Thursday, September 16, 2010

Teething, Tantrums, and Two

Greetings! Bethany here. I have been incredibly thankful for Tim's postings. I miss reading his updates even though I share a room with him and get updated quite frequently. :)

I am currently sitting on the bed next to Toby who has just graced me with a giant snot bubble and a mound of fresh spit up while listening to Promise cry on the baby monitor because she has just woken up from her nap.... *sigh*.

Toby is now two months old and what a handsome little man he is! Though fighting a bit of a sinus infection (I have to give him saline drops twice daily and then suction all that green mucous out...eww), he smiles every time I enter the room and looks expectantly for his loud and silly older sister. He is so precious. His personality is starting to show, too. He hates being alone....even when asleep! He knows when I leave the room and will immediately show his displeasure by letting out a quick shrill cry. Thinking he has hurt himself, I race in there only to see him smiling because he got my attention. As long as I am holding him, he is content....however, with him growing well passed 14 pounds now, my hips are crying out to put him down! He is already out of his 3 month clothing and we have had to change to medium size diapers because the amount of excretion surpasses that of most grown adults. We are blessed....hourly. I love having a boy!!

Promise is growing just as fast sporting new words and sentences daily. She is a hoot and I am ever surprised at what she picks up. She discovered her daddy's real name a bit ago and has tried, "Hey, Tim!" and "Where'd Tim go, mommy?" We have to keep reminding her that his name is "daddy". :)

She is super independent and yet, has entered a "hold you" stage...that is, every couple of minutes she asks, "I hold you? I hold you?" meaning, "Will you hold me?" Usually it is in response to teething pain or anxiety, of which there has been a bit these days. Our current living situation has not been conducive to a transitioning 2 year-old. Between the dogs and constant change over of visitors and strangers in the house, Promise prefers to play in our bedroom. Living in community has been tough on her, though Tim and I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know so many new people. When we return to Canada, our home will certainly be less full.

Speaking of which, we are planning to head home November 15 and will be living in Abbotsford, BC. The Lord has gone before us and we have the privilege of living in a basement suite below Tim's parents. The set-up will be a huge blessing for us! A place of sanctuary and rest, home base for the kids and close to family....all the reasons we desire to head home. We look forward to our first Thanksgiving and Christmas at home with our families. God is faithful. We have even had friends and family collecting furniture, winter clothes, and the like for us so we can set up house! We are still in need of a car, as Tim will have a bit of a commute to work (more on that later).

We plan to be there for at least 6 months, but are certain we will head out overseas once again to develop more water projects and serve in midwifery. I will let Tim share with you what his work plans are when we return to Canada. They are pretty cool. I, too, may need to work a bit, perhaps teaching prenatal courses. We are not sure what I will have time to do other than hang with my precious ones...which I must say, is a full time job!

I have been spending most days trying to prepare for heading back to's amazing how much paperwork and "stuff" gets picked up after 3 years overseas! I have also been trying to secure Promise in her surroundings.....we threw her a Birthday party the end of August with as many familiar faces as possible including her favorite babysitters and playmates. She LOVED having friends over and since then, every time the gate squeaks, she announces, "Friends are here!" even when they are not visitors for us, but for the other tenants in the house. ;) I am also trying to set up a daily routine with the two kids that will easily be transplanted back to Canada....I must say, having TWO small children is quite the challenge. I knew it would be tough and I am amazed at how resilient my aching, overtired body is! Our routine for both kiddos seems to be feed, bathe, change, feed, rock, change, feed, etc. until bathe, put down to sleep and try to sleep. Pretty normal, eh? :)

Tim has been an incredible support, too....we are both in love with our kiddos, but gosh, two screaming children with incessant barking dogs, yapping puppies, and a busy household can really wear on us. This too, shall pass.

