Monday, May 26, 2008


I am saying goodbye to this URL. I believe that there are several who may have links to this site and I would like to refer you to the updated "blogspots" for current updates, photos, etc. Our Family/Ministry blog My Personal blog I appreciate the ones who drop by to check on us {ok, maybe using the plural tense was too much}, but you will have to stick your head in the door over at the other sites instead. Just consider yourself a "back door" friend & come on over! See you there!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

sunny days are here again!

After what seemed to be the longest night in history, we were wakened by bright sunshine and a great deal of humidity. The last news we heard had said that the worst was still to come, but later we found out that the worst had already hit our area & the eye would hit about 2-3 hours north of us. Which was a relief of sorts, but I cringed to think of just how bad the "worst" could be after what blew through our neck of the woods earlier in the day.

We currently still do not have power; the electric company has been working non-stop all day to repair the many lines that were pulled down by fallen trees. The destruction of the high winds left trees and rubble everywhere. The camp workers have been working very hard today cleaning up the campsite for new campers this afternoon & our kids even got in on the action by picking some trash from around the dorms. Jonah thought that was so fun...only a 5 year old would think picking trash is fun for sure.

Since the whole city is without power, church services were cut shorter due to the heat. It was nice of them to think of the members that way, but in the process we missed out on much congregational singing and any special music. The music service seems to be the highlight of most services when the understanding of the preaching is little, so I really missed that today. But as always, it is good to fellowship with other believers and the scripture references gave way for personal reflection, so everything was good. We found out that VBS will start tomorrow for the kids, so they are looking forward to that and maybe there will be a few areas we can manage to get our hands dirty with as well....I could handle a little serving.

I am so grateful that we have the little things, we heard a story of someone's family member losing the roof off their house last night. Since they live very close to the water, so they were in more danger. I thank God that He cooled us in the night so that we could rest. I am so impressed and thankful for the hard working crew that works at the camp...they have gone above and beyond the call of duty today. They are amazing.

I am mostly thankful for the contentment that comes from being right where God wants you. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

sorry sir, the rat ate your generator...

Slowly but surely, as the day progressed, the storm has worsened. The forecast now is that this typhoon could quite possibly be the largest that the area has seen since 1998. My faith has been tested in a way. The newly known storm severity has brought with it new fears in unknown spaces and I have found myself needing to go back and read my own words...God is in control and can bring peace in the midst of the storm. Say it with me now..."God is in control"! Thank you I needed that!

Mid-afternoon we lost our power; to no surprise really. I was more surprised that it took till so late in the day before it was gone. No problem I thought, we have been blessed with a generator, so we'll be ok. Well...not so much...tried to start it, no go. Added gas, no go. Beckoned for the camp electrician to come take a look at it...sure enough, his words were "the rat...he ate through the wires". Nice! I wasn't even aware we had a rat lurking lately, but evidently we do and it seems that he likes the chewy plastic coating of electric fortunate! I guess I can be glad that he's not in the pantry eating the food, right? Little splice here, little tape there, 3 men working in the driveway...viola, back in working order. Sort of. It's working, but not at full power. We have enough to keep the fridge cold and provide us with a little light here & there, but overall, still blessed to even have that much. The kids have been good for the most part. Yes, there was boredom...much boredom, but they did pretty well all things considered. For a while, you could walk through the house & see piles of toys resting in the light of the windows and that was sweet. Can someone tell me why it is that when they have beautiful skies to play beneath that they choose to play inside, but on the stormy days when they have to be inside they want to run and play and scream outside????

If I were to sum up our day in a few words, it might sound like this: Crazy wind, scooters, candles, boredom, barbies, legos, horizontal rain, brown outs, hungry rat, left overs, banana pie, reading, branches...lots and lots of branches, fear, peace, good night prayers, quiet spirit, God in control...all is well!

On another thought, my mind cannot shake the vision of the little neap-hut homes that grace the roadside not a mile from here...are they safe? do they still have a roof? do they still have a house for that matter? The same God who sees me in this place, sees them also and cares for them just the same. I am not special. If He cares for me, He also cares for them and will watch over them as well. God is so good!

"Lord, be with those who live in simple over them and cover them with your hands tonight as the worst is yet to come. Lord, that they might come to know you and your glory through my eyes and make me/keep me aware. Thank you for loving us and caring for us like you do. Thank you for the simple pleasures of clean running water and electricity. You are so gracious."

