Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Siquijor Pictures

Siquijor Pictures

A Filipino boat and this starfish was right n the edge of the water and I called it a "chocolate chip starfish". These women where digging in the coral for 1/2 inch shells that contained a very small bit of seafood of some sort in them.

Siquijor Retreat

Well, I must confess as we were planning for this retreat, I felt rather guilty "retreating" so soon after our arrival.  However, I was amazed that God knew exactly what we needed and how much my soul needed refreshing.  Thank you Plains Presbyterian Church!!!
This the most beautiful place I have ever visited in the Philippines.  It is owned by an Australian and was absolutely breathtaking, especially the way he incorporated the natural beauty of this place.
We are so thankful to God for the opportunity to go and especially for the team bonding that He so graciously allowed.  There was much honest sharing of our hearts, repentance and forgiveness and we departed ready for ministry and our meetings with our International Director February 12-18, 2009. 
God is so gracious to guide our every step and our needs when we don't even realize them. We wanted to share a few photos for you to enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Home is Where My Heart is and My Handsome Husband

I love the tropical plants in the Philippines, taken in front of our house.  Then it's the dirty kitchen where the kitties are visiting and our bathroom.  Below is our table - notice the puzzle and the Filipino pictures on the wall.

Our  kitchen and den, notice the Filipino Sala set and our bedroom.


Recently I have been reading The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs, one of the Puritan paperbacks.  A dear friend of ours sent us the whole set to bring with us to the field!  What a treasure!  Anyway this quote has really pierced my heart. Even though I am not yet finished pondering it, I wanted to share it with you.

"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition." 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Philippine's Kitties and More

Well, I haven't been very successful in blogging this week!  I keep forgetting my camera if you can believe that when I go out.  Today we went to Pastor Eli's church  and man how I wished for my camera.  It was an incredible sermon and a great time of fellowship as well.
Finally Thursday of this week, I decided to pray about my need for internet and God answered it rather quickly!  We are "supposed" to have internet on Monday, so I am thrilled cause that will help me to stay in touch much easier.  Next week we have team planning and vision planning meetings Tuesday through Friday since our whole team is back!!  There was a team scheduled to come in 2008 when one of the hurricanes hit and they had to cancel.  The reservations had already been made at a resort and we couldn't get the money back.  So, we are going to use that prepaid reservation to do some team building, planning etc. Hopefully I won't forget my camera this time!.. But, I thought I would at least post a picture of the kitties out my back door.  They just opened their eyes yesterday and the Mother is so thin - like all other cats in the Philippines.  But a couple of them are really cute.  Thanks again for praying for us.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fumi Salad

Slice cabbage into sliver
Add broccoli pieces broken into bite sizes
Add green onion, chopped 
Add 1 green/red bell pepper chopped
I leave out the last 2 items cause when I started making this Lindsey disliked both

Sautee until brown in a bit of butter:
2 pkg. of ramen noodles, broken
Add peanuts, cashews or we use sunflower seeds and sesame seeds 

4 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp heaping pepper
6 Tblsp wine or balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 cup olive oil or some type of oil

As you serve cabbage/broccoli top with noodle mixture and then dressing  - enjoy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thank God for My Mr. "Fix It" Man

