One Year Anniversary

November 22 marks our one year anniversary here.

A range of emotions mark that celebration/milestone.

Our life in Michigan seems a distant dream.

Recently, I shared with our sending church in Michigan these thoughts. I share them with you now.

"This past year as new missionaries on the field has been a year of blessing and trial.
And despite all the stresses we have faced I would gladly do it again.
I feel so blessed to be called into missionary service full time.

Life here is interesting. There seems to be much more religious tolerance than in the US.
The malls start the day with public Christian and Catholic prayers over the PA prior to opening the doors.
Many times praise and worship songs are played on the mall PA's. But the flip side is I've heard the raunchiest songs ever from mall PA's too.

The 23rd Psalm is so real to me now. The Lord is my shepherd. He leads and guides where He wants us to go. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

It is so neat to worship at our church here. The verse in Revelation about some day all the nations, tongues and tribes will be worshipping around His throne is so real to me. At our church we have Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese, American, Australian, German and others all worshipping together.

I miss my home church family very much (and many other friends and relatives - yet despite the homesickness I sometimes experience I am glad to be here.) I extend my deepest thanks to you all for supporting us as missionaries. It is an awesome, humbling privilege to be over here.

Thank you all so much."

Life here moves at a slower pace.

I feel like our family has grown closer together. We talk more about the deeper issues of life.

I've seen our children grow and mature in their personal lives and walk with Christ.

I thank God for the friends and family we have supporting us and for all the new friends we are making here in the Philippines.

Words fail me in trying to explain the sense of purpose and gratitude I have in being called into full-time missionary service.

Picture Montage of Past Year.........

Leaving with just 10 suitcases........

Arrival

Making Friends

Market Scenes

Beach

Scenes / Family

Weather

Saturday we woke up to rainy, cool weather. It is that way again today. It is actually in the 70's! Yesterday afternoon it rose to the 80's but still very pleasant!

For the first time since living here almost one year, I was wishing I had a long sleeved blouse! (but only for a few moments!)

We are really enjoying this cooler weather for a few days!

Nap Time Anyone?

Filipinos take naps where ever they can during break time.

Jeepney drivers will nap in their jeepneys, workers nap on tables or benches in their work place,..........

.....and this construction guy is napping on top of his machine!!!!!

(you can't see it in the picture, but his co-worker was napping on the sidewalk next to that machine, too!!!)

A View from our Veranda

This was the sight that greeted me Monday morning at 5:05 a.m.
What a beautiful sight to see early in the morning....reminding me that "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

This sight was just the beginning of a blessed day in which we got to speak with our sending church family in Michigan through Skype. (It was their Sunday evening service time at our 7:30a.m. Monday time!)
What a blessing to see faces and hear voices of friends we hold in our heart dearly. We felt a mix of homesickness and joy as we spoke with our friends and shared about our life here.

" The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."

Activities on a November Day

Kirsten and Ben have joined the after school sports being held for K-5 kids at Faith. Currently we are doing football. In the US this sport is called 'soccer'. (But I really think 'football' is a better term!)

Next quarter we will play baseball, and then fourth quarter will be basketball. (I say 'we' because I and two other Moms are heading up the After School Sports Program for the kids!! It's fun!!)

The Middle School had a band concert last night. Mikayla played a duet with one of her school friends as part of the concert. The music director here is a blessing. He does a great job with the kids.