Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where to sleep

We are busy not only with the normal stuff of life but with preparations for our move to the Philippines. We thought securing a place to live there was going to be relatively easy but not so. The rent is about double what we anticipated and does not include utilities or mattresses. We chose this place because it is ideal both for the facilities and location for ministry.

We are asking that you join us in praying about this. We would ask that God move in the owner's heart so we would be able to live there. There is much to do already and the thought of arriving halfway around the world without a place to live or arranging a place to rent that we have never seen is quite overwhelming.

Monday, November 26, 2007

So thankful

We have been so blessed by the time spent with our families this Thanksgiving weekend. Of course, there were the abundant dishes to enjoy and no rice, imagine that. We did introduce them to one Filipino treat, Coco jam. It is an incredibly sweet topping. Delicious food but the best part was being able to relax with family. Five months is a long time to be away. We are very much aware that it will soon be a much longer time apart. Yes, we are very sad at that thought but we know that God has asked us to go and we are trusting Him to meet our every need as we follow Him.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It Snowed!


Okay, so I am easily entertained. I love snow. Last night after celebrating Thanksgiving with Lisa's family we had an interesting drive. When we left their house, it was snowing but none of it was sticking to the ground. By the time we got home, there were several inches of the wonderful, white stuff.
Grace,
Tom

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Praise Report!

For those of you who have followed this blog for a while, you will find an encouraging new comment on the September 27 entry, Good-Bye Valley Cathedral, Hello Baguio. I know I was excited to hear the news.

Praising our Redeemer,
Tom

Tribal Drums

video

I thought that you might enjoy a little cultural glimpse into the Philippines. At a youth fun night while we were in Bontoc, the Student Sponsorship Ministry students broke out the drums and had a dance. Maybe some other time I will edit the video of the dancing, but I thought this was interesting on its own.

Grace,

Tom

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Beginnings

Sunday we were able to revisit our ministry partners at New Beginnings Ministries. We loved worshipping with them. During worship, Annalise said, "I feel God." Later, when Lisa asked her more about it she explained, "I just felt in my heart that Jesus was holding my hand."

It was exciting to share what God is doing in the Philippines and our plans to return. A bonus was that we also shared in a Thanksgiving meal with them following the service. The girls were all excited to be able to talk about their photo albums and explain the various items Lisa had set out on a display table.

Our family was blessed by the encouragement and support we received. We recognize that it is only through the prayers and support of people at home that we are able to go and minister so far away.

Grace,
Tom

P.S. The story of how we became friends with the people of New Beginnings is one of those divine "coincidences" that we sometimes encounter. See the blog entry for Sunday, May 27, 2007 for a more complete description.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Step by Step

We have been home for a week now. There is still luggage in the garage yet to be unpacked. But we won't be storing our luggage for long. We have prayed that God would speak to each of our hearts as to what He would have our next step be and that there would be unity in the decision. Since we were asking, we were also bold enough to ask for His answer before we boarded the plane from Salem to home. When you do this be ready for Him to answer. He did. We are all looking forward to moving to the Philippines and ministering there.

The Philippines - As Viewed by Annalise

Lisa has been having the girls use their experience in the Philippines as the basis for school writing assignments this week. The following are Annalise's impressions (as recorded by Lisa):

Describe the Philippines
The sink didn't have any water. The Philippines was far away in the mountains. There was squattie potties. There was never winter there. It was not cold. It was warm. You could wear short sleeve shirts and shorts. It rained a lot in the afternoon. There is bamboo they make houses with. They made rocks as stairs. There are dogs, kitty cats, piggies, and chickens.

Describe the People of the Philippines
Them look like they have black hair. They have brown skin. They have brown eyes. They wear flip-flops on their feet.

Them love me. Them love my hair. They would touch my hair. They gave me hugs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese


Yes, the girls were able to enjoy a meal of macaroni and cheese, compliments of Grammie. They have also had fun playing with toys they haven’t seen for 5 months. But it was funny to hear them pretending to be traveling on an airplane. After all of those flights, they have the stewardess speeches down pat.

Saturday evening was the first time in a very looong time we cooked a meal for our family. We decided to break away from the routine of chicken and rice and served steak and rice!

It was good to be back with our church family at Cornerstone. We were welcomed back with plenty of hugs. We look forward to spending time catching up with everyone.

The school bell rang once again this morning. Garden of Grace Girls’ Academy is officially back in session. We had a modified school schedule through the summer and the girls wrote about their experiences while we were in the Philippines, but now we are resuming a more traditional schedule.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Home, Sweet, Home

We made it! I must say it seemed really strange to be traveling by ourselves. Quiet, okay those of us who know us know that's not the truth-quieter anyhow. At one time in the Cinncinnati airport I looked across to the food court and saw a man with a baseball cap on and I thought "There's Howard." Then I remembered...miss you Howard. But even if it was a little lonely all went well. These short flights were a piece of cake after the long flights to and from the Philippines. As we got closer the anticipation of seeing our family and friends grew and grew.

When we touched down in South Bend there was plenty of hugs and some tears of joy. Even a welcome banner. We all went to Ponderosa for dinner. They must of called ahead as they had an Asian buffet. Yes, I had some rice but the rest of the family filled their plates with the many other choices.

