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Go Away Fear

September 17, 2014

I am a little bit scared, although I keep trying to shove that emotion aside. While we were in town last time, trying to post blogs and other things like take Lee to the bus station so he can visit his family for a few days, someone broke into our home. When we came back, all the doors were open and the lights were on. But nothing was missing or out of place. It was strange. I felt nauseous and jittery (if that can even describe the feeling I had). John immediately went to inform the owner and they came to look and assess how they might have gotten in. Although, I think they thought that we left the door unlocked. But I know for certain I locked it because when I did, I was watching this strange young man that had been hanging around, to see if he was watching me pull the bar across the door. There was just something about him that made me uncomfortable. He is the first thing that crossed my mind when we discovered someone had been in our home but I tried not to think like that, without any proof, because I didn’t want to cast false judgment. I guess the word got out because the owner was again telling the kids they can’t come here and why. Many of them were upset and they told Kendall to tell us what they saw… And what do you know… it was that boy (17 years old)… They saw him on our roof eating our bread. They said he was in the brushy area behind our garden and when we left, he ran to the road and waved for his friend to come there. The friend stood by the boy’s kubo, and they didn’t see the other boy go inside. They only saw him on our roof, eating the bread… What’s weird is this isn’t the case of a starving boy… He gets plenty to eat… It’s almost as if he was just showing off. He obviously didn’t try to hide his offense. One of our boys said that he even told his grandmother what he did, like he wanted everyone to know. It’s really kind of creeping me out… since he had come to church for the first time just the day before. It appears to me that he acted almost out of defiance, like Satan pushed him to counteract any promptings of the Holy Spirit. We have seen him walk by since, but he never looks this way, nor does he attempt to come over. His friend, however, still comes over to play basketball and acts the same, not really even acknowledging that we are here. I asked John what he was going to do about it. He said he was going to let the fire die down and then play basketball with him. He said that he knows Satan likes to start fires, especially when someone is nearing salvation… recalling his own personal testimony… Therefore he is not giving up or giving in. My job… wipe the scowl off my face and pray for more love. Please pray for our safety. When he was walking by today, he never looked this way… but the two men walking a short distance behind him did. I don’t know if I am being paranoid but I do know that your prayers will be heard. Don’t fear for us… Pray for us… And believe it. 😉

((Whoa! I wrote this blog a long time ago so much has transpired since then that I will have to write about it another time.))

Yes, That Is Chicken Poop You’re Eating

“Babe, you know those are chicken intestines right,” I say to my husband who bought from the guy grilling and selling down the street… because he sees it as an open door.

“Yes, but they empty them. They fill them back up with meat or something.”
“No, I don’t think they do.”

“Babe, they wouldn’t eat them like that. That would just be kwatit (crazy), although it did taste gritty and sandy… I think he may have dropped it.”

Later that evening I asked Lee’s sister, “Isavern, what is in this? Do they empty it and fill it back up with meat or something?”

“No Sister, they just boil that one and then put soy. But that one is not masarap (delicious) because there is no soy.”

With a smile on my face, I enter our room, where my husband is writing, and explained what Isavern had said.

“What! So I’m eating chicken poop? No wonder it’s gritty, chickens eat sand and dirt! Man, and I can’t get this taste out of my mouth!”

“All for the ministry Hun… All for the ministry.”

Crying Over an Extra Plate

Early in the morning, before the sun rose, we woke and as John showered and readied to leave, I sat in the bed, my heart pounding at the thought of what was shortly to come. My husband was leaving us… heading back to the states for three long weeks… I sat there telling my heart how necessary it was. Pastor Bob was right. He had encouraged John on his short visit here to go back more often than not, because we need to remind the people what we are doing here… let them see our face, let them hear our amazing stories… He said you just don’t want them to forget about you…

Please don’t forget about us… I feel like that movie, Cast Away, with Tom Hanks… eating coconuts, fish, and crab so much that I have forgotten what it feels like to eat out of enjoyment instead of hunger. I am seriously so skinny now that I can see my skeletal frame under my skin, accentuated by my recent illness that had me both vomiting and diarrhea-ing every 30 minutes all night long and the next day during a hot brownout. But that is entirely another story… We are still here… and you all are like that picture that Tom Hanks keep shining his flashlight on. Images and thoughts of you flash in my mind more often than you might imagine. I long to see you, to talk with you, hug you and tell you how much you mean to us… But God hasn’t yet sent us the sail to come home.

