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Internet Day!

October 27, 2014

Today is internet day! We are here in Hong Kong for a few days. We arrived at night, just in time to collapse into the comfort of a fluffy hotel bed. Exhausted, but content, I fell asleep with images swimming in my head of sky scraping beautiful Hong Kong, pinching myself at the mere thought of being here once again… remembering that I never, in my wildest dreams, would have imagined myself here in the life I once live. The next morning, we woke up early to make it to the hotel breakfast before heading to Ocean Park in two separate taxis. The maximum is 5 people, no exceptions. Ocean Park was fun. We got to ride many of the rides before it got out-of-this-world busy… and weird. I had actually forgotten it was almost halloween, after not having celebrated it for so long, from being in the Philippines, until I saw all the grotesque costumes. More and more people showed up, small children wearing horns on their heads, death painted on their faces… I had always liked halloween growing up, even with my own children. I loved dressing them in costumes, going trick-or-treating or church functions. But in my experience yesterday, it just plain felt evil, with all the horror shows playing, and seductive costume dances. Even though we are required to exit the country every year, I must admit that I was looking forward to this get-away. But it is also a reminder at how much the world needs Jesus. A verse kept coming to mind, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” John 1:10 We were all ready to leave back to the comforts of our room; hot high pressured showers, fluffy towels that don’t leave fuzzies all over you, toilets that flush at the push of a button, a couch, television (family movies and cartoons!), internet, air conditioner, ZERO mosquitos… or lizards, clean feet… all things that I once took for granted. But even with all these luxuries, I will be ready to return tomorrow, to our daughter who eagerly awaits our return, to friends, more like family, to a work not yet finished… I miss them all already! But today is internet day. I have a list a mile long of all the things I need to do today involving this much needed and missed high speed internet. I have not gotten on Facebook yet but I am trying to save that for last.

Okay… John’s return home was awesome! We were all so excited to see him and I still look at him and say, “I am so glad you are here.” And boy do I mean it. Everything went well while he was gone but I could literally sense the tension release from everyone with him back. With the first hug, of many, I felt like my entire body dissolved into his warmth. There is no place like my husband’s arms. Even though I was happy beyond measure with him home, I was soon so overwhelmed that I had to take a moment behind doors to give thanks and shed tears. We were showered with gifts from home that seemed to endlessly spill out of his luggage. I felt like crawling under the suitcase and checking for holes like on Mary Poppins. Thank you everyone for all the gifts you bestowed upon me and my family, and even our extended family. We are so humbled and grateful. And thank you everyone who showed John so much love while he was back home. He tearfully explained how he was treated so well with open and loving arms. Thank you for your love… all of you!

Just a week after his return we had a mission team come from Elim Church. They were a breath of fresh air and as soon as they were here, they were gone. But their impact was great and we have expanded our circle of friends and family. I was so pleased with what everyone had to offer in his or her own unique way. They were funny and loving and the people here felt their love and opened up to them effortlessly. They brought us gifts like bags of candy, cereal, mashed potatoes, coffee creamer, jewelry, makeup, lotions. It felt like Christmas and I again shed tears of overwhelming thanks. I was not expecting all the gifts. My children were refreshed by their visit and I walked in on Kendall crying as she lay in her bed the night that they left. When I asked why she was crying she explained that she was thanking God for sending them here and that she would miss them. She told me all the things she wished she would have told them and said she would write them all notes for PopPop and NeeNee to take back with them. That is what they call two of our remaining guest from the mission team, who will stay until the middle of November. They are watching over the ministry and Angel for the three days that we are gone. We love having them there with us and we don’t even want to think about November.

I have so many other things to write about like little Princess, who really learned a lot while one of the mission team members, Tonie, was here. Tonie teaches sign language and stayed with Princess most of her time here, showing her so many things. Princess is smart and picked up on many of the sign words. After sister Tonie left, I signed to barefoot little Princess “where are your shoes,” that she had gotten from Tonie. She answered me by pointing to her house… We all learned a lot of sign language and will continue to learn and teach the kids more. They like to communicate with Princess in this way, and have treated her much better, after experiencing the love of Sister Tonie. I was going to just try to write one simple blog but I think I will go ahead and just throw in all my short unfinished, previous written blogs…

Daddy’s Here!

