The Tribes

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Water buffalo.

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This post is 2 weeks old, I only just finished it, sorry.

Hello everyone, we have made it safely to Bambang and have been based here for about a week and a half. We had to catch two busses to get here from Olongapo - one air conditioned and the other window conditioned (when it wasn't raining that is). We were so blessed that Virge came with us on the first bus to help us get on the second, because unlike before, there was no depot for the second bus, they just drive by on a small main road and you have to hail it to stop.

After our trip we were given the night to sleep then the next morning we were teaching at Aurora Bible College for the next two days. I must admit, the book had dug into the time I had hoped to spend on my teaching, but my notes from Christian teaching Character and Nature of God were immensely helpful. The teaching went well over the two days and we got to pray for the students too - all of whom are incredibly busy with their own schedules.

We also have a new team member - Tim. Tim was born in Manila and is part of the Film Making School at YWAM Kona. He's fitting in really well with the team and is a lovely addition.

We have been so blessed here. All our meals are cooked for us and students take turns staying up at night to guard us! Despite this precaution I don't feel in any danger, the area here is safe and I've walked around with my camera here without feeling nervous.

After our two days of teaching we packed our essentials and travelled to Banaue, Ifugao, where we would spend time with the local tribespeople, which are not as tribal as I was expecting, but more on that later. Banaue is very hilly and it's on these hills you see the magnificent rice fields, which the locals call the 8th Wonder of the World. They have all been cut out of the hills by hand and planted with rice. I'm trying to get my best photos uploaded but the view was gorgeous.

Our first evening we went to a 'crusade', which is how they describe an evangelistic meeting. We have been doing a lot of testimony sharing and words of encouragement, not many sermons. I've been trying to write some but I always seem to hit a wall early on. The crusade was held in a run down school room, the road to which was blocked by a landslide. This meant we had to walk through some rice fields to get there, which was fine by me! We walked along the stone dividers between the fields - it was a bit slippy in places and at night we wer navigating with torches but that just made it more fun.

The next day we went to a small church in the morning. When I say small I mean it seated maybe 15-20 people and it was the house of the pastor. Oh, and to get to it we did a similar (but much shorter) walk along a rice field. It's certainly been great to see little churches like this just meeting because they want to, not because there's a program to be kept. Sunday afternoon we had as time to rest, so naturally we napped then went out shopping and taking photos.

On Monday we went to Noah's Ark, an orphanage run by a Canadian group. One of the main staff members is a former YWAMer and we got to spend time with the kids and look around the place. This unfortunately was the sight of the first real outreach injury (and I got it). In my wanderings I saw a cool slingshot sitting on the top bunk of one of the beds. I climbed the ladder to take a photo and a rung gave way beneath me, dropping me about 30cm. My fall was broken by my stomach on my right hand side, leaving me in a lot of pain and without my photo (which I never got). I was treated by the nurse at the orphanage but she couldn't do much for me so I took some pain killers and we went on to do more sightseeing. We went to a lookout point over the fields and to a fake tribal village which had examples of how tribal house design has changed over time.

After this we packed up, bid Banaue goodbye and got on the road to Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. Unfortunately road works made our 4 hour journey a 6-7 hour trip, making us rather late to the church service we were supposed to be attending. However, despite this, the service waited for us. We again shared our testimonies which was half focussing on what to say and half focussing on staying awake, it was 11pm or so and we had been up + travelling all day, plus I had a very painful side to contend with. Thankfully nobody fell asleep and my sharing time was about persevering in times of suffering.

After this, we were put up for the night in two houses - the guys all crammed into one room and my night was spent curled up because I didn't have the space to extend my legs. Not the best nights sleep I've had, but I'm blessed if that's as bad as it gets. That morning we packed up and after breakfast and a spot of water buffalo 'riding' by some of the team (sadly not me) we headed to our location for the next two days - a beautiful house with an inside toilet!

Our first engagement was a bit of a distance away and the path was a bit rough, so we went by tractor. I shouldn't have gone because of my side, but I wasn't missing out on the chance to ride, so off we went. At this church we really didn't do much - we were actually allowed to eat and sleep before offering words of encouragement and praying for the church. It's here that I realised we are very much on show - churches seem to want to see the (mostly) white American missionaries. The good and bad of it is that it brings in crowds - a good thing, but for the wrong reason - we are nothing special on this earth.

Anyway, since I got derailed in writing this post I'll leave it here. The rest of the tribes was mostly traveling to churches and meeting the local people, sharing our testimonies, taking as many pictures as we could and moving on to the next location. I think my pictures are coming out okay, I do wish I had a Canon 7D body.

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This page contains a single entry by crimson published on August 31, 2010 8:19 PM.

Trip to Angeles and Farewell Olongapo was the previous entry in this blog.

Count the little things is the next entry in this blog.

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