It was an evening prayer meeting. The garden director led a sharing to 60 staff and children. A staff member led the singing. Another one had a guitar. Most of the 40 children (or so) are orphans. We joined them to worship, listen to a brief sharing, and pray. Faylene had a little guest in her lap who held her hand the whole hour. We were at home in the big cavernous room, and Wednesday evenings we gather with those we love to worship the One who links us together. We were the oldest and the lightest skinned in the room, but these beautiful Philippine people are our heart-family a half a world away from our location in the US.
Faylene and I prayed for two orphan children in particular; we see both of them quite regularly. The older believers this evening were asked to pray for all the children. When prayer for the older ones was started, a little boy came across the room and prayed for Faylene and me. No one told him to do it; he did it on his own. During lighter moments in our quarters, he challenges us with riddles, but tonight he was all business with prayer.
We woke the next morning to edit several chapters of our curriculum on biblical creation. We need the last two quarters of four ready for 9 pilot schools in a couple weeks. We have to review the material with 20 teachers during our two month stay. The daily editing work on this task takes about half of each day. Days start early near the Equator. They usually end shortly after sunset. We can hear the children’s voices during school hours since we are only a few feet from the East wall of an elementary classroom.
Two groups of little ones came to visit our quarters during the morning’s work, but we could only embrace them briefly. We asked them to visit later when we were finished with the editing. We know them well enough to recognize their little knock on the door. They had come the day before in a larger group to visit for an hour or so, but they know sometimes we have tasks that have to get done. It is hard to see them for only a few minutes when you want to love on them for an hour.
A community lady we love came to visit in the late morning. We spoke of the love of God together. She gave us a report of the joy of visiting the women’s jail. She has been doing that with another friend for a couple years. She mentioned that she does not have to do a lot now since she has trained and encouraged inmates to conduct most of the meeting times. She spoke of being encouraged to see us.
I walked the school twice during the day to get a glance at students, hug a few teachers, and speak with staff who I passed. It is always good to go on those walks, because it reminds me who will teach or receive the curriculum that we are writing. It is hard to forget the many faces when we work through the editing process. I always stop near the end of the walk by a little canteen, where two additional friends and staff members prepare the little meals for school children. We chatted about being blessed to see each other. I probably greet 15 to 20 people on each walk. It is part of what we do to visibly encourage others.
After a couple more chapters were edited in the afternoon we had a visit from one of our “daughters” who is close to our hearts. It seems we have impacted this young lady; she has certainly impacted us. She stayed for some time to bear her heart.
We went back to editing until the sun was set.
Some children had asked to see the moon while it was still light. So, an hour after the normal prayer meeting time a night before we were setting up a telescope an evening later to see the moon, Saturn, and Mars. My Bride saw Mars for the first time, but so did several staff, the school principle, the youth director, their child, and our “daughter”. We all hugged before we split up and put away equipment. It was a nice way to finish up the day. There were lots of smiles. Impromptu observing sessions like this bring 5 to 30 people, depending on how late it is.
Tonight, back in our quarters, we smiled at each other. There were “God-moments” during the last 25 hours. We were tired but at peace. Work had progressed; people were encouraged; love was strengthened.
Institute for Foundational Learning, Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines on August 23, 2018
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…
1 Thessalonians 5:11