Saturday, November 12, 2011

Trip to the Philippines

Down town Manila
I just got back from a conference in the Philippines that was sponsored by Woord en Daad.  The conference had to do with vocation education something that we want to implement in AMG and also with FRMI in Cubulco.  For many years we have dreamed of having a vocational school in Cubulco so that we can teach people in Cubulco a skill that can be used to provide for their needs.  Currently in order to get ahead many people migrate illegally to the US.  This migration creates a whole slew of problems from dysfunctional families and inflation.  
The conference was held from November 7th till the 11th at an AMG Philippines vocation school called Skilled Hands.  Brian Dennett (head of AMG Guatemala) and I traveled together to be at the conference.  Our trip took us from Guatemala City to Houston and then on to LA.  From LA we flew to Tokyo and then on to Manila.  The trip took us two days and we flew for some 24 hours.  This was the longest trip either of us had ever taken and we both had never been to Asia.  It was definitely an experience of a lifetime.  
When we got to the Philippines we arrived at a different terminal and there was no one there to pick us up.  We had received a letter stating that there would be someone waiting at terminal 1 or 2.  We thought of walking to terminal 1 from terminal 3 but we decided to take a taxi instead.  It was a good thing since it took us some 30 minutes to drive there.  Terminal 3 is not connected to the other terminals as it is brand new so it is located on the other side of the run ways.  We finally got to terminal 2 but there was no one waiting for us.  We had a phone number but the phone would not take a credit card so we spent quite some time waiting.  I finally lifted up a prayer and with in seconds a young guy with a camera walks up to us and asks if we are Brian and Nico.  It was interesting how God answers prayer.  We assumed that the people who were picking us up would have had signs but I guess that was forgotten.  After that we drove two hours to the AMG Skilled Hands campus.  Even though it was 1:00 am we were warmly received by the staff and served dinner.  We did not really want to eat since we were both extremely tired since the difference between Guatemala and the Philippines is 14 hours.  At around 2:30 we were able to finally go to bed only to have to wake up at 7:00 for breakfast.  The conference started at 8:00 am.