We have arrived safely and are preparing for our first outreach ministry day among the poorest of the poor in the Smokey Mountain area - an extremely economically depressed area which had previously been the location of Manila's city garbage dump.
Thousands of people remain in this area and the needs are immense. Luz, a team of Filipino friends from Wisconsin, a newly planted church ministering directly to Smokey Mountain and I will hold a special outreach event where we will be introduced, offer some encouragement and material assistance and assess how we can most effectively be of help from this point forward for the long-term.
In our preparation, while walking down a Manila street following my brother-in-law, I literally tripped while walking and chewing bubble gum! In an effort to avoid falling on my newly repaired hip, in very entertaining fashion, I managed not to fall on my hip and face, but pulled my calf muscle in the effort. One witty Brother said, "You saved the hip, but it took a sacrificial calf to do it!"
Luz and our awesome sister-in-law, Manang Rose, fussed at my brother-in-law and me saying, "We literally leave you for 5 minutes and this is What happens!" It sounded way worse in Tagalog than in English. Some ice, rest and Tiger Balming later, and my calf feels better than it did though I am being much more careful and attentive to my walking.
Nevertheless, we press on, very excited as we begin to serve in earnest, eager to help and discern how we can make more of a difference among the wonderful people of Smokey Mountain!
We will keep you posted as the adventure continues...
Sam and Luz Jackson