We spent the night in a hotel, putting off cleaning our home that has been empty for the last several months.

The girls enjoyed the day at Grandma's while we braved the cobwebs. That is after the locksmith let us in. It seems in the rush to get out the door in June all doors were locked and we left without the key. But even with the delay we got the place cleaned up and we are looking forward to sleeping in our own beds tonight!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Final Leg

Last week we made the trip from the Philippines to Salem. Now it's time for the last leg of our journey home. In the morning (my alarm is set for 3:15 a.m.) we will head to Portland to board a plane bound for home. We are excited (and almost packed).
We spent the afternoon saying good-bye to friends we have made along this journey. We pray that our paths will cross again one day - if not, we will see you on the other side of this life. So many of you have been a part of the work God has done in our lives, THANK YOU!
It has been a long time and all of us are looking forward to seeing family and friends. We are eager to share the stories (and pictures, lots of pictures) of what we have seen God do in us, through us, and around us. We certainly serve the incredible Redeemer!
Relying on His redemption and grace,
Tom

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Keep yer pants on!

Debriefing...
After taking Friday and Saturday to get adjusted to the 15 hour time difference, we have been reflecting on our trip. We can all recognize areas that God has worked on while we have been away from home. Tomorrow will be the last day of debriefing for our family before we head back home on Thursday.

Tonight our group will present our trip to the base at the Tuesday night service, The Rising. Since most of those who follow cannot attend, I thought I would let you preview one of the videos we will be showing tonight.

Enjoy...


video

Monday, November 5, 2007

Re-entry

We are mostly over jet-lag but adjusting from culture shock is another story. Words can not express the challenges of coming back after being on the other side of the world. Take church for example, through the gracious loan of a van we were able to return to the church we have been attending here in Salem. Beautiful plush surroundings, padded seats filled with people sipping lattes and smoothies...Don't get me wrong it is nice to know that if you or one of your children need a bathroom you don't need to go around behind the building, the whole service was in English so I could understand everything without the aid of a translater, and there was an inspiring message preached. Also it was wonderful to see so many men as few were involved in the churches of the Philippines. I just hope that we, and notice that means me included, do not get so focused on being comfortable that we lose focus on what this church thing is all about...
because it's not about me or you but Him.
Lisa

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Safely in Salem

After 78 hours or so of travel (okay, so I may be exaggerating a bit) we are safely in Salem. Thanks for your prayers while we traveled and for the last several months as we have followed Jesus on this grand adventure.

After getting our stuff unloaded and moved into our home for the next several days, we were all in bed by about 3:30 a.m. We drug ourselves out of bed (I did most of the dragging, most everyone else was drug) about 9:30 and had some breakfast. After lunch we took a long nap. Hopefully we will all be able to sleep tonight and be well adjusted in time for the time change tomorrow night :0).

Beginning tomorrow night, we will debrief with our team about our experience. Most of our team, anyway. We miss Kevin and Becky's gang. (But Lisa is thinking of Becky right now as she eats her microwave popcorn.)

We are only 5 days and two flights from home now!

Grace,
Tom

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We're in Taipei!

We have completed the first leg of our journey back to Salem. We are in Taipei, Taiwan. We will be here for about 3 hours before the long flight over the Pacific.

I just thought I would make an entry about it because I could.

Tom

Gearing up to go

Our last few days in Baguio were spent being with those we've grown to love. Saturday night, our team enjoyed spaghetti and sticky rice at the home of Daniel and Josephine. Three of their daughters have blessed us with their delicious cooking while in Baguio. They've also washed heaps of our team's laundry.

Monday night we gathered with our friends for a time of worship and puppet shows of course. Maybe,just maybe, the last time of puppets for this outreach. We all laughed watching various videos of us taken throughout the last 5 months. It's is amazing the many experiences we have had!

Sadly, good-byes had to be said. Ladies we'll miss your cooking and your smiling faces. The girls will have to shadow someone else. Nolan and family, thanks for all your gracious hospitality. We're looking forward to hearing about your Crossroads. Most of all, Kevin and Becky...we are really going to miss all of you. I could go on and on but don't want to get the keyboard wet! Hope you boys are enjoying sleeping on those pink sheets. The bus ride was dull without all of you. We are staying in your room at Shalom. Hope you enjoyed your bucket showers - we sure enjoyed our HOT showers.

Kevin and Becky and their family will be staying in the Philippines at least until June. You can follow their adventure by clicking their link at the right - Full Quiver. (fullquiver8.blogspot.com) We pray God will bless their family.

As for us, we will leave for the airport in a little while. Our plane leaves in about 6.5 hours (around 5 pm Manila time). It is hard to believe it is time to go. We have learned much in our CDTS experience, but especially while we have been in the Philippines.

Grace,
Thomas and Lisa

Sunday, 10/28/07

Sunday some from our group returned to the Blessed Armor of God Church in Baguio. It was a nice reunion. When we arrived the girls got a lesson from the ladies that dance with tambourines during worship. Thomas had taught at the church on our way through Baguio about a month ago. He once again preached, this time on the fruit of the Spirit. I shared my testimony but the highlight of the morning for me was worshiping with the people beside my friend Terisita.



Pictures from Grandma Perry's Orphanage