“To know God and make Him known.”
LAST Tuesday, the Discipleship Training School of Honolulu, Hawaii made a courtesy call at the office. We had brief sharing of Youth with A Mission (YWAM) and their team’s outreach in the Philippines. The outreach team was accompanied by Marlon Pitas, the head of YWAM ichTrinidad. Then they prayed for me and my staff.
After which we proceeded to the Mayor’s office and prayed for the staff, then to the office of Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and finally to the office of Councilor Elaine Sembrano. The other councilors were not around.
Not so many people know that I have been with YWAM. I took my DTS-Relief and Development in YWAM Heidebeek in 1998. That was the time I lived in Heerde, Holland to study. I was coming from Nepal and that was where I got my Schengen visa for the Netherlands. I remember arriving in Schiphol Airport and our school leader was standing there with a poster bearing my name. Got me and we went to Licht en Duuster where I will be housed for the whole duration of my course.
That same day I have to practice riding a bicycle. Not that I do not know, but it’s something I did in Burnham park in the 1980s where I scratched and bled my arms and knees learning to bike. The Netherlands is below sea level and mostly flat grounds, so biking is a major transport mode. It was only on the third day that I rode solo (without someone holding the back of my bike) to the training center.
From our Licht en Duuster, we I ride through a middle of a village (most homes have their curtains drawn that I can see inside their homes) then a forest of tall trees with a bike path and pass by a farm, sometimes I stop and watch the peacocks strut with pride. Riding those bikes brought us everywhere. I bike alone or with someone through the woods near our school or our living quarters.
Together with Anne Laure and Sussane Beir we would regularly ride to Epe for our supplies, go to the next town to dine or to the museum. They were my roommates, Anne was Swiss and Sussane was German and we had great discussions and prayer time during those months we roomed together.
At that time I was the only Asian among Europeans, Americans and Canadians. I was a favourite and they know if it’s something weird (like a coin, food, dress) it would be mine. But one weekend I cooked chicken pork Adobo and they liked it. I also learned to love eating their pancakes which were really crepes, bread and soup. I was in charge of breakfast and all I have to do was bring out some bread, peanut butter, jams, cheese, muesli, cereals, fruits and milk. Some don’t take breakfast but would just grab a fruit on the way out to school. The rest would make sandwiches with peanut, jam, jelly or ham, cheese and others. We do not make lunch because we have hot meal in school.
Some volunteers of the community come and cook for us as we were about 150 persons in the campus. Sometimes we have rice, sometimes pasta (to me it was noodles) sometimes potatoes with meat and vegetables. At dinner it’s not a must be together thing. Some would cook crepes and everyone come to join the fun, sometimes soup which could be anything.
In other times, we make our own dinner which could be a sandwich, the lesser calories the better. Bread comes from purchases or from donations from local bakeries which we kept in a freezer and brought out when we use them. At one time in Spring we were having barbeque in the yard at nearly midnight, because it was not yet dark though it was already 11 o’clock at night.
That visit of the YWAMers brought a flood of memories from Heidebeek and if I get another chance to travel to the Netherlands, it would be a great to bike back to a place that I lived briefly in time.