Friday // Galatians 5:25 was put on my heart months before coming to the Philippines, and now has been a recurring theme when being here. "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." God has been doing that in my personal life, giving me my own revelations. But it's even greater to see how God has been bring revelations to many in our time here and I know He will continue to bring revelation to those who are here.
We started our day travelling again for about one hour to Pastor Zabala's church, where Aris shared a message on Jeremiah 29:11. It is wonderful to see how people rejoice in worship and fellowship here, regardless of what the congregation or church is like. People are ready for prayer and are open to any words of faith which may come, and are quick to respond to what the spirit says. The culture here is warm, friendly and hospitable. They are willing to give so much away, even when they have nothing, but they are afraid to ask. I really felt heavily on my heart for them that God wanted to show them that they shouldn't be afraid to ask God for the desires of their hearts, because God is the very one who put those desires on their heart.
I remember feeling like I didn't really need to have too much faith on my own, because of the missionary home I was raised in I felt like I could depend on my parents to pray for all our needs when there needed prayer. I later realised that I also didn't pray specifically because I was scared of being disappointed. That maybe if I named exactly what I wanted to God that I would be incredibly disappointed after and that would cause a damage to our relationship.
I remember the moment I realised this was last year when I was talking to my parents about my ticket to Korea and Germany, and how there still wasn't money for the ticket and for me a simple prayer just didn't feel enough, I felt like they needed to do more. I remember how my parents told me to have faith and trust, because God has always provided for us, and that I just needed to ask for it. I remember the aggravated feeling, and me feeling like I was going to get hurt - which is interesting in retrospect, because God had really always provided, even if sometimes I felt like I had less than my friends at school. God truly had provided, but again in that moment I felt like my dreams were going to be taken away from me because of lack of finances. This was a deep pain, because being in missions often means that there are ways we go without, and faith is a huge key in there being provision.
I cried that day and my heart broke when I realised that I hadn't realised that I'd been depending on the faith and prayer life of my parents, with semi my own, instead of entrusting Him with everything. I prayed and named my hearts desires. The next day the money came in from someone covering not only ticket to Germany, but my ticket to South Korea and all my family's tickets to Germany. My faith has only been getting stronger since then.
To be honest, living abroad alone is really, REALLY difficult at times. I feel in many ways I have been thrown into the deep end of adulthood, besides the normal leaving Highschool and starting university. Suddenly rent, deposits, budgets and taxes have become part of my daily life (along with cooking, dad - you're the best cook). Providing for myself at eighteen requires a lot of faith too, as if something goes wrong and so far away from my family, it can be very daunting.
Two weeks before we left for the Philippines I had my hardest two weeks since I moved to Frankfurt, to the point that I just wanted to move back to Cape Town. The weight of what I needed to do and fix felt a burden I no longer could carry. I trusted God that when I was in the Philippines that He would give me a fresh light and perspective on everything in my life, because I didn't know how to continue.
Wow, is He faithful. I feel like this fresh and raw struggle gave me a much deeper authenticity to what I would share on, that I could empathise in a more real way. I felt and experienced everything even more deeply than I usually would.
For example, a moment shared just holding a child at the orphanage and having her fall asleep in my arms felt like a divine moment. Watching Christina lead them all in communion moved me. Hugging and kissing them all goodbye hit me. God shifting and moving.
The evening was a time of fellowship with the volunteers who give so much to build the kingdom. They are incredibly faithful and diligent with what the Lord has given them. I am beyond blessed to have met them, they have taught me so much.
I am heartbroken to be away from them, but they played a role in my life, and I hope I to a point played a role in theirs. God planted seeds in my heart and I hope I have been faithful enough to sew them.