Magandang umaga! ("Good morning!" - in Tagalog)
I've just returned to my apartment after staying one week in the city of Caloocan. My Filipino friend Mackie lent me his camera, so you can see pictures of my ministries there! As you can see, Caloocan is another impoverished area brimming with tightly packed shanties...
For the week, I volunteered in a church called Light of Men. The pastor (Pastora Betty) is also a teacher, and the church provides free schooling for the children in the area. This is a huge deal, because most schools here require a tuition fee that poor families simply cannot afford. I was able to help out at the school each day. In the morning during school, we provided a meal for the school children. Each afternoon, we provided a meal for all the children in the area (over 70 children).
Here are some other tidbits on what I was up to in Caloocan... Upon request from the pastor, I led a prayer meeting every morning at 5:30 am (yes, 5:30 am!!). In the evenings, I enjoyed fellowship and worship with the youth. The church basketball team had a game one evening (basketball is the most popular sport here), and I was their "stand-in coach"...of course, we won. Also, my newfound friends took me on many tours of the area to meet with various families in their homes - I heard many inspiring and heartbreaking stories of poverty, corruption, and redemption on these trips.
Tonight I'm attending a free concert in Manila with some of the friends I met in Cavite. Then starting tomorrow, I will be going to Alabang city each day for one week. I will actually come back to my apartment each evening, as it's not too far of a commute. Hopefully that will give me the chance to communicate with some of you personally by email/skype/facebook this week!