Hello friends of A Beautiful Refuge! It’s been a full week since we boarded our flights in both Minneapolis and Nashville, met up in Chicago and then flew to Tokyo! After thirty hours of travel, we made it to Manila at 11pm on Saturday evening - exhausted but happy to be on the ground.
We spent the first few days in Manila getting over the jet lag and slight sickness that hit all of us hard before diving into prep work. A Beautiful Refuge is based in Tagaytay, a province about two or three hours south of the city, so we had to gather all of our supplies before driving south. Traffic in Manila is insanely bad, so it would take a us a full day to gather just a few supplies from different shops and printing places around the city.
Early Wednesday morning we packed our bags and took an Uber to Tagaytay, excited to be in fresh air and close to the Safe Refuge girls. We spent the day playing with the little kids (imagine thirty kids, just loving being with you! We couldn’t stop smiling) eating rice with everyone and bringing in our gear.
Today (Thursday) we gathered the remaining smaller supplies we needed, like buckets, scrub brushes, and tape, and set up the print shop in one of Safe’s buildings. We’re currently grabbing wifi at Carlos Pizza in Tagaytay, where I’m writing this post. Tagaytay feels like home to us - or a place that we know we are called to be for the present. Tomorrow Hannah and Andrew will start teaching the women how to screenprint and I continue photographing their work with Safe Refuge.
Please keep praying for us - we have yet to get our box of materials that is being held by customs and they are wanting to charge us high fees to get it back. Donations are still coming in and are needed! We are so excited to start shipping products soon. Prayers for continued safety, physical health for all of us and the Safe Refuge staff and emotional wellbeing are so appreciated. Every small step makes a difference. Thank you so much!