Saturday, January 29, 2011

Change of Plans

The Village of Chapyosen

I had been planning to go today to Chapyosen, an isolated village in a valley between the mountains. I was to accompany the pastor and elders from the church in Can-eo who have begun a weekly Bible study there. Until now, there has been no Christian fellowship there.

I have really had Chapyosen on my heart for some time now and have been praying for the Gospel to be preached there in a lasting way. It is so awesome the way God works! We kept praying for open doors but it seemed none would budge. Then, while making plans with Pastor Rudy for a big outreach which we hoped would open the door for regular Bible studies, we found that Pastor Rudy's teaching on discipleship had inspired the elders at Can-eo Station Church to begin making a weekly hike along the narrow trail to Chapyosen. So for several weeks, the elders have been doing what we were praying would begin!

The plan for today was that I would accompany Pastor Rudy and the elders and present the people with a Proclaimer. The Proclaimer is an audio New Testament which is recorded in Ilocano. Unfortunately, Pastor Rudy's cousin passed away so he will not be going there this weekend. While I wait, I keep praying for transformation in the hearts of the people of Chapyosen, at peace with the knowledge that God is already at work there.


The Proclaimer is battery powered and can be charged using AC (not available in Chapyosen), an attached hand-cranked generator, or solar panel.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Aqua Culture

While we were in the US during the summer, friends we met in the Philippines sent us a wonderful gift - two Crown Berkey water filter units, one for us and one for our ministry center. Because you cannot drink the water here (more on that later), we have been buying filtered water since we first arrived. It is not a huge expense, but between the cost and the inconvenience the water filters are a huge blessing.

The SSM students are glad to have a filter unit at the YWAM ministry center also. They were getting their water at a spring about 1.5 kilometers away. (Free, but really inconvenient.) Below are some of the students with the filter unit.

After using the unit for a while, we noticed that the flow rate was much lower so I took the one at our place apart to clean it. It is not a complicated device. You pour water into the upper chamber and it filters using gravity into the lower chamber. As I was cleaning the upper chamber, I found the little friend below. He was about 1 cm long and bright red in color. Interesting to investigate under the microscope (a benefit of homeschooling is that you have such devices around), but you just don't want to become home to such a critter.

After cleaning the water filter and putting it all back together, I tested it as directed. A whole bottle of food coloring goes in along with the water and is supposed to come out clean. This time, the red food coloring was still in the water after passing through the filters. Bummer! So until we get the failed filter replaced, we are back to buying water. We are not interested in trying our luck with any of the creatures lurking about in the municipal water supply.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Still Learning

Right before Thomas left on Sunday, for Manila for a week of YWAM meetings, we discovered our new water purifier stopped functioning. Now we must go back to buying water for drinking and cooking. On Monday, I noticed the water level in our water tank was low. On Tuesday, it was almost empty. That is when, in a conversation with the gentleman next door, I learned some pipes are damaged and it may be another week before they are repaired. Time for some serious water conservation. (Annalise asked, "Do the people in the military take military showers?) I was able to contact a water delivery place but they could not deliver any water until Wednesday afternoon. Sleeping is always a struggle for me when Thomas is away. Three nights of little sleep, water issues, and shouldering the responsibilities of both mom and dad...Anyways, this morning before I even got out of bed, I asked God to forgive me for not serving my family with a cheerful heart and asked for His help so I could have a better attitude. Then I flipped the light switch on. Still dark. I almost laughed out loud when I realized there was a brown-out, wondering where the camera was hid for the reality show I must be on. So even though we had water in our tank, there was no way to get it to our apartment until the power was restored. About 12 hours later, right after I finished preparing tonight's dinner in our dark, cluttered kitchen, the power came back on.

I am reading Love Beyond Reason by John Ortberg. I just came to the chapter about contentment. Coincidence? I don't think so.


Monday, January 10, 2011


Today when I was walking home from the market, I was feeling a bit down. Thomas and I usually walk to the market together but he is in Manila this week for some YWAM meetings and the girls were back at our apartment finishing the day's schoolwork. I was alone. Then this little girl dressed in her school uniform came up to me and said, "Hi." I talked to her briefly and learned she was a six-year-old named Naomi in grade 1. I commented on how I liked her smile and dimples. Then I continued on my way until I realized Naomi was following just a few steps behind me.

My question "Would you like to walk with me?" was met with more smiles and a nod of her head. So we quietly walked together. Suddenly, I was not thinking about how much I missed my husband, I was thinking about Naomi.

It was 5 minutes in my day and we waved and said our good-byes hours ago, yet I am still thinking about Naomi. I wonder if she walks home from school alone each day. I wonder if when she arrived home, there was anyone to greet her.