This year marks the 10 year anniversary of our arrival in the Philippines. Time surely has flown bye. The days are long but the years are indeed short. Looking back nostalgically on our time here there are some things I wish I had known as a young missionary embarking on our adventure here. And some I’m glad I didn’t know 😊. As a new missionary there were many things I feared and expected but what I didn’t know was..
That the strange smells, sounds and tastes would one day feel like home.
That the things I feared most then are not even things I think of now.
That I would not be home to bury my father but would be at peace because the Lord, in His grace, saved him 2 months before his death.
That taking my children away from all they knew would be the best thing I could ever do for them.
That I would long for my home country with an ache that physically hurts my heart, and that I would feel the same way about the Philippines when I am home on furlough.
That we would survive a super typhoon, our vehicle being stoned and shot at and were almost shipwrecked, and some of it would be while on furlough.
That I would experience first hand how God can turn a calamity into a beautiful blessing.
That struggling financially would be gift because it allows us to see God perform miracles.
That home-schooling my children would be a privilege that I would love.
That I would come to love a people group who have nothing in common with me but who have become my life’s purpose.
That being on the mission field would expose the sinfulness of my heart in ways I never knew existed, and God’s love for me would be even more real because of it.
That what I once counted sacrifice has been the best decision of my life (well, second best after salvation ❤).
There were so many things I didn’t know then, but I knew enough to know I could GO.
Today I know enough to know that I can STAY.
He is faithful beyond what we could ever imagine.
It is fitting that our ten year anniversary coincides with a new chapter in our ministry and family life. This year we prepare to teach the Agutaynens for the first time and next year our eldest child, Valerie-Anne, leaves for college abroad. Although I know these things come with big challenges and sacrifice for sure, I am at peace knowing that something beautiful will come from this. He has already begun to paint a beautiful picture with the fragments of our lives, and I cannot wait to see the finished masterwork!
Rejoicing because of all that He is,