by Jason and Jessica Wilde
Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love. (Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2017)
After we landed in Manila, a driver from our apartment was there to greet us. Since it was Sunday afternoon, we asked our apartment landlords where to go to church nearby, and to our surprise, there was not a lack of suggestions, most of which have masses every hour on Sundays. Against their recommendations (to take a taxi to a larger church), we walked to the closest one. On our way home, we went to Chow King next door to our apartment. Each kid got their own take away bowl of noodles.
That night, the kids fought over who got in the shower first and who had to sleep on the couch.
The next morning, we woke up and walked to the light rail station. There are no consistent or reliable sidewalks here, but we have a family rule to never take taxis unless in a real bind, against the recommendations of our hosts, guides, and in general, people we seek advice from. So we often found ourselves in the road squeezing single file past crowded jeepneys, motortrikes and taxis.
A side effect of our family rule is that we are always able to see and meet people, up close and personal. Along our path, we walked past kids waking up inside their motor trike sidecar homes. We saw dozens of kids playing in the street by themselves while we hoped their parents were working at the nearby stands or were going to be back soon on their trike. Of course, none were in school - usually because their parents can't afford school meals, transportation, and supplies, even though public school is free here in the Philippines. And there were orphans too -- starved, close to naked and begging. In front of the breathtaking minor basilica, there were half a dozen naked kids bathing in the fountains. One mom and daughter were eating out of the trash can.
Later when we rode a motor trike, Grace told me that she couldn't help but think that she was "riding in their home." That night, the kids ate their dinner, shared the shower in peace, and hopped into bed without complaint.
We feel more inspired than ever to #loveourneighbor.
On a Mission
Two passionate parents and their four children are excited to bring His Word to everyone in need while living a life of Gospel poverty as missionaries. They invite you to join them on a journey to encounter our global neighbors that Jesus commands us to love through works of charity and service.