Friday, June 02, 2006

Will I ever be the same?

I am closing in on one year in the Philippines. I don’t know what the future holds for me, I tell others that my appointment here is for four years, but I hope to stay for life. One thing I know, I have been changed forever.

From the small things: instant coffee is not so bad when that is all you have.

Rice everyday is tolerable, hey even can be enjoyable!

Yes, you can learn to drive here amidst the chaos, a friendly chaos, but chaos nonetheless. (I was reminded today of what it is like driving in America, when I was about to turn left across the oncoming lane, and saw a fast moving motorcycle, with an American on it, he hit his brakes, and then mumbled something that I am quite sure wasn’t a prayer for my well being.)

No, I am sure I will never be the same again. I see so many things that remind me of my pastor, who also spent four years here as a missionary, and say to myself, “That’s why he does that! Now I understand!”

I don’t think I can look at someone in America who says their poor, and really believe them when I have seen a mother of seven, who is married to man that has a second wife and family in Manila, that he is also supporting, living under a bridge in a 10 by 10 hut, finding out she is pregnant with child number eight, and who becomes so distraught about how she is going to feed the new baby along with all of the others, that she tries to kill the baby by taking too much medicine. (The baby survived and was born healthy, by the grace of God).

When someone was begging in America, cigarette dangling from their mouth and unabashedly asking for money for beer, I found it was easy to decline.

Here, when they are asking for money, skinny dirty faced kids, you know they are poor, and you ask yourself “But how many can I really help?”

Oh I know that we can feed the poor, visit the shut-ins, clothe the naked, encourage the incarcerated, medicate the sick, and work endlessly, while the world dies and goes to hell. These may be good things, but not the most important thing. They need Jesus.

I am sure I am different now. More thankful, I believe. After seeing families living in makeshift dwellings and little kids with no clothes and big bellies, (a sign of worms I’m told) whose main source of income (and main source of building materials for their homes) is the trash dump. Any job has got to be better than that! And I…I have the greatest job. To preach the gospel, and see lives changed. To hear what I heard a couple months ago “I have been searching for 59 years, but now I have found it!” Oh, I wish I could tell you that all of them who pray for salvation stay and are faithful, but there are some who do. Some, a band of men and women, whose hearts God touched.

Please pray with us, and for us, that God would continue to help us learn the language, and communicate the gospel to them, and that God would keep/make our hearts soft and help us to adjust, especially my wife while she is pregnant.

May the Lord Bless you!

The Devonshires


Anonymous said...

Brother, you have once again touched my heart in a BIG way. I just want to let you know that we are and have been praying for both of you. Also, how is your wife comming along with finding clothes ?? I hope that her pregnancy goes well, aka my feet and back are Killing me !!! Also please don't stop writing, I check your site everyday if not a couple times a day to see if you have posted something new. God Bless You and Sister for the work you are doing there, we love you....Bro and Sis. Gonzales

Hannatu said...

I feel your joy and your pain. Both go together when you are a missionary in a poor country. Thanks for your note on my blog today. Will you have the baby in the Philippines?

Anonymous said...

I read that and it seemed like I could almost hear you speaking in a hushed tone. You spoke of desiring to be there for life, what a heart! I pray that God gives us all a heart like that.....Bro. Pelmore