My trip to Marikina, Philippines has come to an end and honestly, I wish that I could have stayed there a bit longer, things that I wish I could have done more. During this short trip, many memories of what I had experienced in my first trip to Marikina in 2012 were brought back, especially with the same feelings and thoughts when I was at the Women’s Prison and the Elderly Home.

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In the Women’s Prison, I once again sensed such a freedom in that place. God brought me to an understanding that despite our own wrongdoings or weaknesses, He is there to redeem us and bring us to a place of greater things. I was amazed when I saw the ladies praising and worshipping the Lord with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength. Again, I was just thinking about how great God is, because despite what they have done that brought them to prison, God still redeemed them and set them free. They could praise and worship the Lord with such freedom and love for Him.

As for the visit to the Elderly Home, the team and I shared the same sentiments. It was heart-breaking to see the difficult living conditions for the elderly there. Some were even locked up in a small room with about 5 people inside, because they are mentally challenged. Most of the “lolas” (Tagalog for “grandmother”) and even “lolos” (Tagalog for “grandfather”) were very skinny. They looked like they were suffering from malnutrition, but I really thank God that the members of Cornerstone Marikina have been visiting the home regularly and providing food, making sure that the elderly are well taken care, praying for them, and loving them. Because of their regular visits and the love they have for these people, I see the elderly enjoying it when someone from CSCC visits them.

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I also will not forget the children we met in the orphanage and the families staying under the bridge. I must say that these few experiences brought so much joy to me and I felt really thankful. I also want to do as much as I can to help those in need and lend a helping hand. Although I know that it is hard to meet the physical needs of everyone there, at least a seed can be sown spiritually. I thank God for the opportunity to go to Marikina again. These experiences not just taught me how to be thankful, but God also taught me to love, and to enlarge my capacity in that area.

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Lastly, I want to end by saying that it is definitely a good choice to bring your whole family over for missions. Our team had two full families, with their children, come along!  When I saw the little ones in my team happily singing and dancing to the songs ‘Every Move I Make’ and ‘The Wise Man Builds His House Upon the Rock’, I felt such a joy and child-like faith. Children have their own perspectives as compared to the adults; they see and experience things differently.  It was amazing to see their childlikeness of wanting to be involved in performing, helping out in the distribution, and even blessing others. It’s never too young to start being a part of missions.

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2014-09-30 18.27.05Written by Taferine Chua