When we said our goodbyes & tearfully walked away from our family, friends, & everything familiar, we boarded the airplane with high expectations & excitement as we moved halfway across the globe to a new world of jungles, islands, & oceans. Our babies were 4 and 2 years old. We experienced culture shock, a new language, and city life for the first year while we lived in the capital city of Manila to learn Tagalog. The view from our window changed from the rolling hills of a Texas ranch to the 9th floor of an apartment building in the one of the most crowded, smoggiest cities on earth. Instead of being in the majority, we suddenly stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of beautiful, dark-skinned, dark eyed people.
After a year in Manila, we packed up once again and moved to the island of Palawan which has been our home for the last 4 years. We have flown the airplane on hundreds of flights, bought cargo, flown in Bibles, visited the missionaries in the remote locations, learned the language of Tagalog, homeschooled our kids, had 3 people live with us, had lots of people over, & clung to the Lord with every ounce of our being.
One day, you feel so encouraged & the next, so defeated. There is no stability or predictability in the life we live. It is always changing.
Our kids are now 9 and 7. They have lived more than half of their lives here. We have spent almost half of our married life here.
We have changed. I will always remember what someone said to me when we were home for our furlough- "You are not the same people as when you left." I like to think and hope to think that we have changed for the better- that we have changed to look more like Christ. It is our hearts cry to be changed-to love like He does, to hate what He hates, to see like He sees.
We look forward to many more years of our missionary journey serving in the Philippines or wherever the Lord will lead. We look forward to more change (mostly) & are excited to see what all the Lord will do. We are so thankful for each of you who have been on this journey with us, by holding us up in prayer, giving to us financially, & being encouragers through the "half decade of change."