Friday, June 30, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ants, Smarter Than We Are?

In our home here in the Philippines you DO NOT EVER leave crumbs or dirty dishes out. Doing so invites ants and ants and more ants. We have been able to keep the ants at bay with some good ant killing gel and just being very quick to clean up after meals. Also the kids are only allowed to eat in the kitchen or in our dining room.

Then there is the microwave oven. Our toaster sits on top of the microwave. We get a little lazy and we are not as quick to clean the toaster from crumbs as we should, mainly because the ants do not seem to be interested. For a while I thought it was their fear of being fried if they happen to be in there feasting while we had a craving for some toast and jam. Now I am starting to wonder if the ants are a little smarter than we think.

I think it's the microwave oven. They simply do not go near it.

As an experiment I spilled a little pile of sugar on top of the microwave. Normally you spill sugar on the counter or floor, and ants come running. For days I watched my little sugar pile. They did not go near the sugar on the microwave. After a few other food experiments, I have determined that the ants do not go near the microwave. What do they know about the microwave that we don't?

Maybe all that talk and conspiracy theory about microwave oven technology being from aliens and causing cancer is true, and the ants know it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Yes, it's true that . . .

the Philippines is VERY hot and humid, it is not the cleanest place--especially most streets, my wife is stared at here because she is caucasian and sticks out, most bathrooms here do not have toilet paper, there are occasional power outages--sometimes daily, we are taxed with visa and immigration fees just to even stay in the country, and even though we have been here for almost two years we are still dealing with the culture shock that comes with living in a foreign country . . .

but . . .

movies here are only 60 pesos. That's about $1.

Just saw Pixar's Cars, it was great. To take the family, including popcorn and drinks, about $8.Vroom, vroom.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Can U reed dis?

Txtg on cel fons is vry populr here in da Phils, it is da cheapst way 2 comunic8. Only costs 1 piso per txt, about 2 cnts. US$, sinc U R limitd in wat U can say, most peple abrevi8 der msgs using letrs and numbrs, and shorteng words. Dis can B confusng, but U soon get da hang of it. I am sorta old skool in dat I usualy spel out da ntire word in my msgs, peple say dat takes 2 long, and abrevi8n is EZr. It can B somwat confusn 2 get a txt lyk dis, specialy when its in Ilongo, but I can usaly figur it out.

Translation of the above in English:
Texting on cell phones is very popular here in the Philippines, it is the cheapest way to communicate. It only costs 1 piso per text, about 2 cents in US money, since you are limited in what you can say, most people abbreviate their messages, using letters and numbers, and shortening words. This can be confusing, but you soon get the hang of it. I am sort of old school in that I usually spell out the entire word in my messages, people say that takes too long, and abbreviating is easier. It can be somewhat confusing to get a text like this, especially when it is in Illonggo, but I can usually figure it out.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Finally Back Home

The trip back was nice and uneventful, no delays or problems, all luggage, and yours truly, arrived at the final destination on time. Since my flight arrived in Manila at around 1:00 AM, and my flight to Iloilo was at 5:30, I did not go to a hotel and instead I had to enjoy spending the night at the Manila Domestic Airport. I hope I never have to do that again.

I am so glad to be back with my family, my favorite people.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Christ the Redeemer Missions Conference

One this first day of the conference we had an evening service conducted by the senior pastor, Daniel Williams. He is the founder of Calvary International, and a few years ago the Lord told him to step down as the president of the Calvary and start a church.

As a missionary, I have always maintained that what we do overseas is no different from ministry anywhere. If you are obedient and follow the Lord, to the Philippines to a full-time job as a police officer or an engineer, than it really does not matter much, obedience is what matters. I still feel that way. I am no different or more holy than any other Christian. Being a missionary does not afford me a higher status in the Kingdom of God. We are all called to obey, to follow the Lord. Wherever He leads, to the boardroom or to the underground church.

Here I am made to feel like a hero. I am encouraged and blessed again and again. They thank us for making the sacrifices of leaving home and the familiar, and go to the other side of the world. I am so encouraged and blessed by their regard.

While I still maintain that what we are doing now is no less or more godly than what we were doing before, I appreciate their encouragement. I know the Lord called us to the States for the time we were there. He called me to be a computer guy working at the library for the time I was there. Missions and the Philippines was simply next, the next thing for us. I still feel that way. This is not an attempt to secure my place in Heaven, that is already taken care of. This is simply next. And we will keep on doing this "next" until the next thing God tells us to do.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Lessons at Wal-Mart

I have made two trips to Wal-Mart since I have been here in the States. I went to a regular Wal-Mart and also to a Supercenter. I had forgotten how huge those places are. So many things to buy, so many choices. The Supercenter Wal-Mart is even bigger with acres of stuff. I am especially impressed with the grocery store section, piles of fruit and shelf after shelf of food, so many choices. This is yet another reminder of how the States is so blessed. So much abundance and so many choices, it is amazing.

So this is what a trip to Wal-Mart has taught me today, how blessed the United States is. Even though I spend most of the year outside of the States, I am glad that I am a citizen of this blessed nation.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Meetings

Met with Pastor Chris Hayes of Spirit Life Church in Ocala, Florida. It was a blessed time to meet with a pastor of a church that is truly missions minded. Judging from the outreaches of their church and also the travels of their senior pastor, Dr. Richard Perinchief, they have a true passion for missions. My life long friend, Jason Branch (we have known each other since we were six) and his family goes to that church. They will be visiting us in Iloilo in July. We are hoping that their trip will be a forerunning trip for the eventual coming of a team from Spirit Life. I also went to their midweek service. Pastor Chris spoke a very blessed message on life's tests.

This morning I met with Pastor Russ Rutler, we enjoyed a down home country breakfast at Bob Evans. Pastor Russ was recently in the Philippines teaching in Bible schools. We met through email and it was great to meet in person.

It is always a blessing to meet with and share stories with people who have a heart and passion for missions and the world harvest.