Of the many unique wonders in the Philippines, the Jeepney is easily at the top of the list. Originally created from military jeeps lefts behind by American troops, Filipinos created an iconic mode of transportation, one that is also a symbol of their culture and identity and like none other in the world.
While in most modes of transportation passengers face forward, in a jeepney two rows face each other and as you travel, you really notice the people around you; you see their faces, their emotions, you track people’s comings and goings. Travellers hop on from different locations, carrying baggage from past journeys and join the trip, sitting so close to each other that your bodies practically interconnect. This is a rather unique way of travelling, but for many, it's the only way of getting where you need to go.
We, as Peace Church, travel together much like a jeepney ride. We sit face to face and we really see each other as we journey. Emotions and issues don’t go unnoticed as they would if we all faced one way; but we, looking at each other, are interconnected in a tight and caring circle, holding onto each other as we travel the sometimes bumpy roads. We come from different starting points and we each carry different baggage and have different lens through which we interpret our journey, but that only makes travelling together more interesting and eye-opening.
I am so thankful for this jeepney life. It has become so normal that it feels like the only way of getting somewhere, the only way that will take us all in the right direction. I believe this is the way God calls us to live. Not just travelling towards Jesus sitting straight and facing forward, but travelling towards Him facing our brothers and sisters, really seeing and knowing the community we're on the road with. It’s all about the journey of getting there, and it’s a journey that’s best done in community.
I have a beautiful painting of a jeepney that will forever hang in my home, reminding me of the jeepney life Peace Church shares, and also as a reminder to keep creating these jeepney communities wherever I am in the world, inviting others into a shared journey towards Jesus.