Here are some blog posts from the Alagatas, a family who visited the Philippines with AGIF for the Outreach trip over Chinese New Year, 2014.
The local volunteers were so friendly. They helped with keeping the kids on task or translating for us if necessary. Many of the volunteers had been participants in years past and just enjoyed it so much that they wanted to come back and serve. Some of them were teachers at the school, others were studying to be nurses or to be in the travel industry, most of them attended Dumangas Baptist Church. They were with the kids for all stations and mealtimes.
The best part was the final morning when the volunteers had all the kids around them during the morning snack time and shared with them more personally about their own decision to accept Jesus and then they led the kids in prayer.
These young people were on fire for the LORD. Many of them seemed to use all of their free time to serve God.
Pastor Steve and his assistant, Angie, were also very caring and helpful. What I enjoyed the most was just sitting and talking with them about their lives and their walk with God. I wanted to hear about their studies and their ministries—there was never enough time to hear all of their stories—the time just went by so quickly! Check out more photos of the volunteers in the photo gallery below.
VBS finished by Wednesday at lunchtime, after that it was time for the basketball tournament. Our first game was in Banate, a smaller town than Dumangas, about an hour north. It is near the beach, so for that evening, we were to eat at a small beach resort with food catered from the family of a kid who attended VBS and has since graduated.
The games were set in the afternoon. I think many of the players from the other team were younger, but we were taller. The youth and adults each had their own divisions within the tournament. At first our team did not have a lot of chemistry, but the longer we played together, the better we got.
During half time, Jon Brantingham ran a free-throw contest with prizes—people joined in the fun with enthusiasm! After half time, many of the wives with younger kids headed out to the beach resort, but my kids and I stayed to cheer our team on. It was just fun to be there even though it was hot. I went outside once and felt that the heat was even more intense than the day before.
The games were all very well attended, having really no publicity. People just sat and watched. More photos can be seen in the photo gallery