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Our Faithful God

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In my last newsletter I mentioned how excited I was to see what God is going to do in 2016. Shortly after writing that, Philip was involved in a collision whilst riding his bicycle. A car hit into him while he was travelling at 64km/h (who knows how fast the car was going).

What followed was a whirlwind of action. From seizures to brainscans to an operation to insert a plate on his broken collarbone. We dealt with public hospitals and all the red tape and inefficiency, private hospitals and all the expense. And not much sleep.

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Throughout it all, I felt this quiet reassurance that everything was going to be okay, no matter the turn out. I kept being reminded of Gods promises and of His presence in every situation. He is indeed sufficient for my every need. And was He ever sufficient! God raised up brothers and sisters in Christ who treated Phil medically, helped me at the hospital, provided funds to cover bills and many who prayed and sent encouraging messages. Then He worked it out for us to get the R16000 surgical plate donated for free!!

A week before the accident Phil preached at church and was saying how we as Christians are so busy controlling our own lives that we leave little room for God to do miracles. That week Phil got to see God perform miracles. The biggest one being the healing that took place in Phils body. Despite his face taking the maximum impact and him being unconcious for 15 minutes, there was no brain damage, paralysis or eye damage.

His broken collar bone, jaw and nose have all healed just a few weeks after the accident. He still has the occasional pain and has headaches, but he is getting stronger everyday. All the Glory to God!

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The beautiful USA:

We had the privilege of attending a missions conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. What a wonderful, uplifting time! We met so many precious people who encouraged us so much (not to mention spoiled us too!). And we got see some of the beautiful South. Only God could have made this trip possible and we are humbled constantly with how He continues to bless us.

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Birthdays:

This past month we celebrated 3 birthdays. Boeta turned 12 and celebrated playing paintball with a few of his friends.

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Angelique had her 13th birthday at Tree Top Adventures and glided through the trees for her party 🙂

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Then lastly, I celebrated my 40th birthday in the USA, and in South Africa! Never have I been so spoilt! 4 birthday cakes, 3 celebrations and loads of precious friends to celebrate with!

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When I said I couldn’t wait to see what God would do this year, I certainly meant it. And I still do! No matter what happens (be it good ir bad) I know it will be for my good and His glory. Now how can we not be excited about that?

Return to the Philippines:

In a months time we will leave our “home” in SA for our “home” in the Philippines. Please pray for us as we say our goodbyes and prepare to leave. Pray for our paperwork to be ready and sorted before we leave (Valerie’s passport is still outstanding).

Thank you for praying for us and caring for us. Not a day goes by the we don’t thank the Lord for you.

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Our Mighty God

I found this post I had written but never got around to posting. I think it captures the way things were pretty well, so Ill post it now, even though its a little outdated :-).

I felt pretty discouraged at the start of this week. It was hard to feel helpless as people around us were hungry and homeless and we had no way of getting aid to them. My heart was heavy as we started to get news of the great need and could see the gravity of the situation. So we prayed for God to guide us and started where we could.

Over the past 2 years we (with our partner Claudi) have been putting away a monthly amount from our support to go towards an Agutaynen fund. The idea was that we would have this money extra to help people with medical or in emergencies. So our first step was to spend what we had on food and get that to the people as soon as possible. But how? Weather was bad and boats were not able to sail. We had only one big ferry travelling to Cuyo once a week since the others were broken and literally no way to get food fast.

As the week progressed we got more bad reports from the islands and realised the seriousness of the situation. More than 4800 people homeless on just 2 islands (not to mention the other 3 islands). Seaweed farms destroyed and damage estimated at 2 billion pesos. So not only have they lost homes, they have lost their ability to earn an income.

But as the bad news came in God was at work! Our NTM pilot told is about funds coming in to pay for relief flights and from there things began to snowball. As I type this we have 4 NTM pilots here helping us fly relief goods in. One is flying the helicopter and landing on the islands giving them food directly! 2 MAF pilots are assisting us with being on the ground, maintaining the planes, coordinating etc. Fellow church planting missionary friends are helping load the planes, get fuel to the hangar, others in different areas help get fuel for the planes to us, Pastor Dave on Cuyo is coordinating the getting of food relief from the airport to the town where the church is and volunteers are making up food packages there. The police are driving the relief goods the the pier so some can be sent by boat.

