Greetings to those back home from the Philippines! This is Katelyn writing the update for our last Thursday here.
This morning we were blessed with the opportunity to go island hopping. Our team started off by getting on a boat and go to two different parts of the ocean to snorkel around the islands. It was incredible to see a world that is right under us that we never get to see. The fish and sea creatures were so clear and vibrant and seeing them helped me to see that there is so much to this world that we don’t even know about. Even small creatures like fish are breathtaking and through snorkeling we were able to see God’s creation through a different lens and experience part of our world that we have so often overlooked. Following our time snorkeling, we went to the Puca beach and that beach was the most amazing beach that I have ever been to. Up to that point, I had thought that Boracay was the best beach there was, but it turns out that this one is up there too. The water was completely clear towards the shore and it turned into a beautiful blue as it got deeper. Along with that, the sand was so soft and it was so relaxing. Being on the beach, looking out into the ocean makes me feel so small and realize that God’s creation is so vast. Even half way around the world, I realize that there is no possible way to see all of the beauty that God has put here on this Earth but we need to appreciate the things that we are blessed with.
In the afternoon we had a few hours of rest, and then we split up and went out to our feeding sites for the day. One team went to the island of Panay for their feeding site, and the other team stayed on Boracay. I was a part of the team that was on Boracay and we drove a short distance to get to the lady’s house who was hosting the site. When we got there the kids were very excited to see us and we shared the Bible story of Jonah, made balloon animals, and played with the kids. Being at each feeding site, even though we don’t spend much time there, was such a great opportunity to see how much joy the kids find in the littlest things in life. The impact that we have on the kids is far beyond our understanding. They have incredible joy from the simplest things in life that we don’t always get to see.
We are heading into our final weekend of work here, and we will be on our way home before we know it. With the end in sight, we are still going to give everything we have into serving and just end strong and leave an impact on the lives of the people here as God has intended for us to do. -Katelyn Eitner
Hello from the Philippines! We hope everyone is doing well in the States! This is Katie Drudy, the non LBC’er on the trip! Your loved ones on the trip have been incredibly welcoming and loving and I wanted to let you all know they are some of the most inspiring and amazing people I have come in contact with in life yet. Their hearts for Christ and their desire to follow his callings is overwhelming. You should all be very proud of them. It is currently close to ten o’clock here so our day is winding down.
It was another beautiful day on the island of Boracay, I mean how could any day be less than stunning on this island though? We started our morning off with some fantastic breakfast as per usual, making our way through the numerous emails we received overnight—which was fantastic! WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH! KEEP SENDING! Bec gave her testimony and then we were back to work.
We returned to the ministry site at the Philippines Red Cross today. The group continued many of the jobs we started the day before. Many of the team members have become pretty awesome at plastering if I do say so myself. A handful of the boys carried bags of sand that were at least 100 pounds up three flights of stairs! They are getting their workouts in for sure! We finished the structures for two cement columns and the group also sifted some sand as well in preparation for making concrete.
The team has been reaching the point where we are experiencing our physical exhaustion, so please keep that in your prayers. Our leaders were gracious enough to allow us to have the afternoon off in order for us to regroup and rest so we will be ready to go for the rest of the week! It was definitely a blessing and something each of us were needing. Many of us spent the day by the beach or looking through shops and experiencing the hidden treasure – the Market. Many souvenirs are coming your way!
We had another great meal for dinner and were blessed to hear Heather’s testimony. There was more free time tonight and many of us had some delicious food and milkshakes at De Mario’s. It has been such an awesome experience and every day we are here the Lord reveals his beauty in so many different ways. Nothing beats waiting for dinner and looking out the window watching the sun paint its orange and pink colors over the ocean. Breathtaking.
With all of the work we have done I know each of us has found a new appreciation for all of the little things we take for granted in the States. This includes being around friends and family, minimal difficult labor (such as not constructing steel beam contraptions for cement columns), and having a structured clean environment.
We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers you have sent and are so excited to be home. At the same time I know each of us are excited to see how the Lord will continue to work through us and for the Filipino people. Please pray for continued endurance and that the Lord will provide us with his never-ending strength. We love you all!
With love, Katie Drudy and the Journey Team!