Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Kevin...

the afternoon we played some badminton then had cake, ice-cream, and presents after supper. Kevin got to choose the meal, and he choose pork medallions, mashed potatoes, andOkay, so yesterday wasn't actually Kevin's birthday, but we did celebrate yesterday! We enjoyed going out for coffee as a family in the morning, then the boys went to help Garry in the hangar. In green beans. Then we had his favorite cake-- a chocolate cake with cream cheese and chocolate chip filling.

Kaleb gave Kevin a yo-yo, so the boys are busy learning string tricks! They are also trying to get their things together for Lada-- a good assortment of music, books, and tools. For my part, I'm trying to get a menu thought out and school stuff put together. Garry's working on getting the paperwork for the airplane organized.

Our plan is to leave early tomorrow morning so we'll arrive in Lada around noon. We are really looking forward to being there!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Good afternoon! This morning was a "business meeting" to set priorities for the next while and makes plans. Much to our surprise, the morning ended with a decision to go to Lada on Thursday or Friday. A flight came up that we'd like to do, and it seems that making the trip to Lada earlier is our best option. So we're off to packing and planning... we'll only be gone a week, so there isn't a lot to do!

How would you like to heat water for your morning coffee over charcoal?! I love the smell of cooking outdoors, and we love cooking over a fire when we're camping. However, if I cooked like that every day I think I'd get rather tired of it. Yet this is how many Filipinos cook all their food, heat their water, etc. The cheapest charcoal here is made from coconut husks and apparently works quite well.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Saturday = Project day...

... At least at our house! Garry and the boys have been working on getting the shop here at home set up. They've built a tool cupboard and are now organizing their things. Kevin and Kaleb spend a fair amount of time in the shop, so organization is a great blessing!

We enjoyed American Thanksgiving with many new friends this year. Some of the ladies organized a traditional Thanksgiving feast, complete with turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie! There were nearly 100 people there, many of whom we haven't met. We were surprised at how many missionaries there are in town, and also at the number of foreign business men living here.

In our yard we have a number of fruit trees, among them banana trees. This stalk was cut earlier this week, and although the bananas look green, they're actually ready to eat. (What exactly makes the bright yellow bananas in North America?!) What a blessing to us and also to our helpers who enjoy them with us!

What's your favorite way to eat a banana? We enjoy fruit salads, peanutbutter bananas, and banana bread. The girls also enjoy boiling them, although I'm not sure if they boil the smaller bananas or only the larger ones. Deep fried bananas are a local treat, available in the open markets and at stands beside the road.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Another flight day... It must be that sitting by the radio reminds me to blog! Somehow our days have gone zipping by and it seems that I haven't accomplished much.

Garry had two flight planned today, but he is currently finishing up his third flight! While he was in the air we got a call that someone had cut off the tips of two fingers and needed medical attention. (If you were the missionary in that location, what would you do?!) Thankfully, Garry was on the south side of the island close to where the patient lives, so he was able to go pick them up.

Many days have surprises like this, and it's always interesting to see how everything works out. We have an airplane that is stored at a location to the south of the island, though we had planned to bring it to Puerto over a month ago. This morning when the cargo arrived there was more than anticipated, and since Garry didn't have any passenger flights planned, he left the seats to make better use of the weight. When our friends called for the emergency flight, I wondered what he could do. AHA! the other airplane has seats, which he simply took out and put in the airplane he's flying. Thank you, Jesus, for working it out!

When Garry gets home the boys are going to the hangar to help him wash the airplane and clean it inside. They'll also fuel it so it's ready to go whenever it's needed again!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Christmas is coming! Kaleb is excited for Christmas to come this year, so he has talked us into setting up the tree already! Jason and Jen lent us their Christmas tree, so we are enjoying it already. It's the prettiest tree we've ever had, though the real tree we enjoyed one year in Canada is a close second:).

In fact, Kaleb is so excited for Christmas to come that he has begun making, and giving!, gifts. His first gift was to his brother.

Garry is flying today, so I am sitting by the radio teaching school and working on some office projects. One of my favorite things today is high-speed internet that allows me to do on-line business quickly. No more waiting five minutes for a page to load!

Do you ever wonder what fills up the airplane time and time again? Today Garry's load was three passengers going to visit a tribal location, ashtmas medicine for a lady who is on her last inhaler tablet, fresh vegetables, unleaded gas for running generators and lawn mowers, propane gas for stoves, dogfood, groceries, and paint. In fact, when everything you use has to be flown, it isn't hard to fill a flight with 470 kilos! (Just think of everything you haul in your car and add supplies for things that come to your home like propane or natural gas, electricity, and mail!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

God is up to something! He is up to something here, and He is up to something there, wherever you are! We have been thinking and talking about that lately.

It's so easy to focus on externals, to compare ourselves with one another, to try to do all the good things that come across our paths. In the end, though, what God requires of us is incredibly individual. He promises that His burden is light and His yoke is easy. Yet He is a jealous God who wants all our devotion and will not share His glory with anyone.

So these days my thoughts are focused on God's individual calling, which for us right now is this flight program and the people that God brings across our paths. It is so tempting to WANT to meet all the needs around us-- the needs of the poor, the hurting children, the lonely people, and on and on. Yet what God is asking us to do means that we leave the rest. And He says we can do so in peace!

