Monthly Archives: July 2012

Last Visit into the Jungle (Celebration)

We were so touched that our friends took up a collection for a big celebration to help make the sad good-byes go a bit easier. We pooled resources and bought twenty-seven roasted chickens, two sacks of rice, a cart load of noodles and countless cans of fish! Four hundred fifty to five hundred hungry people walked away well fed and extra to take home for the evening! Praise God the Provider!

Cooking and preparation for the celebration begins early in the jungle as two sacks of rice take time to cook over a fire. We’ve always loved the Banwaon spirit of work hard and have fun.

Hope you enjoy these photos of all the activity!

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Last Visit into the Jungle (Making Memories)

God fills our lives with good, no – excellent – gifts. They are almost always about people. Well, the best of them are.

This visit into the jungle was squished between all the arrangements of leaving the beautiful country that has become our second home. It’s no joke how packed our time is before the long flight back to the USA. The countdown is on.

List-making Chris has even made lists for me! We have lists to direct us to other lists so we will hopefully not forget anything which might cause our friends here trouble after we leave. We so want to depart with nothing for them to clean up after us. Lord willing, we will finish all our tasks. We appreciate your prayers with us on that!

Here are just a few snapshots of the memories He gave us among our Banwaon Family and Friends.

Part two:

Visits and around the village:

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Last Visit into the Jungle (Getting There)

God blessed our last visit into the jungle with memories, laughter and a flood of tears.

We spent some of our time making final decisions and totally clearing out the house but the best time spent was visiting and enjoying our family and friends there.

Before the meal, we gathered with some of our closest friends in the meeting-house. Thankfully, our partner Albert Castelijn was there to help us are our deepest expression of thanks and love in their language. We shared that just like God instructed us to ready ourselves to leave home and dear family in the USA to come live among the Banwaon, we continue to follow Him where ever He leads. They replied that even though they will miss us terribly the only right way to live is in obedience to God, our Father. They touched our hearts deeply as they added that we might be separated here on this earth but because of God we can look forward to eternity when we have ONE HOUSE in heaven.

During the Pogsalamat (thanksgiving) celebration twenty-seven chickens, one hundred kilo (220 lbs.) of rice, seventeen kilo (37 1/2 lbs.) of noodles (uncooked) and uncounted cans of fish fed hundreds of people (450 – 500!). God is so good. We shared before that this is a month in their ‘hungry season’ before fall harvest so it was especially nice to see folk that were thinner since our last visit enjoy food and laugh with us one last time before our trip for home assignment.

“Difficult” is not adequate to describe our tearful good-byes. “Heart-wrenching” isn’t either! We eternally thank God for allowing us to be a part of the work He is doing there. We thank Him for each of you that helped us do it. We will always feel family-connected to these people and promised to do all we can to come back and visit.
This is part one of our time there. We took hundreds of photos. Check them out below and in following posts.

Getting There:

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All Choked Up

Difficult goodbyes in the Village

We are heading into the village for our last time before home assignment. It’s even hard to type. We found it difficult to think about and dreaded it for months. Our throats close up and tears spring into our eyes before we attempt to control them.

Our partner, Albert Castelijn, flew into the village today to prepare for their family’s arrival. They’ve just returned after almost three years of extended home assignment in Australia getting their oldest children settled into advanced education. We began preparing for our visit.

Oh how we can learn from our dear brothers and sisters in the jungle!

We were full on working our plan for the flight when both of our computers loudly squawked that we had incoming messages at the exact same time. Chris was out in town so I ran from his computer to mine trying to quiet the noise. It was Albert. He was sending out a message that our friends took up a collection for a Pogsalamat (Thanksgiving) with us before we leave!

The news stunned us and then sent us into a flurry of activity. Suddenly we had to shop and weigh and pack everything they ordered (and then some) for a big celebration. We were on full tilt! All the plans for our original flight changed and another flight added. Chickens needed to be purchased – FAST. A lot of chickens. Chris heaved heavy sacks of rice into the truck to go in the plane with us. All those carefully laid plans quickly brushed aside for a time of joy and thanksgiving with our beloved families in the jungle!

It is overwhelming. This is a difficult time of the year for them yet it was on their hearts to give and celebrate with us. July is in their ‘hungry time’ before harvest in September. Food and funds are at an all time low during these months before harvest. Their expression of love literally fills us up to overflowing.

This is one of the most wonderful things we love about the Philippine people! A big celebration at the last minute? NO PROBLEM!

It was just what we needed to put a smile on our faces. Saying “good-bye” is the most difficult thing for missionaries to do. It seems we are always saying it to family and loved ones and feeling our hearts rend with each loss.

Please pray for us. We know it will be in heaven before we next greet some of these brothers and sisters of the Philippine rainforest. Pray that we are able to express how much they mean to us and how we carry each of them in our hearts no matter where we might live on this earth.

Praise the Lord with us as we trust Him to fill in the gaps, heart to heart, what we cannot express in words.

Marking Our Calendar

Marking Our Calendar

SPECIAL NOTE: This post kept slipping further down the archive so we added a PAGE TAB named USA DATEBOOK that will take you instantly to our calendar. Please check this Page Tab on top of our blog for our most updated schedule. Thank you!!

Home assignment (aka furlough) is rapidly approaching and the calendar is starting to take on a frayed edge as we mark our time in the USA a year in advance!

We appreciate your willingness to look into your schedules and book some time for us to share at your Meeting, Sunday School, Youth Group, Awana, Children’s Classes, Home Bible Study Group, Bible Camp; you name it!

We will update this post from time to time as the dates fill in.

As we plan now:



Arrival back to the USA visiting family, attending medical needs, and house set up


23 LongCreek Memorial Baptist Church, Dallas, NC

24 – 28  Radford, VA


3 – 20 Piedmont area of NC

20 – 24  Riverview Baptist Church, Mission Conference, Pembroke, VA


Radford, VA and surrounding area



16 – 30  Calvary Baptist Church, Radford, VA

20  Ladies Prayer Breakfast, Calvary Baptist Church

23  Awana 5th-6th Grade Girls, Calvary Baptist Church


Calvary Baptist Prayer Breakfast, Radford, VA

17  Johnston Chapel, Princeton, WV


6 – 9  Dallas, NC

23 – 26  Virginia Coastal area



24 – 30  Richmond, VA


10 – 13  Chesapeake, VA

30  Central United Methodist Church, Radford, VA



20 – 24  eastern area of VA

September – October

Traveling through Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon, California, Washington and all the States in between – hoping for some scheduled time with those of you out there!

October or November

Jerome Prairie Bible Church, Grants Pass, OR

June Memories

Izzy and Lola

June is passed!

Our month whizzed by simultaneously on two islands!

I was in Manila waiting with the Brooks for Isabella’s baby brother, a missionary family with heart-ties way back from training days in the UK.

Once again, God allowed me the great privilege to being Lola (grandmom) as part of my ministry. Chris dealt with ministry traveling all over the island of Mindanao then joining us in Manila for one week after baby Judah settled into the family.

Enjoy these pictures while I work on a post of our Home Assignment Schedule! We are getting so excited as the weeks march by and the departure is rapidly approaching!

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