note: this isn’t for the newsletter.
i was so excited to join the beach missions trip this year that as soon as they confirmed who were joining, i replied at once. but a lot had happened since then and come the week of our departure, i was debating with myself about backing out or letting my yes be a yes. the yes won and i found myself packing for the trip just hours before the scheduled meeting. i had to resort to taking a regular bus to commonwealth because i had no other non-taxi alternative. it was a roller coaster ride and it taught me a bit more about the value of life. i got to commonwealth in one piece and the ivcf van picked me up there after a while.
last year, i wasn’t always on speaking terms with my ex-boyfriend and when i joined the team, i didn’t know who else would be joining apart from a few dcfers and i feared he would be among the team. this year, the dreaded day arrived. but much forgiveness has been given and received and our friendship has healed since then. that didn’t make it less awkward to be together around other people though. our relationship had always been more exclusive than not. and people still say i can’t be best friends with my ex. when they can match his reliability, i’ll believe them.
most of the people i was missing and expecting were not there. almost half the team was new. though i was already acquainted with some of them, we got to know each other a bit [better] on the road to zambales. partly at the expense of jaylord’s and james ryan’s love lives or lack thereof. we touched culture and relationship principles.
by the time we reached zambales, we were very hungry. representatives of the partner church met us for lunch at mang inasal. i was isolated from the rest of the team and was seated with them. i was so prim and proper and quiet. i probably seemed shy to them, but i was just anti-social.
when we finally arrived at the beach, i wanted to leave at once. our cottage was next to the videoke machine and it was pure torture. i was thankful that after we changed into our blue uniforms, put on sunblock lotion, wore bracelets, and prayed, we went off to the shore and away from the noise. i pretty much prayed the whole day for equipping. make that the whole trip.
i don’t remember being assigned a partner. but i partnered with ate belle like last year and drew first blood.
while the rest were playing, we approached a couple. the woman called their other companions. they all listened as ate belle shared the gospel using the bracelet. there was this one guy who kept interrupting the sharing with his questions. he turned out to the woman’s husband and was halfway drunk. he went for a swim and when he came back, we discussed about how Christ’s sacrifice was once and for all and how He is the only way to salvation. i don’t know if it was the swim or the topic that sobered him, but i am thankful for the opportunity to share the truth with him.
i think we ran out of bracelets after and headed for the nearby mountain to catch the sunset.
i was a zombie for the rest of the night, and it made me immune to the noise. when people shared their fears, i remembered that my ability to evangelize isn’t a skill but a gift. whenever we hit the shore, i cling to one word.
[photos by rg guillermo and benj gonzales]