Thursday: At 4.30 this morning t here was an unusual amount of activity. I thought the students were just going for their devotional, but when the sound of singing turned out to be “Happy Birthday”, I decided to see what was going on.

I went outside to see that the noise was coming from the room of Pastors Rolito and Miriam. I was beckoned over, and went in to find all the students crammed inside. Food was being prepared and the students were taking it in turns to say encouraging things to Ma’am Miriam. Finally it was Roli’s turn. The students get excited and pester Roli to kiss his wife. He makes them wait, and after a brief speech, he obliges to whoops and hollers. Filipinos love romance. After this sandwiches and coffee were handed round. The students clearly love this couple and treat them as mum and dad. It was kind of a crazy thing to have a party at 5 in the morning but it was a lot of fun. I think it’s a pretty normal birthday thing to do here and I liked it. Imagine starting your day with a party. Life would be a lot brighter, right?

This evening I was told there was ‘bonding’. I wasn’t sure what this meant.. I went with some trepidation to the room above the library to discover a bunch of the students dressed up as kids complete with backpacks, baseball caps and pigtails. They were having a children’s party. The boys and girls sat separately, of course, and each group performed a song and dance. Filipinos love dance routines. I love how these people know how to take what they have and bring it to life. Most people I know enhance their life by adding more to what they have. These people enhance what they have by adding life to it. We consume. They create.

“Whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:4

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