MESSAGE FROM THE “CHAIR”
I came to the Philippines with my pregnant wife in 1986. We didn’t have much time to ease into the culture and happenings of this island, as the Edsa Revolution filled everyone’s thoughts. Could we make this country a home?
We visited Union Church of Manila (UCM) as a guest of some friends. Wow! UCM had a lending library! I knew I was coming back. Pretty soon, every other Saturday I was mining the veins of treasure UCM was hiding in its books. Imagine! Autobiographies of missionaries and others enumerating their adventures in prison and jungle during the Japanese occupation. Hard to find books by authors I couldn’t find elsewhere. Good solid fiction books. There were varied non-fiction and technical books for me, and cooking books for my wife. It was hard to believe that all this was available for a few pesos a year, staffed by volunteers from UCM who just wanted to spread the love around.
Those days in the Library, and with a great Sunday School for our young family, we began to attend UCM and become involved. My wife started to assist teaching in the Sunday School, and now is a teacher and a supervisor of other teachers. I, on the other hand, became a volunteer librarian.
I live an active life, having camped, traveled, and worked in several countries. I have ridden motorcycle in over 15 countries, traveling from Panama City to Seattle, and several motorcycle trips across the USA. I have owned over 35 vehicles, and have parachuted with an emergency team in South America. I love to sail, and am currently designing and building a small yacht.
In spite of all that, one of my yearnings is to be a librarian! Think about it, here is an organization that says, “We trust you, come borrow a book, then bring it back for others to read.” Do you realize how civilized that is? A library is a repository of knowledge and adventure waiting to be freely used. We take “GOOD” from the public, use it privately, and return it for the “GOOD” of the next person. Doesn’t “GOOD” come from God? Isn’t a lending library a terrific example of being a Christian?
I work on the check-out counter. Over the years I have seen books borrowed for high school homework, Nurses exams, graduate studies, and just plain wanting to know God a little better. It is wonderful from week to week to see a small boy coming up to me with a book and his mom. “This is the one I want!”, he cries. He can have that one read to him and come back and get another one! Some of those young children are now adults in this church, contributing and ministering to others. Some names off the top of my head are Matic, Ong, Roque, Aritao…….
So you can surmise that after all these years I feel privileged to be the new Chairman of the Library Committee at Union Church. I am the “hobo” who snuck onto a powerful, well oiled train, to find that I am the Engineer!
Come and join us in the Library and find out for yourself!