Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

Back in December, four very big boxes made it all the way to our front deck. The boxes were full of gifts for the children in the village where we live, from people, (literally) on opposite corners of the globe. Danny’s sister and friends in California had started a “Jungle Bells” fundraiser to send; water bottles, socks, coloring pencils, money for Bibles and other things to the kids here. Meanwhile, months earlier, a group of kids in Guam who were attending a Vacation Bible School at their church, did the same thing. Friends and family in N.Ireland joined in too and we were amazed to see these boxes arrive, to our front porch, within a week of each other. None of them knew what the other was sending and yet, we had no duplicates of anything! In fact, it was even better because the gifts were compatible. For example, one box had lots of pencils in it and when we opened the other box; it had dozens of sharpeners. It was so easy for us to put all the gifts together and of course many hands on this end, made light work. It was a beautiful picture to me, of the body of Christ working together, from all around the world, to remind these kids in a little village in the jungle; that they are cared for, prayed over and that God has a message He wants them to hear.ย 
Sunday afternoon, all the kids arrived (way earlier than they have ever been before) and we had a wonderful afternoon of games, sharing food and of course giving out the gifts. It was perfect timing to fit in with our new Sunday School schedule. This coming Sunday, we are starting in Genesis again and teaching through the Old Testament, building foundations for the wonderful news of the Promised Deliverer. It was a great opportunity to get all the kids in from around the village and be able to invite them to come back and hear God’s Word being taught every week.ย 
I just want to say a very big, “Thank you” to all of you who were part of this and to let you see the faces of some very precious little kids, (and their happy Mamas), as we distributed your gifts to them. I know it has been a blessing to them and I pass on many, many thanks to you, from all of them. Maraming salamat po!ย 

Nobody was late this week!

We broke into age groups so the kids could meet their teachers.

Then it was time for the games! ๐Ÿ™‚

This happens EVERY. TIME. we have a kids event; the mothers get so involved! They often seem to have way more fun than the kids! I can’t help but smile real big when I look at those happy faces.ย 
This was a first for the kids – face painting!!ย 

Judah was so pleased to be a tiger for the day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Then it was time for “merienda” (snack time). We had hotdogs and marshmallows on a stick (big favorite here) and some bico. Bico is a sweet, sticky rice dessert made with coconut milk and it is absolutely delicious!

The “behind-the-scene-ladies” were present to cook, wash up, tidy up and to use their gifts of helping and hospitality to be a blessing to us all. The lady in the black and white top is Ate Miriam and I once wrote this postย about her hospitality to the ladies Bible Study group if you would like to read it too.ย 
This moment, (below), will stick in my mind for a long time. I happened to run around behind the church building, to do a quick count of the number of people still needing food. What I stumbled upon, was a beautiful scene. A group of of 11-13 year olds, were sitting in a circle and without direction from an adult, they waited until they all had their food. ย It was then that 11 year old Joanna bowed her head and gave thanks. She thanked her Heavenly Father for their “Fun Day” and for their food, but most of all, she thanked her Saviour for salvation and for meeting their everyday needs. It was a precious reminder to me that ‘fun days” will come and go, but gathering together to give thanks to our Heavenly Father, for who He is to us; this is real joy.

Finally, it was time to hand out the gifts!

Thank you!ย 

Thank you!

For quite a few of the kids it was their very first time to come to Sunday School. We are praying that they will come back in the coming weeks and that one day soon, they will have the joy of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.ย 
Thank you for your fellowship in the gospel, for your gifts and for your prayers; we are so grateful.ย 
Love, Philippa.ย 
PS: There was a moment during our Fun Day that stopped me in my tracks and had me running for my camera. I will be writing a post on that really soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

PPS: I just had to add one more tiger photo. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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