If anyone had told me five years ago that I would be celebrating my 2014 New Year's Eve at my own house in The Philippines, I would have told him he was crazy AND that it's not nice to give false hope.
And yet, I did.
At the beginning of 2013, we were just starting to make preparations to sell most of our worldly goods and head over here to The Philippines in service of orphans and the poor. Just like in most scenarios, we had no REAL idea of what we were embarking on.
We were just grateful all of our children were supportive, our extended families were warming up to the notion and we had a loosely outlined plan for ministry.
But when we arrived here in July 10th, 2013, everything looked so much different than we expected. You've all heard the expression "the devil is in the details". Well, we took TWO vans from the airport to our new home, unlocked the door and had a nice little dose of reality.
The house was dirty from sitting empty for so long. We did not have one stick of furniture, one plate or cup or even water we could safely drink.
We locked the house back up, got onto a jeepney (public transportation) and headed to the grocery store. We bought water, noodles, a hot pot and some plastic dishes. We came back to the house and slept on snuggies with our suitcases as pillows.
And I was utterly content . . . home, and where I was meant to be. . .
Fast forward just six months. We are serving children in our center weekly, have sponsored a major surgery, doctor visits and eye glasses for needy children. We have been able to support and work in cooperation with several other local ministries in service of children and teens.
|One of our family members visiting and playing with some local children at an orphanage|
God took us from sleeping-on-our-suitcases to digging in deep in a very VERY short time. We are blessed, humbled and in awe of Him using us, flaws and all.
We eagerly await 2014. We ask him to keep us close to Him so we hear His voice when needs arise. We are dreaming BIG for 2014. My prayer is that, when I look back on this blog entry in 12 months time:
1. We are directing a Special Needs orphanage
2. We have added to our own family through adoption
3. We have helped at least 10 additional children have surgery to save or restore vision
4. We can rest and relax in terms of fund raising because others have come forward to handle that aspect of the ministry in a huge way
5. We have prayed with many to receive Christ and been able to disciple others
6. Our whole family is serving boldly, walking in the truth and being lights for him.
That list looks "too big" for one family, for one year and for one ministry, huh? We know that. We understand that with US, all of this is impossible but HE does more than we ask or imagine.
So in 2014, we are asking and imagining and looking forward to infinitely more.
Because He IS ABLE.
|Lunch with Children's Garden|
|Our 19 year old has moved here to CG to serve and we love to come visit and enjoy the boys who find refuge there|