I think I suffer from "tropical depression"

As I type, the sound of high winds howling and trees whipping are serenading their love song at my window. I am holding out hope that my connection will last long enough to allow me to post this little "ditty" in order to give a little chuckle to the "tropical depression" they say is knocking at our door. One report says typhoon and the other says tropical depression...What I know is that the winds are crazy and I am surprised that there is not any flooding after the rains we've had in the past 24 hours...not sure which category that belongs to, but that's how I see it. I also know I am NOT going out in it!

It is also funny to see the change that has been made in our family. The kids are running around in the garage laughing & playing, I sit here without panic...and that in it's self is truly amazing! I am watching Karissa at this time & she is just where I was at the beginning of rainy typhoon season last year, a little worried {not much} & wondering if we are supposed to be taking cover at all {she also grew up around tornado alley}. I think it is incredible how experience with God's protection can change our point of it can change our lives. Trusting Him makes all the difference in the world. And, it also makes an effect on the people around us!

As I finish, I would ask help in praying for the safety of the campers who are loading up for their 6 hour ride back to Manila...for the strength of the camp workers who have been cutting weak limbs and cleaning up messes all day...for rest tonight to all who are in the path of this storm. I also want to thank our God for keeping us safe and for bringing the peace into our lives that only He can bring.

Here's the chuckle: I'm not real sure what the correct label for the weather should be...typhoon/tropical depression, but I do know that staying inside with 4 energetic children all day is enough to give someone tropical depression!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sunday~Day of rejoicing!

The first sunday of our trip would be spent with Ptr. Tom Raguirag at his 10th anniversary in Guiuan, Samar. What a glorious day! The chapel was full as well as the awning covered driveway out the back door of the chapel. Their choir was so sweet as were the children who accompanied them. Paul would speak the first hour, dad would speak the second and lunch would be served on site and Ptr Tabanda would speak in the afternoon. Each did a wonderful job as always and we poked at dad for using more Tagalog than we are used to hearing from him. Heaven shouted as 39 gave their hearts to Christ at the end of that first hour! Nothing is sweeter and more tender; I don't believe I could ever grow tired of watching others turn to Jesus and lay their lives at His feet.

Lunch was special: lechon baboy! I took a few pictures so that you could imagine being their with us. I love how this little boy is looking up into the mouth with curiosity:

The children absolutely loved Karissa and who couldn't blame them; she's just so cute:

After the evening services we were each presented with gifts of gratitude from the Precious Ladies class of the church. One of the ladies makes hand-made crafts from shells & our gifts were made from her very hands. The gifts were incredible and we were honored to take them home as a membrance. As the night continued, we had the opportunity to sit around and talk with a few of the members. It is always the highlight of our visit to come away knowing the people in a deeper way.

At the end of the long day, we would be sent to bed with the excitement of waking Monday morning and going on a boat ride to Pearl Island. Wow...what would that hold in store for us? All I can say right now is that Monday would be a day to remember forever!

Word for the day? *No jokes here, just resting in God's grace and rejoicing in a good day in the Lord's house! God is great and greatly to be praised!!!

it's just me and my memories...

I could just cry! In the midst of my insatiable need to organize my folders, etc, about a week ago, on my sad little computer, I managed to accidentally delete my entire photos folder from the years 2007 and 2008 {so far}!!!!!!!!! My stomach is just sick thinking about it. Here's what makes it worse: at the beginning of 2008 I said to myself, "I need to make sure I load my 2007 folder onto the external hard drive 'just in case' something might ever happen to my computer". Oh yeah, something happened all right, but not a HD crash like I expected~only I happened!

Today we drove Karissa into some areas for her first time and also spent some time at the market taking some photos before her time is finished with us here. I found myself more than once starting to say "oh, when we get home, I'll show you that picture"...UGH!!!!!

As time passes I am starting to be able to laugh a little about it, but honestly, I have felt so sad that all our first memories from this place were gone. I am learning to accept the fact that I will have new chances to document the same memories while also holding the the "firsts" so dear in my mind. At this moment, I see a greater purpose for God giving me the love for blogging, He knew that poor file didn't stand a chance!

"Thank you Lord for knowing me and for taking care of me the way you do! The sights I have seen and the experiences we have had are not really lost, You give them back to us daily and I love you for that..."