Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Vulcaniser

The kids and I were on a mission to find someone who could fix Dad’s bike. He’d walked to class through the busy Manila traffic this day and we were keen to get him back riding again. After stopping by a Sari-Sari store for a quick drink, we found the Vulcaniser. He whipped off the flat tyre, patched it, pumped it and replaced it, all within moments. While we waited, my kids played with his sons.

I keep thinking of this guy and his life of rubber. I wonder what made him decide to stay in Manila and work there instead of heading overseas like so many other fathers I’ve heard about. Just before Christmas, a young friend told me her Dad was returning from his job overseas to celebrate with them. The family was waiting with eager anticipation...and a little trepidation. What would it be like to have Dad back? It had been so long. My heart broke for her.

I can understand why so many head overseas for work and this is not a post that digs at that decision. This post is just a nod to the Vulcaniser, who’s working hard with his sons at his side. Your money may be meagre, sir, but your investment in those boys will reach on into future generations. Don’t discount the influence you’re having on them each day. You are moulding and shaping more than just rubber.

Check out my kiddos' new Youtube Channel Dream Catchers!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

This Trouble of Mine

I was feeling really generous yesterday. I pulled the kids away from the TV and out of their pyjamas, filled their water bottles and piled them into a taxi heading to the mall.

When we arrived, we went to buy movie tickets and while we waited I bought them icecreams. 10mins later one child said she didn't want hers so I took a few bites. The next child said she wanted it so I said "How about you take this one that's still covered in chocolate and I finish yours?" Then the meltdown happened. She wanted both.

The day before I had gone running past a little shack near our apartment. I had actually peeked inside to see if someone was home. It looked more like planks of wood piled at various angles than a house and I only saw one piece of furniture - a crate that doubled as a table.

That picture flashed through my mind as I stared at my furious child who has everything. I don't know how you teach children contentment, when adults don't even understand it. But I hope that one day as they encounter set-backs in their lives, they will remember the kids in grubby t-shirts who ask them for money. And they will shrug and say "This trouble of mine? This is not so bad."

Saturday, 29 October 2016

While Watching Them

When I was 16 I joined a team of young adults who ran a program for kids on holiday at the beach. The team were mostly in their 20s, giving up their own vacation to share their faith, their love and their lives with the kids.

I came away from that experience with a new set of heroes and a resolve to live my life like those leaders. It was an experience that shaped my character profoundly from that moment forward. I was inspired to go back again and again to volunteer myself for that program and many more since.

Last night we spent time with Ken's Campus Ministry classmates and I saw the same character transaction taking place in my kids. They began forming heroes that will forever be impressed on their hearts. Heroes that sacrifice their time, their money, their comforts...and so much more...to invest in young people. And my kids are beginning to form their own futures, while watching them. If I came to this country for that moment, it was worth it.