We started out the day with another early 6:45 AM wakeup call, but this morning we all stepped out of bed with a pleasant surprise of aching bodies and sore backs. Breakfast was served with plenty of fresh pineapples, eggs, toast, and bacon, and we all ate up knowing we needed to have full stomachs for the labor-intensive day ahead. After breakfast, everyone hopped on a jeepney and we headed out to Tarong Elementary for our second day. Once again, our team took in the beautiful scenery, as well as sang along to some of our favorite throwback songs to get us excited for the hours ahead.
As the jeepneys pulled up to Tarong, we jumped out and got straight to work because the kids were already in-class learning. We began to finish what we started yesterday by dividing the team up amongst the different roles of shoveling, bucket passing, wheelbarrowing, and filling the stage with the mountain of dirt, rocks, and so much more. Today, we felt the sunrays hitting us hard with a heat index of over 100 degrees. The sun was out and blazing #melted #dead #drip. Every single person was already exhausted and worn out, but God’s presence was extremely evident as we knew we were being filled with his strength, not our own. By lunchtime, we were so close to being done filling the stage with the rubble. We had a nice break and enjoyed some curry chicken, vegetables, rice, and bananas prepared by the lovely quest staff.
As we finished up lunch and prepared to get back to work, our hearts melted to see that so many of the children were doing everything they could to help out. They had filled so many buckets and worked together to carry them to the stage. Half of the team got back to work to fill the final layer of rocks to level out the stage. The other half of our team got to head out on home visits of a few students of the school. This gave us the opportunity to see first-hand the life of Filipinos on Bantayan and really allowed us to gain a whole new perspective of the way we live in the U.S. We got to bring them bags of groceries, ask lots of questions, and pray over them before we made our way back to Tarong. By the time they got back, the other students had completed filling the stage and started the cement process for the stairs.
We got to enjoy a quick water break, followed by about an hour of getting to run around and play with the kids once they were released from class. We played games, sang songs, and loved on each other. It was so special for each one of us. Very quickly it was time for them to head back to class or go home. We got to take another water break and try some sweet sticky rice before heading to the jeepneys to return to Anika. We were all drenched in sweat, covered in dirt, in need of a shower, and filled up from the day we just had and the progress we made.
Once we got back, after showers, some enjoyed some quiet time on the beach, while others took a quick nap before dinner. We were served low mien, pork skewers, and you guessed it… rice. We ate up and made our way to large group where we got to read all of your sweet comments and share some of our favorite moments of the day. The room was filled very quickly with joy and encouragement. James led us in some awesome worship and then we got to hear some words of wisdom from Halle. We finished the night off by sharing stories and opening up in our small groups.
As we head to bed for some much-needed rest, we are thinking about and missing all of our loved ones back home!!
Love you guys,
Taylor Miller and Mary-Madden
P.S. Pictures for the day are posted on this Google Drive!