Simple things

I love how seeing our beautiful island in the distance never fails to bring a lump in my throat and a feeling of “coming home” in my heart. What an answer to pray! God has put a love in my heart for the Agutaynen’s and this little corner of the earth where we reside. A love that could only come from Him. I am deeply grateful.

This month Val and I went on our first solo trip to Manila for her to write her SAT test. For those who are not familiar with this, it is a Standard Assessment test to test college readiness used in the US to gain entry into American Colleges/Universities. Basically like a South African Matric qualification for lack of a better explanation. 

I was quite nervous to travel without Phil especially since the recent safety threat we have had in our region. The Lord put a calmness in my heart during the several days of travelling and no doubt went ahead of us preparing the way. Everything worked our perfectly. He is so good to me! Thank you to all who lifted us in prayer over this time. It was great to see some of our precious friends in Manila, albeit briefly, and catch up with them. God has really blessed us with beautiful friendships there!

We got to meet our beautiful God child, Amihan (daughter to Hector and Mayen). What a little doll! I am so thankful she will grow up knowing Jesus because her parents will raise her in His ways ❤.

While we were away Phil, Boeta and Angie stayed on the island. Angelique took over all my duties, cooking and doing laundry the whole time. I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming! Phil continues faithfully with the lessons despite the many distractions that life on the island brings. I am so thankful to the Lord for how He sustains Phil and enables him daily. We know we are not alone. He is our constant companion. 

Sometimes I am in awe of the life we live. While travelling on one of the boats back home I looked at the simplicity of the boat design. To start the boat the captain and crew pull a big rope through the window infront of the boat, loop it on a big bamboo pole that acts as a back rest for passengers, count to three and tug (almost like a tug-o-war) until the engine starts. This is a chaotic process as passengers must move away in the already cramped cabin to get out of the way of elbows and rope, legs and fumes. The captain drives the boat sitting on an old plastic container and uses basic steering equipment and years of experience to steer us safely home. 

This might seem like a crude design to some, but to the Agutaynens it’s their best boat. Everyone wants to travel on this boat because its slightly faster and more “comfortable”. This boat is the sea ambulance when they are deadly ill, the hearse bringing their dead back to island if they die somewhere else. Its the work horse that brings fuel, rice, supplies to the island. It brings their loved ones home for visits and takes them safely back again. Some may see it as unsafe, a danger on the waters but not here. Here it’s the gem of Agutaya with a name to fit: Princess Myka. 

I count myself blessed to see through their eyes. To see how the seemingly simple can be precious. I hope my eyes never adjust to where simple is not enough for me. Pray with us that the Agutaynens will accept Gods truth when it presented to them. The simplicity of the Gospel will change their lives in unfathomable ways. I can’t wait!

We love you all ❤

2 thoughts on “Simple things

  1. Thanks for the update. We pray for you weekly. Love you guys and continually pray that you experience God’s strength day to day. Love you guys.

    Lee Peterson and family

  2. Liewe Philip, Vina, Valerie-Ann, Angelique en Boeta

    Wat ‘n ongelooflike voorreg en plesier is dit nie om jul getuienisse te lees en van jul ervarings deur foto’s en beskrywing saam met julle te beleef. Vina, the way you paint a picture with words, is such a gift. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Ek weet dat ek nie goed is om altyd terug te antwoord nie, omdat dit nogal tyd vat vir my om vir julle te skryf en ek is soms net so besig, dat ek nie nog eers kan antwoord nie. Jammer oor die flou verskoning (he..he..he) Ek is saam met julle opgewonde oor die teachings wat begin en Valerie-Ann wat gereed maak om die nes te verlaat. Elke nuwe seisoen bring nuwe uitdagings en vreugdes. Ons weet dat julle in die Filipyne onder die beskermende Hande van ons Here is en dat julle afhanklik is van Sy sorg. Dis die beste plek om te wees, want julle kan net soos Paulus in 2 Kor 11, getuig van Sy onvoorwaardelike liefde, beskerming en sorg.
    Dankie vir die lys van dinge “That I never knew” Dit is kosbaar verby en bevat ‘n lewensles vir my sowel as ‘n kragtige getuienis vir julle. Ons bly lief vir julle en bid saam vir die Agutayen mense se volkome redding en vir Valerie-Ann se toekomsplanne. Alles sal geskied volgens die Here se volmaakte plan.
    Tot ons mekaar weer binnekort sien, liefde van my en Marius. Colla xxx

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