December 5, 2012

Tennessee is beautiful this time of year...

I had this big gigantic surprise. I was going to fly out to Tennessee to surprise my baby sister who is going through a bone marrow transplant.

I asked Trent if I could go--meaning, can we swing the cash for a plane ticket and of course, he said yes. So, I made the reservation and scheduled to leave on November 9th. Well, as I type this--it's not November 9th and yet I have been here for 14 days.

My grandfather fell. He had been going to physical therapy because he lost a toe to diabetes. Well, during therapy one day, he just kinda fell over. And then, an hour later he fell again. He had an aneurism and was admitted to hospital on October 22nd.

After a few phone calls, I had canceled my ticket and made arrangements to fly out the next morning. I told mom and dad I'd be willing to stay with Alicia as long as necessary so mom could be with her dad and mom.

I ended up surprising my sister anyway. No one told her I was coming. The look on her face was priceless. I wish I had caught it on camera.

Mom and Dad left that night and I was left with Alicia and Gavin (her husband) to learn what it means to be a "caregiver". No notes. No prep. Just: "Here you go...your sister needs you to take care of her". Aaaahhhh! I don't think I ever really panicked about it until she ran a fever. On, October 27th, she had a fever of 100.4. That means: "We go to hospital." We called the 1-800 number and waited. And waited. And waited. Lucky for me (sarcasm!!!) the paging system was down, so it took an hour and a half to get a doctor. All the while I am trying to remain calm and in control and her fever slowly starts to go down. It remained down and eventually broke.

Every day for the last two weeks, I have taken her to clinic. Clinic is like a mad, bizarre game of roulette. Each day, she gets an antiviral drug and chemotherapy. And depending on other symptoms, sometimes she is given other drugs. And sometimes these drugs cause new symptoms. Each day she feels better in some ways, worse in others. There is no predicting what drug will help and which one may cause a symptom to develop. It's crazy. Insane. It's necessary.

I will say this...the gals who work this clinic are top notch. One gal in particular. Her name is Esta and I can not describe to you the feeling I got off her other than I felt clearly she was called by God to be a nurse and to be my sister's nurse. I felt this invisible embrace of a complete stranger (to me) and it was warm, compassionate and caring. In two seconds, I trusted this woman completely with the care of my sister.

It is now December 5th and I am just now attempting to complete this entry.  At this point, I can look back and say that the 3 weeks I spent in Nashville changed my life.  I have never had a grown up toddler before. Yes, taking care of an adult is like have a giant toddler under your care. When she would go into another room and was quiet too long--I'd have to go see what she was in to to make sure she was ok.

Honestly, we didn't "do" much, but I wouldn't trade those weeks for anything.  My sister washed my hair for me after I had Jon and I've been waiting for YEARS to be able to repay that favor.  Now, we are even. 

She is STILL my baby sister, and I still want to grow up to be JUST like her.  She really is the strongest person I know.  Hearing her pray in the bedroom, crying out to God for mercy from all the pain and sickness and in the next sentence giving Him praise...  Well, it reminded me of my mother and all those years ago, I overheard her praying in her bedroom and the sounds were identical.

I could not be more happy, proud and THANKFUL to be a part of a REAL Christian family.  My family acts like Christians even when no one is watching.

Sorry for the delay of this post.  It's been interesting going from Manila, to jet lag, to Nashville, to full time evangelizing (running the roads) again, and only last week did I finally feel like I was *home*.  My house is mostly put back together and even decorated for Christmas!!  And despite a persistent water leak that is coming from an unknown source, it feels much more "homey" to me now.  

Oh, don't get me wrong, we are all "homesick"for Manila.  We talk about it nearly every day still.  Sorry for this post turning into a recap.  I will try to do better in the future!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!

