Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Driving to Manila-Email order brides

We made it into Manila and after a few mistakes (I stopped at a red light) I got accustomed to their manor of driving. Pedestrians keep walking until forced to get out of the way…so…you point your car at them and go forward! They move….when you get close enough. If it was not so nerve racking, it would be humorous. I am concerned that a little child is going to run out from between the cars…the streets are so narrow and the kids are everywhere. I watched from the window as scores of people crossed the street and when the whistle blew that announced the cars were coming…the people just kept on walking…until the cars were about to hit them. I again enjoyed my height advantage as I can easily scan over the heads of the crowds. I thought that in Manila I would find more diversity and more white folks, but in our whole time there, after seeing thousands of people, neither my wife nor I saw any white folks! We don’t mind at all, we were just surprised that in this city of millions, we didn’t see the diversity that we would see in a large city in America. I guess the difference is, that people are not breaking down the doors to come to the Philippines. As a matter of fact, people are doing all they can to escape here. Two recent examples. I have read that the average Doctor makes about $200-$500 a month. It is no surprise then to hear of many of them coming to America as nurses (there is some kind of visa for professionals and nurses are included) to make 8-10 times that even if they hold a lesser position. Example 2. The days of mail order brides may be over, but the days of email order brides are flourishing. Thousands of Philippino girls sign up to these foreign match making services, I read an article in the local paper that gave the example “I don’t care what he looks like as long as he takes me away from here!” It is sad to hear that, but as you look at their day to day lives of desperation you can understand. Make-shift house under the bridges, scrawny little dirty faced kids begging for a peso, anything to survive. One of the main ways the families do survive is by sending a family member overseas to work. They are called OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) They sent back to the Philippines 8.5 billion last year and are on track to send back 12 billion this year. We have a family in our church where the father is an OFW. He gets to come home and see his family every 2 years for about a month! They think it natural. I try not to react too much when I hear these things, but it is shocking.

The Lord is blessing. You remember my Brother Edison I asked you to pray for? Well his wife has started coming now and things are really looking up. Thanks for your prayers.

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