About the Author

Emily P. Freeman is a writer who creates space for souls to breathe. She is the author of four books, including her most recent release, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their twin daughters and twinless son.

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  1. Oh wow! The Philippines is amazing & overwhelming & beautiful & terrible all at once. I went there a few years ago to visit a friend in Manila and my sponsor child in San Carlos. The people are so hospitable and will go out of their way to help you. I saw & heard many devastating things and nearly died from the humidity, but can’t wait to go back!
    I’m looking forward to reading about your adventure to the islands I love!

  2. How to make a decision. Believe. What wonderful advice to follow. Just believe.

    I am anxious to hear your perspective when you return. I know it will be such a blessing for you to go and for us to hear the stories. (You will be able to tell the stories, you know.) My parents always go from January to February because it’s supposed to be the mildest time weather-wise.

    And that plane ride? I’ve never traveled by plane. Never. My parents say drink lots of water and walk around some. 😉

  3. I will commit to prayer on your behalf for safety and protection and for blessed experiences. Yes, we must believe. Now go and know that many who BELIEVE will be lifting you up in prayer.

  4. Your experience and feelings about going remind me of last summer when God told me to go to Haiti. I’m not missionaryish, not a nurse or medically trained, did not have a group to go with, but felt sure He wanted me to go. The experience was one He wanted me to have. While we follow His leading and go to places (in our minds and hearts, as well as geographically) that we might NEVER think of going to, He wants us to humble ourselves and follow obediently. You will have an experience of a lifetime in the Philippines, touching many lives, the flip side of which, is these lives will have a lasting impact on you and your ability to believe and make decisions for serving Him. God bless you.

  5. So excited for you (and maybe just a little bit jealous). I will be praying for God’s peace to wash over you as you prepare, as you travel, and as you minister to these precious kids. You are going to be just fine, Emily!

  6. Hi! Thank you for choosing to come to the Philippines. I’m a Filipina. I’m sure you and your group will bring hope to our people. Although we are a Christian (Catholic) country, a lot of people still don’t know Christ personally. . .
    With regards to our weather here, May is still summer, so expect it to be very humid. Bring light cotton shirts. Our people are very hospitable.

    Hope you’ll have a nice time here and would have wonderful memories in our country.
    Cherry

  7. Linda Chontos told me about your blog as we were talking about writing, painting and photography. I have had what seems a bombardment of decisions to make and feeling overwhelmed. Only when I look at HIM there is peace. I heard shortly after this conversation, “Perfect love casts out fear”. Then later from another friend,
    “FEAR…. False Evidence Appearing Real” I know God is speaking to me.
    Then reading what you have shared here gives me hope and encouragement. How you have expressed your feeling and incorporated art has also inspired the artist within. So thank you for sharing. I will be praying for you in the days to come leading you to a new adventure and while you experiencing it. God bless you in your comings and your goings.
    Mindi

  8. Dear Emily, I can’t wait to read your book because that is so me, also. The good girl who will do anything if assured it’s the right thing. And sometimes we are assured, but sometimes not. Yes. So, when can I get a copy?!
    But, about being able to tell a unique story, you’ve already begun. So don’t worry about that. Kat will write as Kat and you will write as you, and even if it’s the same event, it’s going to be great for us to hear it a tad differently from each of you in your own voices. What gets me is your courage to leave home, leave your kids (in husband’s and maybe other family’s care?) and go. I think that is tremendously brave and I honor you. Believe!

    • Your words are so encouraging, Beth. Thanks! And fyi – you can get a copy of the book September 1, but you can pre-order on Amazon or B&N right now 🙂

  9. Oh, I will surely be praying for you, Emily, and the whole team!

    Beautiful post, Emily. I am carrying these words with me…”You are not called to action, you are called to belief.” What peace it brings!

