Just three days ago was our very last day drilling, painting, or digging for Habitat for Humanity. Our time here has gone quickly, but we have much to show for it. We have worked at three different sites in Manila, the most recent site being "SNKI/Agape" in Novaliches, and have gotten our hands dirty tackling the huge homeless problem over here. We have also developed many genuine relationships at the jobsites and outside of work.
The Habitat people reserved the Agape site for last because it was going to be truly manual labor. And it was! Digging through the dirt was tough, but when you had to cut through the roots in the ground, that took a little extra resolve. And even after only three days of work at Agape, the locals and homepartners threw us a little party on our last day. Their deep generosity and selflessness is definitely a lesson that has left an impression on all of us.
The day before our last day of work, we had the privilege of meeting Diana Negroponte, wife of the US Deputy Secretary of State and former ambassador to the Philippines! She was visitinig the Taguig site to learn more about what Habitat is doing there and to see their progress. When she saw our team, she was very elated to see Americans travel so far to help Habitat for such a long time. Talking with her, you could tell that she genuinely cares about the poor in Manila and is passionate about Habitat. A news agency came to the worksite to interview her, and they even interviewed myself, which was somewhat nerve-racking : )
With only 10 days left, we will do a family homestay for one night in a Habitat home, visit the Asian Theological Society, have dinner with the Mayor of Taguig, visit Tagaytay and Batangas for our rest, have our farewell presentation/party at UCM, and then hop on that plane and get back to Seattle on August 15th around luch time. Although we all are so very excited to see our friends and family again, we all have a hole in our heart for the Philippines and have announced that we will all return at some time to this wonderful place with wonderful people. Keep us in your prayers so that we can squeeze as much as we can out of these last 10 days, that we can continue to develop new relationships and deepen the ones we already have, and that we continue to grow in Christ and to show the love that He first showed to us.
Paul, Poyang, Jen, Holly & Korina