PS: If you or someone you know is undergoing a Bone Marrow Transplant, you can learn more and read about my sister's experience on her blog:  That's What I Think.  She also wrote a FANTASTIC novel a while back that is WELL WORTH the read:  Margo

This is Alicia, waiting in clinic, receiving her meds via IV form in a port located in her chest.
This is me, waiting patiently while she receives meds in clinic.  I sent this pic to my kiddos while waiting.
2nd hospital visit.  Cocktail hour!!  So many IVs, so little time.
Alicia, just snoozing and taking it easy.  Not much else to do.
My bed during the 1st hospital stay...but the bed the 2nd stay was quite similar. A very FIRM bed that my back enjoyed ever so much.  Really.

A little virus scare.  All persons entering the room had to mask up. This was to prevent the spread of infection/virus to other patients on the same floor.  We did not have to wear masks, as we were not going to be visiting other patients.
An outside view of Alicia's room.  These stations were in between two rooms so the nurses could look in on two patients at a time, as necessary. 
Didn't have time to capture any of the beautiful fall foliage of Tennessee, but I did get this pic of the overcast Autumn sky.  There is no better place to experience Autumn leaves than Tennessee, in my opinion.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

October 12, 2012

Going is the Easy Part

When you attend a Missions Service, and watch the presentation of that Missionary's burden, you think: "That is so hard, I could never do that!"  "I could never live without my ________!"  And, if you never go, it's okay to feel that way.  You send someone else.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Truly.


If you do go...your entire world is turned upside down.  My first trip happened when I was 18.  A graduation present from my parents.  It was a "fun thing" to do and a little "exotic" trip for this recent graduate and I did not put much thought or prayer (how is that for being honest) into it.  It just sounded cool and fun to me.  When I left, I was shy.  Painfully, horribly, turns bright red if anyone speaks to her SHY.  It was awful.  I did not like that part of me, but I did not know how to fix it.  So, I leave for this trip and have to give myself a little pep talk:  "Amber, you do not know ANY of these kids.  They do not know you.  You do not know any of the leaders and they do not know you.  You will MAKE friends and be friendly and you will have the time of your life.  This is a fresh start to being the YOU you have always wanted to be."  And with that, I took off to Russia for a Youth on Missions Trip.  And came home--messed up.  

First of all, I suddenly gained confidence in myself.  Like real, genuine confidence.  I was worthy!  I was worthwhile!  I could make a difference!  This was the biggest blessing I received from my first trip.  One that has changed the entire course of my life.  Truly, it was the pivotal point for me...and I am so very grateful that my parents were able to send me.  Secondly, I realized just how good I had it.  Oh sure, I remember as a small child not having "everything", but I never felt poor or that I did without.  As we got older, we were blessed with more and my parents were good to me and my siblings--all the while instilling a work ethic into us (Thank you so much for that Mom and Dad).  But still, I just took it for granted that our church had air conditioning, carpet, a working restroom, quality instruments, etc.  This was just normal for me.  I had no idea what other had to face or deal with.  I took for granted our clean water and easy access to food and transportation.  

But, Russia...oh taught me that I am so blessed.  Blessed more than I ever realized.  And Russia, you messed me up.  You were that tiny little "mission seed" planted deep into my heart.

Now, I am grown, married and I have brought my kids to the mission field.  A dream I was never even brave enough to dream.  And now, after our FIRST (definitely not our last!!!) trip, I am writing this blog because my heart is aching.  You see, GOING on a missions trip is easy.  It involves money, time and commitment.  These commodities are something that we can all manage to scrape together.  Oh yes, GOING is much easier than LEAVING.  Leaving has been the hardest thing I will ever face.  My heart is breaking and as I type this, tears are dripping onto the desk.  I do not want to leave.  Not now.  But yet, I know that our time (for now) is over.  We must go home and do the work God has called us to do in the states.  And also...raise a budget to come back.  I do not know if the foreign field is a "forever after for us".  But, right now it is a part of us that God has seen fit to put inside us...and we must fulfill that calling.  

Trent and I are evangelists at heart. Always will be.  It is what defines us.  And we will GO wherever He leads us, willingly, gladly and with thankful hearts.  But leaving...oh, the is much harder. 


October 9, 2012

Making Room for the Impossible

It's probably the greatest lesson I have learned while here in the Philippines.  It's probably the greatest lesson I will learn my entire life.

I am learning to make room for the impossible.

