Monday, February 15, 2010

Mangadang umaga (beautiful morning)!

February 8 - 14, 2010
One of Dan’s coworkers, DJ, led devotions Monday morning. We all had a good laugh over his topic title because “Distraction” sounded, with soft Filipino vowels, like “destruction” to me and Dan! So DJ exaggerated his pronunciation so we’d be sure it was “DistRACtion” he was talking about. And Faith is so sweet! She remembered that I had mentioned last week that I love popcorn, so she brought some microwave popcorn and made it for the devotion time snack!

When the meeting broke up, one of the other ladies asked for a few minutes of my time, as she wanted to talk. I was privileged to listen as she explained a problem outside of work that was affecting her personally. I asked some questions, listened, and prayed with her for a while. How cool it is to be trusted enough to be confided in - and be used by God!

Super Bowl -er- Monday Night Football...
It was tough avoiding all the reports on the outcome of the Super Bowl, but I did it! (Dan accidentally saw a headline online, but didn’t tell!) We took our veggies and ranch dressing to share at the Taylors’ home and thoroughly enjoyed watching the entire (recorded) game, sans commercials (so it only took a couple of hours instead of 4 or more!) with about 20 other football fans! Zach invited some of his buddies from school too and we all watched outside in their yard, at the base of a palm tree, under the stars - in short sleeves and sandals!! It really felt funny enjoying football and being warm, but not bundled up!

On Tuesdays, Celia often arrives before we leave for work, but today we left her a note  about the laundry and left 36 pesos for her to hire a trike to transport her and our laundry to the Kims’ home and back. Celia is great! Our laundry was all done and folded and put away when we got home!

We hurried home from work to eat a quick dinner before driving over to Faith Academy for our second Ballroom Dancing class! There was lots of review on both directions of the box-step waltz and the foxtrot, and we both were much better than last week! It was so much easier this time and we were able to enjoy working together.

Wednesday morning, Dan had a conference call scheduled with Global NYI leaders that were meeting in the US, so he was up early and on his computer in a small office room in our home. I listened to his report of all the progress in a number of world areas and was so proud of him and pleased at the spread of Bible Quizzing! We are so privileged to be able to serve God in these ways - more than we ever dreamed! So we arrived at APRC later than usual… I’m always amused at the conversations I hear around me. Mostly in Tagalog, it’s always interspersed with lots of English words (vacation, absent, timesheet, policy, important information). And since the Spanish ruled this country for several hundred years, I hear other words that I can recognize because they sound just like Spanish words I know (although I know they’re spelled differently). Kumusta, said out loud, sounds just like the Spanish “Como esta” (how are you?)
Trabaho = work, para = for, pero = but, meryenda = snack.

Thursday was a shopping day for me and Terri! I got permission to skip work because this was the only way I was going to be able to get anything for Dan for Valentine’s Day (since I don’t drive a stick shift and, even if I did, this traffic takes some special skills!). We went to Mega Mall - and it is! It’s huge and has everything you could want! We shopped and enjoyed roasted vegetable soup and Greek salads for lunch!

Friday was my (Dan's) turn to lead devotions for the combined IT workers in the compound.  Having just learned of this on Thursday, I felt lead to share the meaning of the verse that has defined our last few years, Romans 8:14-16 in the Message. "The amazing previlege we have to live in such a close relationship with God that we can approach Him with such child-like trust and excitement asking "What's next Papa".

Saturday night, there was a party scheduled in our backyard, sponsored by the Cainta Church of the Nazarene! (This is the church that sponsors the new church plant youth group that meets in our back lot every Sunday afternoon.)  The 10 rented tables and 30 chairs for the evening’s banquet arrived in the morning during an NYI council meeting in the yard… 

This week, Dan had worked on the strings of white lights that were attached under the carport awning until finally 3 strings were working! Around 4 p.m., some of the organizing committee arrived to begin set-up and decorating. The area was absolutely transformed into a fancy dinner party with red tablecloths and hanging hearts! Since it gets dark around 6 p.m., it was quite festive in a short time! More lights were strung over the tables in the yard and a sound system arrived for the guitarist and emcee and singers. We mingled and took pictures; met some new people and enjoyed talking with everyone! Food arrived from Isaw Haus by motor-tricycle; I don’t know how that guy managed 10 large round trays of food, even in a side-cart! (a neighborhood cat, thinking it smelled pretty good too, walked right in and sniffed around before it was chased out). When everything was in place, we sang worship songs of love to our God, who makes all magical evenings happen! Pastora Carol gave us a wonderful message about love and commitment.  

After the message, each table of 4 received their tray of pancit bihol with lumpia and barbecued pork (kabobs), along with a liter of punch to share. (DELICIOUS)  We also had 2 different desserts and candy! Then the games started! There were a couple of word games - making 5-letter words out of the letters in VALENTINES DAY and unscrambling Valentine-type words (like February, love, red roses, etc.). There was a game like The Newlywed Game, with 5 wives writing down answers to questions, and their husbands doing the same - hoping to match! (We got 2 of five with the winner getting 3 of 5!) I think the most fun game was when a wife was blind-folded and expected to identify her husband from a line-up of 3 husbands, just by smelling their shirts OR touching one of their hands OR their noses OR their hair (my turn, and I easily identified Dan from this one!).
This party was well-planned and so much fun!! What a blessing to be included and to spend time with so many wonderful people! As Dan was asked to do the closing prayer, he made sure to express our sincere appreciation for being included and how we enjoyed the opportunity to get to know so many of them better than we normally would.

Sunday morning, we re-joined this great group of Nazarenes in their “church”, a borrowed garage. Everyone just pitches in when they arrive, arranging chairs, podium, keyboard, computer with projector, sound system and guitar. Church starts when everything is ready! I counted at least 2 dozen in attendance not counting the children being taught outside.

Sunday afternoon, Dan had made arrangements to purchase a power supply for our Wii that would work with the electricity here. We had an address, but never would have found it without the GPS. It was actually comical 4 hours later, when we returned home, having driven through areas we’ve never seen before and almost got a ticket for “swerving!” Dan kept a friendly demeanor with the policewoman who, at first, thought Dan’s driver’s license was expired, then decided to downgrade the offense to “obstruction” (as it didn’t carry such a large fine), then dropped the whole thing altogether “because you are so nice!” What’s really funny is that you can’t drive here without swerving and constantly changing lanes to avoid whatever’s going on in front of your vehicle!! Needless to say, it was an adventure!

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