Philippines Missions Trip July 2018

Mikaela Groom

On Monday 28th May, Shekinah and I headed to the Philippines! We flew via Hong Kong and landed in Cebu in the evening. When we arrived, we felt the heat straight away!

We spent the following day preparing for and participating in two children’s feeding programs. Both of these were run in squatter settlements. It was an eye-opening experience for the both of us.

The second feeding program of the day was in an area which was quite a walk from the main road. To get to the area we had to walk past many houses via thin cement paths until we finally reached the program. I was amazed how far back these squatter settlements go. From the main road the entrance looks like a tiny path which may lead to one or two houses. However, as you continue following the path you walk past so many houses and community areas. You would never predict for there to be so much life down a thin cement path.

Early on the Wednesday morning we flew to Tacloban with Ps Allan Manzanilla and two other girls. As soon as we arrived, we dropped our bags off at a pension house and then drove about an hour and a half out of Tacloban to a community where we participated in another feeding program

Many members of the community and neighbouring communities joined in on the program. It consisted of welcome speeches, song and dance, games and concluded with food for the children.

The following morning, we made our way to another feeding program in Tacloban. This program was held on a basketball court and was very hot outside the shaded area! After the program we had an opportunity to sit and talk with the community leaders before we headed off to the airport.

We stayed in Cebu overnight. We flew to Iloilo early the following morning with Cleofe Manzanilla. When we arrived in Iloilo we caught a bus and drove six hours to a town where we caught a small boat to Maralison Island.

Although it was raining heavily, the island was beautiful! We were lucky enough to spend a night there with a local family. We spent the afternoon and evening relaxing and even went for a late night swim in the beach when the rain calmed down!

The feeding program was postponed until the following morning due to the bad weather. We got up early the following morning and decided to hike up a mountain before we had to go to the feeding program. We got way too hot and sweaty, but the views were worth it!

We left the island straight after the feeding program because we had to travel all the way back to Iloilo. We spent the night in Iloilo with Aunty Cleofe’s sister before flying back to Cebu the following morning. We have now reached Sunday 3rd June in case any of you are lost.

When we arrived in Cebu we made our way to Danao City where the Philippines School of Ministry (PSOM) is located. We arrived just in time to attend their bible school graduation. We were happy to be involved in the celebration and enjoyed the lunch after the service!

That afternoon we participated in our final feeding program which ran very much the same as the others. One of the highlights of my trip occurred after the feeding program when we had the opportunity to walk with the children back to their homes

This journey took place in the dark and we had to walk through a pretty rocky mountain. My shoes broke at the beginning, but we persevered and had a lot of fun with the kids! They were very chatty and seemed to love having us walk with them.

Both Shekinah and I enjoyed our time in the Philippines and are thankful for having the opportunity to be involved in a great children’s ministry. It was great to see the hard work and determination of those involved in running the feeding programs. Their work and the lengths they go to reach people who may not usually be reached is very inspiring.