Well, we have a treat for you today. For the first time in the history of this journal, we have a guest blogger; nay, we have two guest bloggers. They say that you never get a second chance at a first impression. It has been 15 months since we arrived and shared our first impressions of the Philippines with you, so Bethany and I thought it would be fun if a fresh perspective was presented on these pages. So without further ado, I give you Jim and Connie's first impressions of the place we call home, complete with pictures from Connie's camera.
Connie-Small seats on the plane, small cars, small tri-c-cabs (weird little carts motored by a small motorcycle) and small people, but friendly and happy-to-oblige people. Seems Jim and I must be unusual because we get stared at everywhere we go. I’m not sure if it’s because we are white, big and totally clueless, but I think so. The best, smallest thing we’ve encountered here, however, has been a certain little redhead named Promise. She doesn’t care what we look like. She accepts me just like I am, as long as I have that bottle with momma’s milk ready. Promise Grace is adorable and it will be so hard to leave her behind when it’s time to go. It will be hard to leave Bethany and Tim too, but at least I have a better understanding now of what they are all about and how important it is that they do it. There is such a need for clean water here and the poor are in desperate need, too. On Monday, I had the privilege of joining Bethany in class at the clinic. Meeting all the students and instructors was really great. They all seem to be such caring women who really want to do a good job, and are. Of course, I am especially proud of Bethany and her special way with the Filipina women. I can tell they really respect and appreciate her.
For you regular blog readers, you probably saw the pictures of the children hanging on Jim at church on Sunday. Jim has always been a kid-magnet, but this was ridiculous! We had a great time experiencing worship with these very expressive and open people. I love how uninhibited they are to express their gratitude and love to God. Very humbling. We have so much in America and complain so often when things aren’t just the way we want. I felt ashamed of myself and asked God to remind me when I get home to be more grateful and content with the blessings He’s lavished on me.
I am looking forward to going with Tim on Saturday to deliver a water system to a family in the mountains. I will be able to see up-close and personal the process from beginning to end and maybe, Lord willing, be a blessing to someone in this part of the world. That’s my prayer.
Jim-Greetings from the other side of the world! Connie and I are really enjoying our brand new grand-daughter Promise Grace. Her parents are nice, too. Tim and Bethany are doing an awesome job here. Yesterday I visited the water filter production operation. Toti is doing a super job producing filters and building the facility at the same time. I am amazed at how hard he and his employees work to keep up with the need for more water filters. Tim is an excellent manager and visionary.
Sunday we visited Tim and Bethany’s church where Tim led worship and Bethany was a big hit with her first visit with Promise. I love the people here. They are so friendly and welcoming. As Tim drives through the city, I am alarmed at the fast pace and harrowing driving skills of these people! Horns are the most important part of the vehicle and are used frequently. After being a passenger for a number of days, the only thing I should have remembered to bring was a package of Depends! I have not gotten used to money differences yet. Paying over a thousand (peso’s) for anything raises my blood pressure. There are so many reasons why Tim and Bethany are such a great team and why Impact Nations is such a vital part of their life. The needs here are so great but the opportunities for ministry are everywhere.