John, however, was able to go back, and is there still as I am writing this. It has been ten days now, and we still have twelve days to go… I am not counting down or anything ☺… I was doing really well that first day that he left., with many distractions with the local children. It wasn’t until it was time to eat dinner and I counted out the plates. When I realized later that we had one extra plate, I was wondering how I miscounted and concluded I had gotten one for John, and the tears started to flow. It is funny the things that can set you off you know.

Someone blessed us with internet and we are so grateful, but thus far the internet guy has not been able to make a tower tall enough to get a good signal. It was about five days that I didn’t get to talk to him to even see if he had made it, although I knew in my heart that he had. Lee talked to some people and found us a place with internet that they said we could borrow. So we walked there, paid fifty pesos for the guy to load it on his phone, then text some kind of codes to get 24 hours of unlimited surfing… ( I still don’t quite understand the whole process.) But anyway, it worked and Riley figured out by watching he guy how to get a signal at our house… a very very weak signal… but a signal at that. We are at least able to write each other when it is not brownout or typhoon or…

I fell asleep before finishing this blog ☺…

Unsurpassable Joy

My birthday was September third, the day before my husband left to go back to the States… But before he left, he gave me a gift… a book… Mandi’s Story. Yep, the same spelling and everything. It sent strange chills up my spine to see my name on the cover of a book. My story??? It was the perfect distraction to his absence. I have been reading it in quiet moments. Right now I am on page 130 and I am just floored by this book. First of all, she writes what she hears God speaking to her spirit in third person… “There is a purpose behind every problem Mandi. All of them are significant in your growth process and I will use various circumstances to develop your character to be more like Mine” (Pg.86)… “God accepts me just the way I am, but the old Mandi had to die; her harmful habits and destructive behaviour had to die in order for the new to be born” (Pg. 81). (I totally forgot how to document so as not to plagiarize :-/ … but to cover myself, that was written by Mandi Els ☺) It’s just funny to read my name so much in a book… and it speak such truths. Now, here is the kicker… She made me crack up because God kept telling her and showing her in many ways that she was to go to the Philippines! It was completely the same and completely different as what God did with me. I laughed out loud at her resolve, night sweats, and arguments. And I shed tears upon remembering my own. I had to hide in my room as I continued to read so that no one would see me, both laughing and crying at mere words on a page… like… “I had no idea what I was giving God permission to do when I prayed under that rustic oak tree in our garden” (Pg. 129 ☺) I know the feeling Sister!! She has overcome amazing trials and states that, “Nowhere in the Bible is there a money-back guarantee for immunity against discomfort or dilemma. Even though I searched for it, I inevitably found many warnings about the problems we have to face in this world.” (Pg. 85) She writes of the unsurpassable joy that comes through facing the challenges of life with Christ. I love this Mandi who now resides in the Philippines and wrote a book! ….Huhum… ☺

Me Too…

Every Sunday our adult group is growing. It has only been I think three or four Sundays now that adults have been coming… We are now at 15, with not only women, but men… a very very good thing! I am struggling with Ilocano… It is much harder than Tagalog for me but I know with time it will come. Listening, to them I probably only catch one or two words in every sentence… enough to get the general idea of what they are talking about…but not enough to laugh at the same time as they do… if you know what I mean… Lee has been doing a great job leading in John’s absence. He gets nervous but God prevails through him. He has been lacking sleep especially on Saturday nights… ☺ I love him just like if he were my own son… and the kids love him like a brother. He has a special connection with each of them. Neely and Angel constantly invade his space and even fall asleep on him. Liam wrestles with him and he is always willing until Liam finally gives in. He is Kendall’s dishwashing partner who listens to her spill out her thoughts to him. He also teaches and corrects her Ilocano… which she has gotten amazingly good at! And he is Riley’s exercise coach / music partner. They play so well together… both being very musically gifted. But even though John has left us in very capable hands, his absence hangs over our heads and the pain tugs at our hearts at different times, as each of the kids take turns telling me “I miss Daddy…” “Me too…” I always say… “Me too…”