A few weekends ago, we sat around the table at KFC with the Gallimits and we were having a great time!  Talking, laughing and sharing stories.  Truly, one of the highlights of our trip.  At one point, Pastor Gallimit said something, and it has been replaying over and over in my brain ever since.

I have replayed it so many times, savoring it, and trying to wrap my head around the idea and the magnitude of this concept.

Pastor Gallimit said:  "The Philippines is the land of the impossible."  We were talking about jeepneys and how amazing it is that SO MANY Filipinos can fit into one vehicle.  Just when you think there is no room for one more, two more Filipinos will climb in and magically, there is room.  Well, this has been an idea that I could just not shake.  
How many times do we think a situation is impossible? We think that there is no way and our doubt leaves NO ROOM for the impossible to squeeze in.

If the average Filipino has FAITH that there is room on an already crowded jeepney, how is it I cannot have the faith that God can make a way when a situation looks impossible to me.  Mentally, I have already crowded out the room God needs to perform the impossible.  I have shut the door to my situation and have bound His hands from answering my need.

My prayer:  God, help me to have the faith to know that "the impossible" has just enough room for Your perfect will to squeeze in and perform the work.

PS:  If you follow my blog and don't follow me (or my husband) on Facebook or Twitter, I MUST highly recommend a blog post for you to read.  Kendra Shock is a fellow AIMer here in the Philippines and she wrote an awesome post about her feelings regarding the Philippines...and they mirror mine almost exactly.  A great read--grab some tissues!!   


September 25, 2012

What I Saw

I saw precious things today...and one of them was this beautiful and perfect pair of little feet. I asked mama if it was ok if I took a picture of her daughter's feet. I have this weakness for baby feet. They are soft and have not yet walked the miles they will walk and developed the callouses they will develop. They are perfect and unscarred. I love them.

I also met "The Winker", Rassel. Rassel is 11 and I winked at him. He "winked" back (closing both eyes). I left a piece of my heart sitting next to him in his hospital bed.

I also met a "Lola" (grandmother) I had to hug. She wept openly while we prayed for her little granddaughter. I asked Annie if she would ask permission if I could hug her. She needed one. Normally, I would have just hugged her--but something in her body language when we first met said "stay away". I did not want to make her uncomfortable. So I asked permission. I hugged her tight. I squeezed her shoulders and whispered "it's going to be ok" when I do not know if this is really true--but I believe it to be true.

NCH--forever a part of me.

September 19, 2012

Precious Little...

I am not sure why, but at some point today, I had this nagging urge to write down some notes for all my single friends.  Consider this FREE and unsolicited advice that you may take or leave.  And know that if we have a conversation in the future and you begin with: "I read your blog about this all those years ago, but..." I will kindly hug you, sit down and listen.  Because even if you don't heed my advice, I will always be there for you and love you.

This really has precious little to do with my current situation...which is being in the Philippines, but it also has EVERYTHING to do with it.  My husband flew out to Palawan on Monday to preach a 3 day crusade.  After hearing he arrived safely, I was relieved and then he began telling me about how "rough" things were there.  Nothing like we (spoiled) Americans are used to.  While I do feel sorry for him, I am also QUITE PROUD of him as well.  I am also a wee bit jealous because I am that wacky gal who ENJOYS roughing it (temporarily) for the adventure of it all.  

So, are you ready for my little bits of wisdom?  Brace yourself.  HA!!

Girls:  How can you tell if he is "Mr. Right"?

If he doesn't live for God now, chances are after the ceremony he won't either.  It's a simple as that.  I know, I know.  He has promised you it is just a matter of timing, his job, his schooling, etc.  Sorry, if he is too busy for God now, he will be too busy later when he is working to keep food on your table and clothes on your back.  It will ALWAYS be something.  Find a man who loves God and is sold out to the things of God.  Period.  This point in NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Does that handsome hunk have a job?  If not, throw him out on his ear.  STAT!  Oh, sure...his little grin makes your heart go "pitter-pat", but that grin doesn't put money in the bank or food in the bellies of your future children.  A man who doesn't work is totally worthless.  Even if the guy you are dating has a job that keeps scheduling him to work on Friday nights and you can't go out like you'd like...that guy is the one who will do whatever it takes to make sure all the bills are paid (on time!!) and keeps a roof over your head.  Giving up date night may seem like a big deal now, but knowing you have found someone who really loves you enough to TAKE CARE OF YOU, is priceless.

