I have spent the better part of the last three years living in the Philippines at The Father’s House, a safe home for “street children and other children a risk.” My initial role was to be a house parent, or in my case, a house grandparent, to the children, helping to give them a sense of stability, a sense of family. Beyond that, I did not know any specifics or have any agenda; the Lord simply said to me, “Go. Meld. Just be there. I will show you what to do.”
And so it went. To just say “yes” opened up the door to an adventure I could never imagine! The first surprise God had for me was that LifePoint took me on as its first fulltime missionary and has supported me throughout. And the people of LifePoint have supported me even beyond. I thank you!
At the Father’s House, I became known as “Lola Trish” and at our local church, “Nanay Trish.” Grandmother and Mother. The loving, compassionate, and generous people of the Philippines took me in as part of their family!
Being Grammy and Mama would have been enough of a blessing for me, but over time, God revealed other roles to fill. By the end of my term, I had been leader, teacher, counselor, chaplain, multi-cab bus driver, grocery shopper, sari-sari store operator, FHF handbook developer, assistant and confidant to Ludy (their live-in guardian), and “keeper of the rules.” And I learned to be a scooter driver, too, thanks to LP people and their generosity.
So now I am home here in Arizona. It was difficult to leave the Philippines. My home is in both places! But I heard the Lord say that my time was finished for full-time; the local people will now step in and continue to love on the kids that I call my own. This leading of the Lord is almost as difficult to answer with “yes” as it was to say “yes” to going in the first place. It is a surrender of my will to His will.
As a last note, thank you all for “praying me home” through my door-to-door 46.5-hour traveling from Samal Island to Davao City, to Manila, to Korea, to Los Angeles, to Phoenix, to home with my family. I had God’s protection from possible cancellations and quarantines; all went smoothly through four different airlines and five airports! It was AWESOME, to say the least. TO GOD BE THE GLORY, to say the most!
Patricia “Trish” Van Alstyne, missionary