Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our trip so far.

We flew out from Davao on Tuesday morning. 
What was supposed to be a only-partially-exhausting trip, turned out to be a bit more than draining! 
Our flight to Manila was uneventful. Upon landing in Manila however, we were told that the city was flooded. We were advised that there were no night buses (we were planning on hoping on one that evening) and the lady who was going to pick us up, was stranded, attempting to get to the airport! 
Ok! So, we ran around the airport, looking for some semblance of a wifi connection, in order to book a flight to Tugegarao (the closest airport to home, Tabuk.) We did finally find a coffee shop outside, but, since there were typhoon winds and rain, myself, my computer and the $3 bread I was forced to buy (in order to have the wifi password!) were getting soaked! Not to mention, my computer battery was dangerously low! But God is good and sustained all things (including my patience) in order for me to book a flight and find a close hotel. Overpriced. But close. 
So there we have it, we got in a taxi, and were quickly taken to the hotel. The flood had disappeared about 20 mins before we landed (we might have doubted its existence, except for the trees/garbage/dirt all over the roads!) but apparently started back up about 20 mins after we got into the hotel. 
I have never seem rain like that. 
It alternated between down-pouring and monsooning! The roads would get flooded within minutes! We holed up for the night, thankful to be safe and dry! The next morning, we anxiously checked the internet to see if our flights had been cancelled. No, we were told, all Cebu flights were still going! Thank God, we thought! We called the airport twice to confirm (too good to be true?) and were assured that our flight was on schedule. 
We arrived at the airport "late", only an hour before out 11:25 take off time. We got to our gate and waited. 
1 hour passed, then another, then another. 
The terminal was packed with people. We waited some more, then, finally, at 3:00 (3.5 hours after we were supposed to leave!) they finally called us to board. I don't think I have ever been so happy to get on a plane! The 45 flight went by (mercifully) quickly and we touched down in the small city of Tugegarau. 
Georgia (the midwife I will be working with) had been patiently waiting in town for us! We were so happy to get off the plane, but quickly realized that none of our luggage was getting off the plane. 
 Luckily Im a praying woman, so thats what I did. Prayed for patience, for grace and for energy to get in that loooooong lineup to fill out the "oops we lost your luggage" paperwork. After 45 mins, the paperwork was done and we were (oh thank God!) on the road again! After a quick, delicious dinner (or was it lunch? When was the last time we ate?!) we made our way to Tabuk. 
Although it was already dark, I immediately felt at home with the warm mountain air, the quiet streets and the smell of life. We spend the night at Georgia's (we had nothing in our house) and were so grateful when our head hit the pillow! 
The next morning, we made our way to our house. Its a simple place, very rural. At first we were a bit taken aback, but we know that God will give us the grace to live here. We do plan on painting and fixing things up a bit (perhaps screens on the windows, so that the battle of the bugs might decrease?) and I think that will make us feel more at home. We really appreciate your prayers as we adjust to life here. We have been spoiled in canada with hot water and no bugs, but we feel confident that this is where God has us, surely He will give us strength to overcome obstacles! I spent some time at the clinic today, (4 births so far!) and it was amazing. I am so excited to know these women and their stories! They are friendly and sweet, not to mention so adorable with their round bellies! 

I will share pictures soon, as Im sure you are all on the edge of your seat to see our place! :) We do not have internet yet, so we have to lug our stuff to the clinic or gas station to get online. We try to check online every 2nd day at least, but please be patient if we do not reply to your email right away! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013


After 6 airports, 5 times through security, 26 hours on planes and 12 hours of layovers, we have finally made it to the Philippines! I have to say, that was the longest flight I have ever been on. The airports seemed endless, as did the security checks (what could I possibly be hiding?! They have checked so often!)
But now Im sitting here, at 6am, after a wonderful 11 hours of sleep. The rooster next door has been making his presence known for an hour now, the birds are chirping and its getting warmer by the minute. 
Home, sweet home. 
(at least for a while)

We are staying at a house with another married couple (husband is from Canada, wife is from Wales). They have have a cat, who seems to have some sinus problems. Every time he sidles us to me, he snorts around like hes a truffle pig. 
Its amusing, although Im a bit too dazed yet to laugh. 

