Friday, May 30, 2008

More from Lisa

Good-byes are always hard. I see some of God's grace in that we were so busy that I had little time to dwell on the thought of leaving the only home our family has ever known. Of course, later sitting on the airplane, I had more than enough time for it to hit me. Kind of like jumping off the big swing on Salem's rope course, once you've stepped off the platform all you can do is hang on and try to enjoy the ride. Remember, my fear of heights? How could I do all those challenges was by trusting in Someone other than myself. Good thing to remember. I am a planner, an organizer, a writer of lists. In my mind, I had it all planned what our departure would look like. Our bags would all be neatly packed and ready by the door ready for our family to help load. We would walk through each empty room saying goodbye, reflecting on all the memories of the last 17 years. Nice plan but it was far from reality.

Our last days in the States were spent trying to finish all the preparations and spending time with family and friends. Monday night the girls spent the night at their grandparents and we worked until about 1 a.m. and got up again about 5:30 and started tackling more work. Even though we did not even pause to rest and worked all Tuesday night, the task before us became quickly evident to be impossible. Our carry-on luggage that was supposed to arrive on Sat., arrived at the UPS center on Wed. morning. The only way to get it in time was to go pick it up. Thomas' dad did that while my mom picked up some things we had forgot in our last trips to Wal-mart and took care of our banking. The girls packed their own bags for the airplane. We had little idea of their choices. My careful list, no time, no organization. You know those contests where you only so much time to load a shopping cart and cross a finish line. It was like that, Thomas and I frantically grabbing and stuffing into suitcases as the clock ticked on ready to signal your time is up. I ignored statements like 'That's never going to close." "You can't fit it all, your going to have to take some stuff out." Instead sitting on the lids and forcing them closed. In the chaos, and no I am not exaggerating, I am not sure what made it in the luggage in the end. I do know that I boarded the airplane with Thomas, Adriana, Alexie, Alayna, and Annalise by my side. I also know God made it as He will never leave me. The stuff that was forgotten or just really didn't fit and had to be left behind is just stuff. We have so much stuff that we think we need, but as I said what I really needed I have.

Here our some highlights of our many hours of travel time...

watched 4 movies.
colored, sketched, and did activity books
played with Silly Putty
wrote in journal
ate numerous snacks and meals, more Good and Plenty please from Annalise
listened to music
and even napped some

The girls did AMAZING travelling, really only showing signs of wear and tear once we made it to Manila and had to wait and wait and wait. You know, standing in line shoulder to shoulder when you would rather run around and play tag.

The Balut YWAM base is very nice. The girls have a spacious bedroom right next to the women's bathroom. Ours is across the hall. The girls have quickly made friends with the staff and their children. This morning the girls enjoyed helping do laundry with Penny. Hope they have as much fun when it's time to do ours! Their method was like stomping grapes.

After breakfast we had a time of worship. Great time and then a pastor spoke on making today a masterpiece. God is so good about speaking just what I need. The message was on focusing on today, as you can't do anything about yesterday and you don't know if you even have a tomorrow.

For those of you curious about food here, the menu of the day was...
Breakfast- rice porridge (a thick chicken and rice soup), hard-boiled eggs, and bread and jam
Lunch- curry chicken and potatoes, rice, and bananas
Supper-some kind of meat in red sauce, rice, and bananas

Thomas mentioned our trip to the visa offices. I learned politely standing in line doesn't get you anywhere. Better approach is like the way they drive hear, look for your opportunity and move quickly. It is also good to listen carefully to avoid standing in the wrong line as signs don't always reveal the correct line. I was able to leave with the needed paperwork in just a matter of minutes then it was time to exchange some money. We got 43 pesos to the dollar. Just a few months ago we got 47 pesos to the dollar. Then it was the search for the essential Filipino footwear. We were escorted to the closest resemblance of Wal-mart here. It took a long time for all 6 of us to select flip-flops from the many choices. Also sizes are not the same here. I usually where a size 7.5 or 8 but here need to buy a size 10. I was able to get 9 flip-flops, shampoo, laundry soap, and a razor all at the same store! All for 948.65 pesos.

It is hot here. We do have air-conditioning in our rooms and running water too. Internet on-site as well. Nice.

We napped after lunch and struggled to wake up in time to eat supper. But after my brisk shower, I'm wide awake. Thomas is at the airport trying to get the last of our luggage. All of the girls are peacefully sleeping.

Thomas just arrived back. We now have all of our luggage! Thomas got there, got his visitor pass and walked right up to the baggage carousel just as our 2 bags came up side by side. He was out the door with both bags very quickly. God is good.

Good night,


  1. Hey guys!!So good to hear you made it and are doing well- we were praying and are so excited for you... it's neat to be going through the same process just a week or so difference! And without kids- so maybe not the same at all!!! : ) Blessings!!!
    Jess & Eddy

  2. So good to hear about your first days. Glad things seem to be going fairly smoothly and pray you are beginning to adjust to the time changes. It is amazing how kids transition so easily. We'll be looking forward to hearing more about how things are going. Take care.