I set my alarm extra early so I could wash my face and get my makeup on… because… well because I hadn’t seen him in three weeks, which felt like months, and I simply wanted to take his breath away… You know… just like I had imagined in my daily thoughts, especially as the days for his arrival neared. My stomach churned as I sat in the silence of my room, in the early morning hours, trying to concentrate and focus, but every noise I heard sent me leaping from my bed to peer out of the window. And then, finally it was him! A tricycle drove up into our yard and I saw him hopping off the back. My chest burned as I looked again in the mirror before tearing down the door. “Good morning Pastor, good morning Pastor,” I kept hearing from every direction. I let the kids run to him first as I couldn’t hold them back if I tried, and I subdued the fantasy I had of leaping into his arms, due to the rising number of onlookers… yes even at the crack of dawn. We hugged tightly and I felt the tension I had dissolve into his warmth.

“Why?”

I looked out in the yard and saw a little girl with a shaved head. Only it wasn’t completely shaved. There were patches of hair left in random places all over her head. I was wondering who she was, when I suddenly realized that her face resembled the face of precious little Princess. Stunned, I turned to John and said, “Is that Princess?” He shook his head yes, in response, with a ‘can-you-believe-that’ sort of look in his face. “Why?” I revealed the shock in my voice. Apparently, the reason was because she has some sores on her head that need to heal. I don’t know why, but tears started to fill my eyes at the sight of her, and I could not look away. Later that day, she called to me the same as she always does, with a loud whining sound. I looked, smiled, and went over to her. I rubbed my hand under her chin to somehow show her that I think she is still beautiful. I was able to see the sores and there are many. They look like patches of pus, with a few leaking ones that had dried on her scalp. She smiled her sweet little smile and ran to play…

(This was written before the mission team arrived. Her sores are now much better and her hair is slowly but surely growing back.)

Just Call Me Barber Mandi

I have some buzzers that we brought with us to cut the boy’s and John’s hair. I have to plug it in the step-down to use it. I am no hair cutter. I can use the buzzers alright, but if one were to really examine their heads, I am sure he or she would notice several mistakes, such as missed sections, unevenness, and so on. But scissors… you can just forget it. I have watched my mom cut my dad’s hair on more than one occasion but it is in the same category as rocket science to me. No matter how many times I tried, I never came close, and I would just have to end up buzzing it all off. Anyhoots, since we are out in the boondocks, I have had to cut their hair quite often, especially with this heat. They think they’re dying if their hair gets a few inches long. I have cut Lee’s hair a few times but I get nervous every time, and continually warn him that I have no idea what I am doing. “It’s ok Mam, it’s hot,” is usually his response. I have cut two of the youth’s hair more than once now, and some of the little boys, which is absurdly hard, because they can’t sit still. The last time I cut hair, I had a line waiting and I was sweating profusely… partly because I was trying extra hard to do a good job, and partly because it was just plain hot. Afterward, John found me in the room, lying on our bed, with a fan blowing directly in my face. He laughed as I explained how exhausting it was.

Okay… those were all my writings from before when I had some time to write… and there is just one more thing I want to write about before I leave you… Movie Night… We were blessed with a projector while John was in the States and so far we have had four movie nights, which we will try to do every Friday for the people. It has been crazy awesome! Last Friday we had probably 100 people in our front yard, watching The Passion of Christ. I am not sure if that is the exact name of the movie, but anyway, the one by Mel Gibson. It was just really something. Many tears were shed. And we prayed with two families after the film ended. It’s like we have a drive in movie theater… well without all the cars. 🙂 It has been a great ministry tool and I am sure it will continue to be.

Tutaloo for now… time to get on my email… hum… password???

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