NEW BOOK REVIEW
A Missionary in Manila: (Missionary Stories) ... By Natalie Vellacot
Natalie Vellacott, a former police officer, set off from England hoping to make a difference as an independent missionary to the Philippines. After a bumpy beginning in Olongapo City, she settled in the nation’s capital Manila becoming quickly immersed in Filipino culture. Attached to an evangelical church in Cubao, she worked with the homeless people for several years.
How do you deal with a landlord who wants immediate access to your dwelling at all hours of the day and night? What to do when a large group of barely clad homeless people are eagerly awaiting a Bible study in the middle of a typhoon? Or when the bus you were hoping to travel on has a list of suspended conductors? Where to turn when an eight months pregnant, homeless lady faces the very real prospect of giving birth in the street? Or when a little beggar girl says that a relative put her in a sack and threw it in the river? Who will win the battle for supremacy, the kitten, the cockroach or the ever- growing numbers of mice that have invaded? And of course, what has happened to the “rugby boys” addicted to solvents?
Find answers to these questions and others as Natalie seeks to bring the Good News of saving hope in Jesus to Manila’s urban poor.
"This account is a true story. However, some names may have been changed to protect the identities of individuals." Oh yeah, when I read that I knew I was in for a treat. Even the cover of A Missionary in Manila: (Missionary Stories) by Natalie Vellacot grabbed my attention with those suspiciously sweet looking mischievous little guys.
Vellacot runs the reader non-stop with amazing vignettes of her missionary work in the Philippines. Even though I have never been there, I truly caught the flavor of the country and people. Being a true story, my jaw dropped many times with what she had to deal with, some happy some sad and some just plain crazy! Some of her English translations made me laugh as she tried to explain that "Jesus was living in my cat," or "My coffee likes to drink me."
How Vellacot described the sadness of homeless children, the everyday substance abuse, pregnant young girls and a multitude of other everyday lifestyle will make you admire those who are serving God for His glory.
I think it takes special people called by God to do missionary work, serving others and helping meet their needs just to live a basic life. As Vellacot states: "We are a product of the culture we live in...We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We stand in need of His rescue."
Whether you are called to be a missionary or not, this book will sink into your soul at how the mighty power of God works within us.