The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions as we began to think about the fact that leaving was around the corner. For the most part, our time in the Philippines seemed to almost stand still or move very slowly. I thank God for that gift He gave us to enjoy what we were there doing. We knew that the time would come when we would have to leave, but we did not want to face it.
As I begin to write this entry, I am flying above the north Pacific ocean en route to Seattle. The plane and it’s varied occupants are sitting above a soft and buttery bank of clouds illuminated by moonlight. I was fortunate enough to get a window seat, with Jordan on my left, Jess and Kyra behind me and Chip and Jade in front. Jordan is currently passed out as are many of the other sky high travelers. There have been a few moments today where I wish we could turn this bird around and head back to our Filipino family. I know that the feeling is mutual. I will try to give you a synopsis of these moments of “yearning for a return” and what events transpired to cause this yearning.
The day is over, our bags are packed and we have just a few hours of sleep left before we…
Sorry for not getting this one out earlier. I hope you can all forgive me for being a little selfish in wanting to spend some more time with the kids. We are getting closer and closer to the kids with each and every moment. I can’t remember if I wrote this earlier, but I’m kind of glad that we will be leaving in the early morning. Regardless of the way of exit, my heart will leave a little heavier than later. I am not ashamed to say that I will have tears in my eyes. I have become very close with a couple of kids, one plays a mean air guitar when I sing, another plays a ruthless game of keep away. I have spent most of the time with the older children, and have enjoyed reading them bedtime stories, one after another until we leave for our evening devotions.
Well, we had quite a day. Before heading to Antipolo for some street ministry we continued work on the clinic. I spent some time this morning with the kids and enjoyed playing with them. I talked it over with Jess and we are going to sponsor at least one child here. I am so excited to be a part of their lives. Sometimes I don’t know what to do or say to the kids, but I still enjoy them and they probably just think I’m silly. I also was able to spend some time sorting out some computer issues that they are having. I still have more work to do. A couple others, Jess and I were able to witness a coconut picking where, Apa, one of the workers, climbed up the tree, dropped us some coconuts, came down and chopped the tops off with a machete to reveal the sweet juice inside. They are full to the brim with water! It was delicious and Apa then proceeded to halve the fruit and we scooped some of the soft membrane out to eat, it too was delicious!
We are headed to Antipolo this afternoon for a very stretching experience. We will be ministering to some street kids…
Well, I don’t have a lot of news to report for today, but we continue to make progress on the…
Yesterday was a game changer. For the first time, I felt deep inside me, the desire to adopt a child. As I walked up to church with our group, Jess was holding the hand of one of the girls. As we exited out the entry gate she grabbed my hand as well. We continued to walk up the road towards the church, everyone relaxed and ready for the experience of visiting a church rooted in another culture. We began to swing our arms together and we did that very typical move of picking up the child while swinging. The girl enjoyed it and proceeded to swing with us and at one point looked up at me and was there that a seed was planted in my heart. Now I’ve been to orphanages before, but they were for children with severe to moderate dissabilities. But with that type of orphanage you just do your best to give the kids a good time and make their passing through this world as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Plus, I was a teenager, too young to think about the serious decision of supporting a child. It is different here. There is still something more that can be done, by providing them a forever family. Now don’t worry, I’m not bringing a child home with me. But I do feel the Lord’s prompting in adopting a child in our future. Jess and I have always talked about it, but this is the first time that we have been so close to the idea, so close to the reality of it. It just feels so right to say that Jess and I will one day adopt a child. I already know that leaving Friday morning will rank as one of the most emotional times in my life.
How do I even begin with all that happened today. It was an emotional journey today that opened our eyes to so many different things.
Before I get going on the happenings of our life here at Rehoboth, we were not affected by Japan’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred around 1:00 pm our time yesterday. Our prayers are with the relief effort of the many aid workers in Japan and the surrounding costal communities. As far as I know, there was no damage to the Philippines, we didn’t ever hear about it until let this morning. From the sound of the various news reports and both the airline and airport web pages, travel will be close to normal by the time we journey back home so don’t worry. We are far removed from the crisis that has occurred in Japan.
I have forgotten what it feels like to acclimate to a new region, let alone adjust to a different culture. The most experience that I have had in this area over the last couple years was when I traveled to Nashville last summer to help move out my brother. I feels a little different being on this trip as an “adult” whereas my previous forays into missionary travel were as a teenager in mexico. I definitely don’t have quite the energy that I remember those several years ago. However, I have been able to still act like a kid thanks not only to our three accompanying teenagers but also to Jim the “experienced” yet young at heart. I have noticed that today felt a little heavier, not just because I’m slightly sore from carrying buckets full of dirt or digging in the red, clay filled strata, but because of the jet lag finally taking it’s toll. I am so glad that we are well taken care of here at Rehoboth. The lady’s who make our meals are wonderful, and make wonderful food as well. Our beds are comfortable, maybe not quite like the one lying back at home, but I have slept great! Click through to read more!
When we arrived at Rehoboth Childrenâ€™s home in the little hours of the morning it was very quiet. It was around 2 am and everyone was asleep, and we wished that we could be sleeping. That is one thing that a 24 hour journey will do to you, with little rest and uncomfortable confines. This is my first major trip outside the United States, so I am getting a whole new perspective on the world as we go. Jess and I were so tired during our Tokyo to Manilla flight that we slept through most of it, except the meal and when the loud little guy next to us turned it up to eleven (side note: noise canceling/suppressing headphones are amazing!). We even slept through the flight attendant giving us our customs paperwork. Manilla was an interesting city, as far as what we could see from our van-window view, but it didnâ€™t take long for the lack of sleep and travel fatigue to once again pull us all into a desperate sleep mode. The van ride from Rehoboth was about two hours. We arrived, unpacked the van, prayed and quickly headed off to bed, where I had a wonderful three hours of sleep.
Brent and I had the privilege to take a day and spend it snowshoeing around Mammoth in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday with some friends. We spent hours trekking around trails enjoying God’s wonderful creation of hotspots. It was quite the adventure, as we have never seen Yellowstone outside the context of summer. Snowshoeing has brought us a new view of God’s glory in which He has surrounded us. Please enjoy these photos.