This City that I love

There have been a LOT of times that I wish I could write and fill my blogs {I have three other blogs scattered all over the net} with just happy, cutesy and all things “crafty” and delightful but I never got around to it because somewhere in between the things like poverty, child trafficking, hunger and homelessness and a heart that’s crying out for the Philippines to be changed and to see God’s rule and reign overtake the desire to make a lifestyle blog out of my sites.  So I guess I’ll just have to say goodbye to that “lifestyle blog” desire and really stick to writing about the things that keep burning in my heart.

You’ll find a lot of Cebu and the Philippines stuff here.  This burning love for the city where I belong to is part of the DNA from both my physical and spiritual fathers – my dad and our senior pastor, Pastor Joe Di.  I’ve never met anyone who so loves the Philippines more than these two people do and from them I will always be grateful that the love for this nation and to see it change and transform was imparted.

Pastor Joe Di, last year, got a dream that turned our direction as a church as he received a burden from God to speak out and pray against the child/human trafficking problem in Cebu.  It has been an amazing thing to see a lot of child trafficking rescues by IJM and more children and women rescued from trafficking dens.

It just blows your mind to see what God can do through a people who partner with Him in declaring His desires and dreams over a city.  It will change the atmosphere.  It will open prison doors and bring healing to hundreds and thousands of lives.  I am excited for what God has in store for us this year as we continue to pray, listen to His leading and seek His face for this fight against child and human trafficking.  There is so much favor! Doors just keep opening and people are listening!  Thank You, Jesus!

Will you be a voice for these children who have no voice?  Will you be their champion?

It is time to speak out.  It is time stand up and cry out for those who cannot. 

Silence is injustice.  Indifference is a crime.

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What can I do?

I was browsing through a blog today and stumbled on this graphic designer‘s book cover design and this title immediately got my attention.

What can I do? by David Livermore {published by Zondervan}

Isn’t it amazing how God speaks to us in so many ways and not just once?  I remember Him asking Peter “Do you love me?” three times and Him answering Peter “Feed my sheep” thrice, too.

Today was the third time God spoke to me particularly about something this week but one’s that been burning in my heart for years now.  I’ve been meaning to blog about, ponder and plan about but never got around except to praying about it which is the first step, actually.

I’m talking about homelessness and poverty.  For years, I’ve always teared up or felt so down whenever I see a child or families sleeping on the sidewalks.  I’m teary-eyed because I don’t know what to do or where to start from.

The closest thing I’ve ever done to help them was almost 7 to 8 years ago when I required my Rizal classes in USC {University of San Carlos} to go out to the streets and help someone in need as their final exam requirement.  We went out distributing food like sandwiches, food packs like noodles but it was only a one-time thing.  What is in my heart is a long-term solution to this, something sustainable and one that can truly uplift and change the lives of the people in the sidewalks.

The first thing that God used to remind me of this desire and dream of mine was a video posted by zerothreetwo in tumblr about this certain, middle-aged man in his briefs washing his shirts in dirty, canal water in the middle of the streets with nobody even approaching him to hand him a shirt or do something to help him.

What should we do?  We must do something.

Second wake-up call was last night’s prayer during our cell group meeting.  Tita Nene, my cell group leader, shared how she noticed more people and families sleeping/living on the sidewalks.  We prayed that God would give us solutions and answers to this social problem.

I was crying last night because I didn’t just want to stop at praying.  I was asking God for a clear-cut solution to this.  I know our prayers were already moving the hand of God but I’m asking that God would awaken individuals, organizations, businesses and politicians to look at them through the eyes of compassion and DO SOMETHING.

I did not write about it last night when I got home even when I’ve been meaning to until this afternoon when I stumbled on this book cover and I knew – without a shadow of a doubt -that God was again reminding me of this.

The book was the third and last wake-up call.  Yes, I will continue to pray but starting today, I am going to write about it, discuss this with my dad {for the nth time} about what we can do and I’m going to start talking about this with my friends.

I don’t really know what to do but my eyes and my heart are on God because I know He has the answers and I know that He loves these homeless people and has great plans for them.

The world is groaning for redemption. Fatherless children long
to be loved. Trafficked women hope for freedom. Hungry families
crave food. There’s something desperately amiss in our world, but
there’s hope. A global perspective combined with your God-given
interests, relationships, and experiences is a part of how Christ will
redeem the world we share. – David Livermore, What Can I Do?