Saturday we finally got the house situated and cleaned, now we're ready!  Usually, I seldom use the oven because it makes the house much hotter, (Filpinos never use the oven, they cook on top of the stove with most dishes beginning with sauteed garlic and onion).  But since the real hot weather isn't here yet I decided to make some ranch chicken using the oven.  It's a delicious recipe which I will be glad to share with you using corn flake crumbs, parmesan cheese and dry ranch dressing (which I bring from the States).  I did not cook it much while we were in the States cause there are some things that we eat frequently here... cabbage and broccoli and more cabbage (Lindsey will laugh here).  But anyway, I got the chicken ready to put in the oven.  We have a stove, smaller than those in the States, but definitely adequate, which runs from a tank of Gasul (or propane).  Steven came to light the oven since we had not yet used it and it made some sputtering sounds and he commented that we may be about out of gas. Oh well, we put the chicken in the oven and I went on to make a Filipino salad which we really like, made out of cabbage and broccoli - hehe ( I will try to post this recipe, it's a good one - really). It wasn't long before I thought, "whew it smells like gas" and the flame was out.  
It's Saturday afternoon about 4:30 and Steven calls the number for Gasul delivery.  The man informs him that it will be Monday before he can deliver the tank and sweet Steven begins to plead with him so the man agrees to deliver it around 6 pm.  Steven thanks him profusely and ends the conversation with "please sir, could you deliver the gas asap". When he hung up we both started laughing because it's real doubtful that a Filpino knows what asap means at all.  And sure enough he didn't cause he still has not delivered that tank of gas, guess he really meant what he said about Monday.  
Well, my Mr. Fix It came to the rescue! He went outside to the dirty kitchen and found an old tank with a different regulator and he changed the tanks and regulators and we were cooking once again!  While dinner was a bit delayed, it was indeed delicious and I was once again reminded how blessed I am to be married to a man that can fix anything - even in a foreign country!!

These Quotes Spoke to my Heart

"Faith never knows where it is being led, 
But it knows and loves the One who is leading." - Oswald Chambers

"You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you." - Frederick Buechner

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Simple Update

Well, this week has been pretty boring but necessary!  We have gotten situated and even found some things that we needed from when we were here last time. 
Praise the Lord that the grocery situation is under control so we are not going to starve! I must say that there are many things that I have no clue how to use them but God brought a dear friend that I could ask some questions and get me jump started.  The fruit here is amazingly delicious, the mangos are so sweet (Steven eats one every morning for breakfast) and I love the pomelos.  If you haven't had a pomelo, it's in the grapefruit family but sweeter.  I bought one this week and as I peeled it (it has the thickest skin imaginable) I got really sad cause you see Lindsey and I used to split a pomelo and so we ate them together, sigh.  It made me realize how much I miss her not being here with us.  But Steven came to the rescue and helped me to finish the pomelo!  The bananas are delicious as well, really sweet and taste nothing like the bananas in the States. While I can find some things here like cereal, the problem is the cost.  A half gallon of real milk like in the States is $5.00.  So, I resorted to the ultra radiated milk in the box but it does the trick.
We are staying in the guest house, which we use for teams right now.  I have spent a big hunk of time in the kitchen, because there was mouse poop in every drawer even inside the utensil holders along side the forks and spoons.  Now, I am so thankful that I can handle most things (last term I woke up to a mouse crawling up my body, thankfully on top of the sheet) (and then there are the roaches (monsters here) that have woke me up on my head) but mouse poop on my utensils is just a bit much.  So, I have soaked and cleaned all of the utensils and gotten the kitchen useable. 
We are thankful to the max that jet lag is over!  I am a pretty deep thinker and so I really struggle with jet lag but it seems to be gone and we are sleeping well.
The other night while I was cooking in the kitchen I heard several "mew" mew" outside the screen door.  As I took out the garbage I found 6 baby kitties in a box in our dirty kitchen. I haven't heard them crying much lately but this has surely been a joy sent from the Lord.  
We find our hearts so thankful that you have made it possible for us to be here.  We are thankful for our health, that even during all of the stress in the last few weeks and our travels, we are well.  We are also thankful for the sunny weather which helps in our transition and missing family and friends.  And we are thankful for our home which is beginning to feel like home.
Thank you for praying for us!  Please continue to pray that God will direct our every step! Tomorrow we are going to worship at Pastor Marcello's church in Santa Rosa for those of you who know him.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reacquaintance with the Philippines