May you experience that peace today!
I thought I'd share a few more photos of Papua New Guinea, though Garry has been home nearly a week now!

Isn't this a cool picture?! This DC-3 was mounted outside the hotel where Garry had breakfast the first day he was in New Guinea. Actually, he flew all night and enjoyed several hours at the hotel before meeting others and continuing his journey!

The room the guys met in... Mission Safety International presented the seminar for several different mission groups-- NTMA, SIL, and MAF. NTMA hosted the seminar and also organized it. Thanks, NTMA-PNG!

This is the NTMA plane outside of the MAF hangar in Port Moresby. NTMA picked up a load of attendees from here on Wednesday afternoon, and Garry was part of that load!

Today Garry changed the tires on the airplane. He's enjoying being back in the hangar and doing maintenance! Tomorrow he needs to do some office work, not quite as much fun, but necessary.

This afternoon the girls went shopping and brought home a new-to-us fruit. It looks rather interesting, so we'll see how it tastes tomorrow. I was quite surprised to find out the store didn't have any cheese... and there are only two stores that carry cheese (besides Velveeta-type), and the other store is extremely pricey. While this happens occasionally, I had to do some fast thinking today since we were going to use cheese for supper. Dairy products are hard to find here, which has radically changed the way we eat!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Was that the HELLO or the GOODBYE?!

Garry's home! We are thrilled to have him home and hear a bit about PNG. He had a wonderful, profitable time at the aviation safety seminar. In fact, he came home with a list of things he wants to implement in order to raise the safety margin of the program here!

While Garry was gone Jason and Jen left for a fews months in the US. The boys and I said goodbye to them here in Puerto and Garry was able to say his goodbyes in Manila. We are sad to see them go, but thankful for what God has in store for them.

Garry really enjoyed the cooler weather in PNG and the wonderful hospitality of the missionaries there. The seminar was held at this center, but he was also able to visit the school for missionary kids there. He says it is very different there than anywhere we have lived and worked! He also spent a little time at this market in town, and brought us some cool souvenirs. Not to mention the coffee-- PNG coffee is lovely for those of you who have never tried it!

We've spent his first couple of days at home catching on what we've missed in one another's lives, trying to set some priorities for the next months, and enjoying being all together again! Garry has also been busy moving his office out to the hangar and getting things set up out there.

The boys have also had some more badminton lessons... they are getting pretty good already, according to their trainers!

As we move back into running the flight program here in Palawan we are asking God for unnatural wisdom to know what to do and when to do it. The administrative stuff we have been doing is still needing attention as well as the daily running of the program. Garry's glad to be flying again:), and we know that this is what God has for us for this next season. Knowing that, we are trusting Him for everything we need to do what He's calling us to do!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Garry called us! We were thrilled to get a phone call from Garry, more so because we didn't think he'd be able to contact us until his return to the Philippines on Tuesday! He said he's enjoying the seminar and learning lots. He's also enjoying spending time with friends from over the years!

The boys and I are hanging in there. We're quite ready for Garry to be home:). However, we're also enjoying ourselves playing badminton, reading, and just talking. It's fun to hear what the boys are thinking about! Kevin's lettuce is growing quite well, and he's excited to maybe have our first taste of it this week. Kaleb found a "Where's Waldo?" book in the library and has been busy looking for Waldo.

Blessings to you as you serve God right where He's planted YOU!

Friday, November 03, 2006

I stayed up way too late last night, talking on the phone with my mom and then writing some e-mails. It was wonderful to just sit at the computer and "chat" with some of you, and I've enjoyed getting some replies today. Then when I went to bed I started reading a book called "I Told the Mountain to Move"-- what an inspiring look at prayer and its place in our lives!

Those things added up to a late start this morning! We did our chores and headed to the boys badminton lesson. The trainer called and cancelled, about half hour after the lesson was to have begun:), so we just played between ourselves for a while. Then we came home and got cleaned up.

All too soon it was lunch time, then time to finish school. Now I need to spend some time on the NTMA bookkeeping and then I hope to get back to my inbox:).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Garry is in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea today... at least I hope he is! He will take a flight with NTMA later today to Goroka for the safety seminar he is attending. Since this is his first time in Papua New Guinea I'm sure he's having some interesting experiences:). His hours in Manila were pretty eventful due to the holiday (All Saints' Day) and lack of public trasportation.

The boys and I are trying to get some school done this morning. It always amazes me how much Garry's absense affects them and in what ways. I can just tell they're having a hard time... which makes it hard to decide sometimes what is the best plan-- more or less structure! God has answered another prayer in providing badminton lessons for Kevin and Kaleb. They have enjoyed soccer and are now enjoying badminton, and we recently found out about a personal trainer who will help them learn the basics and proper form. We're all pretty excited about that-- great PE class!

Monday Garry did a flight to the south of the island. He was glad to take some friends back into their location. When he arrived home the boys helped him fuel and clean the airplane so things are in good order while he is gone.

Another recent blessing is some construction guys who are helping with projects in the hangar-- finishing up some work in the office, building a room for storage, and doing other little things that need done in order to have the hangar fully functional. As relative new-comers to Puerto, we really enjoy people who know where to purchase different items and how to get things done.... and these people are just that kind of blessing to Garry!