Monday, August 28, 2006

Our travels have been interesting to say the least, and I haven't had time to get on the computer. Today Garry is on a flight with SIL and the boys and I are having a quiet day at home so thought I'd take this opportunity to post a little.

The day we left Palawan Kevin got an awful cold and sore throat, which he generously shared with the rest of us:). When we arrived in Manila we found that the time we were planning to spend there was a busy time at the guesthouse, so we changed our travel plans to stay in Manila for a few days before heading up to Aritao. God worked it out so that we could rent a van with a friend, thus making our road trip easier and faster-- we got to Aritao in about 6 hours!

While in Manila Garry was able to have his eyes evaluated for laser surgery. We found that he would be a good candidate, though he would still need glasses for reading. We are considering the option, though he wants to do it sometime when he is not going to be flying for a while. We also enjoyed Starbucks, an afternoon of bowling, and some fun time at the malls in Manila. Unfortunately, my purse and several items of Kevin's were stolen while we were bowling. It gave us a new appreciate for the art and speed of thiefs!

One of the blessings of our time in Manila was an evening with some friends. The lady has just been diagnosed with a serious bone marrow disease. We were so encouraged by their perspective and encouraged by our time together!

We are now in Aritao, one of the former flight program bases. We are enjoying some time to relax in a climate that is slightly cooler. We're also asking lots of questions and gathering lots of information about life and the prospects for the flight program here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

This is where Garry is spending many hours a day now-- in his office! He has made his way through piles of paperwork in the last week, so he will be glad to be free to do some other things soon. This afternoon he was able to finish his report on his trip and get it sent off. While we are in Aritao he'll get to spend some time in the hangar there, sorting through a few more things and finding out what NTMA has there. He also has some projects at the hangar here that he's looking forward to doing.

Kaleb has been working on making different kinds of airplanes-- this is his latest. It's been fun to see the progression from one plane to the next! Kevin has been busy with school lately, learning some interesting things in math and reading some great books. He's also been thinking through the pros and cons of a few things-- a great exercise in logic!

Things are coming together for when we are gone, though it has been a bit of a process. Here we need to think through who can stay in our house while we're gone, what is fair wage to pay that person, how much our regular employees need to earn in order to survive while we are gone, and if there is bookkeeping or other issues that need settled before we go. We'll be glad to get on the jet and have that all behind us!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Garry was flying today, so life had its normal share of changed plans, unexpected events, and interesting things to think about! This morning his destination reported clear weather, but his first stop told him it was raining and dark. By the time the rain had passed the airstrip had standing water on it so he needed to wait for it to dry. When all was said and done, his flight that was to have been in the air by 7:30 didn't begin until after 11:00!

On the other hand, we enjoyed a nice chat and some Paraguayan tea this morning! The boys also enjoyed having their dad home for a little while and showing him the projects they're working on-- whatever they've done since he looked at them last night, anyway!

That was not the end of his delays, either, as in between shuttle flights he had to wait out yet more rain. Then, when he was ready to come home a patient showed up at our tribal location needing to go to town-- but not to the town where we live! This patient was told to be at the missionary's house this morning, and was expected to leave on the first flight. However, for some reason or another she didn't arrive there until 4:00 this afternoon... I'm still waiting to hear the story!

Garry was able to take her and her "helpers" where they needed to go and is now on his way home. The flight normally takes 45 minutes, and I'm hoping there's no headwind. You see, the airport here closes at 6:00 p.m. and landing after that time incurs a large fine. He was in the air at 5:10, so he should make it!

Meanwhile the boys and I have enjoyed reading "The Hobbit", doing school, playing some badminton when Garry was on the ground, and doing school. I'm also trying to wade through my inbox... it isn't that I don't write many e-mails, it's just that I like to keep in touch with too many people in a personal way!

