Thursday, January 24, 2008

At the Beach...

We all had so much fun at the beach. It was actually a cloudy day but the kids enjoyed the beach despite the weather! What a new concept to be able to play in the water and for it to be bundling up in winter clothes like we do at home in Alaska!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reading time!

How many kids can we fit on a couch for quiet reading time? Quite a few, that's for sure!


Alyssum enjoys her stick of chicken intestines! Want to give it a try?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby John

Here is the newest member of our house, for at least a little while! His mother gave birth at the clinic on Sunday and had already prearranged for him to go to the orphanage. The orphanage will allow families to do foster care so we decided to give this little guy some extra loving care. He gets passed around a lot as everyone wants a turn to hold the new baby! We will probably have him for at least a couple weeks. We are having so much fun with "our new baby"!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our First Week

We have had a fun week of seeing lots of new things and meeting new people.

On Monday and Tuesday we spent the days unpacking, wrapping Christmas presents (since we had brought all of the Germains Christmas presents with us from family and friends back home), organizing closets and shelves, and then opening gifts for Christmas. Wednesday we started school and went swimming for PE!! In the afternoon Grace and I went to a class with Jenn…it was everyone’s interviews with other midwives. Wednesday afternoon we geared up for our day out on Thursday.

Thursday morning we drove 1 ½ hours outside of Davao to visit a couple Filipino missionary ladies, Beth and Murly, who live on the edge of Bukidnon mountains in a small village. It was actually a chilly drive in the cool morning! When we arrived we hoped to be able to take a short-cut trail straight down over the edge of the road that would only take about 15 minutes, but it was too muddy and slippery so we took the 1 hour long way. What an adventure we had slopping through knee deep mud and carabao poop while we climbed over hills and rocks, and enjoyed the beautiful greenery around us! Everyone had a back pack on their back full of medical supplies and food as a gift to Beth and Murly. We also carried in two live chickens strung by their feet to have for lunch! The kids were such great troopers as they plunged ahead through the mud and enjoyed the warm mud squishing between their toes. Beth and Murly were so pleased that we had come despite the nasty trail. We all arrived at their farm covered in mud, but we all washed up the best we could and sat down in their house to visit.

Beth and Murly have several acres of property and run a small farm that provides them with what they need. Beth was with YWAM many years ago and has received some training in primary medical care. They used to live closer to Davao, but chose to live out among the people to be there for the people and help them anyway they could. They have set up many medical outreaches to other villages, but their main supplier of medicine has moved out of the Philippines. Beth and Murly had been praying and fasting that the Lord would supply them with the medicine they need for the next outreach and to be able to help the people around them. Even though their main supplier has left the people still expect them to care for their medical needs. Our gift of medical supplies was a huge answer to prayer!! What an amazing way to use what God has given us!!

While we were visiting, Murly fixed a wonderful lunch for us of pancit, adobo, and rice over her hot wood stove. Several of the kids stood back and watched and got an amazing lesson in cooking Filipino food, from the butchering and plucking of the chicken to cooking noodles! There was also a sick little piglet wrapped up in the kitchen that was getting warmed by the fire and getting hand fed. When lunch was ready we all sat on the bamboo slat floor in the living room and enjoyed a wonderful meal! It was such a treat for all of us. Fresh coconut from the tree that Beth climbed to chop down was on the menu for dessert! Before we left to begin our climb back up the mountain side, we prayed for Beth and Murly and the medical supplies that we had brought for them and they prayed for us.

Instead of going back the long way we decided to brave the mountain…figured going up was easier than sliding all the ay down with nothing to stop us. It was a crawl on all fours climb up the slippery slope, but once again everyone did a great job and easily made it to the top! Once again muddy from head to toe, but having fun all the way. Most of the kids slept on the drive back to Davao, curled up against each other in the back of the jeepney. What a fun day for everyone and a great learning experience!

Friday and Saturday have been rather uneventful by comparison…just more school, a little shopping, kids running and playing, Jenn and Grace working at the clinic, and just having lots of fun!

