Thursday, March 08, 2007

Beauty of Banaue

As we work here in the Philippines, we are constantly amazed at the beauty of God's creation. The Philippine Islands are full of God's creativity, glory, beauty, and magnificence. We were so delighted to have the once in a life time opportunity to take a trip up to the Banaue Rice Terraces, in Banaue Philippines.
The occasion for going was sad, as it was our despadida (going away party) for Harvey & Joan Helm. They wanted to see the Terraces before they went back home to the States. We were all excited and ready to take in the beauty with them, this being their final hoora.
It was a long drive from Manila to Banaue, but it was well worth it! We arrived in Banaue one evening, and just a little too late to see the Terraces. As we looked out the window of our hotel, we were anything but disappointed in not seeing the mountains. We could not take our eyes of the gorgeous sunset the Lord had painted before us. Lindsey always says, "Look at God's watercolor for today." What an amazing watercolor it was. No painter or brush could have captured what those bright orange skies were singing - the praises and wonders of the Lord our God!
As the sun sank out of sight it seemed to be giving all its effort to glorify God in its last laboring minutes of it's course. We all watched speechless as it set behind a mountain, and left only rays of God's glory remaining in the sky. The colors and His glory seemed to burst forth into the dusky night sky from behind the mountain. The sun set and the beautiful colors faded into the night, and the clear, bright stars took their place, it now being their turn to shout forth God's praises. The stars seemed, clearer, closer, and bigger than they had ever appeared before against the backdrop of the lightless mountains. As the stars took their place we were reminded, the Artist was and will remain the same yesterday, today, and forever! We were all thrilled to know that the next day we would witness even more of the Artist's work.

We woke the next morning, ate hurriedly, and jumped in the van to behold Banaue. We circled and wound around several mountains, and emptied out on top of a canyon that overlooked mountain upon mountain, layers upon layers of terraces! It was breath taking, almost too much to absorb at one time! Lindsey's trigger finger on her camera never stopped clicking. We were in awe and amazed at the beauty, the detail, the presicion, as it all seemed to go on forever. As we peered into the distance it just kept going. Each terrace, etched into God's earth so precisely, so carefully. Some layers flourished with rice, while some floated with water, and others over flowed with lush greenery. It was amazing, and it got better the further we went. We drove for hours upon hours, the whole time Deborah saying, "Oh! Oh! Look at that! Oh! Oh! Look at this!" We were all overwhelmed and captivated by the beauty of God's creation! We all felt privileged to behold one of the 'wonders of His world.' It was an unforgettable journey, and an impressive view of His majesty. God's beauty crashed into our hearts as we took it in with our eyes; like wave upon wave of wonder that we could not absorb all at once. Our hearts, like a sponge, seemed to swell with joy, awe, and adoration as we soaked in the beauty of Banaue. After all we knew the amazing Creator who's words brought it all into existence! Praise the Lord that He reveals Himself to us; wooing our hearts toward Him and His love, through his creation! He truly is a great and glorious God, worthy of all of our praise!


Marian said...

Your pictures are great. What a blessing to be able to see Banaue and give glory to the Creator for His beautiful creation!! We are praying for you and your ministry in the Philippines. We thank the Lord for you.
in Christ our joy,
the Colemans :)

Cookie Bites said...

I am praying for you, each of you. As the summer approaches, I think about you guys a lot!

Please let me know if you have specific prayer needs beyond what is on the blog.

Love, and in Christ,
Melissa Crouch
p.s. I'm getting married in about a month, on May 19!