The girls went shopping this afternoon and seem to have done a good job. Now they are putting things away and finishing up some cleaning. I think there's still some laundry to fold also, though that may wait for another day!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rain, rain, go away! Come again some other day! That's rather how we're feeling here in Palawan. It has rained most of every day for nearly a week now, except on Sunday when we were blessed with a few hours of sunshine. The weather satellite looks like we are in for yet more rain. This is complicating flights right now as a team is here from the UK to do work on a house in one of the tribal stations... only two weeks to spend in the country and weather delays can be a rather frustrating combination!

Yesterday Kevin tried his hand at riding Garry's motorcycle (it's actually one that some friends lent us for a few months!). He has fun getting some practice and we enjoyed seeing him enjoy himself! There is a great dirt-biking track here in town that Kevin has been dreaming of trying out... maybe some day:).

Garry has been busy working through weather-related flight decisions with Jason, doing some paperwork, and taking care of stuff from his trip. Tomorrow or Wednesday he'll be doing a flight in order to stay current between his travels. We also have a visitor here, Andrew. He is a senior at Piedmont College, planning to be a missionary pilot/mechanic. It's been fun to meet him.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Missionary kids. They live all over the world in varying degrees of isolation. Their lives area almost always affected by multiple cultures. All in all, they're an interesting breed! This picture of Kaleb enjoying a frosty on the floor of the mall in Manila captures part of the essence of what it is to be an MK, so thought we'd share it with you!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

We thought you might enjoy a photo of our yard these days. Having a bit of a flood in the yard isn't that serious, but we are getting a little tired of wet, dirty feet! Yesterday some friends came to visit and we put a little bridge over some of the water-- their shoes weren't expecting to be soaked! The other thing that is always a bit interesting when there is so much standing water is the fact that the septic system doesn't seem terribly well contained... and while it is an incovenience here, it must be a huge deal for the many people in town who use an outhouse and have a flooded yard.

On a cleaner, happier note, this is the french manicure I got the other day. It's fun to be pampered, to do something that is not essential in the midst of a life that often bubbles down to the basics!

We are spending today getting caught up after Garry's trip and trying to organize our thoughts and priorites for the next 10 days that we'll be at home before leaving as a family. Garry came home with a stack of paperwork to work through and a lot of notes to think through, so I imagine he'll be holed up in his office for much of his time home.

As far as the flight program here, it is still raining and not showing many signs of really clearing up. Thursday's flight was postponed at least until Saturday. Garry and Jason will be figuring out what to do next with a team of 12 people arriving here on Saturday and hoping to go in to a tribal location on Monday... and the supplies for the house they're planning to work on were planned for Thursday and today-- and neither has happened yet. (With the best possible weather this time of year it's unlikely that we will be able to make 2 flights on any given day!) Pray that this time will be a time of trusting God and that everyone involved will be quick to hear the Spirit's promptings in the midst of changing plans!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tomorrow is the day that Garry comes home-- yeah! The boys are in bed already and I'm just finishing up a few things before heading that way myself. Garry flew back to Manila from Mindanao today and then finished up some business in the city. He says he's rather tired of travelling:).

Kevin spent the better part of the day carving a wooden serving spoon and working on his gift for Garry. Kaleb was busy on his gift as well.

It's been raining lots here... the better part of the past 3 days. Today it really poured, and I came home from town to find most of the yard under several inches of water. Thankfully most of it has drained out, though things will be quite wet for a while yet. Without a clothes dryer my lines are getting pretty full and I'm beginning to wonder what they might smell like by the time they get dry! Last rainy season many people in town had to take laundry to the local laundry and pay to have it rewashed and dried because there are no laundromats and nobody has a dryer!

The next two days also have heavy flight schedules, which is always a concern when a large weather system comes through-- I think we may be getting the side of a typhoon or something, which can last a while! Because a team is coming from the UK to help in one of our tribal stations, the coming weeks are also scheduled full, so life will be interesting, no doubt.

