top of page

We are on our way back to our 2nd trip to the Philippines since its reopening!


We are on our way back to our 2nd trip to the Philippines since its reopening!


In just days we will join with a team to return to the Philippines. On this visit we will go to Dagupan an area we did not get to visit on our last trip, so it has been 3 years since we have been in this community, because of the Covid shut down of the country.


Two plus years ago in March of 2020, we were in the country with a team of doctors doing medical outreaches. While we were there, the president of the Philippines announced the country would be closing due to Covid. Now this was a Thursday and he stated those who wanted to leave the country would have to leave by Sunday. Sooooooo, with a moment’s notice I knew getting my team of 11 out safely and back home was priority. This meant we had to fly from a small area, Butuan to Manila immediately to catch international flights out of the country by Sunday, and I personally was on the last available flight out of the country on that Sunday morning to the US.


I did not realize at that time I would not be allowed to travel in again for such a long time. For 2 years, the Philippines was closed to all travelers. During this time, it was difficult for me understanding the situation there and how much harder it was for my friends.

As time passed and we in the US started getting vaccines I knew the Philippines would lag behind in getting that much needed help. This was heartbreaking for me. We knew of many families that contracted Covid and some people would just die at home. So, working on getting help for them became a source of many prayers for myself and my team. Just getting food and necessities became a struggle. In one of our local churches the pastor who has a small local home grocery shop in the front of their church decided that they wanted to get food to the families in their community. So, for over a month they put out all their food, vegetables and they just let people come and take what they needed. It was such a beautiful thing, people lining up on the street. Taking what they needed. This church saw the needs and stepped up and filled the gap. My heart was full seeing the local church meeting the needs of the community… AND for a whole month they did not run out of food! God is so kind.


During the time of the closing all of the feedings and gatherings were not able to happen. For sure children and elderly were not able to come out of the homes. It was very strict; it was sad that the children couldn’t come out and play. In fact, they would get ticketed if they were caught outside. Sometimes even picked up. Only one member of each family was able to leave to get food and they only had 1 hour pass to do it with no transportation allowed this all had to be done on foot. Again, thanks to our local leaders, they were able to get special permission to take food bags to the homes. We were buying huge bags of rice, noodles and other food items getting them to the homes. My team carried 50/60 lbs. of rice bags, taking it to their community. My heart ached for them, knowing we could still go to a store and throw things in our cars and take them anywhere, but my team was doing so much and all without the help of vehicles. I so wanted to be able to be in Philippines be a part of what they were doing, but because I have such great leaders there, I knew everything that could be done was being done! It still didn’t keep me from missing being there and being a part of it all. They were so selfless and invested everything into making sure we got the food to the families.


So, on February 10th, 2022, the Philippines was reopened. WOOOHOOOOO, and on April 18th, I was finally on a flight back. The requirements were lengthy, lots of hoops to jump through but as you could imagine, I would do whatever was needed to go back. It was a very sobering time to finally see for myself how the country had changed because of Covid. As soon as I got off the plane, and smelled the air, I had a sense of relief, like I was home. I wondered how things have changed and what would be different since my last visit. But most of all I wanted to see my team. I wanted to see their faces and see that they were okay. While there, we were able to gather again but not in the quantities we were used to. We did not lose any children to Covid, but we did loose family members. Still, the children and families were so welcoming and received us with so much joy. It was so good to see the children and knowing the situations they’ve endure these last two years due to the pandemic; they were amazing. After so many struggles, you would expect to hear something negative or to hear how hard it was, but that was far from what I encountered. I never heard a complaint or comments about their struggles or losses during Covid. They remained such a joyous people. It’s so humbling to see their joy and love of life especially from people who have so little. It felt like light is coming back. It was so wonderful to be back on Filipino soil. We still haves to wear masks to this day and show our vaccine cards to be in the hotels or go into a mall. There are still some restrictions. But it didn’t matter to me, I was just happy to be there.


Hope Centers saw a huge flood of blessing through this time. The donations stayed steady there was no doubt that God had His hand on our family there. It was and continues to be His work and I’m blessed to be a part of it serving with such a committed team. It has built my faith much more. I can see the faithfulness of God. We are so grateful to be so closely connected to our communities, churches and families.


HOPE IF FAR REACHING!

Comments


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page