I can't believe that in only three days, I will be in transit to a country I've longed to visit for many, many years! This Thursday, I will depart on a ten day journey to the Philippines. Traveling in the company of enthusiastic Unbound sponsors from around the country, I will have the opportunity to witness firsthand the amazing work of Unbound.
This recent press release details our adventure:
Unbound, an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics and grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first, will host Lisa Hendey, founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and bestselling author, on a trip to the Philippines February 4-15, 2016.
Hendey sponsors 8-year-old Jackilyn through Unbound. They will meet for the first time. "I'm thrilled to be going and I'm so excited to meet [Jackilyn] and her family," Hendey said.
Hendey will travel as part of an Unbound awareness trip. These trips introduce travelers to children and elders who are part of the program. Travelers witness how families are building paths out of poverty through benefits like education, nutrition, microloans and even care for the environment.
Hendey looks forward to visiting with families served through Unbound and sharing her experiences with her readers.
"There is something about being there in person and seeing the work that just makes it more real and encourages us to realize the little sacrifices we make to be a part of it are a blessing to families," Hendey said.
Hendey says she knows the Filipinos "to be incredible people of faith and family," despite the hardships and natural disasters they have endured in recent years. "I am eager to see firsthand how we can help them through [Unbound's] services," she said.
"We thank Lisa for joining us on this adventure, as together we put flesh on the bones of Catholic social teaching," said Paco Wertin, church relations director at Unbound.
As with any international travel opportunity, this week is filled with last minute details: changing money, verifying travel documents, planning what to pack and especially joyfully anticipating meeting with not only the other sponsors but with my sponsored child Jackilyn and her family.
It looks as though our travel weather will be dry and clear. When I arrive in Manila on Saturday, I'll be greeted by Unbound staff and will receive an orientation to both their services and our travel plans for the week. I have been working diligently on learning a few phrases in Tagalog, one of the most commonly spoken indigenous languages of the Philippines. Stay tuned for video bloopers of my bad but heartfelt communications efforts in progress!
A few facts about the Philippines that I've learned this week:
- The time zone is 16 hours ahead for me (I live in the Pacific time zone)
- My total journey time will be over 25 hours
- The expected high for Saturday is 90 in Manila
- 1 Philippine Peso equals 0.021 US Dollar
- The word for "hello" in Tagalog is "Kumusta" (kuh-muh-stah)
I know that this trip with be filled with many blessings and adventures. As with any trip of this kind, I anticipate that by sharing our mission with you, you will be able to witness firsthand not only the profound work of Unbound, but also the many lessons that I will learn from the families we meet. I am thrilled to be bringing you along for the journey of a lifetime!
My patron saints for this adventure will be St. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila and his companions, who gave their lives for their faith, and Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance). Please join me in praying for Our Lady's intercession in the work of Unbound and for the courage and conviction of St. Lorenzo to lovingly reach out to those most in need.
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Copyright 2016 Lisa M. Hendey
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.