So I will start by saying today is a hard day. So many realities are setting in and its hard to adjust to life here. I want to go back a few days and catch you up to now.We went to Borocay, with my family, to have a few days away together before they left. When we started out that morning it was raining and yucky weather, but we didn’t think much of it. When we got to the first boat dock and when I say boat, don’t think boat, thing big canoe with riggers! When we got to the first “pumpboat” location it was closed due to the rough water. Maybe we should have taken that as a sign not to try and go, but we didn’t. We found a port that was running boats and we started out. I had no idea we were going on this type of boat. James made it sound like a ferry, so when I saw what was in store I was not happy at all. Added to that we had 5 foot swells because of the rough weather. Later we found out this was Typhoon Odette. Yes!!! We were on the water in an oversized canoe in a typhoon!!
So we made it safely to borocay and on the way there we met a man named, Willie, who helps tourists (I think we stuck out like sore thumbs). He walked us to a nice hotel on the water and helped us get settled. I learned he actually knows the same people we know and is a Christian. Here they say catholic Christian or Baptist Christian. I’m not one for titles, but Baptist Christian is how they would describe me.
We quickly learned that Odette would make our stay interesting, to say the least. However, we came to go to the beach so we did. I kept thinking how much my cousin, Joseph, would have loved it because there were 8-10 ft swells and at one point I decided to swim into one, Bad Idea. I finally came up for air and headed to the shore. Yes!! It is a beautiful beach but I would prefer it not to swallow me whole.
That evening we ate dinner at the red coconut café. Mainly because we had 10% off. We had a great time with our family there including an atv ride to the tallest point and seeing some breathtaking sights. My mom, dad, and shelbi went scuba diving. They loved it, but that sort of thing is not for me.
After two days with our family there we headed back on the pumpboats to caticlan. Caticlan is the nearest town to us (10min away). There we piled into our very small van and headed home to Dumlog (pronounced Dume –a-log). Once we got here we began getting more things in order for the house. James made homemade calamari (posit) and American style spaghetti. Here they make a sweet sauce that I don’t like but I do like it our style. Pastor Leo, Sister anna and their oldest son obed came over and after dinner obed played guitar and we all sat around and sang praise songs. The fact that we have to keep our screeenless windows open is a good thing when Gods word is heard through song all through this neighborhood. We will be getting screens soon but here the landlords don’t pay for anything so as God provides we are making repairs.
The next day, which was Monday, we had to take mom and dad to Kalibo where they would fly to Manila. This was a very heavy day but we all did our very best to make the best of it. Have I mentioned it rains everyday… it just started again as I’m typing this. Thankfully it is about 75 degrees so its not too hot today. So, on Monday we went to visit the children at the Mustard Seed school (where the ati orphans and more ati go) so that my family could say bye. Shelbi made so many friends with the children here. Every afternoon our house is packed with kids and yesterday they all asked about shelbi. After we visited the school we headed out to Kalibo on a greyhound style bus. The drive should take about an hour, but it takes about two because of the roads and other traffic or animals that decide to be in the road. (dogs, cows, goats, oxen, carimou-oxen/cow) I got a little car sick but I was thankful sam and Lydia napped on the bus. Once we got there we got on two trikes (motorcylces with side carts that hold up to 6 people) and headed to the aiport to drop off their luggage. From there we went to an appliance store to by a single point/tankless water heater. This will go in one of our showers so we can have hot water to shower!!! I’m super ready for that. We also got a lid for one of our toilets. It’s not common here to have tops/lids for the toilet. Then we went to this mall style store to pick up some things we can’t get locally. Silverware, plastic bins and some plastic shelves as well as a few water bottles for the kids. After that we headed to McDonald’s for a farewell dinner. Yes!! It tastes the same, the kids loved it. Saying bye to my family was so super hard. I bawled and was sort of strong until they were out of sight, then I lost it. Having them here was so good for the beginning but man I miss them terribly. On the busride home we all cried and sat pretty quietly.
Once we were home we went straight to bed. It gets dark here around 6pm so typical bedtime is by 8pm and we are up by 6am because the sun rises at 5:30am and the roosters start crowing. Have I mentioned the bugs that fill this house. UGH!! Just sitting here typing I’m killing aunts that are constantly appearing.
So Tuesday morning we headed to Caticlan for a few more things for the house and on our way home we stopped by Rick and Kim’s house (the missionaries we’ve joined here) to ask their housemaid to pick up sam’s teddy bear from the hotel in borocay because she lives there. Upon leaving there I noticed they have coconut trees in their front yard. I’m going to get Robin (their 8 yr old daughter) to help me get one and show me how to eat it very soon.
So we spent yesterday getting things organized here and I made some curtains for our house. Pastor Leo, Sister Anna, Obed, and Jesse (their sons) came over last night and obed played guitar and we all sang with the windows wide open. At the end a brown out (black out at home)started. We held a very neat evening prayer in complete darkness. The presence of the Lord is felt so strongly, especially when all distractions are removed, including the lights. After they left we all piled into my bedroom where we have an extra mattress on the floor and opened all the windows and tried to sleep. It made me very thankful that we have air con ( that’s what they say here) in our rooms for sleeping. Around 10pm (after five hours of it being off) the electricity came back on. At that point I shut windows and we were able to sleep comfortably until the roosters woke us around 5:30am.
This morning was a harder morning than any others yet. Im missing home and my family pretty bad. James and I have been reading 1 Peter at night and it sure helps to keep the truth flowing because the enemy is working overtime to keep me down. Lydia had a breakdown last night that broke my heart. I think the outage had her scared but she made it very clear she wanted to go home. I cried with her and James and I prayed over her. So far today I have studied for my bible study I will lead with the girls tonight. Im excited to finally start doing something involved with the ministry. However, I know my own front yard has a lot of ministry right there, and everywhere I go. I just mean I’m ready to get to know the ati girls and love on the orphans. Currently Sam is napping and Lydia, Daniel, Tin Tin (Christine-mercy’s daughter) and Darrell are about to watch some veggie tales. It’s 2:00 in the afternoon and james is at a meeting with the pastors. Mercy is cooking up some lumpia for dinner (like egg rolls) and I’m about to help her make our food list for the rest of the week. She and her daughter are going to town with us after james gets back so we can buy her some new glasses! She is so excited to have new reading glasses. It costs her 150 pesos which is about $3. We are blessed to be able to bless her.
Please continue to pray for us. Adjusting to life here is hard. Everything is different and sometimes very uncomfortable. However, We Know and can See all the areas God has called us to and we know there are more we cannot see. I hope to write more often than this but until next time, may God bless you and may you see things through His eyes and take time to see Him at work.