It was Easter this week.
Sometimes I think that we under appreciate Easter. We tend to recognize Christmas as the holiday that we celebrate Jesus, and then Easter as the holiday with eggs. Easter celebrations in the Philippines are quite different than the ones that you might find in the United states, or anywhere else for that matter. 85% of the people in this country are Catholic, this leads to a pretty strong culture in the importance of Jesus and his atonement. I believe even then they miss the mark. Here over the entire Holy Week (Sunday to Sunday) there are many celebrations. Most of those involve things like singing psalms in the streets, and gatherings of family and close friends; sometimes they are a little more public, like parades; and, depending on your location, you might see a public crucifixion. This does not mean that they kill the person, as that usually takes hours for someone to die on a cross, but it is not exceptionally uncommon at these events for them to really nail someone to a cross (note this is voluntary)
This was a very different atmosphere! Generally, I am in a very safe part of the Philippines – so I didn't see anything too crazy. It made me think a lot about how much everyone tends to miss the mark with Easter.
I think the inherent problem is that the event that makes Easter a holiday that we celebrate, is an event that we do not understand.
Jesus, The Son of God in the Flesh, suffered for our sins. If we act to change and rely on Him in our lives – we may be forgiven of wrongdoings and brought into the presence of our Father again. He was sacrificed on a cross and gave his life for us. There needed to be a perfect God, given to overcome the effects of our shortcomings. And three days after that event, He took up His body again. He overcome death. This gives us the gift of Resurrection – we will all live again, we will all have life after this. if we plead with Him we can have forgiveness.
We all fall short of understanding the importance of this. It was a sacrifice that was never ending. it was a sacrifice that was salvific. it was a sacrifice to "End all sacrifices."
This really happened. Jesus, the Son of God, did really come down to live a mortal life. He suffered for you individually. This is not a fairy tale. The best part is, while we are acting on faith here, the spirit is our guide for us to know. There can be knowledge about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Prayer is the way to know.
What does this mean for us? We need to show our reliance on that sacrifice. When our life is affected by the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, He makes intercession for us with the Father. But our life also starts to look like Jesus Christ's. I can’t adequately express how this happens or how important it is, but I think every single person on the earth falls short of understanding it.
Work here has been good, not much has changed over the last few weeks. The work continues, and I love the area I am in.
Culture: See above about Easter
Tagalesson: This might not be much of a lesson in the language as it might not include any actual words for you to learn. I might put some translations in the end for you guys anyways. The Filipinos have 3 words for stupid, and each of them have specific meanings, going along with that each of them are basically swear words. These are some of the most used swear words here, and calling someone stupid here is a very big insult. Sometimes we throw around that word in America, but it can be very offensive here. The three words are like three stages of swearing – with the most offensive being a word that is very rarely used. It is an interesting thing to know about the culture that calling someone stupid is such an intense thing. It has made me take a second look at how we communicate back home.
Here are some random translations:
Kumusta ang _____ mo?: "How is your ______?"
Saan si ______? "Where is ______(person's name only)?"
Bakit Ganito? "Why like this?"
Hindi Ganito "Not like this"
Welp that is all I got. I hope that all is going well over there. The work moves forward over here. Love you all keep it up.