They Call Me Lola, God’s Plan for the Philippines

photo (3)They range in ages from yet to be born (early February),  to ten and a half. At the time my oldest daughter and son-in-law was expecting their first child, I was a young forty-four and not feeling old enough to be a, “Grand-ma,” or, “Nana,” or any other array of old sounding names. After all, our youngest son was only four years old – I was still a MOM!

But Lola, well that sounded OK. Lola is the Filipino name for grandmother. (Lolo is the name for grandfathers, but we went with Papa.)  Kristen and Matt had been missionaries to the Philippines for a short while with Mercy in Action, the organization I am partnering with on this deployment. Ethan was born in New Mexico where they were both working stateside for Mercy in Action, training midwives for international missions. There were quite a few years of Filipino influence when the first grandchild was due.

One of the things I have learned about missions and trauma care in particular is God uses common ground for opening doors and bonding. I am sure I will take a few extra pictures of my grandchildren on my phone, as well as in a small picture book for when the time comes that God uses “Lola” to open the doors of the heart. In Haiti, I was warmed to see God use the death of Micaiah as a connection with many of the older women. Even before the earthquake, the loss of children was keenly felt in their country; after the earthquake I doubt there was a mothers heart in Port au Prince and surrounding areas that was not torn on behalf of their own child, or a niece, nephew, neighbors child…

Like Rachael weeping for her children…

This trip was planned before my first grandchild was born, without my knowledge or even the notion that I would become a trauma chaplain; for chaplaincy and trauma care had not yet been fully born in my heart, but God knew. God planted Lola in my heart and in my life as a path to the Philippines, and I go in faith knowing that His plans are always perfect.

But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Ps.33:11

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