The children’s group is growing. We usually have about 35, although I have over fifty names written down of children that have come at least once. Princess, the little girl who is deaf, has been visiting a lot lately. Yesterday she came and made the sign for book to me… My heart leaped with joy… She was speaking to me! I got the book and we made signs for all the pictures I have been showing her. She can now sign book, monkey, cat, bird, chicken, snake, butterfly, fish, bear, the letters c and o. I have taught her others but these are one she can generally do without me showing her first now. She will sit and just laugh and laugh. She has become very eager and wants to look through every single book I have on the shelf.

Lino, the boy I wrote about who appears to have downs syndrome, eats with us every single night and sometimes for lunch. He sings his heart out when we are singing and jokes around and plays with us now. But… he will be going to Manila tomorrow because his brothers came for a visit. They are 23 and 19 and they live and work there. They want to take him back with them because they feel it will be a better life for him there. They seem to love him, and though I am sad that I won’t be seeing him daily anymore, I am pleased. I have heard some bad stories about his treatment here by his grandparents… Their mother was murdered, not far from here. They said she was very beautiful and was raped and killed. The father got sick and died, I think before the mother.

There is a group of brothers here. The youngest ones come to church most every Sunday… They are 12, 11, and 8. Their father was also murdered just down the road. I was told that sometimes gangs or hitmen come to remote places like these and deposit bodies, and maybe he was a witness… They don’t know why he died or who did it. Those boys are rough but always call me Mam and smile the sweetest genuine smiles. I don’t fear for my safety. I only desire to help them fill the voids in their lives with the only one who can truly fill it. I desperately want these people to know and trust Jesus but I also know that it is not up to me. It is in God’s perfect plan and perfect timing. And I am supposed to be here. I have tried to picture in my mind what it would be like to be back in America with John right now. I know that it would be soooo weird. I asked John what it was like when I got to message him. He said it was major culture shock and he cannot wait to be back. It’s really hard to explain, and I couldn’t to anyone who has not lived this life for the past three years, why the place of our birth, where we have lived and known most of our lives, would be a culture shock to us now. Do you know that I eat like an entire plate full of rice for lunch and dinner now and sometimes go back for seconds of mostly rice… and I don’t think twice about it…

This morning, I discovered the third dead rat in our living room / front porch… Let’s see… what else… My kids are very good at playing all the games here… They makes long chords out of rubber bands and use them for these jumping hopping counting games that I just don’t get. Then they either have to tumble over them or jump over them. They also play games where they have to make a pyramid out of flip flops, throw one flip flop at it to knock it down, and then tag each other somehow. My kids love these games that I simply don’t get and play them all the time. Neely speaks English with an accent. I often can’t tell her voice from Angel’s.

Oh… there was a typhoon here the other night and I could not sleep because the wind was howling like crazy… much stronger than the one before, but I had no idea this one was even coming… Where was the driving announcer guy??? I could hear things blowing around on the roof and I worried about the boys in their kubo with the holes in the roof / grass. But all was good and the kids got to miss a day of school… although I heard another is supposed to be coming.

And now a word to my Hubs who has good internet right now… hurry home to me Honey and don’t get used to all that convenience or Mexican food… which I do not even want to hear about!!! Mahal kita! 😉

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 19, 2014 12:36 am

    Remember: Don and Beverly Love Mandi,John and the Kids, So keep writing….I can see the cover of the Book now, “Mandi’s Blog’s”……All our Love, Don and Beverly Davis.

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