“Did you see Mellissa while you were in America?” someone from the crowd asked eagerly. Before I could reply, I was peppered with questions from every direction.
“How about Scott? Is he a doctor yet?”
“Did you talk to Kuya Te? Does he have a child yet?”
“What about Kim? Is she going to come visit again? We were so happy that she came back to visit us that one time!”
“Hold up!” Bistasio hollered above the barrage of well-wishing questioners. “We all want to know how each of the student missionaries who came here to help us is doing. But John just got off the plane from America, and all this noise is tiring. Let me ask the questions, and we can all hear the news.”
And so he did. For the next two hours, Bistasio systematically asked about each student missionary who had ever come to work with their tribe. They hadn’t forgotten even one of them. They still were grateful for the sacrifices each student missionary had made to help them.
And to this day, every time I return to Mindoro from the States, I am greeted by a barrage of questions from formerly lost children of God who still love the student missionaries who came to help them.