To be honest, I was not excited about joining this year’s Operation Jabez (a PCCC local mission trip).
Not sure why, but I guess the prospect of traveling to an unfamiliar area at this time of my life did not appeal to me. I know, I know, where is my sense of adventure, right? I promise I’m more adventurous than this (really!) but the mere idea just suddenly… tired me out. Maybe because I’ve been sick the past several weeks.
Lame reason, I know.
Besides, what do I know about Bicol? Virtually and practically NOTHING, except that people from there are called Bicolanos, and that they are hot and spicy. Er, I mean they like hot and spicy food (Wait, I’m not even sure about that). Oh, and I know that Bicol is where the infamous Bicol Express comes from.
Still, like the proper missionary that I am, I decided it wasn’t right to pass up this opportunity to minister to our kababayan in Bicol.
And now the time has come! Strangely (or not), I feel excited! There really is something about traveling to an unfamiliar place that gets to me. Then when God began providing, with the money practically raising itself (in a week!) and people so willingly helped me raise the amount I needed, I just knew this was meant to be. Yes, it was destiny!
So today I begin the grueling trip to the land of Bicol. And friends, I need you to back me up with your prayers!
Pray for the TRAVEL:
Six hours of travel from Baguio to Manila, then twelve hours from Manila to Legaspi. From Legaspi we travel to the small locality of Manito, Albay. That’s like, more than twenty hours of travel by bus. TWENTY! I have never, ever done this before. Pray for safety. Pray for my back and my butt.
Pray for the OUR AREA:
Our team is adopting a local church in Manito, Albay. Our team coordinator (a leader I highly esteem) says that two major church needs are two Ls: Leadership and Livelihood.
I grabbed both photos from our Team Coordinator’s blog. There he shares the needs of this place:
Just like the bamboo bridge in the second photo above, the church I write about in this blog has had cycles of building and rebuilding. It has had its ups and downs.
I think among the top reasons for this cycle are the very low income that the members earn as farmers, vendors and fisher folk despite the natural wealth surrounding them. Another reason is the lack of leadership training and mentoring among the leaders and members that can support a sustainable ministry. This is one need that the leaders of the church are recognizing and we are praying for God to bring people who can help them in this area of church life. I am still praying and hoping to help answer both these “Ls”. By God’s grace these will also soon be addressed.
So. Now I am excited about this OJ, and am very expectant to see how God will work in and through us. I’m excited to meet the people. I’m excited about the place (the oceans!).