This month I head back to the Philippines as part of a delegation from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and San Francisco Theological Seminary. Hard life, I know.
And while my last trip was a lovely mix of reflection and fun, on this trip I am primarily there to get a first-hand look at recovery efforts in Tacloban, strengthen partnerships with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and celebrate a new partnership agreement between Silliman University and San Francisco Theological seminary.
The Delegation is as follows:
- Mienda Uriarte – Area Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific of the PCUSA.
- Laurie Kraus – Coordinator for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance of the PCUSA.
- Luke Asikoye – Program Associate for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance of the PCUSA.
- Valery Nodem – Program Associate for Presbyterian Hunger Program of the PCUSA.
- Emily Miller – Program Assistant for Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) of the PCUSA.
- Jim MacDonald – President of SFTS and Board member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
- (me) Bruce Reyes-Chow – PCUSA Moderator of the 218th General Assembly.
I will update this post as I am able and technology willing, but, you can also follow our trip via @breyeschow [twitter and/or instagram] and the Young Adult Volunteer Program via @YAVProgram [twitter and/or instagram]. I will keep a complete gallery of pictures on www.aboyandhiscamera.com and photo highlights on facebook.
The first couple of days have been mostly about conquering jet lead. My aging body is grateful for the pace of this trip. Sometimes we just go, go, go, but this year we are easing into the trip a little more. We began with some orientation with the folks from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Over the past 5-6 years some of the folks have become dear friends, so comfort level was pretty high.
Cobbie Palm, one of our Mission Co-workers took us on a quick tour of Quiapo and Intromuros. While I have been on this tour with him a few times, always good to be reminded of the history and stories.
Our own delegation seems to be getting along pretty well. I had known Mienda, Emily and Laurie, but because I am the only member of our group who does not work for the denomination, so I am just getting to know Luke and Valery. there has been much laughter and I look forward to our next week+ together.