Sunday morning we sat around the dinning table of the Eugenio Lopez hotel sipping Tang and coffee and getting to know our NACCAP Asia 2016 team. Most of us arrived the day before though we still had someone held up in Indonesia due to the typhoon that was raging outside and obscuring the view of the city below us. A gentle chill was emulating from the air conditioner and keeping the local Philippine humidity at bay as we introduced ourselves and shared our stories.
Every person who shared their life was beautifully different, woven uniquely into that person sitting at that table in Southeast Asia.
I don’t know what I was expecting but I was surprised by the common denominator that had brought us all to that table. It wasn't that fact that each person loved the Lord so wholly, though that was the best part, it was that no matter how different our background or where we were in our walks of life, we all had Yahweh place a passion for higher education and creating a global connection and community in us.
There was an immediate lightness and comfort in being around one another that turned quickly into good-natured joking and full belly laughing. We broke bread together, tasting new food and requesting more and more coffee, trying to kick our jet lag.
As the day wore on and we prayed for our students and planned out our first couple of days, the sky had cleared and we were able to catch the breath-taking view of the city. Our hotel was on a hill (some would say a mountain but being from Colorado, I’m not as liberal about dubbing the “M” word as my colleagues might be) and the view of the city below was vast and spectacular.
Our first break from planning we ran outside with our phones to take dozens of pictures and inhale the sweetness of the Philippine air. As I stood there, I was in awe knowing that only the King of kings, our Redeemer, our God could orchestrate something so big and so beautiful.
Standing there I had no idea how many wonderful students I was going to meet at Faith the next day, I didn’t know about each student that would light up when I talked to them about our different majors and campus life and the opportunities we had for them, I had no idea we would be laughing with parents the next night as we answered their questions about each school and talked sports with them, I did not know how exhausting but good the next days were going to be.
I did not anticipate the beauty of the campus or the generosity from the Filipino people. But as I stood there I knew God was going to do some great things this year with our 2016 NACCAP Asia team.