Yes, I have learned that missions trips are not rainbows and lots of daisies. It’s not always bright, clean colors and pictures of smiling children. It may mean standing lines for hours waiting for transportation, getting dirty, wet, , and getting sick. It may mean walking in slums and talking to drug addicts and prostitutes. It may mean early mornings and late nights. It often means never getting alone time, feeling claustrophobic, eating food that you DON’T want to eat, killing cockroaches every night, and stepping in lots of poo.
I’ve gotten a lot of comments, “Oh it’s so cool that you get to travel and experience new things.” “I bet you’re having a fun over there in the tropical weather”. Yes, these things are true, but God did not call me here because it’s a wonderful place. My team and I live in the slums. Nine of us, both boys and girls, sleep in the same room. We use a tiny bathroom, no sink, and no flushing toilet.
It‘s a privileged to be here. To live life with these people. To eat what they eat and experience a taste of their lives for three months. God knows these people are special! Now ministry in the Philippines can be hard, because many say they know Jesus, but there are some major flaws with how society works here that are just not right, as in any country. There is little unity in the churches and with Christians. There are pornographic images on a lot of their houses and cars. Drugs and alcohol are huge problems in Manila. Teen pregnancies have sky rocketed and, unlike many countries, the number is continuing to grow here. HIV has become a growing national issue.
Having gotten to visit the local hospitals, I’ve seen there is a huge need for a better solution for the way health care is done here. Locals without rooms are lined up in the hallways and people with curable problems often wait for to long for the care they need. The juvenile center was way to overcrowded and didn’t have beds for the girls or boys. They slept right on the cement floor.
Cleanliness and pollution are also a huge problems. We live 200 yard from one of the man-made rivers here, which is extremely dangerous and full of trash, run off, pollution, and diseases. All the waste goes into it. Walking out in the rain here can also be dangerous, as the rain becomes acidic from the pollution.
Being here is so worth it! Seeing how God uses our team to share God’s love is amazing. God wants this region of Manila (Cainta) to experience him and he decided to use us. What makes us special? Really nothing, and that’s the beauty of God. He chooses to use the weak, the young, and the last people you would have thought of to share about his kingdom. But lavished his love on us, so do I dare to do less for him? He did not give his heart in pieces to me, so do I dare only give him pieces of my heart?
Since Megacities( YWAM) came to Manila we have seen new salvations, instant healing, and shared the life changing gospel with many. We will be running a Youth Conference in October. We pray that this new generation of world changers here in the Philippines will be touched by God there. We had the amazing privilege of speaking at a local juvenile delinquency center. We saw eight people accept God into their lives afterwards. While I was speaking, a young women in the back of the small audience was tearing up. I was amazed that God could use my testimony to touch her, even though we both had very different lives.
God is on the move!