Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Missionary Style

I am a firm believer in immersing yourself as a missionary into your host country. I believe you should learn the language, learn and adapt to local customs, etc. I don't believe in forming and living within an American "bubble" here in the Philippines.

However, there are times when you need a little taste of your home country. Our Thanksgiving party this year was more than just a little taste, it was a feast of Americana. Inviting missionary friends and family, we had the traditional dinner complete with turkey and all the trimmings. We watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and we also watched some football. We all ate too much. We also kicked off the Christmas season with a white elephant gift exchange. We even enjoyed the glow of a "fire."

I truly love living here in the Philippines. Iloilo is my home. America is also my home, so when I can feast on American culture for one evening, it is a blessing.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

President George Washington

October 3, 1789

Friday, November 12, 2010

On the Way to Church . . .

a repost of something I wrote about five years ago:

"On the way to church there was a funeral procession. The person who passed away was not very rich since there was no car or hearse carrying the coffin. The simple wooden coffin was being carried by the mourners, being followed by some carrying flowers. What is striking about this is that the coffin was very small. A child had passed away. The most striking thing about this funeral procession, however, was that children were carrying the coffin. Children were carrying the flowers. The mourners were all children, no adults. No mother or father to grieve this child's passing. Not even an uncle or auntie to assist in the burial. Just children.

In a country were over half of the population is under the age of 18, there are so many who are fatherless and motherless. One such child was buried last Sunday."

Friday, November 05, 2010

Shhhhh, She's Sleeping

This is a repost of something I posted nearly five years ago when I first started this blog.

The other day I saw a little girl sleeping. She was curled up in a ball, sucking her thumb, fast asleep. She looked so calm and peaceful, the way kids do when they are sleeping, in spite of the fact that she was sleeping on the ground on a sidewalk on a corner of a busy intersection. What appeared to be her family was a few feet away. They were filthy and looked desperately poor. They had a younger child with them, happily playing in the dirt. he was naked as the day he was born.

My heart is broken for such as these. A part of me wanted to jump off the jeepney I was riding and offer some kind of help. A part of me still wants to scoop up the little girl and take her home.

The image of her still haunts my thoughts. I can still picture her family sitting on the sidewalk. I can still see her sleeping, her face like an angel. This motivates me to strive and work even harder for the kids at the Sonshine Center. I may not be able to help every street kid in Iloilo, but at least I can brighten the lives of some. I may not be able to take them all home with me, but I can least be a part of something larger than myself that blesses and enriches the lives of these kinds of kids. I may not be able affect where they spend their days on earth, but I can somehow influence where they will spend eternity.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010