I want to mention some observations I've made sitting in on the classes and talking to those who came. One thing that became very obvious is their readiness to learn. It's also become quite apparent they have already learned much! They have a good grasp of the Reformed faith and a love for it. They also have a desire to sing from the Genevan Psalter and learn the psalms and hymns found in it. They've turned their backs on contemporary worship music. Maybe they had some help when their band instruments and such were washed away in the flooding that happened during Typhoon Sendong. They tend to laugh about it when you asked them why they don't go back to a contemporary music style. They wouldn't think of it! I wonder perhaps, is there a lesson here for us?
Cagayan de Oro is known for a few things. One of them is white water rafting. With time to spare we decided we would give it a go. The Jeepney arrived at our gate right on time. The raft secured to the top of it. They were going to take us on our tour of the rapids. Jeepney rides are always an adventure and I was wondering what would be more exciting the Jeepney ride or shooting the rapids. After some instruction by our guides we were off in the water. I have to say, the rapids weren't all that exciting but they did have their moments. Next time we're going to have to take the extreme course, my fellow travelers always want to play it safe. What was exciting however was the beauty all around us and evidence of how powerful Typhoon Sendong really was. A highlight of the the experience was witnessing a family of monkeys playing in the trees....Rafting in the Philippines, watching monkeys playing in the trees. How cool is that? Our God is an amazing creator, He's an amazing God!
The plan for Saturday was trip to the mountains and a picnic. Our destination, Mount Kitanglad, the fourth highest peak in the Philipinnes. The Jeepney arrived early in the morning, having picked up our friends along the way. About 22 of us including our supplies packed the Jeepney. We were off on another Jeepney ride! Mt. Kitanglad proved to be a ways a way and for a guy who's six foot plus, a ways a way is one a way to far in a Jeepney. Once there though, we did find a large plantation of Pinapples. Have you heard of DelMonte? They built a small town of people and stores near the peak. There's a lot of Pinapples growing here!
The picnic and hike to the top of the mountain was great. The Philippine people seemimgly love the simple things in life. The simple pleasure of being with each other, enjoying conversation, enjoying a meal, enjoying their surroundings. The views at the top were awe inspiring and showed us a different view of the Philippines we hadn't seen. Farms and fields quilted the landscape with mountain tops in the background.
It began to rain and the day was getting on. It was time to head home. Back we were, in the Jeepney. How do they do it? I felt like a kid again in the back seat wondering when we were going to get home. "We almost there yet?". My butt cheeks were in agony! And then the moment I had been fearing, the Jeepney stalling. The stalling part wasn't so bad. The bad part was we were on an extreme hill. "Just relax!". Here's what I'm thinking, "Yea right! The Jeepney's loaded, there's a hill and a curve in the road to boot, no way he's going to pop the clutch and get this thing up the hill. How do I get out of this thing?" Well, out jump a few passengers to lighten the load. The driver pops the clutch and away we go. Problem solved! Another Jeepney adventure.
It was a fun day and a great day of building relationships. Looking forward to worshipping our great and awesome God tomorrow and wishing everyone back home a great day as well.