Heys guys!

I’m in the Philippines and loving it! Saying goodbye to the Cambodia team was very hard however I’m so thankful for the teammates I have – it’s funny how you can miss people so much when you didn’t know they even existed 3 months ago. It was super fun traveling here with the team. We flew from Honolulu to Taipei, Taiwan to Manila, Philippines and then took a little plane to Cagayan de Oro. It was weird because we left on a Sunday night and completely skipped over Monday because of the time differences!

We’ve been here at The House for almost two weeks now and we’re loving the Asian lifestyle. There are currently 24 girls living here, ages 8-18, all having been sexually abused by family members. The mission of this ministry is to restore and rebuild lives. While staying here, the girls get discipled, educated, and counselled.

It’s currently summer here so they aren’t in school during the day. Last week we spent the mornings teaching lectures to the girls. I co-taught one for the high school girls on the character and nature of God with my friend Liv from Norway. It was amazing to get to speak truth about God’s goodness and love for them. English is taught in schools here so most of the older girls understand it quite well.

This past week we ran somewhat of a summer camp. Throughout the week we had competitions between our three teams, peace, love, and joy. I helped organize an Amazing Race which they all LOVED! It’s been super fun just hanging out with the girls, playing games with them, and getting to know them.

The girls have started opening up to us about their stories. It’s heartbreaking to listen to them describe their situations. They all want to go home to their families SO badly! Many of them think that it’s their fault that they are here. A few days ago, Liv and I sat with two girls for over half an hour as they poured out their thoughts to us. They were crying as we told them that God has a purpose for their life and that he loves them no matter what. It’s such an incredible opportunity to share God’s love and truth with them yet it can sometimes be hard as we can’t relate at all to what they’ve been through. God is definitely stretching us, challenging us, and pushing us outside our comfort zones yet it’s been so good and He’s doing great work here!

My team is fantastic! I say this all the time but I honestly love them all so so much! We’re constantly laughing and having fun! Almost every night we walk down the road to the little bread and ice cream shops. It’s 5 pesos for bread and 20p for ice cream – 45p is equal to $1USD!! A great, cheap way to end off each night 🙂

Today was our day off. We went to the mall for almost the whole day and enjoyed the wonderful air conditioning and KrispyKreme – SO nice when it’s been 40c everyday with extreme humidity! We watched the Jungle Book in the theatre for just $1.50! Everything is extremely cheap here. During the movie the power went out 4 times – a common occurrence here due to the high heat. Always an adventure!

We have one more week here and then we head off to Butuan to do more work! Excited for what’s to come!

A few prayer requests:

1) Energy – please pray that everyone on our team would stay energized and that we’d be able to give our all to the ministry we’re here to do.

2) Openness – pray that we would be completely open to whatever God wants us to do and that we wouldn’t stay inside our comfort zones.

3) Team – pray for our team that our sense of family would only grow and that we would stay unified. Pray for safety, health, and peace as we continue going throughout the Philippines for the next 2 months.

This is my awesome PhilFam!
Liv – Norway
Rachel – New York
Anaïs – France
Erin – Scotland
Denham – Vancouver
Alec – Winnipeg
Daniel – Winnipeg
Alex – Florida
Sam – Denmark
Ben – Sweden
Brent – Washington
Aubrey – Tennessee
Emiley – Colorado

Thank you all so much! I’ll try to post pictures soon (wifi permitting).