Now, fellas...before you get all in a huff because I am dogging on you (do people even still talk like that???), I have some advice for you as well...

Guys:  How do you know that you finally find the Princess you want to make your Queen?

The all-time best place EVER to meet a great, godly girl is NOT in the foyer or lobby of the church.  Nope.  You are gonna find Mrs. Happy Ever After in one of two places:  the prayer room or the altar.  Period.  That's it.  That's the two places to look.  The gal that is praying her visitor through to the Holy Ghost?  She's the one.  The one with the beautiful soprano voice singing during altar call with tears streaming down her face?  Yep, she's a keeper.  If she puts God first, she will be a better wife and mother.  She will be a godly, submitted HELPMEET to you.  If you have a calling into ministry, you will go MUCH FURTHER with a lady that also wants to serve the Lord.  

If that gal you've been eyeing has trouble telling what size skirt actually fits her...pass her on by.  Girls with skirts (tops, dresses, etc) too tight have ZERO respect for themselves.  They subconsciously think the only way to "lure" a guy is to be bait.  Wow...I just compared her to a worm.  Yeah, that about sums it up.  This gal probably has very little self confidence also.  She will require a lot of "work" to keep happy.  More money, a bigger house, a fancier car...the list goes on and on.  She will think these *things* are what she needs to be happy or feel good about herself.  You will literally go mad trying to please this gal.  Stay away.

Really, these examples can apply for either gender.  It all comes down to this:  Put God first and He will show you the right one for you.  I know it is tough falling asleep each night with tear-soaked cheeks and a tear-stained pillow because you are so lonely.  But, these tears are not nearly as painful as tears of a man or woman who is married to someone who doesn't love them, doesn't care for them and wishes they had never married the other.  Being alone is much less painful than being in a loveless marriage or one that has pulled you out of the church family.  

I was a teenager (oh, so many years ago) and this became my "go-to" scripture:  
"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give the the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4  

When you stop praying for God to send you someone and start praying: "How can I serve you better Lord?", you will be surprised at how quickly God will answer that prayer...and all the others ones regarding your future.  


September 16, 2012

Not Ready for Goodbye

I'm still here, I promise.  Last week was a tough one for me.  We were texted early in the morning and told that a dear friend and past neighbor of ours was brutally stabbed in his home.  Jim was a dear friend to our family and his adopted son, Alex is Jon's best friend.  I cannot tell you the gaping hole that has been left behind.  It still does not even seem real to me.  I just can't imagine him being gone and poor little Alex without a dad.  Alex's mom is in a nursing home, as she is suffering from Alzheimer's.  Such a sad and tragic thing.  I am happy to report that the 3 killers were captured, thanks to the escape of two separate victims.  One of the men had Jim's gun and the connection was easily made and the 3 men confessed.

Later that same day, Annie and I visited NCH and were told that Steven "The Fighter" (read his story here) passed away on September 1.  Stunned.  I am still just in shock thinking about this sweet little boy, this champion that lost his fight.  

Yes, a tough week indeed.  

The end of the week was much better than the first.  Trent did a PHENOMENAL job at ACTS Bible School's Spiritual Emphasis Week.  I was so proud!!  The first day he taught on accepting the call.  So many things he said were so on target for where I was when I was in bible school.  If you want to do something great for God, don't wait on SOMEDAY to do it--start NOW.  The next day, he taught on building altars and the response was incredible!  Those students poured their hearts out tirelessly, building their own altars and laying themselves on it for a sacrifice to God.  It was beautiful!

