Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

Welcome Home Baby Judah!!

Coming home is a wonderful thing. Walking into the familiar sights and smells, the comfortable “homey surroundings”, relaxing in your own chair, sleeping in your own bed, it all feels so natural. Coming home to a village in the middle of the jungle is not always quite this way!  I have to admit that after 6 years of living here, it is still hard work to set up home again and with two little ones now needing lots of attention it was quite a challenging first few days before we really felt like we were home again. Lots of unpacking, cleaning, sorting and setting up.  It has also been SO hot and SO humid since we came home, no more air conditioning here, poor Judah has had a hard time going to sleep in the heat in the middle of the day. Lots of adjustments for him.

“Wake up baby brother, siesta is over.”

I noticed too that I was a bit more jumpy to little creatures running around the house than I used to be. Opening kitchen doors to put things away and having lizards fall out, has me jumping more than I remember before we left. Coming home to the jungle is a little different in that you always wonder what else has made your home, it’s home, while you have been gone. In the first week Danny killed 2 snakes under our house, one he told me was just a baby cobra (my mind thinks where is the Mama cobra and all the other babies?) I got bitten twice by a centipede while I was in Izzy’s bedroom (very painful) and we have had our fair share of various ants keeping Izzy very occupied with her ant killing skills. Coming home means getting used to lots of bugs again. I can tell I am not quite there yet. The other night Danny and I were brushing our teeth in the bathroom. He turned on his electric toothbrush and instead of just reaching for the toothpaste like a normal wife would do in a normal house….I started waving my hands all around my head and had dropped to the floor to save myself from what I was sure was a HUGE BEE! Of course Danny nearly died laughing at the dramatics, but that shows you were my mind is in regard to insects and bugs. It takes a while to adapt again, and I am getting there (killed a cockroach with my bare foot this morning!).

I could write a whole separate blog post too on what it is like to get up in the middle of the night to feed a hungry baby when your home is a house in the middle of the jungle. Getting out of my mosquito net, to then get the baby out of his mosquito net, all with a flashlight in my mouth (which is attracting all the bugs). Doing all this as quickly as possible so as not to waken Izzy whose room is next door and there is no ceiling between us (keeps things cooler). Making sure your slippers are on while doing all this in case you step on…well who knows what. Make your way out to the living room (can’t sit on bed due to the mosquito net) and feed the baby. I am hoping Judah starts sleeping through the night very soon for more reasons than just extra sleep.

Hoping he sleeps through the night soon!

So what has been familiar and comfortable and relaxing and “home”? The answer? Simply and honestly, a knowledge that we are exactly where God wants us to be, and having wonderful coworkers and precious friends living around us is an added blessing from the Lord. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than here right now.

Here are some photos from the last week or two. I am sure there will be lots more blog posts to follow in the next few weeks as we live and reacquaint ourselves with life in the village.

After a few days of supply buying, we packed the car and started the journey home.

Our House. 🙂 
Almost home.

At 11pm at night we washed all the tupperware so we could put everything away. 
Finally all the food for the next few months can be put away in the pantry.

Then the friends arrive.

This was a pretty special moment for me. For those of you who have prayed for Karen in the past, this is a great praise. She had a healthy little girl who was born just 4 days before Judah! This story could be a whole blog post on it’s own, I just don’t have the time right now. Please continue to pray for Karen. We are thrilled God has given her a little girl to love and hold after all her previous babies had died prematurely, however we were sad to hear that in the past few months she and her husband have not been to church. Now we pray that God will bring a spiritual awakening to her heart and she will desire to know God above all else.

Joel and Danny.

This last photo sums it all up. This is the reason why we make our home here in the jungle. So that others who have not had the opportunity to hear God’s Word may know the wonderful news of Salvation and glorify our Father in Heaven. The last time we were here in the village Joel shared a little in church for the first time. Over these past months he has been teaching the Word and growing in his walk with the Lord, desiring to study the Bible so he may know God more and teach others also. It was a real encouragement to listen to him as he shared his heart with us last night, telling how he wants to live for God and be a testimony to those around him.

So yet again I think I have written this post for my own benefit. The insects, the snakes the mosquito nets, the unpacking are all just small annoyances, if while living this life we can have any small part in furthering God’s Word to the uttermost parts of the earth. Our dear Lord Jesus gave the Ultimate Sacrifice of His precious blood on that cruel cross, so that the Joel’s and the Karen’s and all the world could be set free from their sin and shame. Because of Him we can live in a full and victorious relationship with our Almighty God and that puts everything into perspective. Oh that I would have a heart to endure all things (both big and small) with joy, for His dear Name’s Sake. He is worthy of it all, and so, so much more.

Seeing my home with a much more thankful heart,
Philippa from the jungle of Palawan.

Izzy has loved coming home.

One thought on “Coming Home….what it looks like when you live in the jungle.

  1. Deb says:

    Inspiring and convicting, as always! Thank you.


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