Thursday, May 11, 2006

So many have asked us about what life is like in the Philippines, that I decided to start this blog and to share our first hand experiences. It is my hope that the blog will keep us fresh in your minds and prayers, and who knows, maybe inspire someone else to go to a foreign field to preach the gospel.

In the beginning....

This is from our first trip to the Philippines...
Thank you all for your prayers during our recent trip to the Philippines. The trip was, as we hoped it would be, heart stirring. We spent about 15 days total between two islands. We flew from Seattle, about 10 hours, into Narita airport (Tokyo, Japan) and walked and gawked at all the gewgaws in the duty free shops. My mental money exchange figured that a new digital camera was only 70 dollars! I marked it down to check it again on the way back and perhaps buy another. My wife was hungry, and so I bought her some food at the Japanese food joint. I literally didn't know what it was that I was buying her, little dumplings called gyozas, that didn't look too intimidating, they ended up being filled with pork and didn't agree with her taste much, but her hunger overcame any objections.

We, (there was another minister that traveled with us) boarded the plain to Manila and made the almost 5 hour final leg with a building excitement to get there. I had studied, Tagalog, the national language, for several weeks and looked forward to wowing someone with my limited "Hello, How are you? How much is this? Where is the bathroom?" vocabulary. I admit that is was a bit intimidating, arriving among hundreds of travelers, mostly Philippinos not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into. One advantage I found was being 6'1", and able to look over the crowd of shorter locals!

The airport was anything but modern. There were only a few baggage carousels, huge ovals with discerning mechanisms that put all the American's baggage at the end of the group, at least it seemed so. We exchanged some dollars for pesos (one dollar gets you about 55 pesos) and walked out of the airport. Once you exit the first area, you cross the street and go through a gate where we had pre-arranged to meet our ride for the 2 hour drive to Angeles city. Behind that gate were hundreds of people, (there was a small fee to enter into the airport area) The only problem was, our ride was not where he was supposed to be! I had brought my cell phone with me and turned on international service in case of an emergency, and it now came in handy. After some technical hurdles in figuring our how to dial to the states, I got the number of the cell phone of the man that was to pick us up. After another couple of tries, I figured out how to dial within the country and soon had our man on the line. He happened to be looking for us in a different part of the airport.

They had hired a local van driver, accompanied by one of the local ministers, to come and pick us up. We piled into the van and had our first of many combat driving experiences. Lanes, are only suggestions, and get-ahead-of-the-other-guy-no-matter-what is the law of the road. I think God had the angels busy escorting us there safely. More to come....


Anonymous said...

Hello! It's Angie, John should be on later today! We are praying for you. It is a beautiful site and sight what you're doing.

Some time it's easy to overlook the beauty of people, just people. And eager to learn people at that.

Take Care, Keep in touch!
Angie & Maggie

David and Christine Devonshire said...