I had a personal bought with a belly demon.  Seriously, there is no better way to describe it.  But, as of today, I am victorious--and 5 lbs lighter.  HA!  That won't last too long, as we've been making weekly trips to Krispy Kreme and Pan de Manila (for donuts and leche flan tarts--heaven help me!).  *sigh*

Today, we had service with Pastora Elsie Pestano and tonight will be a Holy Ghost Exlplo (short for explosion) at PARC, Pastor Caesar Pestano's church.  We had at least 8 or 10 receive the Holy Ghost this morning.  It is tough getting a count, as those that are receiving do not know what they have!  :)  

We are at the halfway point of our trip and Trent and I can hardly talk about it without choking up and feeling sad about having to leave.  This has been amazing and life changing on so many levels.  

Ma'am Flowers praying with the young ladies at ACTS.  Building Altars.

Sir Flowers and AIMer Kendra Shock praying with ACTS Students.
She should be arrested for the mutilation of this beautiful donut.  She only ate the icing.  :|
Mandatory Photo Shoot...All Smiles

Ok!  That is ENOUGH!  HAHAHAHA!!!


September 4, 2012


Ma'am Dibble has this little ministry.  She visits the National Children's Hospital (NCH) every Tuesday with Annie.  I've followed her blog for a while now and every time she posts about the hospital, I think: "Wow, she is SO BRAVE and SO STRONG to be able to visit and pray with these kids".  And I always thought that there was just no way I could do the same thing.  I am just not brave or strong.  I did not think I could hold it all together, keep calm, smile and pray without falling totally apart. 

Today was my 3rd visit.  It was quite shocking the first week with Ma'am Dibble.  A little scary the 2nd week by myself with Annie...but something happened to me today. I felt the little "switch" inside my heart turn on for this ministry.

I cannot offer any of these kids money, but I can offer hope.  I can pray, offer a smile, a word of encouragement.  A little bit of sunshine to their cloudy day...that is something I can give.  And I choose to give it.  I choose to share a part of me that I did not know existed until now.

It is hard to find the right words to say when you are praying for a little boy or girl with leukemia, sepsis, hydrocephalus, heart or kidney problems.  It's not something I see very often.  I am not in the medical field.  I do not have a medical background.  All of these diseases or illness are very SCARY to me because it is something I am just not exposed to.

Each week that I have gone, I been touched in a way that I hope I will never forget.  

The first week, there was this little boy in a coma.  His body was so far diseased that he was clinging to what little bit of life he had.  I do not know what happened to this boy.  Whether he pulled out of the coma or not.  But I prayed and cried with that mamma as if that were MY little boy.  I know a God who is able...and a God who is a comforter.  

The second week, I met 3 siblings that were all in the hospital for the same thing:  Malnutrition.  The mother and oldest sister were there also.  They seemed to be in better condition than the 3 smaller children.  They were "healthy" looking.  And yet, here were 3 children that were starving.  They each had a little saltine cracker in their hands, food provided by the hospital.  If there is ONE thing I am taking away from this experience, it is I am going to do my BEST to not waste food anymore.  I am pretty good about cleaning my plate or only taking what I need, but sometimes...well, food is so plentiful for us that I don't think anything of leaving a few bites behind.  But those few bites...they could mean LIFE to someone else.  You've all heard that expression:  "There are starving kids all over the world that would gladly eat your food"...well, there really ARE starving kids here that would gladly eat that vegetable you do not like, that fatty piece of meat, that burnt piece of toast, etc.  

Today, we visited the 4th floor.  Annie told me that when the bill is too high for the parents to pay, the children are moved to the 4th floor.  The care is the same, but they will share beds.  Annie has seen as many as 6 children in one bed!!!  Today, we saw a bed with 3 children sharing--all there for a different reason.  Many of the beds had two patients each.  We prayed for several children with leukemia, heart conditions and kidney conditions.  I told Annie that is is very hard for me to see this, as our hospitals are so different in the states.  

I really cannot put into words how seeing all this makes me feel.  It is a sad feeling, yes...but there is more.  I wish I could describe it.  Maybe, I can find the words someday.

John, age 12

Maria, age 6 (also, Maria's mamma)


September 3, 2012

Super Sunday!

