In the September school holidays in NZ, Aimee (aged 14), her mum Kylie and friend Kris, had the opportunity to visit our partners in the Philippines for approx 10 days.
For me, the Phillipines trip was an amazing, eye opening experience! Where we went was very different to what I had expected prior to going. The people that we met were very kind to my Mum, Kris and I. I made lots of friends with the youth at ACCF and I hope to see them again next time! We played lots of volleyball (which increased my skill because wasn’t very good at it), and they loved to ask questions about what it was like in New Zealand and what I liked to do. One time they made me try cheese ice cream, which I thought was weird at the start, but it ended up being yum! It didn’t take me long to get used to their culture, but is definitely different to ours! I like how they keep a lot of their history by using monuments such as the Quezon memorial circle to celebrate a former president and Jose Rizal (a national hero) with the spanish city. Seeing both of these monuments helped me understand more about what the people there had been through and now celebrate. One thing I loved was riding in a Jeepney and sitting in the front! It was fun seeing the streets and seeing what people do on a daily basis. One of the hardest things for me while I was there was the heat. My body was definitely not used to the heat or the temperature. Another hard thing was seeing all of the people who didn’t have much, since New Zealand definitely has a lot more. It made me feel like I was very blessed with what I had. Something that surprised me was that there was a lot of thunder and lightning compared to New Zealand! Another thing that surprised me was the size of the beetles and ants when we were staying at the Word Of Life Campus situated in the forest. I tried my best to avoid them because I did not want to touch them! I really enjoyed meeting my family’s sponsor child, Trixie, and her family because I got to learn more about her and what we were allowing her to do with the money given. We learnt a lot of sad things that are happening to their family currently, so I hope that they will keep persevering to move forward. I really enjoyed the experiences that I had in the Philippines and staying with Ate Gina and Given who were our tour guides while we were there. I can’t wait to go back because I had so much fun!
Here's some feedback from those who joined us for our recent trip in April 2019:
Basil – Tauranga What a wonderful thrill to meet the pastors of three or four churches and spend time in fellowship with them. What lovely, friendly congregations and wonderful young adults, some of whom are sponsored by Starfish Ministries. They are so bright and such godly young men and women. I was so blessed to spend time with them and the delightful young children at the DVBS (Daily Vacation Bible School) we helped with. We had a great week with Agape folks and a big thank you to Gina for your hospitality. Last, but not least, our few days spent at the Word of Life camps just blew me away. They are wonderful camps with amazing facilities and outlooks. We loved the opportunity to have this experience.
Kylie - Tauranga Visiting our past and new sponsor girls and their families, and staying with one of them was a real highlight. Getting to know them better and living their lifestyle for a while and being involved in special family events was really humbling and special.
Kris – Te Awamutu For me, the trip had it’s great points and some difficult points. The struggles of the heat and sleeping , sometimes, in close quarters among 6 or 7 others with the only toilet in the next door house. I also struggled at times with the language and couldn’t understand or be understood. But being together as a team, under a great leader who gave us strength to convey the word of Christ and see the enjoyment and encouragement gained by the people as we visited and joined in with them made a huge impact. We experienced lots of different things and situations and a saying that was often used was, “that’s the way it is”. It was really just something
amazing and yet something so different from what we were used to.
Would I go again? Yes I would!
Phoebe - Auckland Seeing the church workers, parents and youth tirelessly serving in their churches or ministries are inspirational. Some of these people have very little but serve diligently with what they have. It reminds me and challenges me to serve the church or community with whatever (resources, time, talents) I have. Whenever I look back on this trip, it's the memories of people that warms my heart. A worthwhile trip.
Thinking of joining us in the Philippines next year but don't know what to expect? Hear what some past missions trip attendees have said afterwards
2018 will be a major milestone for us at Starfish. It marks 10 years since we began in 2008 and we think it is worth celebrating. We are still in the early stages of planning but we are hoping to organise a celebration dinner in Hamilton on Saturday April 28th and we would love you to join us. More details will be released nearer the time.
We are inviting some overseas guests to join us so it should be a great night.