The Difficult Reality

Trip Start Jun 28, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2014

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Flag of Philippines  , Eastern Visayas,
Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hello Everyone
 Once I took a step away from the situation, a literal escape to nearby islands where life was virtually going on as if nothing had happened, the gravity of the work to be done was somewhat overwhelming. And now as the one month anniversary has arrived, I am still trying to take things day by day, forcing myself to stay in the moment, doing the most I can each day and letting myself be satisfied with that.
It is difficult for me to comprehend and accept. These months of construction, anticipation, community growth, excitement, thankfulness, happiness, hard work, dedication, the dirt, sweat, and tears of joy. And now to see my center partially destroyed, and yet again construction is needed to bring the center back to completion. It reflects the heart of the people of Cangumbang, damaged but not shut down. The beauty of the village, the ease, the simplicity, the innocence, the pure enjoyment of each moment, it has been stripped away exposing the most important aspect of all. Community, love, faith, and resilience. The ability to accept the any challenge or struggle set before them. The ability to overcome disadvantage, hunger, meaningless wants, a future full of unknown outcomes. The ability to freely live, to freely love, and to freely give of oneself entirely to surviving each day. These characteristics are the heart of Cangumbang, the individuals make the heart beat despite any environmental impediments. They will never give up, and I will never give up my mission for them, my love for their children, my determination to build a better future for generations to come.

I am struggling to find a contractor and design for the roof, I may have managed the constructino of the center and the development of the activities with the community, but this is my fault. I can purchase the supplies, get them to the village, and find the people to rebuild, but I need direction and at this moment I am having difficulties finding the right individual to guide me moving forward.
I look at the videos of the past, the first day of construction when the center seemed like only a dream. I often reflect on the emotions that came with each day on construction the frustration of needing a cement mixer but not being able to locate one, the satisfaction of a long days work, the joy and exhaustion when we poured the floor until the wee hours of the morning, the beauty of the blessing ceremony when the community could finally join together within the four walls of the center. I look at the photos after its completion, the hand prints of the children who literally helped build the center.
I remember that these handprints were placed with a purpose, not only with love and joy, but with a plan, that no matter what weather would come upon them be it rain or sun, these handprints would remain intact as a symbol of their dedication and hard work. The handprints are still there, each and everyone. I have to remind myself of the community's power, so that I too can feel filled with their abilities and optimism and not become bogged down in the possibilities for misfortune or questions about the future, but continue to rejoice daily in the survival of each and every child and family in Cangumbang.


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Mom on

God provided the funds, the cement mixer and everything else in the past that was needed, he will provide the right contractor for the repairs. Continue to seek one out but know that God has already chosen the right man for the job, you just need to find one another :)

Polly Lindsay on

Mom's right 'ya know, our ever-loving God is not done working miracles through you dear Elsa. I'm confident your divinely designed encore performance will be no less impressively successful as the first. Peace -n- Love always and forever :)

carolina on

thanks for send some pictures because I can see I will praying for all people.

Kayla Patterson on

Elsa, you never cease to be an inspiration to me. Your motivation and dedication is remarkable and you should never doubt your ability to do good. You do good every day, and so many people recognize and respect you for that. I can only imagine how easy it is to feel lost, but one day at a time, things will progress and get better. I know they will with your help! Love you and miss you! Stay strong.

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