Yesterday, we were invited to preach for Pastor Ceasar Pestano.  His daughter Abigail (Abi) is an AMAZING worship leader.  I told her that if the pastors in the states knew of her talent, they would be fighting over her!  HA!  Seriously, she has a tremendous talent.  That is not an easy job, but she had the crowd totally READY to worship and receive the Word.

This is Annie praying in the altar with a lady.

There were 6 people that received the Holy Ghost for the first time and 2 baptized in Jesus' name. 

Sunday night, we preached at a ROOF service.  ROOF = Ring of OMSIFY (One Million Souls in Five Years) Fire.  Pastor Art Martinez started this meeting.  It is a service for several churches to get together and worship and an opportunity to bring people to receive the Holy Ghost.  This meeting was their 3rd meeting.  They hold the service at a University in the auditorium.  There were several hundred in attendance.

Pastor Ompat greeted the crowd, then Trent preached.  26 or 27 received the Holy Ghost that night!  It was awesome!  Jon and I noticed a boy about his age praying behind us.  I leaned over to Jon and told him to go pray with him.  He was nervous and shy, so he shook his head "no".  I told him that it was ok and there was nothing to be afraid of.  Well, he didn't go--he was just too shy or nervous.  Later, I looked over at him and he had tears running down his cheeks.  Thinking he was feeling something about the service, I asked him what he was feeling.  He said "I don't know".  Later, he told me that he felt like he should have gone and prayed for that little boy.  I smiled because I know God was teaching him a lesson about following His direction.  This is something that you can never really teach a person--but something they must learn on their own.  If he can learn this at 9 years old, he will be lightyears ahead of some of us adults.  

An "updo" for Ella.
A dramatized song from a group of young people.
Pastor Ompad

The boy Jon and I noticed praying.
Jon feels a touch

After service, Pastor and Ma'am Martinez took us to dinner.  We ate at Texas Roadhouse!  We had a great time visiting with them and they enjoyed the time with our kids.  They have 6 grandchildren and not ONE of them live in the Philippines!  Well, after a couple hours with Ella, I think Ma'am Martinez had her fill of grandkids for a little while--haha!! 

It was a fabulous and FULL Sunday.  We all crashed out almost as soon as our heads hit the pillow.  This is the very reason we came here.  We LIVE for Sundays like this.  


August 31, 2012

She Learns...

Ok, I know, this is several days behind...but sometimes, things just don't go as planned here.  HA!  Like for instance, last night we were supposed to be picked up at 5 or 6 to preach an OMSIFY meeting for Section 3.  (OMSIFY= One Million Souls In Five Years)  However, our driver never showed.  So, we had the evening off.  

Today, I am sitting here waiting patiently, yet expectantly for the washer repair people to show up between 10 am and 12 noon.  We shall see.  They have an hour and 15 minutes left to get here or I will be on the phone...  If you learn ANYTHING in life, learn this:  Persistence pays.  HA!  Besides, I do not want to repeat 3+ hrs of handwashing laundry.  Worse case scenario, I will find a drop-off laundry facility and let someone else take a turn sweating.  Hehehe!!

So, what is this mysterious C.R.?  Some of you may have already guessed or have heard of it before.  C.R. stands for Comfort Room or bathroom, or restroom.  Here, it is C.R.  If you ask for the bathroom, they will think you want to take a bath.  The public C.R.s sometimes do not have tissue, so it's a good idea to carry yours around with you.  This is an "old trick" I learned on one of my first missions trip to Russia.  You also might have to pay to use the C.R.  It's usually P10 ($.02 US).  In Russia, I remember it being about $.10 US, but you were paying for toilet paper...not necessarily for the use of the C.R.  Now, SOME of the C.R.s do not look like what you are used to.  Some of them look like this:  
This toilet is roughly 10 inches off the ground.  No lid.  No handle. 

Ella is standing next to the "flush bucket".
The "flush bucket" (my terminology) is used to flush to toilet.  You scoop water out of the flush bucket and dump it into toilet until everything goes down.  Easy, breezy, right?  I took a wild guess when I was first faced with this situation and then in a panic texted Sis. Dibble to ask how to flush.  I am a good guesser and did it right.  :)  Admittedly, I was slightly horrified when I faced my first filipino toilet as I had never seen one so close to the ground and the lack of a seat and flush handle had me a little confused.  But, now I am an old pro.  This girl can be toilet trained!!!

