Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

Photo of the month! Daddy and Izzy. 

Valentine’s Day, pancake day and suddenly February was gone! It seems like time is traveling by very quickly these days. Life in the tribe used to be so “fluid” no two days were ever the same and there wasn’t a whole lot of routine. Then, when the church was started we had a regular Sunday meeting and that was the only “commitment” we had in the week. Now, a few years later, things have really changed and we find our week is more like that of a family at home with lots of commitments during the week and more of a schedule. Ours looks like this; Monday night is team Bible Study night, Tuesday afternoon is team business meeting, Wednesday afternoon is ladies Bible Study, Thursday night is men’s Bible Study, Sunday morning is church and Sunday afternoon is Sunday School. The time in between is used to prepare lessons for the meetings, trying to continue to build on language and culture, some medical work, maintaining and growing in our relationships in the village, discipling believers as we live life and then of course now for us loving and caring for our little family. There are also lots of times of stopping for coffee, writing emails, talking on Skype, taking photos, baking, walking on the beach and sitting on the porch staring out over the rice fields. All that to say, the weeks are zooming by and before we know it we will be back to Manila to await the birth of the next baby Brooks!! We have a lot to accomplish between now and then and we are praying that the Lord will give us wisdom for all the things that we need to get done in the next few months.

The more that we as a team take on in the next few months, the more we hope also to pass on to the believers in the church. Training and discipling is of utmost importance. We are always trying to keep the main goal in mind of a mature church that will continue to function without the necessary presence of a missionary. One day we will not be in the village anymore, and we hope that the body of believers will continue to meet together, to grow as a body and seek to be a witness and a testimony to the villages around them. For those of you who have read our latest prayer letter, you will know we are praying specifically right now for the men in the church.  For the young men to step up with a desire to be trained and to be discipled to be men after God’s own heart. We are praying that they will grow and mature in their walk with the Lord to be better husbands and fathers. That they will grow to love and obey the word of God and to honor God in all areas of their lives. Yes, we are trusting God for great things. Through this journey and while we wait on God we want to be tools in His hands for whatever His desire is for all our lives. We want to be able to say to the men and women we live with, “Follow me as I follow Christ”.

Ministry can be hard, especially when you want with all your heart to see the people you have come to serve, living their lives in total abandonment for the worship of our great God. I will be honest, there are days when I see and hear things in their lives and I feel frustrated or discouraged to see they haven’t put God first, they have held other things of more importance to the Word of God, or to their relationship with their Savior. I think why? Why not put it all aside and seek after the Living God with all your heart and soul. I can see the potential for how God could use their lives and the effect of even a few people sold out for Him could have on the whole church and community. 

Then, I look back over my own life and I see how so often God must feel this way with me. Decisions I make that are not always honoring to him, priorities of where I spend my time, and I remember His grace to me over all these years and His long suffering and His patience. I am so grateful that God never gave up on me, that He didn’t wait for me to be perfect before He led me on this journey of being a missionary. He is still teaching me so much, He is still showering me with His loving kindness and I realise that so often it is only me that is missing out by not trusting God for great things and living with my eyes firmly fixed on Hm and Him alone. 
So when I reflect back to the believers in the village. Many still new in their faith and facing giants in their lives. I am so glad that the God who cares for me and teaches me and convicts me, is the same God who will be faithful to them as they walk with Him. I pray Lord don’t change them, change us all, me included. Give us a heart that wants to honor you and worship you. Help us all to follow and seek after you, to grow in our love and our desire to know You more. Join our hearts together in you, so we are not just a group of people living out in the jungle, but we are your body with different language and different cultures, but all glorifying you and lifting your name on high. And then I sigh with relief, because it helps me remember that I am not the one responsible to change anybody or convince anyone of whom they need to serve. I am to follow, to obey to serve and to love my God and He in all His fullness and power will be the one to transform lives, starting with mine. I bring my burden to the feet of the Lord, and I leave each face and life we have come to know and love, in His gentle, sovereign and all powerful hands. Thank you Lord that this is all about YOU.

