad the burn was, they would have to remove all the dead skin. It was so painful to watch this little girl, not even two years old, go through this. I just prayed that God would take the pain away. She was so strong through it all. I gave the family money to go to the hospital a few more times to get it cleaned and redressed. Every Saturday I check on her and every week it looks better and better! Praise God that the infection went away and has not come back!
This past Saturday, I handed out crayons and coloring sheets after the kids had their Bible story. Ading was sitting there and another kid kept taking her crayons, so I gave her a crayon and showed her how to draw. She started with her right hand and could not hold it correctly but once she switched to her left hand, she started coloring all over the page!
I find it funny that I was planning on going to nursing school pretty much my entire childhood and God changed that. I would much rather teach a child how to write than be in a hospital and have to not only watch, but actually do things like the doctors did at the hospital to Ading. God’s plan is always better than our own.
10 of the many things I have learned and/or experienced after living in Malaybalay for one month:
- The water can shut off randomly, but it always waits until you are in the middle of a shower with shampoo in your hair.
- Also to go along with the water shutting off, the power shuts off randomly as well. They say there are “planned” brown outs and they post a schedule, but I have never seen one.
- When an internet company says they will send someone to install your internet in the next “2-3 days” they really mean in the next 12-15 days…or more than that, they still have not come.
- The best thing to make a day better is randomly hearing a country song on the radio instead of the never ending pop music…and it gets even better when it is Brad Paisley.
- Children are precious gifts from God and each one of them should be treated as such.
- Learning a new language is hard…really hard.
- When driving there are next to no rules. It’s like a race car video game, but in real life.
- Filipino food is AMAZING…I already knew this from living in Manila, but it needs to be put on this list.
- People will steal your trash can if you leave it outside the gate…and then will return it the next day emptied.
- Encouragement from back home makes everything better. When you know so many people are praying for you, it really makes it easier to keep going.
I have now been in the PI for three weeks! It has been amazing, challenging, hard, fun…really about every descriptive word I can think of. This past weekend has been Kaamulan, where all of the municipalities of Bukdnon prepare a street performance with costumes, props, elaborate floats, drums, singing, and whatever else they can think of that represents their tribes. It shows their true culture and was amazing to experience. I have made a lot of friends and have had a great time going on adventures and experiencing God’s gift of friendship and fellowship.
I have also stated going on the village outreach and helping there. I hope someday soon I can open up a preschool out there for the little ones. I also had the opportunity to share what I will be doing and what my dream is to create here in the Philippines with the moms of the church during their small group time after church. I explained that I am studying early childhood development and that I would love to open up a preschool in town and out at the villages. They were all very excited and then one mom asked, “Will the preschool be free?” And I explained if I can raise enough support then that is the hope this it will be free. All of the mom’s faces beamed with joy! It was so encouraging to see their faces! I know God has so much in store for me and the people here. I cannot wait to be a part of it all!
The challenging part is of course being away from ‘home’…well where I am from. It’s hard to wrap my head around that I have two homes now, the home I was born and raised in and the home I live in now in Malaybalay. It kind of feels like I don’t have a real home anymore. I was at a Bible study last night and we were studying about how Jesus called people to drop everything they had and leave everyone they knew to follow Him. It is so hard, but I know that this is where God wants me and the timing of the Bible study was perfect. It doesn’t change the situation I am in about feeling out of place and very homesick, but it reassures me that this is what some people must do to follow what God is asking them to do even if it hurts.
Hopefully once my internet is worked out in the next few days, I will be able to respond to all the emails of encouragement and post updates more often! Thank you for all your prayers and support!