Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Example of Gratitude

Sis. Jiji, Genesis, Jirah Jean, Jesrel, and Genrev Jemina

Gratitude comes from the word "grace" and is one of the most appealing words ever. True gratitude is hard to find, in this age of entitlement.

Tears come to my eyes every time I read these letters, so I thought I would let you read them.

(A little background)

Last year sometime, Brenda and I were privileged to visit the village of Handumanan near Bacolod on the island of Negros in the Philippines.

Handumanan is a place with very little in the way of material blessings and comforts, yet it has a high concentration of gracious people. Handumanan might very well be one of the last places you would look for anything beautiful... and yet, there it is like a single rose pushing up out of a barren landscape of hopelessness. A people with boundless hope, wonderful personalities, and grace... loads of grace.

Handumanan is populated by about 20,000 people that the government relocated from the provincial hub of Bacolod because many of them were living on the streets. The roads end almost as soon as you enter the village and yet it sprawls in every direction, a densely populated city without any of the things we associate with a city. No lighted signs, no grocery stores, no stop signs, no parks, no open spaces, no sidewalks, well, no roads really, just paths... and yet, a million smiles.

Mother's Day we will be in Handumanan for their Anniversary Service and will say more about the church later.

So, back to the letters. As I said, we had been able to visit this village and our hearts were stolen by so many, but especially the pastor's four children. Brenda had given each one of them a little over $10 each. The letters they gave Brenda when she returned to their village last month were the perfect picture of gratitude. The children are from about 6 to 12 years old.

It amazed us what all they were able to do with the money and we were touched by their words of grace back to us. I don't think I need to say any more, the letters speak for them selves.

(If you click on the pictures they will enlarge.)