One of my early posts from the Philippines included my sharing about the neighborhood where we lived and a man named Rey. I understood Rey to just be a watchman, but soon I found he had many talents and skills, including plumbing. Rey is a very honest, trustworthy, hardworking man, and as I shared before, very generous. His generosity continued to show itself the entire time we were in Malaybalay. Though limited in our conversational scope and depth by the language barrier, we still managed to develop a genuine friendship. At times it can seem that some look to us(as Americans and Missionaries) as a source for a handout in response to certain actions they may perform, but Rey has none of this and his sincerity is amazing.
Let me share some more about Rey and his family. Rey is one of the many hardworking Filipinos, who are very concerned about the needs of their family but are not held back from being generous by these concerns. There were days I felt guilty about his generosity and really prayed to the Lord to teach me to be as truly generous, to give out of my own need. If taken into account for what Rey as a Filipino and me as an American have as for as possessions and resources, I am far behind in the balance. Rey is also very faithful and consistent. He moved his family into town from their farm in order to be able to send his kids to school. The first time I went to their house I was amazed by their humble living conditions. So many Filipinos live in houses with dirt floors, their sleeping arrangements are deplorable by American standards. Filipinos sleep all together in one room typically, unless the room is too small. (This also helps to keep everyone protected from mosquitos)
Above are pictures of a bed for some of Rey’s family. The blue looking thing is a mosquito net.
On December 4th we experienced a Typhoon. It was the first of its kind to cause any damage in Malaybalay. It was thought the city was too high in the mountains. About half of Rey’s house blew away in this storm. I was able to help a little on the re-construction and Family Missions Company also donated some emergency funds! By the time I left Rey had been working nights and having friends help to rebuild his house. If you read my first blog post about Rey you will remember he was working at a house being remodeled, well he got permission to bring home the old roofing and the new roofing scraps. He used the first for, well the roof and then pieced together the scraps to make siding! It is so much better than before! His wife and family were so happy and Rey invited my whole family to come stay with them when we return. We are praying that will be in 2015!