It's time for bed, so I'll sign off now and wish you each God' richest blessing this day which you're just beginning and we're just finishing!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"He who thinks that he is finished is finished.... Those who think that they have arrived, have lost their way. Those who think they have reached their goal, have missed it." --Henri Nouwen

What an accurate commentary on our spiritual lives-- if we ever come to believe we've got it all together, we will know for sure that our lives are really tangled up! God's desire is for us to enjoy the grace He freely lavishes on us. But when we choose to make our own way, to do things on our own, then we miss God and the grace.

The last few days have been busy, and a bit frustrating. I haven't been able to get on the internet for several days, which felt rather crippling, particularly now when Garry's gone. Lack of internet service has, however, given the boys and I extra time to spend together. We enjoyed a game of Monopoly and have been slowly learning to rules of badminton and challenging one another at that. We've also been out for coffee a few times, gone shopping, and spent a lot of time doing school and the other "normal routines" of life.

Belle is doing a great job on the radio and will soon be working "solo". Neva is learning the routines of our home and seems to be enjoying herself more. Kevin got a book in the mail the other day (thanks, Aunt Brenda-- great timing!) and has been enjoying that. He's also been working on a neat gift for his dad's birthday, but since that's a surprise I can't tell you what it is. Kaleb made his dad a gift today as well, which turned out very well, due to much ingenuity. Now he's cut one of his old shirts up and is making it into a cowboy vest. How he thought up to sew the arms on the front for pockets I'll never know!

May God bless you the same way He's blessing us-- with a growing relationship with Jesus!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Another great day at our house... a day to believe that God is in control and is moving forward His agenda to reach the world and grow us into the Church He desires us to be! The day started late... but early enough considering our present bedtimes! Belle did radio today while I did some school with the boys. Then a friend came to help on the yard, so the boys spent a fair amount of time outside, cleaning up the yard.

Jen stopped by for coffee and we had a good visit. Then Mirielle and Kellan stayed for lunch while she did some running around. It was rather fun to have really little people around for an hour or so! Kaleb had fun showing Mirielle his tree fort and how to get up and down the tree.

The landlady stopped by to collect our rent, so we had a nice visit this afternoon. And I had a nice chat with Neva, asking her if she'd like to keep working here, since her two-week trial is nearly over now. She'd like to stay, which is great! In between I worked on some bookkeeping, wrote a few e-mails (yes, I probably owe you and e-mail or two, based on the number that are in my inbox!), and cleaned up the house a bit.

Schwabs invited us for supper, so we will head over there soon. It's great to have good partners! Trust your week ends well, as ours has...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Life is always a bit interesting when Garry's gone... not so many decent meals, out-of-routine bedtimes, and often a lot of running around. This time hasn't been much different! This morning the boys and I went to the travel agency (again!) to purchase the tickets for our trip at the end of the month. Then we stopped for coffee (okay, milkshakes for the boys!) on the way home. Belle was doing radio while I was gone so I was anxious to get home and see how things were going. She had a very poor copy but seemed to be doing well. It was a role reversal see her with a headache at the end of the morning while I had none... those radio headaches have been very real for the past months when we've had a lot of interference.

Several months ago we met a couple who run an orphanage and have a son Kaleb's age. They had invited us for lunch today, so when we got home I put some frosting on the brownies the girls had made and we prepared to head to their place. It was so neat to see what God has put on their hearts to do-- to provide a positive home environment for orphans here in Palawan and see them adopted into Christian families all over the world. They currently have 14 kids, most of them ages 3 and under.

I also enjoyed talking to Narcy about cooking here as she is interested in eating healthy and has lived here for a long time. She gave me some yoghurt starter and also some Indian coriander to grow. The boys had a blast on the home-made water slide at their house! We were soon home, looking around the yard for some good soil for the herbs. Keith also gave Kevin some ideas about gardening, so Kevin is industriously working on a small raised bed in which to plant some vegetables and herbs!

Garry is learning lots and enjoying the meetings in Manila, from what he says. We know that God orchestrated this trip and are enjoying seeing that reality unfold!