Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Can-eo, A Beautiful Valley

The weather was beautiful Friday as we drove to Can-eo. The road had been closed because of slides caused by Typhoon Pepeng. There had been 6 slides blocking the only road through the mountains to the village. But they were all cleared and we were driven all the way to the village. Unfortunately, the weather changed and rains kept us from making the hike we had planned to Chapyosen on Saturday.
Alayna was so excited because it was her first opportunity to ride "top load" on the jeepney.

Once we got to Can-eo, we went for a walk through the village to pray at different places and to help the team better understand the people of the area. We also stopped at the house of one of the students from our Student Sponsorship Ministry and Tracy tried to learn about the magnificent weaving that the village ladies do.
This is a backstrap loom; so named because of the strap that goes around the weavers back to adjust the tension.

We learned that not only do the people grow rice and weave, they also grow sugar cane and press and boil it into molasses. But like the rice grown here, it is only enough for their own use and none is sold outside of the village for income.
The men and boys are sitting in front of the rice granaries, preparing the sugar cane stalks for the press.

Alexie enjoying the sugar cane like the other kids in the village, right from the stalk.

Although they were not ready to press the cane, the residents allowed the team to work the press to get a feel for it. I think most agreed that carabao (water buffalo) could keep the job.

The kids found a weed that could be used as a dart on clothing. Throughout our time in Can-eo, someone was always a target. Though I don't think anyone was as "targeted" as Alayna in the picture below.
Alexie and Tracy chillin' on the church floor.

Village life is a little bit different than in other places. The girls were able to go to the spring to wash their hair and bathe. I was not so fortunate. Everytime I went to the spring, there was always a small group of local ladies who were already bathing. As joining their group seemed inappropriate, I ended up bathing using a jug of water in the comfort room at the church instead. (I always left before I could tell if they were as embarrassed as I was.)

Besides the service on Sunday morning, there were gatherings on Friday and Saturday night for worship and Bible Study. We always enjoy seeing the truths of God's salvation portrayed through dance and drama when YWAM teams come.
A beautiful view of the morning sun pouring into the valley.

Sunday school for the children at Can-eo Station Church

Adriana and her new friend, Raza

Jasmine enjoying some time with Raza, too.

No, I did not preach. Jason, from the DTS team, shared the sermon. I just shared an encouragement before closing the service in prayer.

After the service, our family and the team enjoyed talking and playing with the people who came.
Annalise and Jason, "horse-ing" around

Sunday afternoon, our LP tank ran dry. So for dinner the team (with Pastor Rudy's help) cooked over a campfire. Another memory for their outreach journals.

Sunday evening, we lost power for a while and gathered in the "upper room" of the church. We were reminded that most of the people in the village and throughout the country were observing All Saints Day. In this region, that means candles lit at the ancestors' graves and prayers made to their spirits. Food offerings are also left at the graves for the spirits of the ancestors, or anitos. We took the opportunity to light candles to illuminate our temporarily non-electric room. Then we worshiped the one, true GOD. We also prayed for the spiritual darkness that exists in places like Can-eo. Unfortunately, the high place we prayed at is not the only reminder of the pagan beliefs and practices that are still strong in Mountain Province.

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