My daughter and I had a great vacation. It was not luxurious but a very humbling and inspiring one.
We were in Leyte, Philippines for 20 days. I think we had 4 or 5 beautiful sunny days. It rained everyday. It was a privilege for everybody when the rain subsided. Children were able to play outside, adults hang out with other adults, some of them have their rooster in their hands for a cock fighting in the street. Children enjoyed rolling/running old tires in the street as their toys. Life is celebrated and lived purely simple yet content.
Super typhoon Yolanda left people so saddened. They lost their homes, livelihood, and most of all their love ones. Each one of them have courageous spirit. I see God’s grace in them. Children were walking to school or packed in a tricycle. They are full of hope. The devastation of the storm did not stop them to go to school.
They huddle on their chairs inside a makeshift classroom. I did not hear a fuss. They did their work as they were expected to do. The grass inside the classroom did not bother them. Some chairs did not have a special “arm chair” that will allow them to work. Some will get off their seat, stoop from the ground and use the “seat part” of their chair to write.
At recess time, they swarmed around my daughter who was privileged to “set-in” the class as visitor. Children hesitantly asked questions. They probably wanted to make sure if this American girl’s favorite color is pink and if her favorite food is rice. Each one have a question to ask. My daughter shyly filled in their curiosity.
Some played outside. Boys were playing paper airplanes. They had so much fun. It was obvious of how they appreciate life and how they can make something great out of what they have – paper.
When they heard that they will be receiving school supply from UNICEF they were overjoyed. They find the plastic “ziploc-like” bag really cool. They figured it usable to cover their heads when it rains.
God is right there. His grace, his outpouring love and strength. They are moving on in good spirit. They find courage and hope in the Lord.
Let’s continue to pray for these children not just as survivors but conquerors of God’s Kingdom.