Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can-eo - October 8 & 9

The original plan had been that everyone on the team, as well as our family would make the trip to Can-eo. But there were two problems with that:  people were sick and the road was not doing so well either. Many members of the team were still recovering from abdominal issues that kept them from participating in too much physical activity. At the same time, typhoons Pedring, Quiel, and Ramon were wreaking havoc with the mountain sides. The road to Can-eo was impassable to vehicles and the shortcut over the mountain was too steep and slippery for safe passage. This meant that only those who were feeling well would be making the hike. Since none of the children on the team were going, Lisa and the girls stayed to accompany the rest of the group to Sabangan on Sunday.

The traveling team with Pastor Rudy, Bridget, Jesse, and Nigel

We were able to hitch a ride to where the road to Can-eo turns from the main road. From there, we had to hike through the mud in a steady rain. Fortunately, everyone expected this and spirits were high as walked around and sometimes over the many landslides. Finally, we came to the road washout that will keep vehicles from making it all of the way to Can-eo for a while.

The road washout is in the photo on the lower right.
After making it to Can-eo Station Church, we rested for a while and had lunch. The next hike would be even more challenging. Most of our group planned to make the hike to Chapyosen. This is always a long hike and it was sure to be an adventure in the rain. It was!

In fact, there were several places along the way where landslides and washouts made using the trail impossible.

You can see in the picture above where the trail continues. What is no longer in the picture is the portion of the trail and the resting shelter that used to be next to the trail in this place. The rain and the river have washed them away.

The video above shows how we were forced off of the path by an active landslide which had completely covered it. At this point, we are walking on the slippery rocks between the rice fields. We could actually see Chapyosen in the distance, but did not feel it was safe to continue the journey. Instead, we prayed for the people there before beginning the hike back to the church, where we were staying.

On our return to the church, we stopped at a few houses to pray with people. At one house, we prayed for a young man Pastor Rudy and I have prayed for before, Romeo. He does not talk and often physically shuts himself away from others. When we visited, he lay on the floor with a blanket over his head and would not respond to anyone. His family has experienced several tragedies which have left his elderly mother alone to meet their needs.

Once we arrived at the church, everyone was ready for some rest and a chance to dry out. My waterproof hiking shoes did a good job for the first 40% of the trip. The gore-tex probably never failed, but after a while, the water running down my legs had soaked my socks such that every step was a squishy event. It felt good to take them off.

Leigh presented a teaching about Jonah that evening during the Saturday night Bible study. The rain made it so attendance was lower than usual. But it went well.

In the morning, Amy and Marie taught Children's Church. As you can see in the picture below, the kids had a great time.

Then of course, the team presented skits, testimonies, and the sermon during the morning service.
Can-eo Station Church with some of the YWAM Salem CDTS team
After lunch on Sunday, we were invited to visit Ochawan. None of us had met Ochawan before, not even Pastor Rudy or Bridget. We were told of her age and failing health. She was not known to be a Christian.
This bridge spans the river to the sitio in which Ochawan lives.

When we arrived, several ladies were already there waiting for us. Ochawan expressed how happy she was to have us visit her home as she sat on her porch covered with a blanket. The home was simple, like the rest of the homes in the village, but the porch had an incredible view of the valley and the mountains.

When we got there, Pastor Rudy began talking with her. She spoke no English, so besides his position as pastor in the community, it was only natural that he would be the one to talk to her. The rest of us lined up against the wall and listened and prayed as they talked. Pastor would give us a synopsis of the conversation as they went along.
Pastor Rudy and Ochawan
Nobody was sure how old Ochawan was, not even she knew when she was born. She did tell us that she remembered hiding in caves with her grandfather when Japanese planes made bombing runs in the area during World War II. She was a little girl then.

I was blessed to be a part of Ochawan's story of grace. One disappointment I have is that I never got a picture of her incredible smile.
Ochawan - a new child of the King
When we left Ochawan's home, we stopped by to pray again for Romeo. He was still curled up on the floor holding a blanket over himself. His mother wept as we prayed. Please continue to pray for them.

Then it was time to begin the hike back up the road to return to Bontoc. We were past the time that it would be easy to catch a jeepney when we got back to the main road. But the delay of meeting with Ochawan and praying for Romeo were definitely worthwhile. What a blessing it was to find that the landslides were cleared and within 100 meters of passing the washout, we saw a jeepney heading toward us. Of course, riding in any vehicle here comes with the high probability of needing to perform some sort of maintenance along the way. In this instance, a tire change.

10 minutes from Bontoc
Here's another blog post about our weekend in Can-eo, written by Amy, one of the team members. (http://amyrenee78.blogspot.com/2011/10/can-eo.html)


  1. Ok - so how do I link your blog to my blog? I'm not real blog saavy.

  2. With Blogger it is really easy.

    Copy the URL of the post you want to link to http://whatever...

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