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Please Try Again Later…

February 6, 2015

Okay… The owner of the place we are renting now wants this place to rent to the tourists during tourist season, which is just around the corner… March – June… She can make, what we are paying monthly, in just one night… actually doubled, because there are two rooms to this place. So… she obviously wants us to be gone by then. She is a devout Catholic and a very nice lady… and she has never come to our little kuba church. We were in a big dilemma on where to call home. I mean we have tents, but we would be really, really, REALLY cramped… and rainy season is also just around the corner. The people of the church here were so helpful, offering to let us stay with them, in their already cramped homes, or in an old abandoned home. They offered space next to their homes, to build something simple out of bamboo, and even some of the bamboo to build it with. What big hearts they have! John and I would go back and forth on the options that were laid before us. We knew we had places to go, but honestly, I was not looking forward to any of them. We are sick enough as it is, with all the infections the kids fight, if they get a cut or abrasion on their legs and feet. I kept trying to tell myself, okay, it’s okay, we can do this… but physically and mentally, I was spent, and dreading any sort of move whatsoever.

But then, this elderly woman, in about her seventies, offered us some land to build a church. She is the mother and grandmother of many who attend our church. She has always been so kind, but she has only come to our service once. She says it is because she can’t see enough to read the Bible anyway… Please keep her in your prayers that she will come again and continue to.

Currently, we are in a little kuba for our church, which is a little bamboo hut, with open walls. Dogs, cats and chickens come in and out frequently. And it’s right by the road, where motorcycles and tricycles constantly drive by, often making it hard to hear. I teach the children in the morning, at 8:00 and then we have adults and teens follow at 10:00, because it is just too small for everyone to fit in together. So… we really need a church building… and now, we had the land!!! It was a start. We started trying to figure how much to build something that would keep the mosquitoes and rain out. But honestly, we have just enough in our personal account, that we are trying not to touch, so we will have enough for us all to come home one day with Angel… and we also wanted to have enough for whatever the adoption may cost. And when we do go home, we will start again from scratch, but as a whole family. We decided to cut into that so that we can build a home and church, which cost way less to build here than in the States. John’s sister, who helps us by sending us our monthly support, said she understood and prayed for God to help us get that money back. She took it out, and shortly after that, she got a check for exactly that plus $100 more. And then, we started getting money from people who didn’t even know, and from some who did. All in all we got about $9,000 to build with. John asked the grandmother about the other land right next to the land she had donated for the church. He told her we could pay the same monthly that we pay now, until we can purchase it, which I hope is sooner rather than later. She agreed to accept a monthly payment for the land to build the house, and we had to get the Barangay officials to witness the agreement. The people said that we need to build our home first and then we will build the church. They have been steadily helping us and are so hardworking. There are two very strong women in particular who can lift and dig and pound. I am amazed by their strength. I tried keeping up with them but haven’t even gotten close. I tried putting a bag of sand on my shoulder to carry up the hill right behind them, but as soon as I got it on, I got it right back off. Those bags are heavy!! Then I tried taking the hollow blocks of cement from the bottom of the hill to the top. At first they weren’t so heavy, but every trip I made, I had to carry less and less because it felt like my arms were going to disconnect at the elbows and fall right off. I got a few cuts on my legs and I felt like I broke my toe, and the more I tried to work… digging for instance, the more I realized that I really stink at it. So then I tried cooking for everyone because I was determined to be useful, but of course we ran out of gas, and I had to make a fire, and cook over the open flame, and it was cooking too fast, and the rice was burnt on the bottom, and I was so frustrated that Kendall said, “Momma, what is wrong?” I expressed how I felt like a big loser and just plain worthless… I took a deep breath and gave it another shot the next day. It’s been going about the same ever since, except that John got me some gas and I have really been cooking it up to make up for my previous mishaps. I have finally learned exactly how much I need to make for this many people. At least, if I can’t dig or lift like they do, I can feed ‘em up right… which has now turned into lots of rice and cans of sardines. Really, I think they prefer it to all my vegetable chopping and sweating, so sardines it is. However, our family can’t, and I don’t believe ever will, catch on to the sardine craze, so I either fry us some eggs, or hot dog wieners to go with the rice.

The concrete home is now beginning to look like a home and you can see the ocean from the kitchen window. I teared up as I watched the sunset and felt so blessed by God to have such an amazing view. He has given us a home and a cool breeze to blow through the windows. It is sealed to keep the mosquitos out and I am so thankful. But concrete and rebar and tin, and all that other stuff adds up. We would love to make the church bigger and put classrooms, but it will be around 15,000 that we don’t have yet. But I know the building will come in time, and I know that timing will be perfect. The people here really need a church building. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are really after them. They have buildings everywhere and most all the questions that the people ask us are centered around what they have heard or been taught by the JW’s. Sometimes I get so frustrated with all the false doctrines that have the people so confused. Yesterday, we drove to the next town over to a mini hospital to get Neely and Angel’s stools tested because of their continuous diarrhea, which is an entire other story in itself. The results were good, just so you know, but as we drove, I looked around at all the JW buildings. There are also Mormons and this crazy looking new “church” building going up just outside of town, that is shaped like a giant crown, with a statue of a pope looking guy out in the front. I have heard of a guy, in this region, claiming to be the Messiah, and I sure hope that place has nothing to do with him. I think to myself, ‘God do you see all of this?’ I know He does and I know He is not worried in the least. And that alone brings me comfort, because sometimes I feel so small and insignificant, in our tiny little Kuba Church, in our tiny little Barangay, not far from the beautifully constructed Jehovah Witness building. I heard the most perfect sermon the other day that helps. It was about God’s glory, and how sometimes we want and are afraid that, in our earthly thinking, that God will somehow look bad, and we want His glory to shine. But His glory is intact. We cannot even fathom it with our human perspectives and we can rest assured that He does not fit into our realm of knowledge or understanding. That is just my own version of what all the preacher preached, but it was good, and just what I needed to hear.

Our home up the hill will probably be ready to move into in just a few weeks. I am getting rid of all unnecessary items as space is limited. We really don’t have all that much, and really, it is pretty amazing what we can actually live without compared to our house in Texas. I really hope to write you more from there, as I think, since it is up on a hill, we might actually get internet… We’ll see… Now I am going to try to put some pictures up on here… but seriously, no matter how much patience I have practiced and mastered just by living here, it is still pretty much at zilch when it comes to the internet… I cannot take the waiting and waiting for something to finally upload only for it to say, in the end… please try again later…


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2015 2:45 pm


  2. February 15, 2015 2:41 pm

    Mandi, where do we find your most recent address? The kids at church are making you something and we want to mail it…..

  3. February 19, 2015 4:01 am

    Reblogged this on coxonthe19th's Blog.

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