Thank you so much for those of you who prayed us here!  I must confess that the 27 hours of flying almost did me in this trip!  But as always God's grace was sufficient!  We arrived at 5:00 Sunday morning and were thrilled to get our feet on the ground.  Our luggage was the last off of the plane.  Steven was looking and I was praying, but praise the Lord it arrived safely. We are sorta situated at the guest house and life and ministry have already begun.
Thought I might share some thoughts upon our arrival.
-The Filipino people are so friendly and beautiful.
-Steven is loving his fresh mango for breakfast and bananas like you have never tasted!
-That $5.00 box of cereal is way too much money!
-The bougainvillea are just beginning to bloom and are my favorites! I missed them.
-Lindsey would you please remind me what we used to cook here??  We really may starve to death!
-I found strawberries today, that was an unexpected treat!
-Where's that bathtub??? (There are only showers in the Philippines) And no power supply in my bathroom, how am I going to dry my hair?
-January and February are the best months of weather all year.  Thank you Lord for breaking us in easy!
-Race car driver Steven is loving the traffic challenges!  It's everyone fend for yourself!
-The ants have already found my kitchen oh well.
-This country has it's own distinct smell.
-The Filipino's have so little, life really is hard for many here and yet they are so happy. Seeing my first squatter village today broke my heart all over again.
-Sunshine, sunshine, I need sunshine to keep me awake during jet lag!
-Come on brain, find that Tagalog.
-Those billboards are as tall as a skyscraper.
-Cats everywhere and that one is eating my garbage.
-I know I used to buy Calamasi Soy sauce here and tuna in water.  What's the deal?
-That chicken adobo was delicious.
-Speed bumps, speed bumps still sneak up on us.
-What a minute that's not English, please do speak much slower. Common brain work.
-Steven got pinned in by 2 motorcycle cops (1 in front and 1 behind) the first day going to the office.  Guess he should have noticed that 1 way only change - oops.
-These people are still asking about Ate Lindsey! 

Pastor Topher and Ate Josephine and their new 5 month Baby Girl

Many of you who have visited us in the Philippines have met Pastor Topher and Ate Jo.  We were so excited to see them today at Pastor's Fellowship and especially excited to meet the newest addition to their family.  She looks alot like Pastor Topher.

We're Back in the Philippines!!!

Today Steven and I attended Pastor's fellowship at Pastor Marcello's church.  It was exciting to see some of the Pastor's and especially exciting to hear what God is doing through these Pastor's! This Fellowship is held the first Tuesday of each month.

Boys from Ang Bahay Parola 2 (BP2) attending Tutorial Learning Center at ABP2

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Letter from Our heart

"I was dead in my trespasses and sins
following the course of this world
following the prince of the power of the air
living in the passions of my flesh
carrying out the desires of my body/mind
was by nature a child of wrath like the rest of mankind.
being rich in mercy
because of the GREAT love with which He loved me
even when I was dead in my trespasses
made me alive together with Christ
saved me by grace
and raised me up with Christ and seated me with Him in the Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:1-7

Dearest Supporters:

As we begin this 2009 New Year, we continue more and more to see the richness of God's grace and mercy in our lives.  And we continue to Praise Him for His free gift of grace through Jesus Christ and that He first loved us!

Our hearts continue to be filled with praise for your faithful prayers on our behalf!  You are our most vital link in ministry and we thank you abundantly for your prayers.

We are sorry that this update is a little delayed.  We had an incredibly blessed Christmas with our family and were so very thankful for the opportunity to be here with them to celebrate Christ's birth together.  Then we moved out of our apartment this past Tuesday and Wednesday and are staying with our daughter Lindsey until we depart for the Philippines Friday, January 9, 2009.

Would you please pray for safe travel for us?  We are flying for the first time on Philippines Airlines???  For those of you who love to pray us along our way (and we really thank you and covet your prayers) this is our schedule:

Depart Jackson at 12:05 pm on Friday going to Houston - 1 hr 25 min
Depart Houston at 3:00 pm going to San Francisco - 4 hrs 21 min
Depart San Francisco at 9:05 pm going to Guam - 12 hrs and 10 min
Then we depart Guam going to the Philippines - 3 hrs 35 min
We arrive in Manila Sunday morning at 5:40 am which is approximately your 5:40 Saturday evening (depending upon your time zone)

Please pray for God's grace for our family as we leave and for a quick transition upon our arrival.  And please Praise Him with us for His abundant provisions and meeting our every need.

How can we thank you appropriately for your prayers and support?  Without prayers and support, our ministry in the Philippines would be impossible, so we abundantly thank you and God for each one of you!

May God bless each one of you as you enter 2009 and may you grow in your knowledge of Him during this upcoming New Year.

We love you and thank you 
Steven and Deborah