Wednesday, August 29, 2007

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Today we went for a swim at Linnmarr pool. It was my first time and Chad's second time at this place. It was nice. Not busy at all and Noah went under the water for the first time today. We were so proud of him. Jordan did too.

Things have been going well. We're still working on getting settled, but things are coming together. We finally got most of the insulation in our place. This will make a HUGE difference for us in the temperature of our home. There was nothing between our metal roof and the ceiling. It got very hot in our house. This new addition should help to lower our electricity bill.

Chad and I will be going to a church I checked out last week called "New Wineskins Fellowship". Chad was sick last week, so I took the kids out of the house to check out this church we'd passed by a few times. I was pleased to arrive to a completely Filipino church. We were the only white folks in the place. The people were very welcoming and invited us to join them for their community lunch after. I had a great time with the kids, so Chad will come this Sunday and hopefully he'll enjoy it as much as I did. One thing Chad and I are looking for is a church which is Filipino, not North American. It turns out this church I stumbled upon was founded by a Filipino pastor, who is also a missionary and presently in Indonesia doing missions work. The services are completely in Cebuano, but the speaker was very accommodating by trying to interpret in English for us too. It should be interesting to see how they respond to us this Sunday. Hopefully we will learn the language much more quickly now we may be attending a Cebuano service.

Next week will be my last week before school begins. September 7th will be when all the single students arrive, then the following Monday is when we begin orientation. I look forward to meeting the nine girls next Friday. We have all been warned by not only the directors, but also the existing students on the intensity of the program. I have heard rumor I should spend about 6hrs/day minimum on homework EVERY day. Should be fun:)

Chad is meeting a Christian musician today for coffee to try and get connected into the music scene here in Davao. Please pray this is an open door for Chad to get playing again. He's itching to play and I'm itching to hear him play again. We are so blessed by his talent and I look forward to sharing his gift with the Filipino people. We'll keep you all up-to-date on this as it unfolds.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Durian, Prenatals & Buzz Cuts

Durian. The "King of Fruits". Not the king in our books though. Last week Chad and I finally were brave enough to go to the market and buy our first durian. We invited Manny & Heather over (two avid Durian lovers I might add) to be our inspiration. For those of you who've never had it before, it has a cream cheese texture and a garlic after-taste. We were informed that we had actually bought quite a sweet one, but I couldn't bring myself to finish even one pod. The fruit surrounds a seed and a cluster of seeds grow in sections of the fruit. The closest comparison I can come to with the compartmentalization of the fruit is a pomegranate. By the time we came around to eating it we had already put the fruit outside as it was soooooo STINKY!! Another admiring trait of durian. It was a good experience we most likely won't be having again.

I was finally able to get a picture of me working during a prenatal session. The picture you see is me palpating the belly of one of our moms at the clinic. This mom was 32wks along and expecting her first baby. She was very kind to allow me to take her picture and very excited about her baby's arrival. I was able to get at this visit an indirect continuity. A continuity is when you work with a mom prenatally through to postpartum and newborn checks. Like being a doula I would be on-call for this particular mom when she goes into labour. This woman captured my heart when I was measuring her fundal height and she measured 11cm larger than her dates had indicated. She was only 11wks along according to her last period, but measured 22cm. When I went to palpate her belly I could feel a mass under her ribs, but couldn't find heart-tones. I had one of the other students work with me on her case to confirm my findings and we referred her to get an ultrasound done to see if her dates were accurate, or even if there was a viable pregnancy there. The mom went to see the ultrasound tech that day and came back later that evening with her results. The ultrasound ended up confirming there was a 12wk 2day pregnancy, but three huge masses on the top of her uterus. We prayed for healing with this mom and strongly encouraged her to visit ASAP with the Obstetrician to see what all this would mean for her. Honestly we did not expect to see her return, but a few days later I was informed that the OB said she could continue under the care of Mercy Maternity. I was so excited. Hopefully I will be seeing this mom again on Wednesday. Please keep her in your prayers and I will keep you up to date on what happens with her.

Noah got a buzz cut and he believes he looks like Buzz Lightyear. He does, doesn't he? He really likes his haircut and so does Jordan. Jordan is still sporting a 'hawk and is growing very well. Nearly 11lbs now. Considering he was only 5lbs 10oz at birth he's just trucking along. The boys are doing well and they enjoy playing together and making each other laugh. Noah is such a great big brother!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Nasuli & our New Puppy

Greetings. Chad and I had the opportunity to get away with all the married families at Newlife last week for a four day trip to Nasuli. Nasuli is an all but deserted missionary compound which was used for translators. The compound is four hours away from Davao City and it was just beautiful. All of the families stayed in one very large house and the children had a wonderful time. All 14 of them:) The compound was fully gated, so the kids could run free. There was a playground within view, a basketball court and volleyball net. There was even a fresh water spring we could all go swimming in just outside of the compound. The water was defined as "cold" by all the veteran Filipinos, but us newbies found it to be quite refreshing. This swimming spot was also the bathing spot for many of us. We did bonfires and smorse in the evening and the marrieds got to go for dinner one night and leave the kids behind thanks to our amazing helpers. It was nice not having any worries while we were there.

When we returned we were nailed with illness. One of the poor kids even came down with measles. Noah was ill with a cold and cough prior to us leaving, but then the rest of us got sick too. We've all gotten better now and are settling into a routine.

Noah began his first day of school on August 1st. He is in a program called 'Project Hope', which is one of the government funded schools. The school is located right by the Barungay office and is the school many of the upper-lower to middle class send their children. Chad and I had looked into other more expensive schools, but not one of them taught the native language Cebuano or even Tagalog. We really want to see Noah become immersed in the culture here and so far Noah loves his school. He goes for two and a half hours Monday to Friday and he is doing very well, especially with being the youngest one there. His teacher is so sweet and does very well with the children.

On August 2nd Chad and I had our four year wedding anniversary. We were both sick, but we treated ourselves to a beautiful lab puppy. Her name is Sheba and she is 3mos old. She is very well behaved and very smart. We've had two accident free days in a row and we've only had her for four. She is very content and has a gentle disposition. We are so glad she's joined our family.

Chad and I continue to settle in and learn the language here. We love the people here and really look forward to what God has in store for us. As the weeks approach for school to being I am finding myself more and more excited about our calling to serve these women for the time we're here. God is so good to us and He has exceeded our expectations for what He has in store for our lives. Please continue with your prayers for our family in all aspects of our lives.