Great Expectations, Part 4
If you have been reading my blog entries chronologically, you may be wondering about the best day I had in the Philippines. What happened to make it so? The answer was inside this little building...
We rode in our green jeepney limousine up into the mountains for our last stop of our traveling conference. We came to this church
which was connected to a Bible school. It even had men's and women's dorms.
Young men and women came long distances over the mountains to attend the Bible school, and they were the majority of the attendees of the sessions in the church. A very enthusiastic young lady led us all in rapid rousing choruses between speakers.
At first, all these kids could do was giggle and hide their smiles. When asked questions, some said, "Nosebleed," which we were told meant embarrassment at using English. The pastor's wife explained that we were the first American white skinned people the children had ever seen outside books and television and that they were very happy.
Emily and Nobu were asleep in the jeepney and the kids hadn't seen them yet. Dawn brought them over to peek at them through the windows. One of the boys came running back into the hut saying that Emily looked like Sleeping Beauty, so I asked him if he knew how to wake her up. A girl said that she had to be kissed, and I dubbed him Prince Charming there and then and he blushed madly and covered his face. Later when he awoke, the children proclaimed Nobu to be Korean heartthrob Lee Min Ho, which I'm sure he enjoyed.
Some other children showed up as the conference sessions went along.
The young man in the yellow shirt was wearing an anklet that was the Christian Farmers soul winning beads, and he stood on one leg to explain what the color of each bead signified. He was known as the brightest boy in his grade in school.
By far, the weather in the mountains was the most agreeable to me, it being the coolest. The scenery around the church/Bible school was magnificent.
decided to tell the kids they could touch Emily's long, blonde hair, so they gladly did along with his and Lee Min Nobu's hair too. I was spared. When the conference looked to be wrapping up, we took two photos that I emailed to the church later along with all the others I'd taken of the kids.
But as beautiful as those mountains were, the children were even more beautiful, and whatever had been binding my heart broke as I spent time with them over dinner and as the sun set. The second half of the conference continued in the church, but I remained with the pastor's wife and the children, answering questions, giving advice about schooling, and, at the pastor's wife's request, praying a blessing upon the children.
William saw his first fireflies that night and we gazed up at the night sky and basked in the glow of countless stars. Nobu got his wish to see a shooting star. It was hard to get back into the jeepney and drive away. The kids group hugged me and the three teens in parting.
To love and to be loved. It was not what I expected. It was greater than my greatest expectation. Nothing else mattered at that point. God had put everything into divine perspective. Prince Charming in broken flip-flops and shorts with holes in the backside had stolen my heart with his shyness as had all the other children God had put in my pathway. My Philippines adventure was not over yet, but it was finally beginning with a new start in grace.