Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life changes a little bit

I've learned a new acronym: TIP. In the movie "Blood Diamonds," they use the phrase TIA, which means This Is Africa as an explanation for things that just don't make sense to an American mind. The same applies to TIP: This Is the Philippines. Now, some of the things don't necessarily have to do with culture or frustrations...but there are times that it just hits me in unexpected ways that I'm not living in Southern California anymore. For example:

  • Being delighted by the fireflies dancing about INSIDE my bedroom as I nod off to sleep
  • Watching my housemates' cats pounce on the 20-30 termites flying around my living room while I try to read
  • Trying to figure out how in the world to line-dry my clothes when it rains for days on end
  • Getting frustrated with local farmers using the national 2-lane highways to dry their rice, causing countless near-accidents while trying to avoid driving through their only livelihood
A missionary friend is trying to teach the locals about crop spacing by carefully spacing corn in order to yield larger crops. One local said, "Wow! Those ears are HUGE," after seeing the beautiful results. After explaining why they were so big, she just shakes her head and says, "Just imagine how many you could have gotten if you'd planted more in that space!" Sometimes you just have to laugh and say, T.I.P.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


It's time for another update...past time.

I moved out closer to the birthing home last week and have been scurrying around trying to set up a house, from buying a fridge (called a "ref" here), waste baskets, toilet paper, and the like. Though I couldn't bring myself to buy rags...too much of an oxymoron. Things are slowly coming together and it's feeling more like a home. Curtains are next.

One young gal at the clinic broke my heart. Jing* is just 21 and expecting her first. I was preparing to get a blood sample to test her hematocrit when she asks me in flawless English, "Are you from the US?" Surprised after speaking only Tagalog to her, I switched to English and said yes.
"California?" Again, yes.
"Why?" I ask.
"I used to live in Irvine*."
My jaw dropped as I stared at her. To my knowledge, we've never had a patient who has lived abroad! Turns out she was living with her father, uncle, and aunt. She got a job at Nordstroms* and was adjusting to life in the US when her uncle started making advances at her and eventually abused her. When she confronted her aunt about it, her aunt denied it and she was forced to leave the US and return here. Her family has shamed her because she failed to survive in the US and now she is staying with her new boyfriend, who is the father of her baby, barely eeking a living. So much hurt.
We had 3 Master's College girls with us during this day, 2 who are studying Biblical Counseling. I asked them to speak with Jing as they are her age and just came from California. I was so thankful for them! They were able to spend far more time with Jing than I could have.
You can bet I'll be watching for this sweet girl for her future visits. Would you pray for her?

The presentation at GCF regarding the building project went really well and I'm trusting the Lord to move in the hearts of those who heard.

To those in the USA, happy Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy the long weekend and yummy grub! :)

(*names changed for obvious reasons*)