Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Short-term Mission

At the beginning of March I was given the opportunity to help staff a one-week short-term trip to Cagayan de Oro. A group of students from Benedictine University in the United States came all the way to the Philippines to work with and serve the victims of the typhoon Sendong in CDO. The week was packed with activities. I want to share a little about what we did.

One of the first things we did, as a group, was visit a site where 500 homes once were. The land was filled with debris without one house standing. As I walked around I saw pieces of toys, tile, and clothes scattered all over the ground. I cannot express the feeling I had inside knowing that so many people lost their lives, their family and everything they owned. It was truly eye opening.

During the week, we spent two days in a grade school. We visited 12 classes in total. About 90 percent of the kids were affected by the typhoon. Some of them lost their parents. We sang songs with them like “Father Abraham”. We shared simple testimonies and put on a small drama. We shared simple testimonies and put on a small drama.

Singing praise and worship.

Sharing testimony about Grandmom

We acted out the bible story of Jesus calming the storm. We had Jesus, three disciples, wind, waves, and an ocean. About six kids from each class would come to the front to be the waves and the rest of the students in their seats were the ocean. It was precious to see the kids get so into the drama. After reading and acting out the story, Rebekah shared about the story in the bible and made it relatable to these second grade students. She let them know that the disciples were afraid in the boat and it was okay if they were afraid when the storm came. She reminded them that they have a Father in Heaven who will never leave their side. She told them that when they are afraid they can pray to Jesus in Heaven and that he is always listening. After the story time, we passed out paper, color pencils, crayons, and markers, and asked the kids to draw a picture of them with Jesus.

Rebekah sharing bible stories.

Three days during the week, we spent time in the tent communities. The tent communities are where those who lost their homes are temporarily living. They will be living in tents for about a year. The tents are very simple and provide the families with some protection from the elements. On one of our visits, we put on a medical clinic. It has been my dream for awhile now to help out on a medical mission. I was given my chance. We found a doctor to volunteer services for an evening. We had someone donate a large amount of antibiotics. A pharmacist volunteered and another doctor. Rachel, a girl from the group, is a CNA and Mark, one of the leaders, was a paramedic at one time. Many of the students from the group are studying to go to medical school. They were all very enthusiastic to help with the clinic. I cannot tell you how many people the doctors were able to see. It must have been at least 100. I was able to go around while the patients were waiting to see the doctor and talk with each person and pray with them. I think that night was one of my favorite nights so far in my almost two years as a missionary.

Volunteer doctor.

The students helping with medication.

Mark taking vitals.

Rachel doing triage.

Our last night with the tent communities, we had a prayer meeting. We read the bible story of Jesus calming the storm for the kids, sang praise and worship, prayed together, preached, and ate dinner together. The holy Spirit was present in a tangible way. I could see Him on the faces of those raising up their hands to give praise to our Lord. I could hear Him in the voices of those singing praises. Heaven was so close that night.

When this trip was over, I had a new zeal for missions. God showed me many ways that I could serve in the city where I live. Although I look back and wonder, could I have done more, Jesus reminds me that, "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:45

The school we shared at.

Tent city.

Getting water at tent city.

Bubble time with the kids.

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