One of my favorite things when I travel is to worship in a local church. It’s always so beautiful to see how the body of Christ lives and loves and spends time together in God’s presence in various places around the world. My memories of churches in Nepal, Uganda, Germany, and Canada, as well as churches across the United States, bring to mind such beauty, variety, creativity, and unity.
This morning flooded my heart with these feelings.
I’m learning that Filipino style is a bit fun with time…8 means you can arrive sometime after 8, depending on weather, taxis, jeepneys, or tricycles 😉 Now, Filipino time isn’t as stretched as African time, for sure, but definitely more relaxed than in the States…which I can handle just fine, because I enjoy taking my time and soaking in the moment without the rush of getting someplace. So we walked in a little after 8 to Davao Bible Community Church, everyone relaxed and ready to praise God together.
The first service was in Cebuano. It’s funny, but I truly enjoy hearing people pray and read Scripture in different languages! I think it is something exquisite to see the diversity of Christianity across cultures- how the Word remains true, but is expressed in so many beautiful tongues! The second service was in English, with a Wycliffe missionary named Allan preaching. The message encouraged my heart- emphasizing the idea of blessing God and blessing others. I always need that reminder, as my flesh can be so self-oriented, even while my spirit desires to be a giver of blessing and life to others. During both services, I had the opportunity to share my songs with the congregation, which was such an honor! They welcomed Michelle & me with love and hospitality. (This is the same church that runs the Compassion project which we visited first yesterday- PH 529 Precious Light Community Transformation Center). I instantly bonded with the keyboard players from both services-Cathy and Iva, such lovely young women. I enjoyed meeting so many kind and joy-filled people from the church, but three precious little girls stood out to me most. I learned, again, that at this project the siblings and community children are truly impacted and blessed by Compassion’s program. Some of these children are not sponsored themselves, but they come every Saturday to sit in the classrooms and learn. One little girl even comes alone, without family, but with a missionary on Sunday mornings, because she is so eager to hear the Word of God. I was blown away by this delightful little one.
Christ shone in their eyes, and when I remember them, it will be filled with joy for their faith. The hugs I received from the girls blessed me immensely…I have carried their smiles, etched in my mind, all day. The Lord is up to something special in their lives- I look forward to seeing where He leads them, whether I find out here on earth or at the great reunion in Heaven one day!
I feel blessed beyond measure to have worshipped alongside these passionate Christ-followers at Davao Bible Community Church today. God is so good!