New York is a lovely place. I love how busy it is–the city that never sleeps. We arrived in NYC at 10 o’clock at night. But with the interminable queuing at the immigration, we didn’t get on the train until 12 midnight. When we finally emerged from the subway and were hauling our luggage along Manhattan, we were desperate for a restful sleep. Much of our days and nights in New York were like that–walking, train rides, and foot cramping. We had a packed itinerary… so we were working on a schedule.
On the first day we were supposed to encounter Time Square before “Book of Mormon”, but we got heavily delayed at the Rockefeller Center, and only had time for dinner. This meant that we had to miss out on seeing the the LOVE-HOPE sculpture. It wasn’t that special. It may be overrated… but I guess the small time romantic in me wanted to believe in a chance at Love and Hope. Luckily that same night, we randomly passed by “HOPE” and I thought… maybe, just maybe, I’d get to find love here in New York, too.
In 1997, my Papa took my sister and I to our very first West End Musical and it was Miss Saigon. I grew up singing the songs and I have the entire soundtrack memorized, so it was the first (and only) musical on my list. I remember coming into the theater and being ushered onto the box seats. It was my first West End musical and I was watching it from exclusive box seats — what a treat!
I wasn’t supposed to come on this trip. It was initially a trip planned by two of my sisters, but when the other one decided to come along, my mom thought it best that I did too. My last visit to America was in 2004 and I was still in College then, so it was due time. The only problem was I hadn’t renewed my visa yet. But when I had a successful run at the embassy and was blessed with a 10-year multiple entry, it was clear: “I am kasama” (I am going).
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”
One day, during morning devotion in the ARMS mission trip to Tacloban, we woke up to find memory verses on the table. I found Ephesians 4:1 on my side of the table and upon seeing it, I realized that it defines my life’s mission.
Mission Life Entry #2. Monday, 17th April 2017, Departure Area Legazpi Airport.
10:55am. My flight back to Manila is delayed. I am heading back from a mission with Team Jesus and I hope to rush home so I could rest, recuperate and finish packing for Tacloban. When I said “yes” to the holy week mission, I wasn’t thinking straight. But I thought, the clinic will be closed anyway, so I might as well–and I’m glad I made that decision.