Coffee For A Cause.
Honestly, whenever I hear that, I just think it’s that one thing that’s in the back of the church by the coffee. That’s basically been it. I knew what it was to a degree. People donate money. Money goes to good things on the other side of the world. How completely undervalued that was for me. Now that I am here, I see the dramatic impact that it has on these people. I think I’ve said this every day that we’ve been in the Philippines so far, but the life difference that comes from one child being able to go to school is beyond description. I’ve heard it from a logical, practical standpoint, and I’ve heard it from an emotional standpoint from the families themselves. The money we put into that box for Coffee For A Cause goes directly to the sponsorship for these kids and their education. I want to encourage you to get involved with that. Every dollar makes the world of a difference.
Some of the kids that we sponsor come from the trash mountain (technically called “smokey mountain). The first time we went up on top of it, I didn’t really notice how bad it was because we were walking on a dirt trail. Today, Richard pointed out to me that there are actual layers of trash that comprise this hill. The whole thing is literally one giant trash dump and people have made their homes and lives on top of this garbage.
We were up there today to hold another feeding for children. This one was a little different from the last one because of the location and the condition of these kids. When they started running out to where we were, I noticed that these kids were seriously the dirtiest (most dirty?) kids that I have ever seen in my entire life. One kid didn’t even have any clothes. I could see the dirt streaks going across his body. That didn’t stop any of these from participating in the songs, motions, and activities, though. They loved to be there. Now that I think about it, it might be the only time that these kids are able to come out and have a group of people love on them (not this one specific time, but any time this YWAM ministry goes up there). We played with them, filled all the bowls and plates they brought, and made them balloon animals. Can you imagine that being the highlight of your child’s week? Being given a bowl of food and a balloon animal? It’s hard, isn’t it?
After dinner, we went to the projects to have what I gathered to be their equivalent of youth group. Something I’ve noticed about the people here is that when they sing, they SING! There’s no half singing or murmuring in worship. It’s an all out, who cares if the person next to me doesn’t like the way I sound, I’m going to praise God with all that I have, kind of singing. Good for them. That’s the way it should be. After all, we’re not just singing songs because someone a couple hundred years ago decided that would be a cool tradition to have in church. When we sing, we’re declaring the truth of who God is and we’re responding accordingly. We’re declaring our hearts to God and together, we’re proclaiming that He alone is worthy of our praise. I hope I never, EVER, forget that.
Kara shared her testimony. Holly did a book-reading (“The Big Red Tractor and The Little Village” by Francis Chan). Krista shared a message and when she was done, we had a time of prayer. About half (maybe more) of the kids there came up to the front to be prayed for and our team was able to lay hands on them and pray for them. It blows my mind to see how God is moving in these different places. These kids are so passionate about God and are eager to learn how to be more like Him and you can visibly see it on them (and it’s a great look!).
After everyone took their seats again, Damien taught them how to make a certain type of paper airplane. It was pretty fun watching them all fly through the air at once. Then we handed out some snacks and gave each one a gift bag that contained some article of clothing and some school supplies. They were so thankful to have them. I could see all of them pulling out their shirts and dresses and showing each other. Before we left, they wanted to take tons of pictures (mostly with our teenagers. all the girls love Damien out here. it probably doesn’t hurt that we call him Justin Bieber everywhere we go). They also were able to use the wireless microphones that we were able to bless them with. I don’t know how in the world they would be able to communicate without them. It’s such a small room with absolutely no acoustical treatment. It’s basically concrete all around, filled with fans and a bunch of teenagers.
Tomorrow is our last day here and it just so happens to be our busiest one yet. Go big or go home, right (well… more like go big then go home)? We have a children’s ministry, another feeding, another youth group, then different fun sports activities, all before dinner. I guess that means I should probably go to sleep, then.
Please continue to pray for us. We are all pretty tired, but we don’t want to fizzle out. We want to finish strong and God still has plans for us here. Let’s not short-change that. Pray for our continued health and rest. Pray that we have the energy to go with all our hearts tomorrow. Pray and ask the Lord whether or not He wants you to contribute to our Coffee For A Cause ministry. And finally, pray and thank the Lord that we (collective we, including YOU) that we get to be a part of something life-changing for others. Thank Him that He has given us the opportunity to be His hands and feet. Thank Him for the blessings that have enabled us to be a blessing towards others.
ps. Sorry this is later than usual. The internet stopped working right when I was about to publish it.