    {And on a side note? I was scared to death to fly over that gigantic ocean when we moved to Hawaii. I know, it was only a baby 5 hour flight compared to your 12, but still. If it’s any comfort, you reach altitude pretty quickly and don’t even see the ocean most of the time. Of course I still knew it was there beneath, but looking out the window and seeing what I see every other time I fly was comforting! 🙂 }

  10. […] How to Make a Decision (I really liked this: You’re trying to make this about you by searching for a feeling of peace. You can go or you can stay. Either way, you are called to believe Me.You are not called to action, you are called to belief.) Belief leads to action. I think we must remember that. But, she has a point. A good one. I have a lot more in the file where this came from and new stuff is being added all the time. So maybe I’ll make this a weekly post. We’ll see. I’m not always good at routines. Maybe they stifle my need to dither. 😉 […]

  11. […] How to Make a Decision (I really liked this: You’re trying to make this about you by searching for a feeling of peace. You can go or you can stay. Either way, you are called to believe Me.You are not called to action, you are called to belief.) Belief leads to action. I think we must remember that. But, she has a point. A good one. I have a lot more in the file where this came from and new stuff is being added all the time. So maybe I’ll make this a weekly post. We’ll see. I’m not always good at routines. Maybe they stifle my need to dither. 😉 […]

  12. I spent 3 months as a short term missionary in the Philippines and I was feeling the same as you are before I went! You will do great and God will use your fear to change you and to inspire others!

  13. You got this! I have been praying for you since the great news was announced. 🙂 I have faith in you, Emily.

  14. I can’t wait to hear how God meets you there – in the air, on the ground, in your heart, in your words. It’s going to beautiful!

  15. I went to the Phillippines 10 years ago, and the people irrevocably changed me. I am an MK from Haiti, have lived in South Africa, and have traveled to several continents, and it is truly hard to describe the way the Filipino people LOVE. I know that you feel that you don’t have a voice or wonder if your perspective will be unique, but I just have a feeling that not only has God prepared you to share JUST the right words, but that when you meet these people…you WILL see more than despair…you will see the most amazing hearts! Oh! I know you are going to DO greater than even the sum of your fears! Praying for you!

  16. Emily,
    I first read your post before heading off to church. And then during church we had a young college girl going off to a mission for a month – her first time. She needs $5000 to go, so she has courageously started talking to the congregations in our churches. She has a calendar printed out that you can sponsor her for 1/2 or a full day during her trip. When she returns she is going to touch base with each of her donors about what happened during that day. I thought that a wonderful idea.

    I am heading on a mission trip to Poland this summer for 2 weeks – my third time with International Messengers. We teach English as well as spreading the love of Christ.

    I know God will bless you on this trip. Please check out my Flying with Jesus post to know that He can make all the difference, alleviating any fear you might have. http://underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/flying-with-jesus/
    Many blessings on your trip,
    Jan

  17. Hi, Emily! I understand how you feel. I often feel the same way even when leaving for short-term missions trips… but when it was time to go back, I actually wanted to stay a little bit more. I think God has used these trips I was so hesitant to take to change my heart…although I`m still a little fearful until now. 😉

    I`m from Manila and it`s summer here. You`ll have a great time… and what our friends are saying above are right. Filipinos love well. Filipino culture is loving and caring enough for hosts to give their guests even their master`s bedroom while they sleep on the floor. I , myself, am so amazed. And these people need the Lord.

    Thank you for your decision to trust the Lord. Praying you`ll have a safe trip and a good time in the Philippines!

  18. Emily your post comes at a pivotal point in my life. I sincerely believe you may have written this for my benefit. Thank you for your wisdom.

    • that is a humbling thought, Prudence. May you believe in the midst of your circumstance, whatever it might be. Blessings to you tonight.

  19. I’m one of those people who wouldn’t hesitate even a second to say yes. So sometimes I wonder why God seems to be refusing to send me. Lol.

  20. there’s always a line that gets me. a line that i know is directed right at my heart. “i do not wish for the burden of knowing.” oh, how that speaks to my heart. to not know is so much easier. to not see is so much easier too. because when i know and i see then i have to do something. and sometimes (most times) it scares me to do something. i want to change the world but i don’t want it to involve crying, and hurting and not being able to save everyone. i don’t want it to involve broken hearts and broken pieces. i want it to be easy and safe. but God has other plans. God needs me to get my hands dirty. get my feet wet. get my heart broken. because broken hearts have a way of healing in the most incredible ways. broken hearts become passionate. and bold. and God needs passionate and bold. thanks for sharing this story. thanks for making the choice to go. thanks for being Jesus’ hands and feet in this world.

  21. Emily, I swear you write from MY heart! That is sooo me! The “I will make any decision as long as it’s the RIGHT decision!” And searching for peace. I so loved this post.

    You will have an amazing trip to the Philippines. I’m going to Guatemala in June with my church and whole family. And it will be my 3rd missions trip. Let me tell you, I get terrified before each one. But once I’m there – it’s jaw-droppingly the only place in the world I want to be at the moment.