We are staying in Davao until August 20th, at which time we will hop on a flight to Manila  (only 2 hours, thank God!) and then take an overnight bus (12 hours long) to Tabuk! We should arrive at our home on August 21st! 
But for now, we are content to be here, getting to know the other girls in our program, enjoying the local colour and scenery!

We were given this welcome basket upon arrival, full of filipinoo treats, such a nice welcome! 

We are so grateful for all the prayers we received during travel, we definitely felt it! How else could you explain Andrew running on ZERO sleep for 45 hours and me running on less than 3 hours! 

So now, Ill leave you with a photo of the driveway of our home for the next 2 weeks. Anyone understand why I felt so welcomed? 
VW power! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We beg to live captured by His promises...

I kick and I scream and I thrash hard against the Father’s love. I shift my focus and become a prisoner to the panic instead of the promise, and still He says, “mine.” He looks at me, broken, and calls me daughter and ever so lovingly pulls me right back in.I want to live as a prisoner to the “Yes.” Remembering all we have seen, we set our hope fully on what we have not yet seen. We place all of our hope and all of our trust and all of our focus on the grace given us through Christ, and we beg to live captured by His promises.
-Katie Davis

Friday, August 2, 2013

These days.

We left Canada yesterday, all of our possessions thrown in the back of mom and dads Rav.
We forgot a few things, some replaceable (toothbrush) and some not (moms purse? oops) but were on the way nonetheless.
We made a few stops, picking up a flashlight, sunglasses and SC card. The last few things ticked off our to-get list. We drove at a leisurly pace, not really in a hurry to get anywhere, deciding at the last minute to spend the night in Astoria. 

We got rooms in a beautiful hotel; heritage, recently renovated. 

We skipped dinner, as lunch had been late and tucked in for the night.
Wake up was 6am, as garbage trucks lumbered by. A quick check proved that the parents had been up since 5, patiently awaiting for us to wake up. 
Check out, then drive to find breakfast. Its only a 45 min drive from Astoria to Clatskanie, where we are meeting up for the week. On our way out of Astoria, we stopped into the house thats in the movie "The Goonies". (If you haven't seen it, do. Tonight.) and I was embarrassingly excited to be there! 

The drive was mostly silent after that, all of us thinking the same thing "Good-bye again?"
We arrived at the house we are staying, quickly hauled in our luggage and said goodbye.  Its funny how time goes by. The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents, but the less I get to see them. 
 We spent the rest of the day relaxing (something we haven't done in months) and exploring Gary and Lynn's beautiful house. 
(I am in love with it!) 

 (Our bedroom. That bed!) 

We are grateful for this time to relax, as everything seems very surreal right now. Did we really just say goodbye to family and friends for 2 years? Are we really doing this again?! 
But yes, this is our path and this is what we are doing. 
Im grateful for the hard goodbyes and the bittersweetness of leaving the places we love.  

On saying good-bye (didn't we just do this?)

Im sitting here, thinking about what I should write. 
I could talk about saying goodbye to my family. I could talk about the tears and "See you laters!" while quickly walking away to hide my tears. 
I could talk about how I told Cody that "Auntie and uncle are going away for a while." and he gets a serious look on his face and says "Cody go too?" and I get choked up. I could talk about how strapping him into his car seat was just as hard as it was the last time we left. How I fought back tears and couldn't quite pull myself together. 

I could talk about the long hugs, and rushed goodbyes, forced forward by me, one who hates goodbyes.
But instead, I will focus on the good. 
The fact that we have precious family and friends, ones who we will miss and think of often. We will thank God that we are blessed beyond belief by people who give and give and give some more. We are so grateful (how many times have I said that. But its true.) and although this part is hard, we are still thanking God for all that He has done and given to us.
God is good and life is (bitter)sweet.