Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to Can-eo

Saturday we took the YWAM Perth DTS team to the village of Can-eo. We had planned on making the trip on Friday afternoon, but a mudslide had closed the road. Because of the delay, the team decided to wait until Saturday morning to make the trip. We spent the evening playing games at the base. It was nice to be able to relax with them and talk without the challenge of language differences. Although the team came to us from Australia, none of them are originally from Australia. Six are from the USA. One is from Canada. The other one is from Switzerland.

Can-eo lies in a river valley, literally at the end of the road. It is a breath-taking 45 minute ride through the mountains. Alexie was excited as it was her first time to ride on top of the Jeepney as we traveled. It really is an incredible trip from such a vantage point.

We were all excited about this trip. During our outreach to the Philippines in 2007, we had spent 5 days in Can-eo and really fell in love with the people and the beauty of the area. I visited in January when I hosted another team, but the rest of my family had not been back yet.

When we arrived, Pastor Rudy, a fellow YWAM staffer, gave us a description of the people and customs of Can-eo. Then he took us on a tour of the three main sitios (sub-parts) of Can-eo. Along the way, we stopped to pray for God to work in the hearts of the people and overcome the bondage they live under the spirits they work to appease.
Many people fear being in the area of this bridge and claim to hear voices from the spirits.

At this high place, the people still offer sacrifices to please the spirits.

During our walk we were invited a couple of times to share in some freshly harvested honeycomb. It was deliciously sticky!
Lisa talked with many of the children along the way, taking a few minutes to try to learn their names and something about each of them.
During our visit to Can-eo in 2007, we learned that may of the ladies here are talented weavers. Here we met Leslie. She is 10 years old and working on her first weaving project using a backstrap loom. Although we tried to talk with her, she stayed very focused on her work.
Each sitio has an ato. The elders gather at the ato to discuss issues that affect the community. During tribal wars, it is at the ato that decisions are made as to retaliation toward their rivals.
Mel talks with one of the kids.

On Saturday afternoon, the DTS group facilitated Bible studies in homes of some of the residents. When it was time for the first group to go, there was a downpour going on outside. Only a few of the people had raincoats and there was only one umbrella at the church. Making the best of things, we cut a few banana tree leaves for makeshift umbrellas and made our way to the Bible study.
A great way to keep your hair dry in a heavy rain - but that's about it.

As Saturday drew to a close, we were all getting tired. The DTS students held an evening Bible study at the church. By then the rain had subsided and a fair number of people showed up.
Annalise at the end of a long day with Lorna, one of our SSM students who lives in Can-eo.

Sunday morning, I woke up early as I could not sleep well. Not wanting to make any extra noise and wake up the others, I quietly went out to pray along the bluff overlooking the river. It was a beautiful setting in which to talk with the Creator.

As people began to wake, people began to pass along the narrow path along the rice field on which I was standing. After a while, a lady, Lucinda, waded into a nearby rice field to continue planting it. It wasn't long before curiosity got the best of me and I asked if she would show me how to plant rice. I doubt she understood why I would bother, but she graciously showed me the process.

Later I headed back to the church to see who was up. Basically it was just my family. When I told them of planting rice, they were all interested and we went back to see if Lucinda would teach us all.

We had a good time learning. Hopefully, Lucinda did not need to follow-up and correct our work. Everybody gave it a try, though some enjoyed the mud much less than others.

Then it was back to the church to make breakfast so we could be prepared for Children's Church. The students did a great job with the kids. They played games and taught about how God does incredible things. They even had a drama about God parting the Red Sea.

One of the things the girls were really excited about as we prepared to return to Can-eo was the waterfall we had bathed at when we were here before. They kept looking for an opportunity to make the trek up the creek and play at the base of the waterfall. The three guys from the team and one of the ladies joined us, as well as Pastor Rudy's two youngest boys. Rebekka actually made the trek wearing a skirt.

It takes your breath away as you get into it, but once you make it in it is not too bad. Alexie was the only one of our girls that actually went under the falls. Everybody else enjoyed wading and playing at the smaller falls just downstream.

The trip home Sunday afternoon was slow. The Jeepney had returned to Bontoc to get tires repaired so we left later than we had planned. In the meantime, a storm had begun. As we drove along, we had to stop several times to make sure the road was passable. There were no big mudslides, but we did need to move some rocks and fill in some ravines that the rushing water had made in the road.

We look forward to the opportunity to return to Can-eo. Perhaps we can make it back in November to help harvest the rice field.


1 comment:

  1. I so enjoy these posts! Thank you for taking the time to share!

    Holly W.