Time with the CtL Family by Eva Muilenburg
Some blessings in life come in such a way that you cannot deny the hand of God in it. Spending time with the women and girls in CtL was just that and more. This was my 11th trip to the Philippines but everything about it felt new and revived. All my previous trips have been with groups of people I knew, and we came with specific objectives of contributing to the building projects and other action-oriented tasks. While there is a place for that, at CtL, I was reminded that relationships came first.
It was an honor beyond what I could comprehend, that my family of three were welcomed into both Alpas and Amaris homes as if we had always belonged there. We joined the girls on outings, church, family times, swimming, meals, prayer, connect groups and car rides. I loved all the space that we had to build relationships with the girls and get to know who they are. It was particularly wonderful to see my Filipina daughter reconnect with her culture and make SO many friends. Not that she really had a choice to not make friends, as the girls were immediately inclusive and claimed her as their own. My husband, Mitch, also loved journeying alongside the girls, specifically by providing endless dad-jokes and trying to learn Tagalog phrases...
It was evident that God is at work and in the business of pursuing and ministering to the hearts of not only the daughters of CtL but the staff, the volunteers, the teachers and all those who come in contact. As an Ambassador in 2022 and as a sexual abuse survivor, I believed in the vision and mission of CtL. After this trip, I am convinced that this isn't a humanistic philanthropic pursuit, CtL is God's work. He is using this organization to take ground and continue breaking the shackles of sexual exploitation and abuse in the Philippines. And being a part of His work has proven to be the riskiest and safest place to be. We pray that it's in God's will that our journey with CtL has only just begun.
Written by Eva Muilenburg