Friday, April 7, 2017

Two Weeks in the Philippines: part 2

Since I traveled all the way to the Philippines this March for a short-term mission (read part 1 here), I of course had to make a side trip to my beloved Camiguin! My old teammate Genevieve and I made a two-day visit to the island together. We still sponsor 15 students in college, plus one young man in seminary, and I was eager to catch up with them!

Some of our students attend school on the far side of the island and could not come home to meet with us, so we surprised them at school! We enjoyed not only hearing their updates about college but also sharing with them stories of what God has recently been doing in our lives -- about His great faithfulness and personal love for us!

Treating Elza and Cielon to ice cream.
It was a quick trip, so God made sure to put people in our path that He wanted us to see! Our friend Nardo, who experienced a powerful conversion during the past two years through his friendship with the missionaries, happened to be walking by and spotted us in a cafe! We were so happy to reconnect with him.

That evening, we hosted a dinner for all of our college students. It was beautiful to feel "back at home" once again, to sing praise and pray with them, and to rejoice in how much they've grown and how far they have come. They were just juniors in high school when we first met, and now they've completed their second year of college!

Some of our best students hamming it up! I promise they're actually hard workers. ;)
One of my favorite stops on the trip was a visit to Father Joe and Gogoy, his right-hand man. Father served the people of Sagay, Camiguin, for nine years and holds a dear place in their hearts -- and in mine as well. I was so grateful that the Lord gave us the opportunity to see him again!

Reuniting with old friends!
Finally, a highlight of my trip to the Philippines was serving alongside my fellow FMC missionaries, these incredible Filipino families who have given up everything to preach the Gospel, both in foreign lands and in their hometowns. We currently have two full-time missionary families and two "intern" families still discerning their call. You can read more about these families here and here!

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