I have to say I like having a blog. I like having a place to write down my thoughts and record the adventures of our lives as tribal missionaries. I wish I had time to write things more regularly, but on my list of to do things, this blog gets lost under a list of…”order medicines from Manila”, “bake loaves of banana bread to use up the 10 bunches of bananas given to us in one week” and “bring powder and soap to the new mom who just had a baby”. My list is ever changing as life out here in the jungle is not so regimented and every day is different. The people and the needs that cross our door are all so different too, sometimes serious, sometimes comical, sometimes heart warming and sometimes honestly overwhelming. I find myself often going through a huge range of emotions in one day, worried about the baby I just gave antibiotics too, hoping they will take effect soon to deal with that terrible cough. Nervous each Wednesday as I teach the ladies from the Word of God in a second (and very difficult!) language. Excited when I know the plane is arriving with supplies for the next month, and on and on it goes. Each morning as I waken I wonder, “what will today hold”, and each morning I ask God for grace and wisdom to deal with the things and the people that He will bring across my path. I am constantly depending on the Lord for His guidance and His wisdom and His strength. I will be the first to tell you, that I on my own cannot handle this type of life. I am not adventurous, I like routine and, “safe places”, but as someone once said, “The safest place to be, is in the center of God’s will’. So here I am, in a tribe, in the jungle of the Philippines on the island of Palawan, and feeling right at home. God has been so good to me, to allow me to have this, “type of life”.
In saying that, even though we know that this is exactly where God has us, doesn’t mean that sometimes we don’t miss our other homes too. I am pretty sure a little bit of homesickness hit us this week. It happens sometimes, when for no apparent reason, and on no “special day” suddenly I miss the little things from home. Driving in a car, going out with my mum for a coffee and wearing socks to name a few. Since my other home is also in California I have “cravings” for there too. In-n-out burger’s grilled cheese sandwich and french fries, going to Target and having a coffee in my cart, and of course getting to hug and see our family especially on Sundays at church. So it didn’t surprise me at all the other day when Danny suggested that we make peanut butter balls. You see, Danny’s family have been making these every year (at Christmas time) since before I joined the family, which is now over 10 years ago. Peanut butter balls are more than just a mixture of butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter, graham crackers, chocolate and paraffin wax. Peanut butter balls were to us this week, a little bit of home. We had fun making them together, sharing family stories and traditions and talking about things we would like to carry on in our multi-cultural family. We were only able to eat a few after they had set in the freezer as they are so rich, but it was worth it to have made a big batch of 74 pieces, yes, I did count them from the sheer joy at seeing them all lined up. 🙂 They are in a big bag in the freezer and we have enjoyed one or two each day with our cup of coffee. Our friends from the village that have dropped by have loved them too. It is a little thing, but it made us remember that even though home is far away, we can always bring a little of it here with us, to our home in the jungle, and that can be important.
However after 7 years now on the mission field, I can testify that there is nothing from home that truly can cure these lonesome days. We are ambassadors for Christ, “This world is not our home, we are just passing through.” With our eyes set on eternity, and the love of Christ in our hearts, He is our “safe place”, Jesus is our rock, and when our hearts waver from the goal that is set before us, it is only the Lord who can lift our spirits and encourage our hearts. He is our constant companion, who will never leave us or forsake us, and He alone is worthy of every sacrifice we give with our lives. He made the ultimate one for me, and I am forever grateful.
|New traditions. Walking on the beautiful beach where we live.|
|Making “kitty” pancakes for our little izzy.|