Thursday, June 30, 2011

the first leg

Not only did we walk away from blogging during the course of the past three weeks, we also walked away from our home, and away from the island of Mindanao to another nearby island.

In fact, as the crow flies, our destination was only about 3 hours or so away.
But things are not always so straightforward in SE Asia.
All told, the trip took us over two days of travel.

(Bear in mind, we have co-workers who patiently go through this process regularly.)

Sorry we just can't say much more here about where exactly we went, 
but you can read our next newsletter for more specifics! **

some of the Bible Club materials

Mark had wisely paid the additional fee in advance allowing us to each check 20 kilos of baggage.  This was exceptionally smart since we had about 30 kilos of materials for the Bible Club alone!
Each of us packed some of it in our duffel, some in our backpack, and amazingly it all fit in.

Arriving at the Davao airport

meeting friends at the check-in counter

A very special feature of our trip was that we were able to travel the first leg with several friends who were going the same direction!  All told, there were 10 others we knew on the first two flights.

Though our first flight was running late, I had a great time in the boarding area with my friend Deb, discussing the goodness of God, and His complete sovereignty and trustworthiness.  We also loved savoring our friend Rita's yummy peanut butter bars, (thanks for sharing, Rita!) and laughing over the unique bathroom fixture (above)
Do you see the switch that turns on the faucet?  Somehow I just never would have thought of using a wired switch with bathroom plumbing...

Finally it was time to board the first flight

We reached Manila around dinner time and our family decided to go with a good ole' western meal, knowing that we might not get too much western food for awhile.  

Yum, that pizza sure tasted good.


 But pizza wasn't a good idea after all.
Not long after dinner, as we were going through yet another line,
Amy started not feeling well.
Soon Michael wasn't feeling too great either.

My earlier conversation with Deb gave me lots of food for thought
as first Amy and then Michael really got sick.

It was late at night, we were already tired, and our flight was delayed.
Which was maybe a mercy in the long-run.
It was about this time that we needed prayer,
so I emailed a few of you to please pray...

God  was good to us through our friends;
I know they were all praying for us as they watched the suffering...

Mary (next to Elise) had lots of energy for that time at night,
but she also came prepared.
She had saved the cute little white bag from the first flight,
and wanted to share it with Amy.
Boy, was that a great gift, Mary!!!

And God was good to us through strangers, too.
Like the little Filipino nun who quietly, kindly, sympathetically patted Michael on his back
as he was sick on the boarding ramp.
I'm pretty sure she was praying for him, too.

It was not an easy flight.
But in God's sovereignty He quietly reminded us of our utter, total dependence on Him.
Looking out the window at the sea and islands below, I wrote in my journal..."But 'The glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.' And 'The whole earth is filled with the glory of God.'  And somehow, someway, this suffering and this leaning on You and this presence of Yours in the very suffering lends weight and credence and truth to the message we have of hope in Christ."

At long last we landed, forged our way to our baggage and through one more of those lines,
and with help from one of our friends who spoke the language
we got into a taxi at 3 a.m. to head to a hotel where we would rest until our next flight in about 12 hours.

But that story is for the next post.

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1 comment:

thechurchcook said...

Photos of your sick children made me cry. Sweet children! Love you guys! Look forward to more posts on your trip!