Tuesday July 31, 2018
We arrived in Manila as planned on Monday morning here. It would have been about 10pm back home. Seeing Ken, Clint, and Kevin was joy. We were able to pile into one taxi, and we got our first taste of traffic here. I will no longer think of Houston rush hour as anything more than a walk in the park, or even Austin. There is no money I can think of that would be enough to tempt me to go two blocks through the type of driving which we witnessed for I would surely cause an accident. After several outings on jeepneys, walking, and taxis, I still have not understood the underlying rules and etiquette which keep it all flowing somewhat smoothly.
We met Phillip Dumawa, who took care of us later by bringing us dinner so we could get our feet underneath us and catch up with one another in Wilkey’s apartment next to the church chapel before it was time to begin class at 7pm (7:30pm Filipino time; that’s a local joke with which I can already personally identify).
Our both Monday and Tuesday classes were well attended, with about 50 Monday and 30 Tuesday. We had, however, been preparing for about 15, but the increase was a happy blessing. Bryan kicked us off Monday with a class on the underlying reasons for why we believe that the plea of the Restoration movement is so important. After a short break for noodles, I presented my topic which was a look at the development of the American Missionary Society, and the troubles which were associated with it. We finished up about 9:30pm, and after some goodbyes, were in bed by 10:30 or so.
The next morning Bryan and I were up first and had an idea to try our hand at traveling by jeepney alone for some coffee at the McDonald’s about a half mile away, but were soon (probably for the best) saved from that idea by everyone else joining us. But first, we began with some discussion in the apartment, complemented by some fresh pandesal from across the road.
Mid-morning, Phillip drove us to the National Museums, where Ken wanted to share some of the country’s history with us. It was here that we finally came to realize what a spectacle Luke and Jake are here among the young people. They had fun with a group of students who just wanted a photo with them.
Today we were thankful to get to do some visiting with Filipe and Clarita Cariaga in the afternoon, joined by a brother named Ronnie. The evening class was handled by Ken, who gave a presentation on the history of the Restoration movement in the Philippines.
Before bed about 11:30, and after some more visiting with Phillip’s family (his wife Helen prepared adobo) in their home, we had to pack for our trip to the airport at 4:30am the next morning. These two days in-country have been both exhausting physically, but such a blessing in fellowship with our brothers and sisters here. What a fellowship of faith, that wherever we are in the world we can be one people in unity of belief, resolve of conviction, and enthusiasm striving for the same goal of doing what we can as we have the opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior.
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