In the meantime, we minister, we love, we pray and we wait to see what God will do and who He will raise up to lead and shepherd this little flock.

Here are some of the faces of the people we are praying for and trying to encourage to step out and seek God for bigger and greater things in their lives. Will you pray with us that God will raise up men to be strong in their faith? That He will change families from the inside out and use the body of believers in the little village where we live to spread His good news to the areas around where we live. Why? Because He is so worthy. His Name is to be lifted up and praised. What an honor to be allowed to walk and talk with our precious Saviour.

Romy is  becoming a gifted teacher. We thank the Lord for him and pray that he will continue to grow in his knowledge and also love for the Word of God. We love to see him commit his life to following after God and sharing the wonderful news of the gospel in other areas.  He has a wife Leila and 4 kids. 

Joshua (Jo) is a natural leader. We pray that he will have a teachable heart and a love for his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. To be a great leader we must first learn to be a great learner. This is our prayer for Jo that God will teach Him through His Holy Spirit so he in turn can teach others also. 
Tata. A young man in his twenties with a wife Rosalin and three kids. He helps with leading the singing and we hope to see him get more involved in other areas in the future. He struggles to read and write and feels inadequate to do anything, but we know that God can use Him for great things when he makes himself available to our Mighty God. Pray for Tata to trust God over his fears of inadequacy and other people.
Austine. A new believer and one of Danny’s good friends, and husband of my good friend Lilibeth. He is well respected in the village for being a good worker and a family man. However God’s Word and his walk with the Lord are not yet priority in his life. He still holds work and providing for his family as the main priority in his life, thus missing many meetings and the chance to listen to the Word of God. We know God could use this young man to have a great impact in many lives. We pray for Austine to love the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind.
Allan is a quieter man with 6 kids. His wife is an important lady in the village. Once a heavy drinker and a terrible husband, he has shown to have a life that has been transformed by Jesus. He is a faithful and interested listener to the Word of God, we pray he will desire to be a doer of the Word also and that he will seek to be a witness for His Lord. 

Freddo has a dear wife Emma and 12 kids! Here is the younger half of the family. He has a heart for the Lord and wants to have a part in reaching out to the lost around him. Freddo is a hard worker but does not have good health. We pray that God will give Freddo the physical and spiritual strength needed to be a great blessing to those around him.
There are many others and I don’t have photos for them all. Here are some of their names. Joel, Edmund, Wanis, Biloy, Junie, Badul.

We are also very aware (and thankful for) our little ones that God has given us to love and care for. One baby due in June and the other making her presence very well known in our home.  As much as ministry and life are very busy these days we love to have time to spend together as a family. Life with Izzy is never dull and as she turned 18 months on February 25th we are watching our “baby” become a little girl. Her are a few snap shots for our family album over this past month of February.

Eating lunch out on the deck. It has been so hot in the house some days, the little breeze outside helps.
Izzy is starting to really love getting in the water and going to the beach. The ocean has been beautiful lately, so still.

25th February Izzy was 18 months old. I was nearly tempted to do a cake, but we made some cinnamon rolls instead.

We all love to eat at this place in town. We order BBQ chicken and mango shakes.  So good.

We also had a quick trip to Manila. Izzy got a few shots and a good report from her kidney scan. We praise the Lord for this.  Here she is at the airport taking it all in. So glad we have a good little traveller.

Danny had to leave us in the village one night while he drove an injured man to  the hospital. Miss izzy was very glad to see him home again this next day. So nice to be together. One of the big blessings of being a family in ministry is we get to be together 24/7!

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 
What a promise to claim and rely on as we head back into the village this week. We are confident that God is at work and He will raise His church in His time, in His way and for His Name’s sake. 
With a much lighter heart, 
Pip in Palawan. 🙂











One thought on “Being confident of this very thing……

  1. Deb says:

    I love reading about the different people in the village and it is exciting to hear how God is working.

    Like

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