Soon after we woke up, our air conditioner shut off. This could only mean one thing...the power was off. What we didn't know, but soon discovered, was that the power had gone off at the main source in Jasaan. The whole town was without power. No worries though. Basamanggas soon had a generator going & soon after we arrived at New Hope, they did as well. One thing I've learned about these people is that they are quite resourceful & do the absolute best with what they have.
After the worship team led us (Marlix on drums & his trainee on guitar), Pastor Nic preached a sermon entitled "Let Us". He went through scripture and talked about the many instances that the Word declares "let us". In a nutshell, we were not created to do life alone..."let us love one another". I love the way that Nic talks to & teaches his flock. They are a family & he is the father. He truly loves them & it shows.
Following the service, they pushed back all the chairs & served us a final meal together as our send off celebration. They brought in the Filipino delicacy that I had been waiting for...Lechon. Yes, the whole pig! The head with fruit in its mouth & everything. They also had Lisa's favorite, fried chicken. I have to admit, it does taste a bit like grandma's. They know how to fry chicken here. Even McDonald's has it on their menu...along with spaghetti. I digress. During the meal they showed a slide show of pics taken throughout the week. We have made some great memories in partnership with these beautiful people. Lord willing, we will return soon to continue that partnership.
After a short rest at the hotel, we left around 2:30 for the 3rd church site in San Isidro. This may have been the most gorgeous ride thus far & it was definitely the bumpiest. You could say this was a bit off the beaten path. Actually, i think it may have been right on it! Once we arrived, it seemed as though our feet hadn't even touched the ground & a local of the town was shimmying up the coconut tree to get us some fresh milk. This is truly amazing! We don't realize, when eating our coconut cream pies, the risk these guys go through for our pleasure & their livelihood. We would partake of the fresh coconut milk & bananas later. Just like at Natubo, Lisa & Mercy led the children in some songs, a lesson & this time...finger paints. We would have sworn that this was going to be a mess. In fact, we waited until San Isidro because it is right by the river & the kids could wash off there. Boy were we wrong. Just like everywhere we've been, the kids have been super respectful. I'm not even sure they got any on their clothes. I haven't yet figured out if it's cultural or simply that they were in awe of the white folks. Either way, they were a blessing. After some fresh coconut milk (not a huge fan), & fresh bananas (loved 'em...much sweeter), we were off to town where we would spend the rest of the evening swimming at the resort with the worship team.
All week, I had felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give Marlix my guitar. Just to make sure, I spent all week praying about it before jumping in impulsively. Sure enough though, that's what I had to do. They only have one very beat up old acoustic for the worship team. So, right when Marlix arrived to go swimming, I took him up to our room & presented it to him. You would have thought I handed him a solid gold brick. He was overwhelmed with gratitude. They way he fathers & trains up his team, I know he will do great things with it for the Kingdom of God.
After swimming, we had a quick dinner & were off to pack before hitting the hay. Tomorrow we're off to Cebu to see our compassion child & do a little shopping for pasalubong (souvenirs). I'm going to sign off now for a few days until we meet with Ramiryl with Compasion International. I definitely want you to hear about that.
Until then...PRAISE GOD!!!