    I can’t wait to read your blogs and thoughts on it all…

  22. I’m so looking forward to your posts about your trip, Emily. I know how you feel about struggling to make the “right” decision. It can be really paralyzing for me–I drive myself nuts going back and forth, back and forth. I crave the peace, like you said, but sometimes it’s slow coming and sometimes, you’re right, it doesn’t come at all. We’re reading through John right now in church and I find it interesting (in a goose bump sort of way) that the passage you mentioned is what was covered in today’s sermon–just as I’m trying to make my own decision about something and seeking direction. Wow.

  23. Oh Emily, how amazing. I’m sure you are going to have a moving, emotional time. May the words that are written from this trip make a real difference to the lives of those children in need. May God bless you and all the other bloggers xx

  24. This is such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your heart! It is comforting to know that someone else in the world thinks like I do. 🙂 I so relate to wanting to feel peace about every decision. Thanks for the encouragement that my belief in Christ is enough! Oh, and I was on a plane for 21 hours in March. It was not fun, but I survived! You can do it!!

  25. Welcome to the Philippines in advance!

    I can’t promise you that your life will be change by your visit but I promise you that you will appreciate more what you currently have — from bathroom tissue to blanket; from dog food to your food in the table. In return, you might thank the Filipinos for their sincere smiles despite the lack of so many things and their sense of awe on things you don’t give much thought of — like your skin, maybe or your presence.

    You will bless lives on your visit. Thank you soo much for that. Huggs 🙂

  26. I would absolutely love to go on a mission trip. Timing hasn’t been right yet. I love to travel and see unique things and explore different places.

    It puts life & God into perspective. You learn to appreciate every little thing you have – toilet paper, tissues, food even companionship with friends. It makes life easier and the person more thankful!

  27. Psalm 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
    10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

    For you and I, who both live on the east coast. The Philippines is the “uttermost parts of the sea.” God is going before to you and holds you in his hand every moment of every day, whether that is on American soil or on a foreign soil or in the air high above the Pacific Ocean. (I hated flying across that ocean every. single. trip. to and from.)
    Praying for you and your adventure. My heart aches to go along with you. I am looking forward to photos and words from your heart while it is there and the days following long after.

  28. Best wishes! A big portion of my heart belongs to the Filipino people. I served there as a missionary for 16 months and then returned there for two weeks last summer. I probably learned more from them than they did from me! They have unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, amazing gratitude and humbling generosity.

    Traveling internationally is no small feat. After our last visit to the Philippines we picked up on a few pointers. For example, it’s a good idea to bring an old cell phone along and purchasing minutes and a SIM card there. I think we spent 30 pesos (~$1.00) on the SIM card and the minutes were also very cheap. It made it easy to keep in touch with local friends, others Americans we were traveling with, and to call hotels and other businesses.

    If you are interested, you can contact me for other random bits of information. My email is melissarollins(at)gmail(dot)com.

  29. Very very timeful for me! I have been blessed to work a job I have loved and dreamed about for 12 years. An opportunity to work closer to home fell into my lap and I had been afraid to take it. Finally after much tears and prayers, I felt God telling me the same thing, whichever job I did, if I did it in his name and with belief in him then that was all that mattered. Today was my first day at my new job. I have questioned my decision all day long as I have felt out of routine and out of place and well just new. It is a journey of faith for me that God will unwrap as the days go on. I will be praying for you and your trip. This is a journey of faith that God will unwrap for you as you go along, also.

  30. This is beautiful. I’ve been on the fence about a mission trip my church is taking. I wonder if they have room for one more….

  31. Oh, Emily, I know you will be able to do justice with your words! I cannot wait to read your updates on the trip.

    Now, as far as the fear of flying, I am so with you on this one! I am not afraid of death, it is the DIE-ing part! The thought of being so far up in the air and over the ocean? I know that I am going to have to somehow get over this fear, as I hope to travel overseas as well someday, but for now, only necessary shorter over land, daytime flights!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Bernice
    3 gifts to give yourself this Mothers Day

  32. Oh this is gonna be good. (minus any throwing up, which probably won’t even happen!) Just think of the flight as having 12 hours to do WHATEVER you want…listen to what you want, eat what you want, sleep when you want, read or write when you want. It can be a mama dream come true.