A Day in the Life of a Missionary
By Rebecca Tilyou
6:00am Wake up! Feeling a little under the weather so I snooze til 6:13. I get dressed and then sit in the hammock on our porch for my morning prayer time.
7:00 Team breakfast – oatmeal!
7:30 Team prayer – reading and sharing on the psalms from Liturgy of the Hours.
8:15 Gigi comes to the door so we invite her in for a cup of coffee and rice.
8:30 Arrive at Holy Rosary High School to teach our first class of the day – 8th grade Values. Sing praise and worship with the students and give them a lesson on breaking the bad chains of sin and building a good chain as a Christian community within the classroom.
10:45 Teach 7th grade, section B.
12:00 Finally home and it feels like it’s time for a nap! Hang out with the team and eat lunch – fried rice and leftover squash from last night’s dinner.
1:15 Meet up with our friend Jona who will guide us to the home of MJ, a teenage boy currently not enrolled in school. We are hoping to speak with MJ and his parents and encourage him to return to Holy Rosary High School for a Catholic education.
2:35 Return to school for a meeting with the principal. Stop to chat with our friends, the team of carpenters who are renovating the entire school. Some of the 10th grade boys are currently sitting on long wooden benches since there are not enough chairs for all the students, so today the carpenters are scraping and repainting old rusted chairs that were in storage.
3:00 On the way home, we spot a neighborhood boy, Oceaus, riding his bike in the distance. He is another boy like MJ who we are encouraging to enroll at Holy Rosary; we try to chase him down but he doesn’t see us and disappears from our sight. We pray that he’ll turn his bike around to give us the opportunity to follow up with him.
3:15 Walking further up the hill towards the mountain, we stop to chat with a lady in front of her house, and a few moments later Oceaus comes riding up! We walk and talk with him for a while, and he smiles as he admits that he has decided to return to HRHS – salamat sa Dios!
3:30 We approach the Catholic cemetery at the base of the mountain and Oceaus tells us that his grandfather is buried there. He leads us to the gravesite and we stop to pray for the soul of his Lolo.
4:00 Heading back home, we meet an elderly woman, Rosalinda, who asks us for money to buy food for her family – 10 people live in her house, she says. We bring her to our house for some dried rice and a prayer.
4:30 Our 17-year-old neighbor and her adorable 3-year-old brother drop by for a visit.
5:00 Friday night Bible study at our cottage! Teens start arriving and we chat and sing a few songs to break the ice.
5:20 It’s our biggest Bible study yet! Fourteen of our students have shown up for prayer, praise and worship, and Scripture sharing. Tonight’s reading is from John 6 on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I was worried beforehand about how we could discuss such a complex topic with the language barrier, but in the moment the Holy Spirit gives me with all the Visayan words I need to say. Many of the students also share their thoughts on this passage. Praise the Lord!
6:45 After jamming out on our ukuleles (Filipinos love to sing and learn songs quickly), everyone gives us hugs and heads home, excited for our next Bible study.
6:50 We hurry down to the market to buy some rice and veggies to make for dinner. On the way we get a phone call from a friend and past student who has just begun her first year of college on the mainland. She sounds a little homesick and I am glad to be able to offer her some comfort and share a Bible passage with her over the phone.
7:45 Finally sit down for dinner with the team. It’s the eve of my teammate’s birthday, so we surprise her with a few gifts and enjoy laughing together as we share funny moments from our day.
10:30 After taking my nightly shower, tidying up the porch, and writing this blog post, I’m ready to sleep. Perhaps I’ll be able to keep my eyes open long enough to read a little of the Bible before passing out on my bed mat. Goodnight, everyone!
By Rebecca Tilyou