Tuesday, June 27, 2006

His name is Joel

His name is Joel.  He is a trike driver.  A trike is a motorcycle with a sidecar that is used as a taxi here in the Philippines.  He works in an area where there are about 500 trikes.  He doesn’t own his trike, he rents it for 100 pesos a day, about $2.  It is called his “boundary”.  The first 100 pesos he makes goes to pay the boundary.  The only problem is, sometimes he doesn’t make it.  Then he has to borrow from someone to pay the boundary.  Today, when we saw him and his brother, they were waiting for a trip.  His brother had been there since 6am, it was around 11am when we saw him, and he still didn’t have his first trip of the day.  When he does, he will probably get 30 pesos, more if he goes far.  I asked Joel how many trips he gets a day and he said around six.  180 pesos.  Sometimes in the evening he makes more, so if he takes in 400 for a whole day he is doing good.  100 goes to the boundary, maybe 100 to gas, and he has 200 to take home.  I asked him how much he needed to eat each day.  100 pesos.  He and his wife and child eat one kilo of rice in the morning, and one “Ulam” or viand, or what we might call, a rice topper, or main course, and then this will be repeated in the evening.  He said sometimes he doesn’t eat in the evening so he can save more money.  It takes 60 pesos to travel from where he works to where he lives, so he often just sleeps at a relative’s house near where he works to save the fare money.  When they are waiting at the corner, their trike number is chalked onto a small board to keep track of where they are in line.  If he leaves, they erase his number and he goes back to the bottom when he returns.  I have been trying to convince him to come to church.  He seems interested, I have even witnessed to him and his heart is open.  His wife has attended once and seemed to enjoy the service….but you see….he needs to make his boundary…he needs to pay the gas….he needs to get the “Ulam” and if it takes until 9 or 10 at night, so be it.  This is survival in the Philippines.  This is one of our biggest challenges, to convince people that if they put God first and make time for God in their lives, He will in turn bless them

Eph. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Pray that Joel will make time for God in his life and see beyond his daily need to see his eternal need.

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