It's Not About Me

My name is Rachael Munkley, I’m 18 years old on a gap year here in the Philippines. I come from nantwich elim church and i have been there for 4 years. I’m just trying to live my life for god the best that I can.

It's really difficult to put into words how the relief mission has impacted my life because it's unlike anything that I have experienced before.

When I arrived on the island of Coron in the Philippines I was instantly hit with the realization of how strong Typhoon Haiyan was. When things like this have happened in the past I thought “oh that's sad” and I’d feel sorry for them. Seeing it on a T.V screen doesn't do the devastation justice. There were huge trees fallen over with their roots ripped from the soil, metal completely reshaped, houses completely flattened. Even though I have now seen that same thing multiple times, I still cannot comprehend the strength of the storm, how something could do such damage. And it makes me realize how terrifying it must have actually been to be there during the typhoon.

From all the trips we have been able to help in so many different ways. We have given out food packs, school supplies, chain saws to help people rebuild their houses and communities. It's great to know that through all the donations from those in Elim, and everyone else who has donated from the Philippines and around world, we will be able to help with children's education, feeding people with no food and help rebuild houses that will be much stronger than the housing that they had before. It's also been great being able to give a Christmas party, Christmas packs and gifts to the children, who would have received nothing otherwise.

After seeing and meeting the people who we can help, seeing how they were so filled with joy at just the thought of there being some help for them, seeing that smile light up their whole face, it made me realize how great a project it really is.

By helping these people it has really made me realize that life is not about what you receive or how much you have. It's about what you can give. I realized this during the second trip to Coron.

On Christmas morning I awoke feeling strange and a little sad, even though I was so excited to bring a Christmas party to the children. This was because it was different, I was in a hot country without my family and I just couldn't shake the thought of how it felt strange. But when we were setting up and decorating it really just struck me, “Rachael, you are involved in something so much greater, so what if it’s not what you are used to? This Christmas is not about you, but about giving to those children who have nothing. It's also about how Jesus came down to us, who had nothing and gave us life. Essentially that is what Christmas and Jesus is about. Giving.”

After I came to this realization, even though I wasn't with my parents or my family, it was the best Christmas I have ever had.

It is so hard to do the trip justice. I have focused so much on me, what the impact on my life was, what my experience was. When in fact, its not about me at all, It's all about the people. I'm just one person but they are many. I have loved being part of a team who have impacted many people’s lives. I feel so privileged and I thank God that I was given the opportunity to be part of something so amazing.

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