An International, Cross-Cultural Father's Day

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Father's Day is an American celebration. The cynical say it was developed by greeting card companies. Whatever.

The idea of honoring dad's is not novel, and is a good thing. Of course, being a dad you'd expect me to say something like that. But honoring parents is a biblically embedded tradition. It is the fifth of the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses.

This year, I celebrated Father's Day in the Philippines.

fiesta boundOver the past 23+ years, I've spent many a Father's Day in the Philippines. Some years most of my children were with me, but it always included our extended family at Rainbow Village.

Where it's celebrated and whatever the day includes isn't the primary focus. It's people. This year it included children who were adopted from Rainbow Village, and my daughter, Becky, who served here for many years. It also included walking one of our "adopted" daughters down the aisle for her wedding.

IMG_3145This month is our big Rainbow Family reunion and celebration, as mentioned in a previous post. We greeted one of our early missionary staff, Lori, at the airport on Thursday. We didn't let Lori settle in much before heading off with some of our Rainbow family to a fiesta. It was in a neighboring town at the home of our long-time cook, Neng. We had a great time!

Friday, we got together with a family from Chicago who adopted Michael 12 years ago. We started the morning getting Andrew from the airport, who was making his second visit back to his Rainbow home. He and his mom visited last year from Ohio. We had a nice little pre-reunion time at our house Friday night.

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Saturday was an all-day affair. Prep and set up for the wedding. The wedding was scheduled for 4:00 pm, with a reception on our nearly-famous, thatched-roof patio. It's the last wedding under Rainbow's ministry, and it was a sweet one. The bride's name is Honey!

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Father's Day, started off with an early power outage, we call them brown-outs here. Not a welcome start, but not unusual.

Then we headed to the airport to pick up our daughter. Seeing her made up for the early brown-out!

Bec_meBecause it was so hot, we headed for the air-conditioned mall. Of course, several thousand other people had the same idea! It was packed, but we walked around, ate a nice lunch, walked some more and shopped a bit. Shortly after we got home the power was restored... ah, relief!

As Sunday came to the US, my children sent me texts and tried to Face Time. Hey, things don't always work the way we want, but I'm blessed that we can stay in touch, even thousands of miles apart.

It's likely a very different Father's Day celebration than most dads had in the US, but maybe not. Though I miss my other kids and grandkids, it was a good day, and a good weekend.

Gabe_parents1Today is Monday, the day after Father's Day, but we have an extended celebration. The last child to be adopted out of Rainbow got to meet his new family today! Bittersweet for us, but overflowing joy and excitement for this newly bonded family.

It's been quite a weekend, and it will only get more full of special memories and blessed relationships this week.