63 days ago…
We were sitting in our village home, finishing up homeschooling and getting a lesson prepared for the upcoming Sunday service, when all of a sudden we were yanked out of our reality and placed in an uncertain situation. Confused, anxious, and at a stand still, God began to plant a new idea on our hearts. We prayed for confirmation on many things and slowly He showed us that He has something different for this new year. Which brings us to today!
With thumbs-up from leadership, we found an apartment, got plugged into a local church, and will be starting a new ministry in town with our mission. This program is called “E2” (Equipping Phase 2) and we will be involved in helping out the new folks in town as they learn language, culture, and how to navigate life in the Philippines. We are very excited to be a part of this work. Our personal experience through this time has shown us just how critical it is to have a healthy support system as you get integrated into this new life. We pray that we can be a helpful encouragement to the new missionaries here so their hearts can be strengthened for the great task ahead.
I know you might be wondering, “So, are you not going to be serving in the village anymore?” Let me tell you something I didn’t know about missionaries until I became one. We wear many “hats” or roles. Our new “hat” is exciting and pretty, but our old and faithful “hat” won’t be tossed in the trash. We plan on still serving the Isnag people as best we can from afar. This looks like working on Bible curriculum for the church and having key men from the village come out to town to work with David one-on-one. He’ll be doing comprehension checks, mini workshops on lesson writing, and simply enjoying time with friends.
We’ve committed to serving for the next 6-8 months out in town to help with the E2 program but after that we are open to returning back to the village, if we are allowed. There are still many unknowns for this time but we are grateful to have an opportunity to serve our fellow missionaries and to be a part of the community here in Tuguegarao.
Practically speaking, starting at square one is never easy. We scoured apartments all around town to find something that could fit our family. Also, it needed to be close to where the new folks are living, and didn’t require an arm and a leg to fix up. As we stepped into the place we chose, we were happy to see that there were only a minimal amount of things that needed to be fixed. We have to buy new bathroom fixtures (new because there was literally only a toilet bowl and a water spout), a water tank system to be able to get steady water up to our 3rd floor apartment, furniture, and appliances. We are also hoping to upgrade our current transportation situation and buy our first vehicle. We didn’t see the need before since we were only in town for a short time, but with a more long term setup happening and our family outgrowing our tricycle, it’s necessary to have a car.
If the Spirit leads, would you consider giving a special gift to help us in these areas? We are always grateful for your continued prayer and financial support and we are confident that the Lord will provide for our needs.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update! Life has been pretty crazy lately but we are so glad that you are walking alongside us through it. You’re a blessing!
-David and Vanessa