Philippines Pt. 2 – Malibay

After a solid 3 1/2 hours of sleep, fueled by little more than lugaw and adrenalin, eight of us delegates – the others from Georgia and North Carolina – were picked up in nicely air-conditioned vehicles, and driven to the meeting for field service* at Malibay Congregation.

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The eight of us were greeted by half or more of the congregation with warm smiling faces, we were divided up and each sent with 2 of the locals, and then driven to the neighborhood for our voluntary preaching work.

The locals use umbrellas to shield themselves from the hot sun.

The locals use umbrellas to shield themselves from the hot sun.

Handing out invitations to the "God's Word is Truth" convention to all in the community.

Handing out invitations to the “God’s Word is Truth” convention to all in the community.

My new friends and field service partners.

My new friends and field service partners.

All ages working together, including this sweet 90 year old sister.

All ages working together, including this sweet 90-year-old sister.

After our morning of field service we were taken to a fantastic buffet teeming with Asian delights, including my first taste of halo halo, a popular Filipino dessert made of shaved ice, evaporated milk, sweet beans, plantains, tapioca, sweet potatoes and coconut.

Once we had our fill of so many amazing dishes, we were returned to the Kingdom Hall.  To our surprise the entrance was decorated with balloons, welcome signs, and more smiling faces than before.  The entire congregation was there, and most were dressed in traditional Filipino attire.  We were seated in the middle of the room, adorned with leis and beaded necklaces, presented with gifts, and entertained for over 2 hours with songs and dancing.  The preparation and excitement that went into the performance was delightful and overwhelming.  The hospitality and love that these strangers showed for us brought tears to our eyes.  Even writing this now I feel overcome with emotion.

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All of the children in the congregation performed for us a beautiful song.

All of the children in the congregation performed for us a beautiful song.

A traditional hat dance performed by some of the girls.  They gave us the hats as souvenirs, and mine is now sitting on my bedroom dresser.

A traditional hat dance performed by some of the girls. They gave us the hats as souvenirs, and mine is now sitting – yes it survived the 22 hour journey home – on my bedroom dresser.

All of the pioneers sang a song, while in their beautiful filipino attire.

All of the pioneers sang a song, while in their beautiful Filipino attire.

The very tricky Tinikling Bamboo Dance.

The very tricky looking Tinikling Bamboo Dance.

As soon as the performance was complete, we spent a lot of time introducing ourselves, getting to know everyone, and taking pictures with one another.  Our cheeks ached from smiling with genuine happiness.  After that we were taken next door where a few sisters had prepared a wonderful feast of more Filipino delights for the eight of us.

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A lizard joining us for dinner.

A lizard joining us for dinner.

The day ended with my travel partner, Kristina, and I collapsing into our beds at 8pm from jet lag, exhaustion, and emotion.  This first day of our trip was going to be hard to beat.

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Rebecca Knabe

*Field service – or the door-to-door ministry of Jehovah’s Witnesses – is done voluntarily worldwide in 239 lands by over 7.5 million individuals.  Its purpose is so that everyone on the planet has the opportunity, if they so desire, to learn about and read the Bible in their own language.  As an organization we currently print the Bible and Bible study aids in 595 languages.

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7 thoughts on “Philippines Pt. 2 – Malibay

  1. Oh Rebecca, what a wonderful glimpse into what the new system will be like. That all people will get along and love and care for one another! Thankyou for sharing your trip with us. I cried when I read it because it is wonderful.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful view of the convention. You made a comment in one of your post about your uncle being atheist but appreciating the prayer at the meal. I thought, ” Wow, that sounds like a brother’s prayer!” So I was really thrilled to find this post about the convention. My husband and I have just purchased a 38′ park model trailer ( older model) and parking it at our daughter’s house. Hubbie does many projects for KH’s so our plans are to downsize. Congrats on your marriage! Sorry for no paragraph breaks. Love your site! Debbie Chapman Anderson east congregation in Anderson SC

    • Thanks, Debbie! And nice to meet you! I’m in Hunter Lake Congregation in Reno. The Special Convention in the Philippines remains one of the best experiences of my life.
      Have fun with your downsizing and new/old trailer. 🙂

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