Thursday, December 05, 2013

Heading out on Sunday

Sunday. Just 2 days and we'll be on an airplane headed across the ocean. Wow. It seems simply unreal. Since my last update a lot has happened. An awful lot! Just after my last post we got a message from the Philippines asking if we'd come. A set job description is impossible, but the needs are huge. We are somewhat unique in having served in aviation in the Philippines quite recently and understanding life there. So we as a family will go and see how our experiences and gifts can be used!

Our first plan was to leave yesterday, but God had other plans. My dad had surgery in Venezuela today. Ticket prices were very inconsistent between days. Parts were ordered for the airplanes and we plan to hand carry them. In the end, we are leaving on Sunday morning and still praying the needed parts make it in time.

And the "extra" days have been filled to overflowing with opportunities to share what God is doing in the Philippines, friends to see, and things to organize. One by one the details of our trip are coming together, though we still have a rather long list of things to do. Thank you, Jesus!

The efforts of our team are currently focused on the Coron/Busuanga area where NTM-Philippines has active church plants. The destruction there is similar to what it was in the other islands where we've served, although on some of the islands nearly everything was washed out to sea. Thus, relief efforts at the moment are going beyond food to providing cooking utensils, food, and other necessities.

We were also excited to hear that two pilots, a helicopter, and an airplane arrived in the Philippines from Indonesia to help with the flying. This is allowing the Philippine aircraft to return to their "home islands" and do some supply flying for NTM missionaries. How things will unfold from here is unclear, but what remains clear is a huge need for help and support.

Pray for us as we go, that God will give clarity about how to best help, strength for the challenges ahead, and deep faith to trust in His goodness and grace. Pray that we will bless and encourage those we come in contact with. Pray for those doing relief work, for wisdom and strength. And especially pray for the many, many Filipinos who have lost so much and have so much rebuilding ahead of them. Pray that the Gospel would find fertile ground in which to grow.

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