I'm writing this on my phone—I can't figure out a way to transfer the text from my phone, so I'll type it up later—because it is the only computing device available to me at the moment. Promise has a slight fever, so all she wants to do this morning is cuddle on the bed with Mom and Dad while watching "Backpack" (Dora).
The three of us have been sharing Bethany's old MacBook since my computer went to be with Jesus a couple weeks ago. It's been a challenge, but Bethany has been so gracious to let me use it for work for several hours each day. I'm grateful for the computer that we have, but I'd be lying if I told you that it is meeting my needs.
The reality is that most of my documents won't even open on Bethany's computer because it does not have the necessary software or the processing power needed to run such applications smoothly. I tried swapping her hard drive out for the big one that once resided in my computer (changing a hard drive while balancing a toddler on your lap should be a televised sport), but the crashes became more frequent.
I am making this work as best I can, but I have certainly been less productive and my stress level is pretty high as I struggle to find a workable file management system. I've got a bunch of video editing to do this week for our website, but I've got more video footage than Bethany has available storage. All that to say that we cannot continue like this for very long.
My parents have graciously offered to loan us some money so that I can get the tool I need to do my job. The tricky thing is that the most up-to-date computer hardware can only be found in North America. It would cost a fortune to ship a computer from Canada to the Philippines, where it would then be held for ransom by the always popular, ever scrupulous Customs Bureau.
Thankfully, there is a solution, albeit a convoluted one.
Our new friend Sherry is currently serving as an intern at the clinic right now. Sherry is from California and is missing her husband, Rick, terribly. Rick will be coming to visit his wife in May and has most graciously offered to help. So, I could simply purchase the computer online and have it shipped to Rick's house, ya? Of course not, that would be too easy. Apple won't accept a Canadian credit card on their website. Besides, were I to send the purchase to a California address, I'd be paying hundreds of dollars in sales tax.
We spoke to Bethany's parents and they have graciously agreed to purchase the computer in tax-free Oregon using money that my parents will send them from Canada—thank you God that in your infinite wisdom you have preserved a strong Canadian economy, resulting in a CAD that is equal to the USD! The really cool part of this crazy plan is that Jim has a business trip to California in early May and might be able to bring the computer with him, thus saving the cost of shipping the stuff from Oregon to California. I love it when a plan comes together.
Why am I telling you all this stuff? I don't mean to sound like a whiner, nor do I wish to bore you with the details. Nevertheless, I want to make a point. Bethany and I have been here in the Phils for almost three years now. There is absolutely no way that we could have survived without a support network that includes my parents, her parents, people like Sherry and Rick, indeed all of our dear friends in Canada and the United States. Sure, their prayers are invaluable, and their financial assistance is an incredible blessing, but today I speak of the practical things that they do to make our lives easier.
It's the care packages in the mail with little tastes of home. It's the running around to government buildings to get needed immigration documents. It's cashing cheques or mailing documents for Bethany's certification. I could go on and on about all the little details that get taken care of. Our support team in North America continues to stand in the gap for us.
I know that several of our readers are already making plans to move overseas, some of you to the Philippines. I cannot stress this point enough. You will need a huge amount of support once you have left. Finding financial contributors is just the beginning. The key is to have people back home who are ready to take your call and go to bat for you when you need it.
So to all of our support team, I say from the bottom of my heart, Thank You. You continue to amaze us and bless us beyond our wildest dreams. We would have crashed and burned a long time ago if it weren't for you.
PS. Since I haven't computer time for Facebook these days, let me just get these few things off my chest:
Henrik Sedin for the Hart!
Alex Edler, you da man!
Go Canucks Go!
Helena Guergis, good riddance.
This is the coolest thing Impact Nations has ever been a part of.
Bethany is getting huge and our boy needs a name...
Ok, I'm done. I've got no way of processing images from my camera, so for now we'll give you a few of Bethany's recent snapshots.
Promise is just beginning to "potty train" with very little success....but she CAN sit on the potty....It's a good thing Promise is too young to be embarrassed by this pic:
And one of her favorite things to do is help Daddy plan a worship set for Sunday mornings. She sings along, dances and claps, but most importantly, she "plays" the guitar.