Love Out Loud v7 by Anon
Love Out Loud v7 by Anon
On the 26th of July, we felt so blessed!
An hour before noon, we were so crammed with lots of things to do as we prepare to meet the children of Maranatha Chruch at GMA, Cavite later that day. I remembered skipping lunch just to make sure that we have everything in order: notebooks lined up prettily, papers finely stacked together, and pencils well accounted for. But the other 2 who were left with me to finish off packing didn’t even bat an eyelid until we saw that all the materials we intend to bring were safely tucked in bags. Several more materials kept coming until 30mins past noon (dapat pala nagpacut-off kame nun..haha) so we kept on rearranging the bags to fit the papers in until we saw that everything looks good enough.
Several hours later, we’re off to our destination to meet the kids we’ve been excited to see since we’ve planned to join this outreach program.
It started in an eye-catching photo posted in Green Mountain Tribe’s facebook page which I have been included for quite some time now. We met the group’s founder, Sir Ceejay Custodio (drum rolls and fire works inserted here J)and several GMT members a couple of years back on a climb in Tanay Rizal. My friends and I knew on first meeting that this ‘tribe’ is made up of fun and nature loving people but since we haven’t gotten another opportunity to climb with them again, (until last Feb) it was hard to guess that the group has its hands full. Not only with conquering mountains but with making small but notable differences in the lives of those they encounter (that includes ME *wink*)
What we had arranged that day with Sir Ceejay’s crew was to directly meet at the location in the afternoon since the morning for us is dedicated to our church service. A short briefing was supposed to take place before we start the program but it was not possible since my team was a little late. (Yes, Sir Marlon, we were just a little late..hehe). Anyway, I must say that the bunch of volunteers I brought with me were not novices anymore when it comes to children programs. All of us came from one church that have been doing similar campaigns for kids since we were established, but this would be the first time we would do this outside our territory. To add up, it was the first time we would be working together with people whom we will be meeting for the first time.
When we arrived, (I am editing the part where we almost got lost on our way….*_*) the program was nearly started so we quickly made our way in after paying respects to several GMT volunteers at the gate since some of them were already inside. The kids looked very excited as they sat there, waiting for the program to begin while the other volunteers were busy preparing little games for everyone. No formal introduction happened between Sir Ceejay’s team and mine but it was amazing how everyone worked well together. It must be because we were there for the same purpose and that is to give little happiness to kids even though we don’t know them at all.
I had some moment to observe from the side (before the ever-compelling Sir Ceejay dragged me for a little hosting) while the others did their tasks and realized that what was happening was similar and yet, very different from the first time I had encountered GMT. They felt the same people to me in the way they were open hearted and accepting to everyone like how they treated us back in Mt. Daraitan. It doesn’t matter where you came from, if you’re a neophyte climber or not, you get the same treatment the group gives to their official members. It was encouraging for me and my friends who, back then, were only starting to find our ‘trails in the mountains’, so they say.
This time, it was different because I discovered that their openness is not limited to mountain enthusiasts alone but also for people of all ages, from all walks of life. They were not ‘just’ a team whose concern only lies within the boundaries of nature, but they are good people inspired by their adventures to do something special in the community. Again, I was reminded that you don’t have to be somebody big or rich or privileged to contribute to society. You just need a heart that cares and feels deep enough to take a little step forward and make these simple changes that might become a huge difference someday.
We had concluded the day well enough for the kids. Seeing them smiling and laughing even in a short period of time was one of the most memorable photos we have taken that day. GMT members were left behind but I and my friends need to head back before night falls so we prepared to go home. The MaranathaChurch members prayed for our safe departure, and the children, plus the GMT folks, waved us warm goodbyes.
On our way back, we were a little rowdy inside our rented jeep because my friends kept asking me where this group came from, what other things they do, how I came across these people. I can only reply as much as head-shakes and shrugs. Its not that I am keeping secrets, but the truth is I have forgotten the exact detail on how I became acquainted with GMT (nagmana na yata ako sa founder na may short term memory minsan..haha). For me, I don’t need to remember. I just knew I met them for reasons beyond conquering mountains and blazing the trails where men have never been before. We were brought for the greatest cause I could ever think of and that is giving, sacrificing and spreading love to the unreached.