Hello again family and friends!
There are two official seasons in the Philippines: dry and rainy. After the high humidity and heat of the last few months, it isn't surprising that something had to give...and so the rainy season hit us hard at the beginning of June. We've almost experienced more rain in the last week than we have in my entire stay here! These rains, also known as monsoons, are a constant wind-bringing rain. At times, I've stepped off of a bus or a jeepney into the street with water up to my ankles! It's all part of the experience of being a missionary in the Philippines, and I'm "soaking up" every moment of it...? (I know, that was terrible)
Moving on, I've got pictures to share from an outing I mentioned in my last post. We took 15 street children from the Sucat community to Tagayay - a beautiful place with a cooler climate, great hiking trails and parks, and even horseback riding. For these children and their families, an event such as this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and they put on their best clothes and eagerly arrive early to go on such outings.
In other news, in response to a growing need, I've started teaching English lessons to the Filipinos on my team and in our church. Every Tuesday, I now teach a one-hour lesson to my teammates/churchmates living in our community. On Thursdays, I also teach an English lesson to my teammates at the drop-in center in Alabang before we begin our Sucat community and Nightlife ministries. The English language has almost become a necessary requirement for many Filipinos to gain employment. While the Philippines is often regarded as an English-fluent country, English unfortunately tends to be another barrier separating and distinguishing those in poverty from the higher socioeconomic class (...with very few people comprising any sort of middle-class).
This Tuesday, we'll have an orientation for the mothers of our daycare students. We'll be discussing with them the revised curriculum for the new school year and any important details with regards to the daycare (eg., which of our workers will be picking up and dropping off their kids each day, what kinds of healthy foods we'll be providing them for snacks/meals, what records we'll be keeping with regards to emergency contact numbers and student profiles, etc.). We're pleased to announce that some of our daycare students from last year have the opportunity to attend a formal school beginning this month, which also leaves room for us to include new street children into our class. This includes a young child who recently moved to Metro Manila with her father and two older siblings, and they now live in a broken-down, abandoned van on a nearby street corner. Please pray that we will be able to reach out and help aid this family through our many children's programs and initiatives run by our church and our team.
Thank you so much for sharing in these experiences with me! I pray that you will be encouraged by the ways God is working through my team to help the poor and oppressed in our community. Take care!