Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yes, we are HOME in Palawan! It is amazing to be in our own house and sleep in our own beds! The girl who stayed here had the house clean, so it was a very nice home-coming. Since then things have been slightly crazy... the electric meter blew up and it took 2 full days to have it replaced, we were able to get some electricity from elsewhere so the house was a mess of wires, the boys have been working on school as we got their books unpacked, we had scheduled brown-out two nights (which didn't make that much difference cause we didn't have power anyway!), my helper disappeared (though she says she'll be back this week), and we're making plans for Garry to go back to Manila on Wednesday for more meetings!

Right now Garry and Kevin are in town picking up a few things and I'm trying to create some order from the chaos in my office. It's amazing how many papers I brought home that need attention! Kaleb is busy working on a model balsa wood airplane and trying to figure out how to make a jet engine in between. Kevin has been helping here and there and finishing up his book.

This evening there's a fun games at the closest badminton court and we're looking forward to seeing our friends there! All in all, it's good to be home and we look forward to getting settled into a more normal routine soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Good morning from Manila! We arrived here late Saturday afternoon and are back in the same apartment we've been in the last 4 times we've been here! It almost feels like home already:)! We also took the boys to badminton queuing on Saturday evening and they enjoyed catching up with their friends there.

Sunday we enjoyed a good service at a local church. The message on contentment was in English and was an encouragement to stay focussed on Christ and not on our circumstances. How easy it is to live in our own time-centered reality instead of seeing things through the eyes of eternity!

This morning Garry is in meetings and I am looking forward to coffee with the other 3 NTMA wives who are in town. Tomorrow we go home! Hopefully we'll have better internet from there and I'll be able to post some more pictures!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This week has been busy in Mindanao! Garry has spent a lot of hours in meetings, discussing flight program options with the leadership here. He has been encouraged by their hearts to follow God and their great questions! Today he is going to visit one of our remote locations and check out the airstrip there. He's flying with his Ken, the SIL pilot here and will spend time with him after the flight.

Yesterday we as a family went to a nearby town to check things out. Our present guesthome is at about 3500 feet elevation and it's quite cool most of the time. However, we are about 45 minutes from the airport and hangar we'll be using, so we thought we'd drive around a bit and check out some housing options. The other town is at 800 feet above sea level and is quite hot. We didn't see anywhere that looks like a nice residential area, so I think we'll keep pursuing options!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another day has passed ... another day of learning, of being blessed, of reaching out and being reached out to. Yes, we are blessed to be God's kids and it's a good thing to remind ourselves of!

We woke this morning to the fresh smell of all the plants here at the guest home. This morning Garry worked on some stuff while I spent a little time with Abby, catching up a bit and discussing food allergies and sensitivities. I was so blessed when she offered to have the cooks make something for Garry every meal-- thank you, Jesus!

The boys have been enjoying playing table tennis today. We also spent some time in the library and did a little bit of school. Just before lunch we took off to drive around town a bit. We hoped to pick up a few things at a pharmacy and grocery store and find a badminton court. We found a pharmacy and began asking about a court.After exploring all the roads we thought they could have meant, we'd run out of ideas and still hadn't seen a court.

Just then Kevin noticed a boy with a badminton racket getting into a tricycle, sort of a local taxi. We quickly decided to follow the tricycle, which we did. We came to a large building with a lot of different things on the front... and then noticed it also said "badminton center", so we went in. We saw a small group of kids pointing at us and I heard them say "Palawan, Palarong Pambansa" (which means the national school meets where we met lots of people on Palawan). Very soon one of them came over to welcome us to the court and invite us to play! What a experience to remind the boys of God's care and concern for even the small the details of their lives!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good evening! This is a random shot of Garry working on the C180 before he took it to Bagabag. We're so thankful that things worked out so well in Aritao!

We are now in Mindanao, enjoying yet another guesthouse! It's good to be here and see some friends we haven't seen for a quite a while. This week Garry will be doing quite a few meetings regarding plans for the future of the flight program here. Pray with us that it will become clear what God has in mind for us here!

We had a great few days in Manila, spending time with our NTMA teammates, enjoying a few Starbucks coffees, seeing missionary friends from different islands. For my part I really enjoyed not having to cook for a few days! The ladies in the kitchen were great at baking a potato for Garry or doing something simple that would allow him to eat in the dining room:).

