Monday, February 28, 2011

Care Packs

Due to request, I have added a care packages tab. I really am amazed at how much I can get over here! Just today I bought some colby jack and feta cheese. I NEVER used to be able to get this goodness here. Tacos for dinner! :)

So if you're interested in care packages, see the tab above.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Second Impression

First impressions of moving to Manila are pretty typical: it's crowded, noisy, smoggy (puts LA smog to shame!), at times smelly, dirty, and busy. However, it's also a great place to be, don't get me wrong! People are always ready with a smile, a helping hand, and suggestion for the best route to get somewhere.

My second impression was a sore shoulder. My purse is so much more heavy here! I pulled everything out of my purse to try to figure out what on earth was making it so heavy. It's shocking how much I took for granted in the US, such as clean bathrooms, TP, and seat covers!

Purse contents in the US:
- wallet
- phone
- lip gloss
- hand sanitizer
- pens
- old receipts
- gum wrappers

Purse contents in Manila:- wallet
- phone
-lip balm with SPF
- hand sanitizer
- toilet paper
- toilet seat covers
- wet wipes
- Epipen (shrimp allergy)
- face powder (to matte the sweat)
- gum
- purse hook (keep bag off dirty ground)
- camera
- granola bar
- pens

In other news, this week was full as I got my Philippine driver's license, opened a local bank account, converted my cellphone to a local company, all in addition to spending 3 days this week out in the countryside for new missionary orientation. It was an interesting mix as all of us (one other married couple and me) are missionary kids. The personnel director was wonderfully wise and spent less time on the nitty gritty stuff like policy and procedure and more time on practical advice. We had 6 other missionaries come share their testimony and 5 tips, such as staying humble, setting boundaries, expecting new job descriptions/responsibilities, and so on. Very enlightening and much more helpful than P&P!

I'd love your prayers this week as I contact the medical professionals who have offered to help me learn more about perinatal nursing. One great need is for someone who knows how to do an ultrasound. There is a machine that could be available, but there's no one to perform the ultrasounds. I would love to become certified, so that's a big prayer request!

It's been a BUSY start so far and it's just bound to get busier. Thanks for taking this journey with me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

made it safe and sound

It's 2:04am and my body is ready to be horizontal instead of cramped in a little seat!

As always, thanks for your prayers! I'm really and truly here!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blast off!

All overweight bags checked with no fees? Check. Guitar strapped to my back? Check. Ridiculously heavy laptop tote? Check. Heart ready? Getting there.

Thanks for all the love, prayers, encouragement, blessings, and joy. It's finally time to spread those wings and fly!

I'll be writing again from the other side of the world. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A good reminder

Two dear friends took me to Disneyland today for a final farewell and to build some lasting memories. While we were there, I got to do something I can't remember doing (though I'm sure I did as a kid)...see Great Moments for Mr. Lincoln. A wonderfully patriotic and God-glorifying presentation. During the following quote from Mr. Lincoln, I started to get choked up as I realized these words were so very true for me.

"I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming. I know His hand is in it. If He has a place, work for me, and I think He has; I believe I'm ready. I have nothing, but truth is everything. And with God's help, I shall not fail."

It is true. God has work for me and I believe I am ready. I really have nothing but Him to accomplish what He has set before me. And with God's help, along your prayers and encouragement, I shall not fail.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Where is the Love?

Today was a very special day as I was commissioned by Family Heritage Church in La Quinta, CA. At the end of a "loving" service, I was handed a gift bag FULL of cards written by all the kids in the Sunday School classes as well as cards from many of the adults in the church. It was hilarious reading the wonderful cards by the kids, especially! I was told to minister well in Brazil, was addressed as Mr. Ellis, and most every kid spelled the Philippines as "Phillippians." I love the latter as it shows the kids know their Bible! I had the reverse problem as a kid and kept spelling the epistle like the country. :)Yesterday, my dear friends threw a fabulous going-away party for me. So, where is the love? It is bursting, overflowing from my heart. I am so grateful and amazed at the incredible love and support everyone is showing me. Seriously, any doubts or questioning of God's timing in this new journey can be fully laid to rest! He has provided for me over and over. From 100% monthly support, a vehicle and housing in Manila, a buyer for my car here, and providing incredible learning opportunities when I first arrive, God has showed me over and over that He is truly taking care of ALL of my needs. Even my need for love and encouragement. I am saving most of the cards I have gotten so far to open once I am there. When I'm having a down or "blah" day, I will open a card and remember the dear love and support of all of you back here.

Thank you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Proud of my kuya

This week was especially sweet for me as I watched my kuya (Tagalog for oldest brother) fulfill a lifelong law enforcement dream by becoming a US Border Patrol agent. I drove out to New Mexico (location of Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) with my aunt and uncle and am now sitting on the (very late!) train waiting to get back to LA.

Here's a picture of him in his pickle suit.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

So many changes!

It's been a long week but in good ways. And it's only 8:12 on a Saturday night and I'm ready to crawl into bed and get up close and personal with my pillow for the next 8 hours... So instead of being wordy, here's a SHORT update while my eyes are still open. :)

~ First of all, and this is a BIG ONE, I'm at 100% of my monthly support!!! Praise God for His incredible provision that is nothing short of miraculous!

~ Sunday First Baptist Church of Lakewood prayed for me, sort of another commissioning service. One can never be prayed for too much!

~ Tuesday was my last day at work. I had to turn in my ID badge in order to get my last paycheck. So final. I had a wonderful day and was reminded yet again of the wonderful friends I have made and how much I'm going to miss it. ----> The ortho gang

~ Wednesday was dinner with one of the missionaries I support financially and prayerfully. I loved seeing what they are doing and reconnect as friends...look forward to doing that with my own supporters in the future.

~ Thursday & Friday was a 16 hour drive towards the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. My aunt, uncle and I are here to watch my oldest brother graduate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. To say I'm proud of him is an understatement!!!

~ Saturday, today, we drove down to Carlsbad Caverns, a gorgeous cave system in southern NM. (See pictures below)

The next two weeks are going to pass by in a whirlwind of activity and goodbyes. I hate goodbyes...I haven't had to really say them for 10 years and I've forgotten just how much they hurt. But like I've said before, I'm thankful for the pain because it reminds me just how very blessed I am to love and be loved so deeply.

Thanks for your prayers and enjoy a couple of pictures!

Sitting at the entrance of the cave before an 800ft descent down a mile long winding road

Amazing rock formations

Spending time with my brother in New Mexico before heading across the world