Tuesday of last week (may 6) was my teams first real real "day off". We decided as a team we would have the freedom to do our own thing the whole day and we could have our allotted two-hour Internet time. I was really pumped up to get the day started and I was about to walk out the door at 6am when the other girls wake up and tell me to just ride with them because they would be renting motorcycles and scooters for the day. So why pay for a qualified driver when I could ride halfway around the island with 2 girls who have never driven a motorcycle before? Right. (note: they are great drivers now…now that it is the future and they have learned. I trust them now. You’re great drivers, Genevieve and Alex.) So I waited for them.. and waited.. then the people who were teaching them came to our house and it was past 8am and while watching their first driving lessons I made an escape to the market to find a more experienced driver. (note: Alex and Genevieve, you are great drivers. Again, so great…just not in that moment. I love you both.) Okay, so things really didn’t go to my plan, but no big deal. I would be able to talk to my parents 9am my time which is 8pm their time. Internet worked GREAT which is such a blessing since you never really know what will happen with Camiguin internet. So after having legit 2 hours of fabulous internet time I am all smiles on my motorcycle ride home and even more pumped up about how great this day is going to be! My plan to get home and go find my Filipino friends and watch a movie with them and then lay in a tube in the water all day long was on my mind and I was so excited. Well, I walk into our house to find a note from Rebecca, bless her heart, who is hosting her brother here for one month. Rebecca apologizes greatly but she decided to take Paul, her brother, to a waterfall and wanted to bring one or two friends and then more decided to come and then all of our friends joined in and went. So there went my plans and she apologized and God bless her, but I was heartbroken. Our first real day off and I was stuck in our house alone. Genevieve must be screaming of joy fulfilling her dream of driving a motorcycle all day and then Alex must be so happy to be alone on an awesome black scooter and Rebecca and her brother are just livin it up at the waterfall and here I am.. moping. Woe is me (note: I knew how ridiculous I was for being sad).
After hours of being a big baby and having my prayer time (which makes everything better), I was better. So I decided to go to bed after reading when all of a sudden I hear "aayo" being yelled outside of our house. Reluctant to get up, knowing that it was probably just kids messing around, I get up and it is some friends that we have made from nearby and they are crying. So I quickly invite them in and they apologize greatly for disturbing me and of course they were totally not disturbing, but I am just totally captured by my dear friend bawling her eyes out on our porch. She tells me in-between sobs that her two year old son was taken to the hospital on the opposite side of the island and she was just absolutely terrified and had no way to get to him because there were no public transportations available so late at night. I had to help her.
I felt the super mom come out of me and I grabbed my things and we ran to the convento and got the car and dropped off her mom and nieces and nephews at their house and got her things. Everything was happening so fast. We sped to the hospital and I was spitting out Hail Mary's under my breath like it was my job....well, because it is my job. One of the teens my team is discipling was in the back of the car and leading prayer in Visayan as my friend was silently crying in the middle of the car.
When we finally make it to the hospital we ran to the ER which is literally just outside with benches. Her son couldn't get immediate care because there were many groups of people waiting for care in the ER and a lot of other crazy factors that I can't even begin to talk about. It was getting late and we had to return the car back to the Convento, so I left the family with somethings and said I would return in the morning.
It was an unreal and high energy experience. This was the first moment in my four months of missions that I felt needed and I really felt like a true missionary. I could clearly see the movements of the Lord and His spirit. I could see the times where I failed to be a good Christian and the times where the Lord yanked me out of a rut into a real life issue that needed His Presence.
I went back to the Hospital the following morning with Genevieve and we visited our friends along with some other people in the hospital, which was a blessing. In the hospitals here you have to provide everything... you're own bedding, pillows, food, water, and even your own medicine. Literally everything. We bought a lot of bread and water and treats to pass around to the kids and the families who were in the Children's Ward and we were also able to share with another ward of the hospital.
After 4 days in the hospital, her son is doing much better! Please pray for her family's health and for all of the kids living in their house.
So the whole point of this very very very long story is that Missions really isn't always rainbows and butterflies. Yes, the Lord has given us many blessings on this gorgeous tropical island, but the trials are real and the sufferings are real and the heat is real and the bugs are real and the many inconveniences are real. There are times where I think I literally cannot keep my eyes open for another 5 minutes and it's only lunch time. There are moments when I want to hop on the first moterella back to the airport just to hug my mom and dad. There are moments when I think I have been here for 2 years and it's only been 4 months. There are moments when I think it's Friday but it's really Monday. There are moments when I question what in the heck am I doing here over 8000 miles away from Louisiana. But then there are the moments when a woman in distress comes running to the only place where she knows she can get help in an instant, there is the child who knows he will always get 4 big hugs when he comes to our gate, there is the woman who feels alone who knows she can sit with company and drink coffee every day, there is the teenager who just doesn't understand what their hormones are doing in there, there are the graduates stressed about college who just need to talk, there are the moments when you just need to be with friends and scream "Mighty to Save" as loud as you possibly can...just to make sure Jesus will hear you. These are the things. Of course life is not always rainbows and butterflies, but the best part of it is the unexpected things when plans change...when you can see that Jesus really is the author of your life. He runs the show, he writes the story, he is the director and praise the Lord he does because if it were just me, it would be a mess... but with Jesus, it is a beautiful mess!