Monday, June 27, 2011

Mission Trip

Novices on
 a Mission Trip

We are a group of Californians from Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park and we all love the Lord very much.  We have been given the privilege to travel to the Philippines for our Wonderful Savior and His service.  On the first day, we had very little idea what to expect.  I myself have only read about such adventures.  Our trip consisted of a flight from LAX to Taipei in Taiwan.  This flight was 14 hours.  Then we got on the next plane to go to Manila.  That one only took 2 hours.  Both of these flights were on China Air and the food was better than any food I have ever had on an airplane.  The service, too.

There are many islands that comprise the Philippines and our first encounter was in Manila.  We had a lay over of  about 8 hours.  So Pastor Clark Graham, the missionary in Antipolo, picked us up from the air port in a very nice bus.  It has air conditioning and was very comfortable.  He took us to the American Cemetery Military Memorial which is mostly for remembrance of those who could not be found and those who died in World War II.  It is kept by the United States and is a beautiful Cemetery.  After the Memorial we went to eat in a Mall.  We had to stay close to the air port.  It was all very busy and much different than in the United States.  Yet, it is very westernized.  Most locals speak English.  (One teacher I spoke to said that the Americans brought them education.  I was very happy to hear this.  But I am getting ahead of myself.)  The Grahams are missionaries outside of Manila.  They were with Pastor Martin on IloIlo first and then started their own church in Manila.  

We were all taking in our surroundings and trying to adjust to the weather.  It was quite difficult at first but I think we all adjusted well.  It helps so much that the plane was air conditioned and the bus was air conditioned.  When we got to the mall we took pictures of Jeepneys.  They are an extended jeep with plastic for windows if it rains.  In the US we might allow up to 15 people to ride in one of these.  However, in the Philippines, it is allowed to fill them much more and they do.  The missionaries have drivers because there are no lines on the streets and no traffic signals.  Also, no seat belts or stop lights.  Once in a while there are signs to say to slow down, but they don’t usually slow down.  They do not honk if someone gets in front of them because they honk before they get there if they want to cut in front.  It seems to work well here.  Even the pedestrians do not have the right of way but seem to get through traffic very easily.   We ate a typical Philippine meal at Mang Inasal.  It was very different than the food at home.  After we ate, we went to the airport to wait for the plane to IloIlo.

This flight was about an hour.  So we were finally in IloIlo after traveling for 25 hours.  IloIlo is not a tourist city but a working city.  There are great historical buildings and farms.  The city is not too big and then it is rural.  The people are very kind.