Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good afternoon! It's very warm and cozy here today, so I thought I'd take a minute and update our blog. The boys are growing their snow fort quite quickly-- this is yesterday's progress! As you can see, we're enjoying a very white Christmas!

So, it isn't quite warm yet, but it is MUCH warmer than it has been, according to Garry. He's been running errands today, and I haven't been out of the house yet:). He also took the boys Christmas shopping, which is probably only the second time they've been to town since we arrived here last week.

Donna, Garry's youngest sister, arrived from Texas yesterday and we enjoyed a late supper as a family. It's amazing to have 3 of the 5 siblings here for Christmas this year!

Since I last wrote we're getting settled in quite nicely. We continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of folks in our church as they have poured blessing after blessing on us! Boxes of food delivered to our home, gift certificates for grocery stores, warm clothes to borrow or keep... the list is amazing!

Yesterday I met a friend in the store and she noticed I was a bit overwhelmed (do you know how many kinds of tortilla chips there are in this country?!). I appreciated her hug and the homemade dinner she sent home with me. Wow! And that's just the latest of a series of understanding, kind people who have crossed our paths!

We were also able to enjoy the wedding of some dear friends of ours. The boys decided they'd rather see the happy couple at another time, but Garry and I were privileged to attend the ceremony and reception. The normal rites of passage, things we are usually too far away to attend.

We've also found out that things can actually go FASTER than you anticipate-- we already have our internet! So I'll say goodbye for now and a Merry Christmas to each of you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wow! It's been a long time. We arrived in Steinbach, Manitoba on Wednesday evening to very cold weather. It's been amazing to see family and friends! We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family in getting our house ready for us to move into, buying us food, stopping by with meat, welcoming us with open arms, and.... well, the list is to long to finish! We just feel so blessed to be here and be settling into our new home.

It is really, really cold here right now, for those who live further away:). The boys have been working on a snow fort in the back yard and have enjoyed being outside for small periods of time. We're all getting over jet lag, which I imagine will take a few days yet. So far we've been awfully tired during the afternoon (which is the middle of the night in the Philippines) and been waking up rather early. Each night has been a bit better, so I think we're heading in the right direction!

Garry was able to renew his drivers license and pick up our van this week. We've also got our mailbox keys, internet on order (it takes 2 weeks to install), and enough winter stuff for the moment. We still need to find a a couple more pairs of gloves in order to return the rest of the winter stuff we're borrowing. We've already been cooking in our house and are feeling relatively settled for the short time we've been here.

I'm at home with a very poor connection just now, so guess I can't post a photo-- next time! Maybe next time I'll also post about our interesting re-entry experiences, but for now I just wanted to say we're here and getting settled!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's late Tuesday evening and we are packing up the computer in preparation for an early departure tomorrow morning. We'll see many of you soon!

Next time I'll log on from Canada!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wow, it's been an incredible week! We arrived in Manila Tuesday evening, happy to be finished packing up our house and excited to be heading back to Canada next week. I can hardly believe that in just 1 week we'll be with family and friends in Manitoba! Wow!

We had a great meeting with our field chairman yesterday as we discussed what God has been doing here in the Philippines. We also talked a bit about the future of the flight program and where God is leading. It was an encouraging time together.

Here in Manila we have a short list of things we want to do-- check around the city for some warmer clothes (can Kaleb arrive in Winnipeg in sandals or does he need a pair of tennis shoes?!), see our new NTMA families who are currently studying language, and do coffee with some other friends. Garry is also finishing up a bit of flgiht program paperwork and Kevin needs to go to immigration to be fingerprinted on Monday.

During our last week in Puerto we spent a bit of time with different people... with Norm and Jacque, for whom we provided flight service until they moved to town earlier this year; with Kevin's badminton trainer and his girlfriend; with Kevin's badminton team; with Ben and Suzy, our co-workers who are now running the Palawan flight program; with different foreigners that live in town and do various ministries; with the men who have invested in Kevin and taught him much about agriculture; and with the folks at Aloha orphanage. Many of our badminton friends do not know the Lord and our prayers are much with them, that God would be working in their hearts and that they would come to know Him. Though our times together were good they were also sad as we said our goodbyes and realized that another chapter of our lives is finished.

At the same time, we are excited to head back to Canada and catch up with so many of you. We are excited to see what God has in store for the next months!