I still marvel at the size of my wardrobe, the pleasure of warm showers and the fact that I can drink tap water! Sometimes I even forget that the cars won’t just stop for pedestrians and that I don’t have to throw my toilet paper in a bin. I only spent three weeks in the Philippines, but I became so accustomed to a different style of living than what I had been used to in Australia. For those few weeks, we lived out of our suitcases, slept in many different locations, met unforgettable people and learnt so many new things.
I was bitten by bed bugs, almost never wore a seatbelt, got sunburnt (twice), and faced many of my fears. I forgot about my so-called ‘first-world problems’ and the things that used to make me stressed. I learnt to serve God in ways I’d never imagined: through the simple act of taking out the trash, through playing musical chairs with new-found friends, through holding back my teammate’s hair as she vomited. I saw God in the kindness of strangers, the smiles of children and the servant-hearts of my fellow teammates.
I learnt boldness and courage. God taught me not to be fearful, but to trust in him for all things. I shared my testimony and witnessed and evangelized to many different people. I made new, long-lasting friendships with my teammates. I learnt more about God, more about other people, and more about myself.