Karly Herb participated in a three week Adventures Encounter trip to Kids International Ministries in Manila, Philippines. She fell in love with the community and describes below being transformed by God’s love through the people she encountered.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.”
1 John 4:16
Love was truly evident to me in the Philippines this past summer. It was in the wonderful faces at the Children’s Home. The way that the orphaned and abandoned children showed me love despite what they’ve been through was the most uplifting experience I have been a part of. They showed love in so many ways and taught me things that have changed my life forever.
When I first visited the Children’s Home, I was a stranger but they welcomed me as family. They loved me before they even knew me. These children had so much joy and love in their hearts that it was contagious. Their smiles, hugs, and laughs will never leave my mind. The best way to describe it is that feeling of happiness that sends a tingling feeling that goes from the tip of your toes to the top of your head.
The first day that we visited the children, they leapt into my arms not knowing who I was, where I came from, or why I was there. These beautiful children showed me what it looks like to love to someone as God loved us. They ranged in age from infants to teenagers but showed love in the same way. It was strong, life changing, joyful and heartfelt love. A love that will never leave my heart.
Another life changing experience was when I spent time in the hospital with a little boy from the orphanage who had Dengue fever. The second I stepped into the hospital room I instantly started tearing up. I knew the little boy was not feeling well. The reason I was tearing up was because God was telling me how much I was about to care for this child. He gave me a glimpse of his love for me.
This child had a smile and a laugh that lit up a room. His personality made everybody feel better. I cared and loved him so much I never wanted to leave him.
God showed me love through these children by just being able to spend my entire afternoon with them. They loved taking pictures and always wanted to have me and as many kids as possible in the picture. I now have an entire album of pictures that I will treasure forever.
We also took some of the children outside of the home to play pool, ping pong, watch a movie, go swimming, or just to have some ice cream. I treasure these times and small moments that I usually take for granted. Time goes by so quickly when you’re at home but it slowed down while I was with the children. Time became about treasuring the relationships God gave me.
In addition to playing and spending time love on the children, I was able to have devotion time with the kids. They have so much love for Jesus. They sang for us at the beginning, beautiful voices that sang from the depth of their hearts. This showed me that God is always listening and that he says to sing a joyous song unto him. I may not have the best voice but I have now started to sing much louder and with love for God because of those life changing children.
I could talk for days about these wonderful children and it is hard to put in words how truly amazing they are. There is not a minute in my day that I do not think about them.
They changed my life in so many ways. God led me to these children in the Philippines and I am so blessed he did. I now have new views on life and see love in a different way thanks to the children. They truly changed my life and I cannot wait to return to them soon!