thePowell Blog

Day 8 (Jess’s View)

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions as we began to think about the fact that leaving was around the corner. For the most part, our time in the Philippines seemed to almost stand still or move very slowly. I thank God for that gift He gave us to enjoy what we were there doing. We knew that the time would come when we would have to leave, but we did not want to face it.
As I continued to play with the kids and open my heart more and more to them, I loved seeing the joy on their faces as I poured out my love to them. The last day we were there, we had the privilege of going with the children to a waterfall that has a most excellent swimming hole. We all enjoyed holding on to one child as it was one of them for one of us while in the water. The water was a bright blue hue that is nothing like we see in Montana. It was about as warm as the end of the summer water, but keep in mind that this isn’t even the hot season for them. I was able to swim with a little girl who loved splashing everybody including herself. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the children, Rehoboth, and the Philippines even more.
When we got back to Reboboth, we all went and got ready for the party they were throwing for our team and the Filipino workers. The bigger children were coming over to the party with us, so I went into their house to see if they were ready to go. When I got in there, one of the little girls came up to me with a note telling me that she loves me. How could I not cry? How was I going to be able to say goodbye? How was I going to leave this little girl? I have great comfort in the fact that I know she has a forever family. She is in the process of being adopted and I couldn’t thank God enough for providing her a loving home.
At the party, the Filipino workers, some of the mamas, the children, Ate Fe, Bong, and our team sang videoke and had a blast spending these last moments together. It was coming close to the time where the children needed to head out for dinner and to get ready for bed. They sang a song to us as their goodbye. It was the cutest thing to watch them sing to us in English and they knew every word. Of course this made me cry as I knew the time was coming very near to say goodbye. The song ended and we had to say our goodbyes with tears in our eyes. I hugged the children as hard as I could, so that they knew I loved them. They need to know that there are people around the world that care for them. I thank God that I was able to be one of these people sharing His love with them. I finished by goodbyes and watched them walk away being comforted by Brent, Jordan, Kyra, and Carolyn (although they were all crying as well). They had brought some ice cream to this party. Jordan, Kyra, and I went and found it to do the typical drowning of our sorrows in ice cream. It wasn’t a fix, but it helped lighten our spirits.
Then came some speeches from Bong, a few of the workers, Josh, Jade, and I. We were all able to talk about what a joy and encouragement it was to work with each other. I tell you what, Filipinos are some of the best people you will ever have the privilege to work beside. They don’t have tools and equipment like we do in the states, yet they are able to accomplish so much and sometimes faster than we ever could.
Bong handed out certificates to our team for coming and working on the clinic as well as spending time with the children. They were from Rehoboth and officially signed by Ate Fe. She did not want to cry. That is why Bong handed them out to us. He told me that we are not guests or visitors. We are family. Simply put, but worth millions.
Throughout the whole trip, each night we had a group devotion. Last nights was special as we were able to discuss things that happened on the trip. It was neat to hear how God worked in our lives throughout the past week. He had His hand in so many things and we could not have done it without Him. We also had the pleasure of sharing what we saw in our travel buddies that inspired us. At the beginning of the trip, we were all assigned one person to make sure that we were all getting where we needed. As there are 14 of us, it tends to be hard to keep track of everyone. I had the pleasure of having Jordan as mine. She was inspiring to me to watch. To have a 15 year old girl come in and be able to work hard on the clinic and show the kids love was amazing to watch. It is just need to see God working in her on this trip. She said that I was inspiring because I was always working, or playing with children. When I wasn’t I was always wanting to be out there serving. She loved seeing that in me and it inspired her.
As our time can to an end in the Philippines for now, we said our tearful goodbyes and headed back home. It was hard to leave, but I know that my time serving Rehoboth has not come to an end. I want to continue to be serving them and God throughout my life. Thank you all for your prayers and support as I went on this adventure. Now with one layover left, our Friday has begun again. It will have been a long day, but everything about this trip was worth it! I will miss you Rehoboth and I will love the children forever!