Paula and I have just returned from 4 weeks (the whole of August) oversees. We spent the first week in Thailand at the Pan Asia Global Mission Conference, followed by a 3 week mission trip to the slum of Baseco in Metro Manila, Philippines, where an Aussie couple Mark & Christine Pedder have lived and worked as Missionaries for the last 11 years. This is the place that Paula & I will be initially going to next year when we move to the Philippines as full time Missionaries (Field Workers). We did a previous blog with a video called “BASECO will be our new home!” When we go next year full time we will live & work in Baseco under the Pedders for anywhere up to 2 years, learning as much as we can from them. After our initial time with the Pedders we will go to another place in the Philippines and start a new work there.
This was the first time Paula & I had been to the area of Baseco which is approximately 1 square klm and home to 100, 000 people. In the slum area there is never a dull moment with something always going on. The constant noise level from nearby construction sites, the shipping port next door & plane flight path should be enough, however there is also the people, roosters, dogs, cats, children and of course the not so welcoming Karaoke Entertainment, all which has a time zone of its own.
I came home from Baseco with a new and greater Honor, Respect & Admiration for Mark & Christine Pedder and the God directed work and passion that these saints of the faith are doing. Just to live and minister in this slum is challenging enough but to have such influence in so many peoples lives in the diversity of areas as they do, is something else.
Paula & I are honored and greatly blessed to be going and serving God under these great people.
Left to Right: Paula, Ashley, Christine & Mark
No matter what your circumstances may be, Jesus has an answer and in fact He is the answer.
That is the hope in Jesus that is slowly changing the face of Baseco, one person (soul) at a time. No-one is turned away, everyone that Mark & Christine & their leaders encounters is seen as an opportunity to share Jesus whether verbally or by “Christ’s love in action”. We witnessed this love by everything from bandaging wounds (which the patient would never be able to afford medical care) to rebuilding slum houses to connecting lives to the King of Glory. People may be poor in material sense but when they become a child of God Almighty they then possess the most valuable/richest possession that a person can own on earth. Their ticket to truth, peace, salvation and heaven. That in itself is what it is all about. That is what motivates, drives and keeps us going when we want to give up.
Just like to end with some of the words from a Delirious song “Majesty”, which encourages me regularly, hopefully it will you also.
“Your Grace has found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in your hands”
God Love YouAshley