Monday, April 19, 2010

The Flame Goes Forward

The first week of April we traveled to Manila. Manila is not normally high on our list of places to visit. But this was a special occasion. YWAM is holding celebrations around the globe in honor of its 50th birthday. All of YWAM Philippines gathered for this special event. YWAM founders, Loren and Darlene Cunningham, were the primary speakers.

As I said, Manila is not our favorite destination. Our bus arrived in Manila 2 hours later than we had anticipated, but we still had plenty of time before the conference began for the evening. Since our hotel was only 50 meters from the bus terminal, I threw our large duffel bags over my shoulders and began hiking. (Consider a family of 6 traveling for a week, 5 of them females. 90% of our stuff was put into 2 large duffel bags too heavy for anyone in the family but me to carry. Good planning on somebody's part, but not mine.) To all of those who said the hotel is only 50 meters from the bus terminal - get a new meter stick! It is more like 150-200 meters. This would not have been a big deal except for the aforementioned duffel bags.

I was fairly well prepared with maps and directions (it did not look like 50 meters on the map, but eyewitnesses told me it was). We have found that when getting into a taxi in Manila, it is really helpful if you know how to get to your destination instead of hoping your driver does. For the first night however, we thought we would give the overhead railway system a try; there are terminals very close to our hotel and the conference. A family of country bumpkins and massive, pushing crowds trying to squeeze onto and off a train car that stops for less than a minute is definitely a recipe for a good comedy routine. But trying to make sure the entire family makes it onto the train or the entire family does not get on the train at the same time in such circumstances is not fun for the country bumpkin dad. We did finally make it onto the train - a new experience for our two youngest - and safely to the conference.

The first night of the conference was truly a celebration. Each region of the Philippines was represented by YWAMers from that region in cultural attire, music, and dance. For a nation about the size of Arizona, this nation is incredibly diverse. The first floor of the auditorium was too crowded when we arrived so we ended up sitting in the balcony. But when the dances began, nobody was sitting in the balcony; everybody was at the railing to get a better view of what was happening on-stage.
Besides the encouragement of the messages shared by our founders and others, we had a great time with other YWAMers. We enjoyed seeing some from the teams who have come to YWAM Mountain Province and from bases we have visited. We also got to meet some new friends in the process.

When the conference was over on Friday afternoon, a friend from Valley Cathedral Children's Home picked us up and drove us to Naic for the weekend. But that's another story...

1 comment:

  1. Manila is not high on our list of places to visit either and the train thing would have made me very nervous, too. But, what a fun and exciting trip! Thanks for sharing!