So I'm told that I should tell you about all the stuff that has been happening in my life since I last wrote to you in April. Google might not have that much data storage available, so I'll just give you the Readers Digest condensed version.
April 16: Flew to Manila and met Dad. Flew to Dipolog with Dad.
April 16-18: Spent three days in Dipolog with Dad, teaching pastors, mostly about healing the sick and cool stuff like that. Had a great time spending time with my Father. While preaching on the 17th, I spent a few minutes talking about saying "yes" to God every morning, even when we don't know what we are saying yes to.
April 18: Woke up and said "yes" to God's will for me that day. Oops. No, I take that back. Not oops. I'm glad I said "yes", but my response might have been different if I'd known what He had in store for me. I thought we were spending the day chilling out, flying to Manila and spending the evening having a nice meal and watching a movie. We were due to fly from Manila to Butuan the next day. Things didn't quite go as planned. I'll give you a quick run down of that fateful Friday:
- At breakfast our host asks me when I want to do the baptism. "Baptism?" I ask smiling, all the while thinking, I've never done a baptism. How do you do a baptism? What is he talking about? I didn't sign up to do a baptism. Why is he looking at me instead of my old man? Dad's the pastor, not me. I don't do baptisms.
- Baptized four young ladies. Nobody drowned. Now I do baptisms.
- Dad and I are taken to see the "poorest among the poor." They live a little out of the way. Specifically, they live on the wrong side of a river without a bridge. No problem, that's what bamboo rafts are for.
- Two bamboo raft rides, a couple of short hikes, one brief interview on the water situation, and two glasses of fresh buko juice later, we are in the car rushing back to town suddenly aware that we are due to fly to Manila very soon.
- Arrive back at the house to grab our bags, only to discover that our host has made lunch for us.
- Eat a very fast lunch while our host assures us that we have plenty of time and the airport is so small that we could arrive very late and still get on the plane without trouble.
- Check-in desk is closed. A sign states their policy that passengers must check in no later than 45 minutes before the scheduled flight time.
- I nearly get into a fist fight with a very rude airline employee who I'm pretty sure just sold our seats to somebody else for cash.
- Avoided violence and subsequent jail time, but we're not getting on the plane. Next plane doesn't leave for another 24 hours.
- Decide to take a bus across Mindanao to Butuan.
- Arrive at bus depot. The bus just left.
- Our host asks his driver to catch up to the bus. Nut job driver is very obedient. Seatbelts are good, and now I know why they put those handles above the door in the interior of a car.
- After a half hour of successive near death experiences, we catch up with the bus. Non aircon.
- 4 buses, 18 thousand blasts of the horn, one ferry boat, and 14 hours later, we arrive in Butuan.
- Can't find a taxi at the bus depot. Of course not, it's 4am.
- Somehow manage to fit two big white men and their luggage onto a tri-c-cab.
- Stumble into Mom's hotel room at around 4:30am.
April 19: We joined the Impact Nations Journey of Compassion. Dad taught more pastors, while I went to the medical clinic and watched the dentist pull teeth. I didn't throw up, which surprised me a little.
April 20-23: The rest of our days in Butuan were spent much the same way, though on Sunday I preached at a church, and on Monday I had an incredible time presenting the water filter project to about 25 very interested leaders.
April 24: Arrived back home, though I nearly missed my connecting flight in Manila which most certainly would have led to violence. I was pretty eager to see my wife. My time in Butuan was amazing. I made lots of new connections that will be very important to the water project. I had an awesome time with my parents and the rest of our Impact family, though my roommate's 4am daily wake-up call was mildly irksome.
April 28-May 3: Last week was a rather busy time. Bethany and I hosted our new friend Adam. He was here to get training on the water filter stuff so that he can go and train others around the world. We had an awesome time in the mountains last Wednesday. My friend Murly and I tag-teamed a hygiene/clean water presentation, then took 15 orders for water filters. We delivered those filters this week, and we've already had a bunch more orders for next week. In fact, by the end of next week, we will have 40 filters in that region, and a total of more than 65 filters throughout Davao. By my estimation, we have already provided clean water for nearly 1000 people!
May 5-May 10: This week has been incredibly busy too. On Tuesday I went with Toti for a bit of a 4x4 trip to a village called San Miguel. We spoke to them about water filters and I'm sure that we will be doing lots of work in that area. On Thursday I was the guest speaker at the local Rotary Club. It was an excellent opportunity and I made some very good connections. In fact, one of the Rotarians wants to take me to meet the Governor. Yesterday, Toti and I traveled to a place called Santo Thomas. We installed a filter at the Barangay Captain's house. It was a bit of a gong show (I nearly broke their filter, and Toti left some of the tools at another house), but I think the man was very interested in what we're doing. We'll be going back to investigate further in a couple weeks.
Wow, that was long and probably not very interesting. If you've read this far, I'm afraid you are probably in need of something better to do with your time. I assure you, my month has been far more exciting than I just made it sound. But Bethany told me that all y'all wanted to know about what I've been up to. Now you know. I'll try to update you more often now, so that you don't have to put up with another ridiculous opus in the future. I'll leave you with a bunch of photos that may or may not have much to do with this particular ridiculous opus. I'm sure you will particularly enjoy the "Hippybomb" photo of me in the yellow shirt (that's not my shirt!).