Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thursday afternoon and it still feels almost like Monday.... Like I'm trying to catch up and get going for the week. I finally got the photos from northern Luzon and Garry's flight with the helicopter there. It is amazing where the helicopter can go and what it can do. It is such a blessing to our missionaries there.Yesterday our friends from further south came to visit. It was so good to catch up. Ungar & Linda are older than my parents and are also still ministering in so many ways. We loved catching up, sharing lunch, having iced tea like old times, and praying together. Our hearts break at some of what they've been through and rejoice at what God has done. Yes, it is good to have friends, good to have fellowship.

Garry and Josh finally finished their maintenance project on the airplane and it is flying very nicely. The new cargo pod looks great and the bigger door will be a real blessing for loading larger cargo (and getting their shoulders through when pushing boxes to the back of the pod).

I decided we're done with school for the week... there are just to many loose ends to tie up before we head home next week. Kevin went flying with Garry this morning and got pretty motion sick. Kaleb is busily making bottle rockets with parachutes... I got a great little video, but I don't have enough internet speed to upload it. Maybe next time:)

I've been trying to buy tickets home. First the internet site said the security certificate was signed by an unknown entity. Then I had several error messages (after waiting about 5 minutes per page for a site to load, that is VERY frustrating!). Finally I went to the ticket office at the airport, only to find out I needed more cash than I had. I got cash and went back, but the office had no power so could not process tickets. I went to the other end of town and purchased the tickets finally, but I in all my wanderings the price of the tickets had gone up 50%. Life. It happens.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter weekend was lovely! For us, it's Easter. For so many friends here it's "Holy Week", a week of mourning once more for Jesus and His suffering. For them, Easter means it's over-- no celebrating Easter, just mourning until Easter comes. Friends and neighbors that need Jesus, the risen Lord. We are rich and they are poor.

We had a relaxing weekend, complete with worship music, coloring and hiding eggs, and a big Easter dinner with friends. Blessed. There isn't another word for it.

This morning we're back to school here at home. This afternoon I'm meeting a friend from here... my helper for over 3 years. That should be fun:). Garry and Josh continue to work on the airplane. I think this morning they're putting a new pod on it. Maybe they could even take some pictures!

You may remember that in Mindanao we have had huge changes in the way we sort our garbage. When I arrived here in Palawan I asked my helper if we needed to sort the garbage. "No, ma'am. If we sort it, what will the garbage men do?"

"I just thought if we need to sort so they collect it, it's ok. We can do that."

"No, ma'am. If we take out the recycles the garbage men will have no income. It's their part, you know."

"Ok." Culture and expectations... who would think that you were stealing a livelihood by trying to be a responsible recycler?!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I finally have internet access! My connection has been so slow that I can't even download attached files lately. It's really quite crazy.

Garry and Josh are working on some maintenance projects this week -- repainting the landing gear, installing a new pod, and doing a few other things that I can't remember. They found a crack this morning that means a few extra hours of work.... but we are so glad they found it instead of the piece breaking!

We are thankful that Garry's back is much better, though it continues to be stiff and a bit sore. A physical therapist friend of ours here might give him a treatment either today or next week.

As Easter approaches everything slows down and stores close. Many places are closed Thursday through Sunday in celebration of Holy Week. Yet so many of our friends celebrate Holy Week without any understanding of Easter-- new life and resurrection power. So many are steeped in a mentality of working hard and trying hard. People don't eat pork or do physical labor. You can't do much of anything on Saturday as many believe god is actually dead on "black saturday". People go on pilgrimages and beat their bodies in hopes of purifying themselves from sin. Hopelessness and futility seem to prevail in this time that should be a time of celebration.

In fact, every time I get caught in the performance trap I feel the same thing-- I simply can't measure up to my expectations, let alone those of the people around me. I can see so many things that need fixed, yet I am powerless to do anything about most of them. And in seeing so much wrong I am at times paralyzed from doing the good I could do, lost in the seeming hopelessness of things beyond my control. But the reality is that God is alive and well, His work is going on and I can choose to join Him in it or lose the blessing of doing so. He is good and He will prevail. His grace is sufficient and ever present. His power is available today and every day, power for LIFE and GODLINESS.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's 9 pm and quiet in my room. I'm listening to some great worship music and being reminded that God is good and He is actively involved in every situation we find ourselves in. Some of our friends are experiencing healing while others are suffering with cancer that appears to be terminal. Some friends are seeing great growth in the churches they are trying to see God plant, while others seem to run into endless struggles and unbelief. Joys. Trials. Healing. Suffering. Grace. Discipline. Abundance. Scarcity. God does it all, in perfect measures.

In fact, many of us are experiencing all of those things at this point in our lives. This weekend was a picture of so many opposite things for us. Kevin injured his hand just before a big badminton tournament that he has been training for over the past months. He played to his potential given his injury, but it wasn't what he'd hoped for. Yet he had a wonderful time with his friends and he learned things he couldn't have learned otherwise. A company offered him a sponsorship with some huge strings attached and our friends stepped in to find something better than we had hoped for.

Garry's back has been healing slowly, but the past few days it has been very sore and stiff. Today we took Kevin to an orthopedic doctor who told him that he needs to start using his hand more or it will begin to stiffen. That advice seems to apply to Garry's back at this point as well. In fact, today Garry helped load the helicopter (yes, the helicopter which has been busy flying for a missionary team today!) and his back feels better than it has since he injured it.

Garry is up north as of this morning, and the boys and I are still in Manila. We are headed back to Palawan on Friday morning and Garry will meet us there on Saturday. We had hoped to go back to Palawan on Wednesday, but we had some issues getting tickets. As things are unfolding we are incredibly thankful for these extra couple of days. It will be good, though, to have our things between two places instead of three:).