Kind of a side note, but note worthy…when we left our home in Alaska I(Stacey) had a very painful corn on the bottom of my foot. By the time we arrived in Davao after lots of walking my foot was throbbing and extremely painful! The hard floors and flip flops certainly were not helping! I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it on the hike to Beth and Murly’s, but put aside the pain and decided to go for it. We prayed for my foot before we left on the hike, but it continued to hurt as we slopped through the mud. Yesterday morning when I got up though the pain was all gone and my foot has not been hurting at all since then!! The Lord healed my foot either through prayer or in the mud…we figure either way the Lord was in it!!

Thanks for praying for us…we really appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In the Philippines!

We are finally here!! After several delayed flights and then completely missing our flight to Davao and needing to stay overnight in Manila, we finally made it to Davao! Praise the Lord for family in Manila who rescued us from the airport and returned us to the airport the next day for our flight to Davao. We were a little nervous as we checked-in, hoping all would go well. It did go great...and we didn't even have to pay for our extra baggage.

We arrived in Davao to a very excited group of people! After lots of hugs and excitement, we loaded everyone up in the Germain's jeepney complete with the 14 suitcases tied down on top! The kid
s have had so much fun catching up with their friends and just playing and playing in the sun!

We brought Christmas gifts with us from family and friends so we had lots of wrapping to do once we arrived. Last night we had a fun Christmas with lots of kid's laughter and chatter! It has been so much fun to be back in a busy full house once again! We have also managed to unpack a
ll our suitcases and find a place for everything.

Today we did a little bit of school and putting together toys that the kids got for Christmas. We also went to buy some food items to take out to a couple missionary ladies who live outside Davao living among the people and bringing Jesus to the village people. Joe, Jenn, and kids have visited them several times and take food items as well as medical supplies. We will all be going on Thursday. Sounds like it will be quite an adventure!

Grace is off to the clinic tonight with Jenn to work the night shift...hoping there will be a few babies born. She got a tour of the clinic the other day and then also went on a baby check with Jenn yesterday. She is getting a little taste of what being a midwife is all about. I will get my turn to go to the clinic with J
enn after Grace leaves...although I am not planning to be a midwife!! :)

School is the plan for tomorrow with a little PE at the swimming pool...the kids are excited to go swimming! Then we will get backpacks ready for our adventure on Thursday. A 1 1/2 hour ride in the back of a jeepney with lots of kids will be an adventure in itself!

Please pray that we will use the opportunities around us to show God's love and to be bold enough to share with others as well.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

Our new year is off to a good start...mostly packing and finishing up last minute things before we leave next week to go to the Philippines! The kids have enjoyed the time off from school and are having fun in the snow. It has been so beautiful outside with all the new snow and the sunny days.

Steve's office and paperwork have kept him very busy as he gets his business ready for his three month absence. We will have two employees that will stay on while we are gone and will take care of taking down winter lighting and getting equipment ready for the summer. Hard to believe when we return the end of March it will be time for the crews to start clean up for summer work the first of April.

Our house will also not sit vacant for 3 months as our friends, Kevin and Sherry Cooley, will be staying at our house and taking care of the animals. It is such a relief knowing it will all be taken care of while we are away.

We have certainly enjoyed the holidays as we get to spend time with family and friends. Our Christmas celebration is extended as we celebrated with the Veldstra family on Christmas eve, then we had our own family Christmas on Christmas day and then the day after we celebrated with the Engebretsen family. It just keeps going....when we arrive in the Philippines we will have a Christmas party with our friends the Germains! Our kids are going to think Christmas is a month long celebration!!

Kailee's birthday is in the midst of it all and she will turn 7 on January 8! She is looking forward to family birthday celebrations, and we will also use the time to say good-bye to everyone before we leave.

As soon as Christmas was over one of the kids has told us daily it is now time to go to the Philippines. The waiting was fine before the holidays, but now that the holidays are over it is time to go! It is fun to have their participation in the getting ready to go process as we pack and prepare for our adventure.

We are anticipating the days to come for our travel with a little fear and mostly a lot of excitement!!