Suitcase of My Heart

On my last day in Cebu last week, I blogged about packing the suitcase of my heart with a ton of memories. It would have been declared overweight at the airport.

Now here I am, back to my desktop in Manila and the memories linger like an LSS (Last Song Syndrome) . . .

Day one:

From the Cebu airport, I was whisked off by five young ladies to a cafĂ© where we were scheduled to have light snacks. What I had not counted on was their definition of light. We had the works, direct from the chef who makes every plateful of goodies seem like it was slaved over by an Italian momma—pasta, cakes, etc. It would have sufficed for dinner, but no, my lady hosts said we would have a proper dinner after my first “gig,” a talk to the youth group of the The Living Christian Church.

Youth groups in every Christian church have one thing in common: they exude the indescribable look of being with the Lord from an early age, starting with toddler’s Sunday School. They sang and played on various musical instruments praise songs with verve and gusto.

Day two:

I couldn't get over my big hotel room, too huge for one puny me. It was one floor up from the venue of “Thank God, I Am a Woman,” which gathered over a hundred ladies who gave me the best compliment a speaker can ever hope for: rapt attention.

A few volunteered to come up on stage to answer questions and share their thoughts. One lady so touched me when she said, “I found God in Cebu.” That proved what I have always believed about Cebu: it is one special place. The Living Christian Church on its 25th anniversary was generous to the core, pouring out prizes and serving a full-feast meal masquerading as snack.

Then to the southern seaside, out in a new commercial development about ten minutes away. Just-caught seafood variety and a lively conversation with new-found friends decked our table.

(In between these busy events, I had time for a quiet chat with newly-introduced friends who share my advocacy for children.)  

Day three:

Brown out, “for the first time in years.” The heat was overpowering, but the passion in worshiping God on Mother’s Day was even more so. I was asked to speak about my mommy-hood, a privilege that would not have been possible without grace. 

A luncheon with the church’s board over the famous Cebu lechon, Chinese and Cebu rice, and dinuguan (pork blood stew) capped my fellowship with my church host.

But before my flight back to Manila, I had a short respite in a beautiful home, where I wrote “Cebu Charms” and was served more snacks. 

Then I was privileged to be a part of the intimate family dinner of Pin, the lady whose signature marked the e-vite from her church group. Encounters such as this does swell the heart, and packs even more weight in the already brimming suitcase that lodges there.

A carton of goodies was the icing on my Cebu cake from Pin and her family at the airport.

(I would  name names, but I wish to respect the privacy of everyone who went out of his/her way to pack my heart’s suitcase with grace upon grace upon grace.)

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to meet people whom you have blessed with exceeding goodness. 


Lollette said...

It was a joy to have been given the chance to speak to you personally about the similarity of our advocacies, and how I can be a better writer.
The Lord indeed has prepared you all these years for this minsitry! May God keep you safe in your travels,and strengthened in your work for His Kingdom.

Grace D. Chong said...

Thank you, Lollette! May all the kids under your care soar in their chosen careers and praise the One who gave it all.