Has it really only been two weeks? It feels like I've been here for two months already!
This week my jetlag finally caught up with me as I struggled with exhaustion and multiple rounds of discouragement. As easy as last week was is as difficult as this week has been. That's not to say that this week hasn't been productive or had it's high points, though. Excellent progress has been made towards more training and learning opportunities!
Prayers are definitely needed though. Most of it boils down to my visa situation. Without going into too much detail, I was mistakenly given a returning Filipino visa that is reserved for those with Filipino blood. This is not the first time I've been given this visa as I speak the language and my passport clearly states I was born in the Philippines. It's a natural assumption, I guess. Anyways, because of that, I need to go down to immigrations and get that amended so that the integrity of my mission, our representing Filipino council, and me is all upheld. Raising the bar, so to speak. It would be easy to let it slide and just take that stance of, "well, it was their mistake, so it's not my fault..." But just as my mom accidentally was not charged for an item she was buying and had to make that right, so do I have to make things right with my visa.
This leads to another issue of certifying documents from the US that they are real and true...which needs to be done in the US according to what I can tell. I need these documents in order to prove that I am a missionary and not a business person trying to operate on a non-profit visa. A Filipino-American friend knows of someone in immigrations who may be able to help me. Please pray that we can get all these issues resolved and figure out the best, legal way to get a missionary visa with the least amount of stress and frustration. And pray that my attitude would remain above reproach...that's always tricky when I'm tired, hot, and most likely waiting in uncomfortable chairs. :) I'm clinging to this verse: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" (Ps 19:14).
As far as happier news, I've met with three doctors over the last two days. All three are wonderful and have gone above and beyond with finding additional learning opportunities. I also spoke with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (ie breastfeeding expert) who is more than happy to work with me and train me. What an answer to prayer! Thank you, Lord!!
Lastly, the self-portrait above was taken on a pedestrian overpass on a busy highway. (Edsa for those familiar with the Manila). Incidentally, just to the right of the picture is the hospital where I was born! And no, I'm not THAT white! The flash went off and the picture is weirdly overexposed.