Most importantly, this was a mission trip I felt drawn to. I am not sure why, so it must have been God pushing me. I consciously stopped trying to pre-empt the experience before leaving because I only had World Vision images as a reference.
Several images impacted my soul and remain etched in my memory, because of their beauty and how they challenge our Australian mindset and expectations.
Imagine a tiny 4-year-old girl cradling, rocking and feeding a 3-month-old baby with diligent, loving focus, care and attention. It didn't seem right, l felt I should take the baby away and navigate the narrow staircase myself, but this little girl was so confident and so knowing it was beautiful! I realised over the duration of the trip that every child in the orphanage had a sense of belonging and purpose and they contributed to the functioning of the premises in their own way.
The image of 80 bright eyed, cheerful, orphaned Philippine children who had seen and experienced too much suffering in their short lives, who had very little but shared everything, all singing and praising God at the top of their voices, with hands in the air, to the words of bible songs and hymns, with such gratitude and joy. This brought me to tears, both overwhelmed me and challenged my own level of worship and praise.
I would recommend anyone who has the inclination in their heart to participate in a mission, to find one that draws them and follow that lead, do not consider the financial cost too much, because you cannot afford to miss out on the spiritual dividends. This trip will remain vividly in my memory and has deepened my belief of what can be achieved when we are obedient to Gods call.