In all honesty, I am still struggling to find my "place" in 'our' calling....The Lord sent me to university to get a teaching degree -- check! Then He sent me to the Philippines for a midwifery degree -- check! He has us wait 6+ years before having kids and then SURPRISE right in the middle of what we thought was the "start" of our overseas what? Tim is sure of his calling and passion....and mine seems to change yearly. :) While I am not bitter or at all disappointed in this, I am confused as to when these degrees will be used. Guess that's something for the Lord to figure out and let me know later. I love being a mom, but I still feel that PULL to do what I have spent countless hours, tons of money, and moved halfway across the world to do....if my calling is to stay at home with my kids full time, then I really want to do it with my family nearby....if the Lord wants me to both raise a family and divide my time with midwifery or teaching, then I want to be overseas serving. I dunno...I miss working at the clinic here and I miss seeing my peers minister there, too. God gives me situations here and there to help out and advise patients and peers here in midwifery, but it is not quite the same as working along side them.

I think Tim and I are in a funny stage of life.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to prepare for moving...again. :) Please pray that the Lord will protect our health, too, as both Toby and Tim have been fighting colds on and off. Please pray that the Lord will go before us and prepare a home for us that will bring Him glory and us joy. :) Please pray for our finances, as it will be a very difficult adjustment living in the West. Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and prayers. We are so blessed to be partnering with so many of glad to have family reading.

We will try to update the blog more frequently now that some of the dust is settling. :)
Be blessed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In The News

Did you know that we have produced over 4000 BioSand Water Filters since we began in February 2008? That's a lot of clean water! We couldn't have done it on our own. The Lord has provided us with some great partners who have helped us distribute these filters in over 20 provinces.

These days, I am working very hard at looking to the future, setting a course for 2011. This week, however, I had occasion to look back into our past and gain some perspective.

I mentioned that Toti and I began working together in February of 2008. While he was busy building some of his first filters, I was out on a crazy adventure with some friends. We were part of a team performing a small medical clinic in a very remote village called Newtawas, located on the Davao river, on the wrong side of a distant mountain range. The hike nearly killed me.

When we arrived in Newtawas, we learned that they had just buried two people in their village who had died from water-related diseases. In fact, they reported that several people died each year due to the unsafe water. They had no choice but to drink from the very contaminated river, the effects of which were obvious. I returned to Davao and Toti and I immediately began plans to provide them with some water filters.

Did I mention that the village was on the wrong side of a distant mountain? Have I mentioned
that our filters weigh roughly 150lbs? These desperate people found a way to bring two filters over two mountains in two days. They first strapped them to a horse (oh, how I interceded for that animal!) and when the path became narrow and steep they carried the filter by hand. These people clearly understood their need.

We were glad to get the news a few days later that the filters made it to Newtawas in one piece. Our very first partners arrived in the village a few days later to install them. We distributed a few more filters in the area that month and then our attention shifted to other provinces.

Why am I telling you this outdated story? Well, last week we were reminded of our first great adventure. One of the national television networks, GMA, did a story on the evening news about these crazy BioSand Water Filters in this little place called Newtawas. GMA has a foundation that does community service projects, and they happened to be doing a medical clinic in Newtawas when they saw the filter in use.

A reporter decided to learn more about the filter and did a story on the evening news. The villagers reported that their health had improved immediately after the filter's arrival and they hadn't had any problems since! They marveled at its ability to proved safe drinking water day after day, year after year. They called on local politicians to bring in more of the filters for the entire region so that everyone could benefit from this powerful technology.

GMA's foundation has inquired about partnering with Impact Nations to help bring more filters to Newtawas and the surrounding area. We'll let you know as that develops in the coming months. We are also trying to track down a copy of the news story and will post the video here if we can find it.

I am left to reflect on the grace of God and the power of partnership. Together with a number of participants, we rescued lives. We partnered with donors in North America who provided the funds to build the filters. We partnered with another local missionary couple who provided the land on which to build the filters. We delivered the filters to the drop point using a truck that was donated by a church in Connecticut. The filters were carried over two mountains by people who were determined to be a part of the solution, and installed by compassionate people who saw the need and purposed in their heart to meet it.

The really cool thing is that these sort of stories are happening all the time, and we won't even hear about most of them. As I said, we now have over 4000 filters spread throughout more than 20 provinces. We can't keep track of each circumstance, and sometimes we get so caught up in the big picture that we forget what it is all about. We are rescuing lives. And when you stop to think about it, we have been blessed with an incredible privilege and an awesome responsibility.