Something we should have in EVERY restaurant in the states?  Wifi and charging stations!!  This is at the local Burger King:  
I've had LOTS of questions regarding the kids.  I feel like they are adjusting very well here.  It is a little overwhelming for Jon, as he is used to a little more freedom and we do not allow him to wander out of our site on his own.  Ella seems oblivious to being in a foreign country.  HAHA!!  They are pretty much show-stoppers everywhere we go.  American kids here are pretty rare.  Ella gets lots of looks and pats, even from strangers.  Normally, she takes it in stride, but sometimes she has reacted more stand-offish.  Their favorite place to go is Toy Kingdom.  I suppose it is the Filipino equivalent of Toys R Us.  

Thursday, we took a little detour in our day to get a souvenir for a friend.  Police patches.  This put us right next door to Camp Crame which is where they house and train the PNP (Philippine National Police).  From what I understand, all the security guards (and there are HUNDREDS) are trained here, as well as traffic enforcers (not so many of those seen....) and other police are all trained here.  Most every store or restaurant, including the malls and some stores inside the malls have a security guard that will open the door and sometimes search your bag or use a wand to search for weapons.  The police carry guns and sometimes rifles.  A little intimidating, but somehow it just makes me feel safer.

So, that's a little recap about what we've been up to.  Anyone want to learn some Tagalog?

I am fairly certain this is the entire list of words I have learned so far.  We have been here 13 days. 

Tagalog (tuh-gawh-log) is the Filipino language, other than English.  There are many other dialects, but Tagalog and English are most common.

Mabuhay (muh-boo-hi) means welcome.  Mabuhay to my Tagalog lesson!

Salamat or Salamat po (suh-lah-mott poh) means Thank you.  The "t" is a soft "t" and you add po to say "thank you very much".

Mas Sarap (mas suh-rahp) means very good or very sweet.  This phrase can be referring to food or if someone does a good job. 

Petso (pay-cho) is my most favorite filipino dish (so far).  It is served with Calamansi (cal-uh-mahn-see) tiny little limes that are very flavorful and with chili seeds and soy sauce make a most excellent "dip"! 

Walang (wah-lahng) means without.  Sis. Dibble told me she was able to use a running app walang 3G, which is good news for me, as I want to start running but don't have wi-fi unless I am in the house.

Kuya (coo-yah) means big brother.  Jon is Ella's kuya and she is learning to call him kuya.  :)

Inday (in-die) means little sister.  Ella is Jon's inday.  Some people refer to the waitress as inday or day (die).  This is a little term to use if want to get a stranger's attention without saying: "Hey you!".  There is a Filipino restaurant at our mall in Milpitas that is called Inday.  Now we know what that means!!

Dodong (doo-dong) means little brother.  The missionaries here, Bro & Sis Flowers have a driver.  His name is Sam, but has been referred to as Dodong his whole life.  So, we all call him Dodong.  He is a great driver and an excellent source of information.  This term is also used to get a stranger's attention (a waiter).   

Yaya (yah-yah) means nanny or babysitter.  Annie (Ahn-knee) is our kid's yaya while we are here in the Philippines.  Normally, the yaya lives with the family, but Annie just comes when we need her.  She is a super sweet gal.  She helps me at the National Children's Hospital also.  

Guapo (gwah-poh) means handsome.  Yes.  Just like Spanish!!  This is used in a masculine tense.

Maganda (mah-gahn-dah) means beautiful.  Sis. Dibble told me a story about a little picnic she took with a family and their little boy.  She laid out a paper towel for them to eat off of, and the little boy had never seen such a thing!  He whispered: "maganda" in awe over this little paper towel.  When they were finished eating, she wrapped his leftovers in a fresh paper towel.  He again whispered "maganda" as he clutched his little lunch to his chest.  How many maganda things do you see very day that you take for granted?  Hmm...

