Zara&Callum's World Adventure
14th Apr 2012
On the Sunday we had a long lie, 7.45am, 30 mins longer than normal! We were going to the dumpsite where the church is based. It's great that it's right in the middle of the people's homes, easy access.
The service was powerful, in Degalo, the native tongue, but worship songs were in English so we could sing along.
Katie and I headed out with the Sunday School and there was about 30 children per class, approximately 6 classes! The children all sat quietly and listened to the Easter story. Oh man it was a roasting hot room... No fan. When I say room it is an old warehouse and when it rains the church gets flooded. Not just with water, but with sewage. Not your typical church. All the same it is vibrant and thriving.
After the Sunday School there is a rush to the dinner hall where a scene from Oliver is resembled as the little children hungrily line up for their lunch time feed provided by the church. Angelic faces munch quietly on rice and sausage, content with whatever is put in front of them. It does look delicious. The cooks are all volunteers, one named Pamela told me her life story a couple of days into our outreach. I've never met anyone like her. A faith so strong in God despite her dire circumstances. She certainly challenged me.
On Monday we had our day off. Callum got up early early to fly to Kuala Lumpar on business. We arranged to go to a resort with a Filipino friend we had met in Scotland and also Brenda. Aron, our friend turned up at 6am with a bag full of goodies and a driver as he was now unable to come with us due to business and so he was thoughtful enough to organise a driver to take us.
For the first half of the day we call the driver Freddy as that's what we picked up, but actually his name was Ferddy, short for Ferdinand.
Ferddy drove us rhe long 2.5 hours to Caliraya Resort on Lake Laguna. it was beautiful, such a far step from the shanties of Manila. Fresh air, palm trees, clean water, a mud slide, zip line and swimming pools. We were sorted or a day of rest and relaxation.
On the drive to the resort it's clear that nowhere really escapes poverty in the Philippines. Metro Manila tries to hide it with their flashes buildings, bright lights and designer shops, but in the cracks there are homeless people, poverty and sickness. This was reflected as we drove towards the resort too. People line the streets waiting for something. At all times of the day and night there are Filipinos just standing there. What are they doing? Waiting for something? Change? Searching for a purpose? In the UK noone has time to stand or sit and do nothing, well I don't. I think come on get up and go and so something. Maybe it's the heat that generates a slower pace of life over here, but I don't think that's it, it's almost like they are waiting for something better to come along, magically. Godly.
Caliraya resort was exactly what we needed. We chilled out, swam, shot down mud slides and down zip lines (some of us). Got some sun, some too much and basically had a great time.
As part of our package, lunch was included. An all inclusive buffet! However if you were not to finish all that was on your plate then you owed the hotel 300pesos. I thought it was a great idea as it made you observant of what you were putting on your plate and not to fill our boots.
We were all full and Katie asked if we wanted more of that to share, we all thought she meant pineapple but when she came back with 6 chocolate cakes we were speechless. 4 cakes down Katie looked pretty ill. With two left we helped her along the way.
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