Dear Calvary Family,
I’ve been meaning to send another update, but we’ve been running like mad! Every day seems to fly by, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already time to leave for Palawan and the pastor’s convention. We head out tomorrow morning at 4am, and Lord willing, we will meet Pastor Luke Pearson and his family at the airport in Puerto Princessa around 6:40am. Please be in prayer for the upcoming convention! I’ll be sharing about sacred worship in nine, one hour sessions, over a three and a half day period. I’ve been studying most of the day each day now for a week, and still wish I had more time to study. Not only do I know that I’ll need the Lord’s daily strength, but I’m aware that many of the examples and readings that I have to share are difficult to translate into Tagalog. So, I’ll be reading from my notes and exchanging difficult English words for simpler English words on the fly…all the while trying to keep focused on what comes next in my notes, and trying to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that I say what He wants me to say. I greatly covet your prayers for God’s enabling grace! I don’t have time to share the examples in this letter, but the enemy has been attacking in an effort to discourage and hinder my study times the last few days. Although, all it has done was to encourage me that the Lord has something that He wants to share with the pastors from Palawan, and that’s why the devil is worried. Pray for an open heaven, my voice to be used of the Lord, and for the hearers – ears to hear what the Lord has to say.
Rose of Sharon: things have been moving at a snail’s pace, and both Pastor Nelson and I have been really frustrated with the contractor and his subcontracting crew. We met a week ago with the contractor here at the church office and really pressed him to get control of the project. Between now and the end of April we have over 20 missionaries that will be passing through, and we were planning to put them up in the guest rooms at the resort, and…the project is way off schedule. I’ve been trying to visit the project every other day so that I could keep a pulse of the progress. While I was there last Thursday, one “skilled” laborer/painter spent the entire time I was there, around 2 ½ hours, sanding a single door…and he was still sanding when we left. To make matters worse, there had been hardly any progress at all on the rest of the areas of work. On the way home I decided with Pastor Nelson that we had to end the contract with the contractor and let all the trades go on Saturday. I was able to meet with the contractor on Tuesday, and let him know that we had to bring everything to a close. My main objective was to make sure it was an equitable parting because he is a Christian brother. It was a difficult thing to do, but I feel the Lord gave grace, and the brother thanked us for letting him be a part of the work till now, and agreed with us that he was not a good fit for the project.
You would hardly believe how fast things have started to move in one day’s time! A paint crew is starting tomorrow, subcontractors have been visiting all day yesterday and today and preparing bids, windows will be in by next Friday, and in anticipation of the some of the guest areas being completed we spent time yesterday and today ordering furniture that will start to arrive at the end of this week. All in all, because of the mess with the previous contractor and crew, we didn’t think we would be able to move in to our apartment until toward the middle to end of April. Now, we are planning to move in when we get back from Palawan on the 19th.
The past two weeks have been wonderful living with the Praxidios, and we have grown very close to them. It is amazing to see how much we even think alike, and we truly love them dearly. Nelson and I are always together working on something or other, and Ronda and Ellaine have enjoyed each other’s company. Ronda has made homemade banana bread, and her mom’s famous cinnamon buns…which Ellaine and the housekeeper really enjoyed watching. I even broke down and made some good old American grilled cheese one night for everyone. Emma and Paula have become like sisters, and it make both families happy to see the two of them laughing and spending time together. Whenever we head to the store for supplies, the two of them disappear, and we all know where we’ll be able to find them…at the make-up counter. Girls!…what are you going to do?! The Praxidios are feeding us amazing Filipino dishes, and of course, it’s accompanied with rice three times a day. Not sure what we’re going to do when we get home…meals won’t seem like meals without rice! There’s so much more to tell, but we’re getting up at 3am and it’s 10pm already. So, it’s off to bed…
Enjoy the few pictures…I’ll have tons more to show when we get home! I’ll try to do a nice pictorial update once we’re back from Palawan and have a little time to take a breather.
We love you all, and are so grateful for the opportunity to represent Calvary Michigan here with our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. I’ll tell you this, they pray often for you!
David, Ronda, and Emma