Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Our red-head goes to the Philippines {part 2}

When your 17-year old asks you if she can go on a missions trip half-way
around the world, you might see a parent gasp out loud.
You might see a parent react with an automatic "no."

Her dad and I have always tried to listen and consider what she talks to us about.
We see the Lord leading in her life, and we don't want to shut down
something the Lord may be calling her to or might possibly
use mightily in her life.

But the Philippine Islands?

How could we afford that?
She also asked if she could go on both the missions trips being
sponsored by our church this year.
The last two trips she has taken really stretched our faith.
But two more??
In one summer?

What about her schooling?
Yes, we homeschool and have a little more flexibility built in,
but the distraction and the loss of time could really impact her being able to
stay on track to graduate next year.

So we began praying about it.
And sending letters.
She painted and sold some canvas art.
We talked about it on social media.

By April 1, a miracle occurred.
All the money had been raised.
For both trips.
Miraculous giving.

My faith was strengthened that the Lord wanted her to go on this trip.

So off she flew.
First to Los Angeles.
Then to Hong Kong.
Finally, landing in Manila after 17 hours.

She spent her week assisting the local, indigenous church there in Manila
in their weekly feeding ministry to hundreds of children.
Many of those children only ate that one meal that week.
They were also given that Living Bread to fill their souls.
Tiny, hungry children, sent alone by their parents, to find food
and taught that Jesus loves them.

Later that week, she participated in two massive VBS programs.
These are not Vacation Bible Schools like you typically see here in America.
You know the ones.
With the cutsie themes, and matching snacks and crafts.
With bounce houses and face painting and water balloons.
With a highly organized, time-driven schedule consisting of game time,
snack time, story time, and craft time.
Where there is less time for the Holy Spirit to woo hearts and more time
for entertaining?
Don't get me wrong here.
I love Vacation Bible School here in America.
I take my children to several every summer.
They have their purpose for both the children and the workers,
and they do reach unbelieving children.
But when you hear stories of thousands of children packing into a rented
school building who will sit in one classroom for two hours in the morning
without rice crispy treats and Kool-Aid,
and hundreds will respond to the stories of God's unending love for them
and receive Him as their Savior that day.......
it makes you wonder if our culture has drowned out the voice of Jesus.

She was involved with two VBS programs that week.
Several hundred children responded to the invitation to receive Christ as their Savior.
Raised their little hands that they had prayed and received the Living Bread
that would satisfy that gnawing hunger in their souls.

 We don't regret sending her.
More than just the hearts of these children were touched and changed.
But it touched our daughter's heart.
To be in that culture.
To see the impoverished living conditions of many of these city dwellers.
She would most likely never experience anything like that in her own country.

How could we, as her parents, not say yes!!