Friday, August 28, 2009

Translation Work Trip

Someone recently said, "Don't feel sorry for missionaries. They really have a lot of good friends." I can't argue with that. Here are two of my friends that I really enjoy being around: Bob Hall, a carpenter, and Brian Graham, our pilot.

A little over a week ago I set off on a trip to our village to do some translation checking with our Isnag friends there. I had a "to do" list of maintenance jobs to try to squeeze in while I was there, but Bob volunteered to come along and take care of those things so I could concentrate on the translation work. Now that is a good friend!

We got an "all clear" call from the village and took off around 8 am. It was a beautiful day for flying and I enjoyed catching up on Brian's news. He has just returned from furlough so we hadn't talked for a while.

Vicky stayed in the village to cover the radio and Robbie hiked to the airstrip to put up the wind sock and make sure everything was ready for the airplane to land.

Vicky fed us a nice lunch and in the afternoon Malana came and and started checking over some of my rough draft work.

The guys I had scheduled to help me with the taping check never showed, but Pearly and Sylvia came to my rescue and put in 12 hours helping me complete the tape check for several chapters.

Meanwhile... Bob was trying to fix things. Before he could get on the roof, a ladder had to be made out of bamboo. I had a guy make one, but he put the rungs about 3 and a half miles apart. It looked like Bob was going to have to shinny up one side until I got the worker to go back and add double the rungs.

Bob fixed weed whackers, mowers, plumbing and put gutters on one of the houses. Most of what he did I would not have been able to accomplish if he hadn't come to help. Thanks Bob!!!

For years I made the one and a half hour hike upstream to teach a group there. On Sunday, I was invited to join the two guys that have taken over this ministry. Andy and Greg are great guys and I am very encouraged to see them serving the Lord and serving the people upstream.

The guys did a great job teaching. They were using chapters I have translated. The listeners did a good job at answering the questions they asked at the end and I was reminded that even though I love teaching, what the Isnag really need is a Bible and that I need to stick to the task set before me.

When we got back to the village I heard the Bible being read in the trade language. I came around the corner of a house and found Arsali and other ladies busy pounding rice and listening to the Bible being read on a solar MP3 player which Felida Church in Vancouver, Washington had donated. Thank you! Felida! So far these players have proven to be durable and the people love to sit around listening to the Bible.

On Sunday afternoon and one other time during the week I had opportunity to teach and I really enjoyed that.

It was fun to see the village kids. I took lots of pictures, but will only post a couple.

But, I do need to post the picture of the newest Isnag. She was born while I was in the village. Her Grandpa is Andy, the older of the two guys that teach upstream.

Thursday the airplane came to start me on my homeward journey. This is the view you look at while the pilot is going through his check list prior to take off. The black streaks in the picture are all that the camera can catch of the spinning propeller.
I eventually landed at the support base. Thanks for the nice flights and landings Brian! Bronwyn, Bob's wife fed me, and Bob took me to the highway to wait for a bus. I finally got a ride. It took 1o ten hours, but I made it safely home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Palawan Trip

A few days ago Heidi and I put on our backpacks and headed for the Island of Palawan to run the children's program during a NTM field conference. Traveling here is interesting in that you often don't know exactly how your travel arangements will work out. We had purchased plane tickets, but ended up being switched to a different day. When we arrived at the airport they switched us to a different plane in a different airport.

The Steven and Ginger Jordan family picked us up when we arrived in Palawan and took us to lunch. Heidi was very happy that Jonathan Jordan warmed up to her very quickly.

When we arrived at the NTM mission center we got to work getting ready for the next day's sessions. Steve took me to town to buy some craft supplies we needed and helped me get some bird house pieces ready.

Our theme was birds and we made bird identification books. Palawan has more than 170 kinds of birds and people come from all over the world to bird watch there. Most of these kids live in rural areas where their parents are doing missionary work and so they have lots of opportunities to see birds and enjoy that part of God's creation.

Heidi had made wings for everyone, so we had several bird games.

We also made clay birds,

and bird houses.

In the end, everyone had a beautiful bird house and a lot better idea about the birds around them. Our group had 16 children ranging from infants to 10 years old. They were an international group with the United states, Canada, Faroe Islands, and Germany being represented.
We arrived home safely and Jonathan is gearing up for a translation trip next week to our village. Thanks for your prayers!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

School Year 2009 - 2010 is off to a good start

Our kids have done very well adjusting to city life, but hey are always happy be meet a friend from the jungle.

Faith Academy began its school year with a conference for the staff. The school board was asked to attend and our children were delighted because many of their friends were also attending.

Thomas with one of his friends

James and Carrie

James playing chess with a friend

Carrie and Thomas participating in a relay race

All too soon the fun and games were over. School began yesterday. Here is the First Day of School picture for 2009-2010 school year. James is a senior, Carrie and Jacob Harada are sophomores, and Thomas is in 8th grade.

Jobs with Hidden Prerequisites

We have two ministry trips planned this month so I have been trying to get our house fixed up before I leave. So far I’ve fixed three roof leaks, a wall installed, and some plumbing problems are almost fixed. It is amazing how each job seems to come with a set of hidden prerequisites. You want to put a shower head on, but discover that the valve has rusted, then discover that the wall is rotten… The 5 minute job ends up taking a lot more than 5 minutes. An example of this came last week when a Filipino friend called to say he had a flat tire on his scooter and could I bring a pump to pump it up for him.

When I found him I discovered a rather large puncture in the tire, so offered to take it down to the tire shop. Here in the Philippines there are lots of tire shops. They are little sheds along the road with a “Vulcanizing” sign out front. I found one right away and the fellow set to work. Five hours later… After a running from store to store trying to find a replacement tire and after watching a team of drunk workers trying to fix the tire by tying ropes around it and hitting the valve with a hammer until it was smashed to pieces, I left with a good tire. It was quite an experience. Next time I suspect I’ll pick a different tire shop.