We left the Philippines with greater confidence than we did five years ago. We brought our thicker coats for the airport and the hotel and medicines for any possible illness. We set our cell phones to "roam" so as to maintain communication with folks in the Philippines. We brought food for snacks in case we got hungry at the airport terminal. All of these were in preparation for possible problems which we may encounter during our stay away from home to a place we can't call our own.
The Lord had other plans. And He went beyond our expectations. He prepared the people, the places and the provisions for our every need. He carried us from here to there and back!
At the Directors Conference, we were given blue Luke Society jackets. Pretty, cozy and light to carry, it was what we longed for. Those jackets served their purpose for the whole time that we were in the States.
For twenty-four hours we waited for our cell phone to be activated, but it failed. At the Philippine airport a guy sold us a phone card, which we bought after a lot of thinking. That helped us through the whole week in the conference. When we reached my cousin's home in Roscoe, she readily lent her personal cell phone for our use during our whole stay in USA. She gave us phone cards too. At the home of our American partners (PMT), we were given the freedom to use their home phone. Home and loved ones were just a call away.
American food was tasteless to us 5 years ago. But to our surprise, we were eating their food with a lot more appetite. We never went hungry at the airports, on the plane, at the conference, in any home, anywhere! Food was plenty and delicious. Where we stayed with Filipino relatives and close friends, we tasted homemade Filipino food. Some were familiar, some were new. We were overfed, so we grew sideways. Ben was sure to maintain his anti-cholesterol medications.
Before we left Philippines, we worried about Ben's chronic sinusitis, which gives him headaches, bloody noses and fever. But American weather stopped the reactions. He was breathing so well and the obstructive complaints were gone. No toothaches this time, no allergies, no diarrhea, no respiratory infection, no malaria. Our bag of medicines from the Philippines weighed the same till we came back home.
We came home after a month, full of memories. By the grace of God, we received His bountiful gifts. We had priceless moments with friends (old and new), relatives and loved ones. We received love and care from American partners in the ministry, prayer warriors and Filipino people. We had items for our travel and communication, items for spiritual growth, items for the clinic and hospital, items for our kids, items for our staff, friends, family and loved ones and items for ourselves.
We look behind us with gratefulness in our hearts. To the Lord of Lords, the King of the universe, the Master of the nations, the Shepherd of love, the Author and Finisher of our faith, our Father, our Lover, our Savior, our Redeemer, our faithful Friend.