Easter Reflections - First Importance

I couldn't post this earlier due to our internet not working but here is a shortened version of some thoughts I had on Easter Sunday......

First Importance

Easter 2007

Easter Sunday. Our first in the Philippines. I awaken with a strong case of homesickness for my home church family in MI. I will miss hearing the organist and pianist play beautiful resurrection music. I will miss hearing the choir sing and seeing all the Easter Lilies. I'm also missing hugs from my many friends. Those are the thoughts that fill my mind as we prepare to go to a combined 7 a.m. Service.

Most of the service is in Tagalog... I pray and ask God to speak to me despite the language barriers.

There is my answer! The Pastor is reading 1 Corinthians 15 in English and suddenly verse 3 jumps out at me..."For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also receive..."

First Importance!....Yes, that is what it's all about. As I look around at all my new friends in Christ I am reminded of the 'First Importance' of delivering the Word of God to unreached people groups. How can they enjoy sweet fellowship and communion with Christ if they never hear that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the Third day in accordance with the scriptures..." (1 Cor. 15: 3 - 5) in their own heart language?

So though this Easter has found me homesick..... I have been gifted by God with just enough English at this Easter service to encourage my heart. The preacher, towards the end of his message, expounded on 1 Corinthians 15:58 to be 'steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.'

Just the Easter message I needed to hear......

Rats!

We suspected that we might have a few rats around when the alley cats left us dead rats on our doorstep as a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift multiple days in a row. We suspected that we might have a rat problem when a big one came in a drain pipe through the wall around our house, looked at our kids who were behind the house, and then ran away. Of course, since rats are really common in the Philippines, we suspected that we might have a rat problem even before we moved into our new house. The house isn't the problem - rats are just all over.

So, we bought a live trap for the rats. We did not want a trap that would hurt our new puppy. So far in three nights we have caught two rats. I really think that we could have had one the first night if we had used the right bait. We tried a 1/4 ham sandwich that we had left over - they somehow ate the meat but left the bread. Since then we have found that they have a weakness for small strips of cooked beef that is put on the trap trigger like a worm on a hook. That way they have to work to get it off and are more apt to trip the trigger.

After we catch then, we take them for a swim in a bucket of water. That is the most humane way that we can think to kill them that does not risk us getting hurt in the process. If anyone knows of a better way let us know.

Oh, by the way, we did not think that you wanted to see pictures of all this, did you? We didn't think so.

Our New Bio-Security System

We would like to introduce you to the latest addition to our household - Bear. He is a two month old rottweiler puppy and we just picked him up 36 hours ago. Everyone in the family has fallen in love with him and as you can see from the pictures, he is adorable.

Our House

Well, we are moved in to a house now. We are busy unpacking boxes and finally settling into a place for a while after almost 5 months of transitional living. The reality of this world not being our home has settled in my heart!

Moving In

Kurt helping with heavy stuff

It was fun yesterday to watch the kids unpack boxes and 'find' items they hadn't seen in many months with the move from Michigan to here!

Taking a break

Kirsten in her room

Mikayla practicing in Ben's and her room

Our house is in a typical 'mixed' neighborhood...decent housing next to squatter settlements next to nicer houses.

Security wall

Our Neighborhood

Our Neighborhood

Transferring

Tomorrow, Monday April 2, we will start moving into our rental house.

The painters have been busy painting. Other workers have been busy fixing some plumbing problems, water-rotted ceiling tiles, and increasing the security wall height.

Pray for us as we transfer to the rental house.

We are looking forward to having a house to live in!

We may not be updating this site for a few days until we get our internet up at the house!

(P.S. In Filipino culture it is called 'transferring' if you are moving within the general area of the city or province. We would be 'moving' if we left the area totally and went to a different country or northern Philippines.)