Salamat sa Dios! (Thanks be to God)

My first week here in the Philippines has been so much better than I could’ve imagined. God knows the desires of my heart, and He has loved me so much. The city I live in is called Malaybalay, and it’s located on the island of Mindanao. Malaybalay is a city in the mountains. It’s beautiful and lush with all kinds of fruit trees and flowers that I’ve never seen before! The people here are so friendly and welcoming. It’s only been a little over a week that I’m here and I’ve already been given a few friends and opportunities to really see and love on God’s people.

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My friends are great! I met them last week when one of my mission partners asked me to go buy some soy sauce down the street. When I got to the top of the hill I came across some children playing super heroes. They quickly stopped their game and ran up to me offering hugs – instant friends! Their ages ranged from two years old to about eleven. We talked for a while, then I bought them each a small candy, and I went on my way. Only about fifteen minutes later we had visitors at our gate. Three of the little boys came to offer us fruit! I let them in and we all shared the fruit and colored with them. Soon, we had to move the party outside because the rest of our friends decided to join us! They continue to come by often to play basketball and color.

God has also really blessed me with the opportunity to change a couple lives! On the third day I was here I got to meet a three year old little boy named Christian. When the missionaries first found Christian he was sharing a hospital bed with two other children and a room full of kids. He was barely conscious and literally on the verge of death. The doctors had not yet given him a diagnosis and he wasn’t receiving treatment. Our missionary family began caring for him right away. They moved him to a better hospital, where he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, which is extremely contagious to children, elders, and sick people! Miraculously in just two weeks he was healed and could go home! However, in the Philippines a patient cannot leave the hospital until their medical bill is paid. Christian’s family is very poor and it would’ve taken a long time for them to pay the bill. All of us missionaries pitched in to help pay Christian’s bill so that he could finally go home! Thank you Lord for all of my benefactors who helped save little Christian’s life and send him home!

In Malaybalay the poverty is immense. People struggle to find jobs, and even those who have some sort of income struggle to make ends meet. There is a lot of work that needs to be done! For the first month or so, our team will be participating in the ministries that the missionary families have already started. We’ll be doing jail ministry, home visits, a bible study, and a lot of medical ministry. Once we get more used to living here, I’ll be able to pray about what God might be asking me to do.

Please keep me, our team, and the people of Malaybalay in your prayers!

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3 thoughts on “Salamat sa Dios! (Thanks be to God)

  1. Olivia!
    It is so wonderful to hear from you through your blog. The things you are experiencing are amazing. I can’t wait hear more. Keep us updated. I am praying for you and the other missionaries. I love you.
    Jessica (Nana)

    Like

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