In the mean while we arrived back home after a couple of impressive days. The trip home took less long than the trip to the Philipines, long live the different time zones! I have to say that the second week also left some images on my retina. We spent the last days in the Philipines in Olongapo, Zambales. A totally different area than everything we had seen in Manila. So much green! And the air a lot less polluted. It was still as warm though, sweat was dripping of our body in small streams.
In Olongapo we stayed in a Youth With A Mission base. Many women in the Philippines get pregnant on early age. As 14-year-old it is obviously difficult to get a job and maintain your family. School was something of the past and the dad has left them a long time ago. Many of these girls end up in a bar. They work as a servant and to get some extra income they sell themselves. One night (18:00 to 5:00) will get them 1,5 euro in an average bar. If they sell themselves to men they would get 5,00 euro. This is unthinkable low. Way to less money and because of the work in the night they are too tired to spend time with their kids the next day. The people from YWAM base are reaching out to the women. They offer a space where they can live together with their kids. They get the opportunity to work in a paper and card making company, where they get a small income. Although they only make 2,00 Eur, they can keep the full amount. During two years they will stay living in the house, so that they can completely get their life back on track. All this would not be possible without the unconditional and forgiving love of Jesus. The women that enter are completely broken. Not only because of the work situation which they leave but often because their whole family history is one big mess. A long process of healing is needed and can only be complete if they can find Jesus in that. In the heart of the women where we cannot touch them, He can. And we could see with our own eyes how Jesus transformed the lives of them, how He restored the broken women. All of the staff that work there have the same background but are transformed to strong, loving women. Together with these women we could go and visit the girls ourselves and tell them about the love of our Father in heaven.
Right before we went back we could enjoy a piece of the nature. We made a tour on a Philipian fishing boat, enjoyed a deserted island, snorkeled and enjoyed the sun. The water is incredible pure and beautiful blue! We spent the night in a hut on Crystal Beach (Zambales), after enjoying a beautiful sunset. Now that I have experienced all this I’ll have to go back some day with Rein. The journey was incredible, but I’m also happy that we are united again, ready for the next adventure!