12 IN 2012

1.  Continue to paint. Hmm like every day.  Today I did four and found only two to my liking.

2.  If only I had the time I would like to write a children’s story and do the illustrations.  I’d like to write a story about Jesus, His love and His Kingdom in childlike terms.  Kinda like what Max Lucado wrote but more on the simple side like honoring parents, obeying God and Daddy and Mommy and being kind to cite a few themes.

3.  I’d like to start making  birthday or greeting cards regularly {handmade in watercolor + Sharpies}.  I’m thinking of making one for my sister for her birthday this July. 🙂 Cards that celebrate God’s faithfulness and mercy for you and for me!

4.  Make or paint artworks, bookmarks and note pads of flowers {‘coz they’re easy} and landscapes with Bible verses or quotable quotes about God, His love, His goodness and faithfulness!

5.  Go back to learning how to play the piano.  As soon as my schedule and budget will permit me, I’ll start to enroll in piano lessons. 🙂 tee hee!

6.  Ask my mom to let me do the laundry, rather, teach me how to use the washing machine.  Why?  My mom is an OC when it comes to washing clothes.  She never and I repeat never wants any other hand than hers to touch our clothes.  She does not trust anyone to do the laundry.  Well, I understand.  IMO, she’s the best laundrywoman there is.  Our clothes always smell fresh and clean since she washes them two to three times with soap before rinsing.  Imagine the hours she puts in, huh.

7.  Continue to write and do research about Cebuano history.  Just tidbits and pieces just to keep my historian-side-of-the-brain sharpened while I am on hiatus as a History teacher this season.

8.  Pray and Wait. 🙂

9.  Finally come up with a project plan or a framework for that daycare dream that’s burning in my heart.  Okay, the secret’s out.  I still dream of starting that daycare where parents who cannot afford the more expensive preschool setup can send their kids to school.  My friend and I are thinking of charging them like P300/month for 10 months.  The miracle here is to keep that rate and still come up with a good facility, resources and supplies for the kids.  That said I’ve yet to go to DSWS or the LGU where I’m part of to ask for the requirements.

10.  Pursue or enroll in graduate studies in Education next semester.

11.  Write my Jeepney Chronicles consistently.  Say like every week, perhaps?

12.  As early as now {June to July}, I’d like to scour the city particularly in Freedom Park for something I can paint on or decorate so I can give ’em as Christmas gifts.  Still thinking and looking at this time.

Wow, thinking about what to do is something but I think writing and stating them is a different thing altogether.  It makes it doable just because you finally see it in visible terms instead of all these ideas just up in your head.

Habakkuk 2:2-3:  “…Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.  For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie.  If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” – ESV

the art of planking

Yen sends an SMS to Jim (the youngest brother) in the middle of her Child and Adolescent Development {CAD} class yesterday.  Jim’s a 2nd year BS Agriculture student in the University of the Philippines Los Banos in Laguna.

———————-

Yen:  So, dong (lad), did you also do the planking yesterday? 🙂 – {of course, with a smile – I kinda knew what his reply would be)

Jim:  haha ‘saon.  Nako class yesterday. (haha Duh or what the heck [can’t find the literal translation to ‘saon].  I had a class yesterday)

Hmm…Interesting.  I had to check dictionary.com for the definition of planking since I know that it has a different meaning for this generation.  As expected, I didn’t find the modern definition in the site.  I only found its meaning in the urbandictionary.com site.

Just as fashion comes and goes and changes through time and historical context, the method of protests have changed too in keeping with the developments and changes in social media and the way we relate with each other.  My instructor in CAD yesterday said it was amazing how a single SMS could mobilize students from different UP campuses all over the country – from Luzon down to Mindanao.

As a history instructor, I am constantly amazed at how young people can mobilize different kinds of protests and complaints in so many creative ways.  If only they could channel that much energy to “stand up” or “plank down” for child trafficking, child pornography, social injustice and corruption in the government.  Think about that.

This is a favorite line of mine in my history class lectures.  Rizal and Bonifacio didn’t have Facebook pages but they changed a nation’s history.  They did not have Sun Unlimited Call and Text loads but they mobilized the Filipinos to stand up against the colonial masters.  Just imagine what a generation armed with Facebook, Twitter, Sun, Smart and Globe and countless blogs can do to stand up and fight against the giants our nation is up against.

But I think this will only happen if hearts and minds will be awakened by God to rise up and fight against the specters we’re fighting today.  There must be a Jesus revolution in our hearts and minds first.

*Also posted in my Philippine History wordpress site and STC History Facebook page

PLANKING from the urbandictionary.com

The art of planking is to lay horizontally across any object or the ground with their arms by their sides, aiming to occur in daring situations or a brotherly display of core-strength..