Last week I learned that one of my helpers is expecting a baby in October. I feel for Neva, knowing that being a single mom is not going to be an easy road. She has decided to go home with her parents for a while and I trust it will be a good time. Her situation reminds me of God's relentless pursuit of us--no matter how far we run, He seeks us!

Yesterday we were packing to come and I was just overwhelmed with all the junk. Too much stuff, and I'm getting tired of sorting it for wherever we're going and packing it up! I realized then that we have been back and forth between different guesthouses about 6 times in the last 8 weeks since we left home... maybe it's OK to feel rather tired of packing and moving!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wow! The test flight went well yesterday and now both airplanes are securely parked at the SIL base! We are so thankful that they are out of this location as the folks here are planning to leave on Wednesday-- of course we would have had to stay if the airplanes were here!

Garry and Kevin spent most of yesterday fixing some small issues on the airplane. Kaleb and I spent some time with friends who just moved there. Kaleb played with the kids and Sarah and I had a lovely visit.

This morning Garry and Kevin are headed back to the SIL base to finish up a few things. Kaleb and I will pack things up when I get done blogging:). Today is Garry's birthday, but we've decided we'll wait to celebrate til we get to Manila and can do something really fun!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thanks for praying for all that's going on with the airplanes here... now it looks like the paperwork will be ready for Garry to fly on Sunday:)! We are excited to be finishing things up here soon... if plans don't change again!

This morning the boys and I are doing school. When we're finished for the day I hope to pack up a few more things and plan the food we'll need for the next several days.

There is a possibility that we'll go visit another island before heading home to Palawan. If we do that I'll need to make sure we have some food for Garry for that time. We're also sending some books we got here to Palawan on a shipping container, and those need packed as well.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Good afternoon! Plans are changing again, as they usually do! This morning Garry got a call from the check pilot canceling his check ride. This means that we'll need to do some slightly different paperwork for Monday morning. Steve is headed to town now to send that to Manila. Hopefully by the end of next week Garry will be able to fly the airplane.

In the meantime, he is finishing up work on the cylinder. He's run into a few problems today, but everything seems to be about done now, I think:). After that he has a small stack of administrative stuff that needs attention and he and Steve will finish packing up the hangar here. Near the end of next week we expect to send a shipping container to Palawan with everything from the hangar as well as Steve and Ja's personal stuff (they will be living in Palawan after their short furlough).

Kevin and Kaleb have been busy "walling" today... sort of like badminton racquetball, I guess. I thought I'd join them, but in the end decided it must take a bit of practice-- practice I haven't gotten yet!

We also enjoyed having Steve and Ja for lunch today. I made a hamburger stew that warmed us all up and we had a nice, long chat over it!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good evening! I wanted to send a quick update on our day... Garry ended up having to pull the cylinder this. However, he found the parts he needs to fix it, so it isn't as big of a deal as he had anticipated. Work is progressing well, but it's 8 PM and he isn't finished yet. I think he'll be glad when it's done:)

Kevin spent the afternoon helping Garry and I think Steve is there now. Tomorrow he hopes to finish preparing for the checkride, which is confirmed for Thursday. We are praying that things come together for that, as there are several pieces of the puzzle that are still not clear.

Kaleb was busy in the yard today, making a big sand castle. In the end he thought it looked a bit more like a fort than a castle.

This evening we had Steve and Ja and Markus and Sarah for supper. I made a simple stroganoff and cooked some veggies. It was fun to spend some time together, particularly since this is Sarah's last night here before she moves to another location.

After 5 days of rain the sun peeked our for a few moments today! This evening it's drizzling again, but I'm hoping for a sunny day when I wake up tomorrow!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Good evening! My internet connection has been horrible lately. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to post a photo again, but I don't think it's going to happen tonight:(.

Garry completed his test flight on Thursday and he, Jason, and Steve were able to get all the needed adjustments done on the airplane that day. That evening it rained very hard and has been overcast and rainy ever since! What a blessing that he was able to get the test flight done before this weather hit us!

Friday he completed the paperwork and it went to the office in Manila today (Monday). This afternoon he did a bit more work on the other airplane and it looks like there may be a cylinder issue. It may resolve itself with some time in the air and we're praying it does!

We also received word today that an authorized inspector is going to come fly with Garry on Thursday in order for him to receive his Cessna 180 type-rating here in the Philippines. Since the airplane hasn't flown yet the flight with the inspector will be the first test flight as well as a checkride.