Friday, August 31, 2012

3:40 AM

It's 3:40 AM. Do you know where your missionaries are?

Well, this morning, my alarm went off at 3:40. As I stumbled out of bed, trying to wipe the sleep out of my protesting brain and body, it was hard to know if what I was doing was worthwhile.

Fortunately, I had cold coffee in the fridge prepared ahead of time, for a faster drinking time to get much-needed caffeine to my rapidly aging nervous system.

Why am I awake? Good question. I'm going singing.

It's our pastors birthday today here in the Philippines. To show someone over here that you care, you get up well before the sun, go to their house, and sing to them. LOUDLY.
 By about 4:20 or so, everyone has arrived outside our pastor's house. We're ready. And, we have an inside person who opens the door. We don't have to serenade outside the window, we go straight to the living room, me and another guy strap on our guitars, and our 15 or so strong group belt out some Visayan songs.

Pretty soon, our pastor and his wife come downstairs, and they smile, laugh and join in. (at least I think so. I was concentrating pretty hard on playing guitar for songs in a foreign language that I had just learned the night before at our one and only practice session)
Then, we sat down and shared about our pastor, what he means to the church family, and we all offered our 'wish' for his year. Then, the pastor and his family fed breakfast to all of us (!) and we all kept on talking for a long time. Our pastor and his family are really neat--He's a businessman, his wife is a doctor, but they've dedicated a huge amount of their time and resources to minister in one of the poorest places in our area. And it's exciting to be a small part of that.

And, sitting there, talking and drinking coffee, I really felt thankful. Thankful that I got up. Thankful that I had been invited to go sing to our pastor at this (to me, insane) hour.

And I realized, this is something that never happens in America. But God has given us the chance to join, participate in, and truly enjoy things that we would never experience back in our home country.

I think that's the big thing---ENJOY. God changes us, and gives us the ability to enjoy things that I never even considered doing before.

(Note to all of my dear friends from church--Yes, I enjoyed waking up our pastor with our great singing...but on my birthday, the most wonderful gift you can give me is the gift of silence and sleep.... :) My four kids  already wake me up every morning with their own version of loudness...
Happy Birthday Pastor Dan!!

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