Sacrifice, Dedication and Joy | {Manila Philippines}

We met on my first trip to Manila over 6 years ago. We didn't speak much but while I helped at a teen camp their ministry team coordinated it was the mime he performed to a song that grabbed my heart. I knew Mackie was a cool guy but his gift to communicate through music and motions was nothing like I'd ever seen before.

He is truly one of the most gracious and giving gentlemen I've ever met. I hesitantly asked him if he'd be willing to teach me the song/motions and he gladly obliged. Me- the white girl with no moves and one who is very poor with timing and dance.. teaching me to try and present a message eliquently through song and fluid movements was a JOB. Thanks to his patience, encouragement and perseverance I was able to pick it up and learn the routine.

He didn't stop there- once we returned home he accompanied me to the local market and helped me get the appropraite gloves, white face make up, lip stain, etc. so I'd be able to share it with others just the way I'd seen him share it with me.

I saw him again a couple of years ago while I was living in Manila and thanks to Facebook we've continued to stay in touch.

I was so excited to see him on my most recent trip… since I was there he married the love of his life and became the father of a beautiful little girl. He's currently serving with YM and International Teams and I know over the past year he'd worked to raise funds to move his family into a slightly larger apartment so when I asked if I could come visit his family I was suprised when he was slightly hesitant at first. When I arrived at his humble home I also learned of a story that not only resignates in my heart today but truly hit home as he explained and shared.



Mackie is loyal and dedicated not only to his friends, his family but to anyone he meets.

He shared the story of the decision that led them from their apartment to the small, two story plywood home he proudly built.

His wife has a 14 year old niece whose parents abandon. Her mom went one direction with her step siblings and her father went the other with his girlfriend and her children while she was left alone.

He decided it would be best to return to the neighborhood where he was raised, a small shanty town off a sidestreet in Makati. To extablish a simple home and to use the extra funds he would save in rent to enable them to adopt this young girl and send her to school.

He made a sacrifice.. he'd beat the odds of his culture and established a different life for himself and his family- more comfortable living quarters than he'd experienced as a child. He left it behind and returned to rescue his niece in law and do what was best for her while still providing for his family.

They saved for 6 months so they could build their new home- complete with a hinged door and lock.

I sat there thinking… wow would I do the same thing?

Would I leave a comfortable life that I'd worked so hard for… would I leave behind the new found blessings to return to a former way of life in the intrests of others? Could I be that humble? Could I do the same thing with no resentment? Could I make the move without being upset or angry? At the end of each day would I still have a happy heart?