In lieu of a “Day in the Life” post (which will be forth coming) and in honor of completing our 6th week in the Philippines, I wanted to share with you 6 truths we’ve experienced in 6 weeks…
It might not seem like a big thing, but in 90% humidity with temps hovering around 90 degrees in the day and the low 80s at night, this simple luxury is just that! We are blessed to have a small ref (refrigerator) with a tiny freezer and no automatic ice maker (gasp!). With ten or eleven of us living here, chilling water or having ice on hand is a constant challenge… so when you can pour an ice cold glass of water…. ENJOY!
Our days are never the same and we wake up not knowing what our day will bring. Earlier this week I
accompanied two patients to the local hospital, one little boy with a broken elbow and another little girl with skin problems. While I was out, five different Ati visited Rusty at our home, each one sharing their concerns and needs for the community. On another day this week we had been searching for African Night Crawlers for sale in the Philippines in order to start vermicomposting beds to improve the poor mountain soil in the Ati villages. I “happened” onto a website that listed a place just a mile and half from here that we had heard about on our first term, but never visited. Turns out we had a nice 2 hr visit with some new friends who share a passion for gardening, homeschooling and life in the Philippines. Without an prior planning on our part, a wonderful new door was opened and a new relationship has begun!
I’ve been pleasantly surprised how nice the familiarity of our old “home” area in the Philippines has felt. Granted we are only 6 weeks in… the shoe could be ready to fall (see the next item on the list!) but overall, knowing what to expect in the culture, food, climate, language and being in a familiar area with old friends and familiar routines, seems to make the transition to life on the field again, a but more smooth… so far….anyway….
The new things: faster internet, access to more Western restaurants, a few more American food choices in stores than before, all add to the new delights in our new home.
I chalk it up to spiritual warfare, but man, can situations spiral out of control in record time here! Just this evening, we had just had a wonderful gathering in the village with really encouraging spiritual fruit, and then, during dinner… a huge argument broke out that ended in tears and storming off and hard things said… Come on, already! Is the emotional roller coaster really necessary??? I can go from top of the world feeling blessed to tearful wondering what I did wrong in about 2 seconds flat. Good thing the love of the Savior is never-changing!
It’s really sad that people tend to see differences in others. We tend to look at the outside, the socio-economic, racial, regional, or language differences. But whether you make $100,000 a year or $1,000 a year, people’s heart desires are very much the same. We all want to know we are loved and that we matter to someone. We love our kids and grandkids, feel gratitude when we experience God’s healing touch or His unfailing mercy, and have similar hopes and dreams for a better future for the next generation. It might be a trite old saying, (We all put our pants on one leg at a time) or a corny country lyric (We all bleed red) but the truth is God created humanity to have more in common than not, and that certainty should be a great joy and unity builder within us all!
Today it was hot. REALLY hot. As I rested after lunch in front of the fan, I felt like I was in a convection oven as the hot air blew around me. This afternoon’s plan was a time of Praise and Prayer in the village, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Carrie wasn’t feeling the best either and a couple of the boys (who shall remain nameless) were in a bad mood too. But rather than make excuses and stay home (to be hot and miserable with each other!) we headed out to the village.
And what a blessing was in store….
At first there were just a few ladies and teens hanging out in the grass roof covered pavilion, so my big boys decided to pick a nasty looking boulder in the soon-to-be garden area and try to remove it. As two of my teens demonstrated their strength and tenacity with the deeply entrenched rock, more ladies came to join us. Then Carrie began to play the guitar and a few more ladies joined. As we began singing, another couple of ladies wandered into our little shelter from the heat as did the rock movers. Beautiful praises to God were lifted in Tagalog and English, and then one of the ladies volunteered, shyly, to read our passage of Scripture for the day! What a wonderful blessing!
The group freely shared prayer concerns, which I noted to be primarily PRAISES to God for his care, provision and protection in their lives and circumstances. One lady asked that we pray that all the Ati would come to know Jesus and THANK HIM for those who already follow Jesus. How humbling to us and precious to God!
Then, as we began to pray, some in English, some in Tagalog, one of the ladies prayed aloud in Visayan. What a sweet, sweet blessing and encouragement to me. As she began, I whispered, “Thank YOU God for showing me (again) the importance simple obedience”
It’s probably a lesson I will learn 100 times more… but the sweet results of faith-driven obedience are truly a refreshment from the Lord!