The last three days were so busy. From the time I step foot on the island of Agutaya on Wednesday until I left this morning, I never had a quiet moment except for the times when I slept :). Some things that changed since our last visit:
1. The hollow blocks (bricks) can not be transported to the island as they break on the ocean and the boat owners are not willing to transport them. I have to get it made on the island. It seems better but it comes at a cost. You have to pay the three guys making them a fee per block, then you have to pay rent for the mold on every bag of cement he uses and then you have to pay the baranggay (area where we will be staying), a fee for getting the sand for the bricks. Did I mention that I still have to buy the cement and pay P40 (equivalent to R10) per bag for shipping.
2. They are looking for P20 (R5) a can of stone. I need over a thousand cans for the house.
3. The shipping is not only expensive as there are only a few boats traveling to the island but they have fallen behind on cargo as the one boat sank last week. Therefore we are only allowed to send limited cargo at this point.
4. I will get the “carpenters” to start a week before to dig the foundations so when the team arrive we can just start the building… did I mention Agutaya is a volcanic island and have all the se huge rocks on the site. Then we still need to dig a well… I feel so sorry for the team that is coming already and we have not even start yet.
Here is a link of a video I took on the boat on the way to Agutaya
I guess what I am saying is that once again I learned to completely trust in the Lord. There has been times where I felt I was taken for a ride with some of the prices as I am white, but then again I am not just a foreigner on the island who wants to just make a living, I need to build strong relationships with these people and have to keep that in mind when making choices and decisions. I knew it will not be easy and I am ready to be persecuted and broken but I just had to get this off my chest.
What I am asking for is prayers. We need them so much so please don’t stop praying for us. Nothing is just simple on the mission field. I am not saying it is simple for you guys back home as we all have different challenges, it is just extremely difficult living in a different culture.
Enough of all the sulking. We have a super friend on the island. She is so precious to us and a big gift from the Lord. She has been so helpful in all of this. I can not wait to introduce her to the team that is coming. She is also our land owner. She has been a huge blessing in organizing people and keep an eye on things for us. She will host the team when they arrive for the two weeks on the island. Her name is Mercy and we call her ma’am Mercy. She was on the boat that sank last week and she is still struggling in recovering from the accident. It was the third time she was on a boat that sank. She lost all her cashew nuts she bought in Cuyo worth P2000 (R500) which might sound like nothing but to them is like gold as well as two cellphones and all her luggage. Please pray for her as she is seeking the catholic religion mixed with animism especially after the incident.
I am sorry for the bit of complaining in this letter, I don’t like doing this but had to mention it to our dear brothers and sisters so that you all can pray for us. We do receive favor from the Lord on a lot of occasions so it is not all bad :).
We are looking forward to the team coming. They are 9 at the moment and will leave SA 2 March. They will go through a lot of adjustments like weather, culture, living simple for a couple of weeks and out of routine. Please pray for them so they can be open for challenge. We are excited to see how the Lord use it for His good in each one of them.
Thank you all for praying and supporting us. We are not yet where we should be with the finances for the house especially now but we believe the Lord will supply what we need even if we don’t finish the house, we will be content. Please pray for our finances. The house is quite cheap to build but the logistics is extremely expensive.
We miss you all and think of you daily. Stay strong in the faith and be encouraged. Our time here is just a pass through into the beauty that is awaiting us.