Another super wordy post from me, but I just can't help myself!  I hope you all enjoyed the little Tagalog lesson!  I am having a great time learning the language and trying to be brave and use it whenever possible.  Perhaps in 2 months, I will be able to add a 3rd language to my repertoire!!    

August 28, 2012

Manila on My Mind

It ain't easy being green.  And that is exactly the color I have felt the last 24 hrs.  Not sure if it's something I ate or if I got dehydrated or what, but felt like a horrible (deadly!!!) stomach bug got a hold of me.  But there is no rest for a missionary mamma.  Oh no...gotta keep moving and keep making it happen.  

So, let's recap about the last couple days, shall we?

Saturday, I became a runner.  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  Ok, so I went on my first legit really real run with Sis. Dibble.  She has been running for 3 weeks now using the "Get Running" app for iPhone.  So, we did Week 1, Run 1 together.  Whoa Nelly.  I've been working out 6 days a week for nearly 2 months and running is a totally different type of exercise.  My poor wittle legs!!  But it felt good.  And, I managed to keep pace with her the entire time!  Go me!!!

At noon, we were picked up to take a little tour of the Manila American Cemetery.  Just awesome!!  Sis. Dibble, became the photographer, while Bro. Dibble gave a little tour of the cemetery.  The kids enjoyed being outdoors and Jon had fun trying to find the different states on the graves.  

Clearly, they love each other.  :)
Later, that evening, we had a double date with the Dibbles.  (Say that 5 times fast...)  We had dinner at Chili's, then a massage at Foot Zone.  After, we stopped by Starbucks (just as good as in the states--YES!!!!) then back to the "Ya-ya's" where the kids were.  :)  Anne has fallen in love with my kiddos.  Especially Ella.  She watched the kids for us at her church.  Jon got to experience his first Filipino Youth Service!!  He also made a new friend.  Nathan (Than Than--pronounced "tahn tahn") just had a birthday yesterday.  He is 10.  

We actually stayed up until 11:30 pm on Saturday.  A miracle.  And I figured it would be the best night's sleep yet.  WRONG.  Ugh.  I just cannot sleep through the night yet.

Sunday was our first church service.  We preached for Pastor Sulit.  We had 2 for sure confirmed to receive the Holy Ghost, but the pastor really felt like there were more.  It's hard to get an accurate count, as some people just do not know or understand what they received.  But a might move of God was felt by all.

Ella, once again, was the belle of the ball!  All the kids and some of the adults just flocked to her!  They all wanted photos with her.  Out come all the cell phones and it's instant paparazzi again.  By this time, Ella was exhausted, hot and HUNGRY.  We all were, so after a few photo ops, I took her away to the van.  We had dinner at KFC.  KFC is better in the Philippines.  Or maybe I was just THAT hungry.  LOL!  It was just after noon and we had been up since about 6:30 am.  Long day already!!

That evening, we got to meet Sis Donna Flowers for the first time.  Bless her heart, she had a little accident not long before we arrived and tore a muscle in her leg.  She is doing much better and instantly claimed my kiddos and wanted to be called "Grandy".  I hope we are able to visit with her often over the next several days.  She seems like a sweetheart and I think my kids are going to have a great time getting to know her.  

Monday was spent moving out of our little apartment and into the Dibble's townhouse.  We had an amazing farewell dinner at Banana Leaf and then a little yogurt at the Golden Spoon.  The Dibbles have spoiled us completely rotten and I loved every second of it!!!  They left late Monday evening for Guam, then the states.  We will miss them tremendously, but we will do our best to take very good care of their home while they are away.  Praying they have an awesome visit with their families!  Love me some "Mama Dibbs" and "Dibble".  (Ella, calls Bro. Dibble "Dibble"--seriously too cute!!)

PS:  If you would like a peek at where we are staying for the next several weeks, Sis D blogged about here guest suite here.

Another PS:  I will post another blog later tonight in regards to the mysterious C.R. and a mini vocabulary lesson.  :)  I don't want these posts to be so long and overwhelming that you don't LEARN something.  HA!!  Keep on praying for us!!