By Emaly

The streets come alive with kids when it rains. Our team was sitting around the table in the living room area when it began to pour rain.

By Damaris

In John 4, Jesus strategically places Himself in a place forbidden from Jews just to have an encounter with a Samaritan woman.

By Kaylee

Walking into Kuya Mike’s* house is like stepping through a portal: on one side is the din, heat, and color of our village; the other side is an air conditioned, wood carved paradise with coordinate

By Kaylee

Three-year-old Joanie* spends her afternoons watching TV, pretending to shop, playing beauty parlor, and caring for her doll. When she comes to my plastic supermarket, she brings a backpack full of pera (money) so she can afford everything she wants. Sometimes she’ll ask me to reattach her Barbie’s head so it can enjoy the supper she’s preparing. One afternoon, we watched one of Joanie’s favorite YouTubers play a lot of the same games that she enjoyed. I’d seen similar things before: a little blonde girl in an expensive dress playing with new toys, clean white tiles beneath pristine furniture, and parents in jewelry catering to the girl’s every whim. Despite the familiarity of this picture, I felt sick to my stomach. I’m still not sure exactly what felt wrong.

By Emaly

Our team of five headed to our site last week (Manila Underground’s (MUG) ministry in the Teresa, Rizal province). The team felt the realness of the need to be adaptable as we moved from the city to the rural mountains of our three-hour journey. When we arrived at our host site, Tatay Ed (father) and Nanay Fe (mother) greeted us and introduced us to their three kids: Ella, Irene, and Efram. We didn’t know then that this family would care for us as their own and that we would grow to love them in the short days we have been there already.

By Emaly

The moment our team of 11 landed in the Philippines, the reality that this summer was going to stretch us outside our comfort zones into cross-cultural experiences was evident. Throughout the week, as we explored the streets through jeepney, tricycle, train, and more, we took in the sounds, smells, and traffic with new eyes.

This week my team and I had the privilege of seeing the ministry of Samaritana enter into a new cycle. This 6-month cycle is a period where new and old women will come to the center to be poured into, to learn livelihood skills (cooking, card making, domestic/institutionalized housekeeping, etc.) and build community.  

after mid-project retreat

Before arriving here in the Philippines I wrote to my support team about how I was afraid of what God would ask of me on this trip. I was prepared to give up material comforts, a summer internship and time to sit around recovering from a long semester, but I knew something more was waiting. I knew surrendering control could not be the end-all of this entire trip.