Manila Mix-Up

Have you ever been lost?

Have you ever been lost in a foreign country with other peoples precious children at night? I have…it is not an experience I would like to wish on anyone.

A few years ago, I took a team of students on a missions trip to Manila, Philippines. For many of them, it was their first time out of the country. Overall, it was a great trip. There was just that one night that seemed like it was never gonna end.

It started with my desire to find a Starbucks. Irresponsible? Perhaps. Adventurous? Definitely. To be clear, we were just heading to a mall that we had already been to. We were gonna do some souvenir shopping and I had my eye on a nice suit and my heart set on a latte.

We left late morning-early afternoon. The public transportation system in Manila is interesting to say the least. You ride on Jeepneys (pictured above) which operate on a bus-route sort of system (I’m sure it works well if you know the language and system). We made it to the mall with no problem. We shopped. We sipped lattes. We had a great time. It was getting late and we needed to get home.

As we left the mall the mix-up began. Quickly, myself and the handful of students and leaders with me became turned around…mixed up…lost! We, or at least I, thought we had taken the right jeepney…but we didn’t. Realizing our error…we tried to correct it…jumping from one jeepney to another…looking back I am sure this made matters worse.

Long story – short. We spent hours that night riding a Jeepney…attempting to communicate with the driver about where we needed to be. I remember the moment, we knew we were in the wrong place…downtown Manila (the bad part of town)…at night…driving. I told the students earlier that we needed to stop messing around and start praying…we were lost. They did. Finally, one of my leaders (thank God for great leaders), Lisa, shouted out Balut (a small town in Manila…also, a delicacy to Filipinos which I partook of…gross…see it here). YES! That’s the place…our driver was very disgruntled as that was quite a ways from where we were. I promised to pay him well…and as soon as he delivered us to our location…pay him well I did. I am not sure how much I paid, but I think we calculated it up to about a couple months wages for him…I didn’t care, we were home.

I am sure you have had some similar mix-ups…but in regards to faith, here’s what I learned…

1. Keep Praying – We prayed…and kept praying to get where we were going. We allowed the Spirit to lead us…in your faith walk…do you allow the Spirit to lead you?

2. Keep Communicating – we didn’t completely understand everything the driver said…nor did he understand us, but we didn’t allow that to keep us from communicating. In our faith, often times we don’t understand the language (the bible)…but don’t let that keep you silent. Continue to read…talk it out…meditate on it…soon you’ll have a breakthrough understanding that will get you where you want to go.

3. Pay the Price – I was willing to pay the driver to get us to our destination. I didn’t care that I over paid him by probably more than a 100%…any price to arrive where we wanted/needed to be. What price are you willing to pay to operate in your faith and destiny as God intended? Pay the price.

Add your voice and leave a comment.

God Bless!


About PRDay

Passionate follower of Jesus Christ...longing to know Him and to make Him known!

One response to “Manila Mix-Up”

  1. Charleen Day says :

    Oh boy, what an experience!!! It reminded me of the time we were on vacation up in the Hoodsport area, out on a drive in the mountains, we were lost and couldn’t get the car out of the dried up creek bed….do you remember that experience? We finally walked to the top of the hill and prayed, and then the next attempt we made, we got the car up the hill, and found our way back to our camp trailer…..hungry and thirsty!!! We had no other options but to use our faith in prayer……too bad we don’t use our faith in prayer first, more often!

    I have to say beyond your message, you telling of the story was very well done….I was engaged in the story, and compelled to find out what happened 🙂

    Love, Mom

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