We are purchasing goods, packaging them into smaller packages so they can just hand them to families, coordinating everything with pilots, mayors, gov. officials and people on islands. Funds have been coming in so that we have enough to send up in the planes and we can continue to help everyday so far. The government has even helped us with fuel to fly the planes!!

We are tired but so very blessed through what God is doing! He has indeed taken the “fish and bread” and multiplied it to feed the 5000. He has made the impossible possible and I am in awe of the magnitude of His Grace. As I think of the impact this food will make on the destitute I am overwhelmed. And as I contemplate the impact this could make to pave the way for the Gospel I am brought to tears. No one knows what tomorrow holds, but I know for sure that I can trust Him who holds tomorrow.

I started the week discouraged and helpless because that is what I am – on my own. But I end this week triumphant because of who HE is.

Please continue to pray for us. This devistation has no short term solution. We cannot continue to help them inevitably. Please pray for wisdom to know how to help best. Please pray for peoples eyes to be opened to see Christ through this and for their hearts to be softened for the truth. Pray for safety of our pilots as they fly long flights and land on difficult terrain. Pray for all of us as we have long days and are sometimes overwhelmed by the magnitude of all of this. But mostly join us in Praising Him for His compassion, His provision, His Grace and His love.

Latest Update Typhoon Yolanda

We had known the storm was coming already for a few days. Philip had been up on our roof sealing things as best possible for the strong winds that we were expecting. But, other than that life continued as normal. Friday morning I even managed to get laundry done and dried outside. Phil continued to caution our neighbors to insure their houses were secure, but over all people seemed very casual about the incoming storm. It was only when I was reading the internet that day that I began to feel a little unsettled. Terms like “Worst storm of the century” and “strongest winds to ever hit landfall” did not do much to make me feel better.

By 4pm winds had dramatically increased and the town generator only managed to supply power for 3 mins before winds tore down the powerlines. The rain was getting heavier, but still we were not too concerned as we have already exprienced worse in the last few months. A policeman drove passed the house cautioning people to secure their goats and pigs. By 6pm Philip and I got ready for our weekly Friday family evening and I can remember thinking how cosy it would be with the howling winds and darkness outside. But no sooner had I thought this, an awful bang preceded by incredibly loud banging filled the house. It was so loud that we could almost not hear each other.

Philip climbed into the gap between the ceiling and the roof to see what was happening on the roof. He didn’t come back down for several hours as he held onto the loose zinc panels that the wind had lifted. He knew that once the wind lifted those panels, all the rest would go too. Meanwhile downstairs the kids and I were dealing with our own chaos. Water was coming through the closed windows and even through the cement walls. It was coming in at such a rate that I couldnt keep up with mopping and getting rid of the water. All 12 towels of ours were soaked and every bucket we have (and even the kids toy tea cups) were collecting water that came in through the ceiling. The lifted roof panels were allowing water into the house too. Im not sure if rain water was coming into the house or splashes of sea water was bashing against the windows. It was dark outside and impossible to see what was happening. Later I discovered the bathroom was under 2 inches of water that came through the closed window there.

The kids were really scared too. The two youngest both cried and Val was quiet but admitted later that she was shocked by it all. I couldnt help but worry about our neighbors whose houses are so flimsy in comparison to ours. It was too dark and dangerous to risk going outside. Trees were falling down and winds were screaming through the night. We kept our dogs inside the house and they hid under the table through it all. Our bodega flooded with water and with water streaming into the sockets we decided to turn off our generator. I was worried about Claudi too and wondered how she was doing on her own.

During the storm we were being updated on the movement of the storm by our friend and pilots wife, Candy Dalton. Many were praying for us across the world and our Pastor even managed to call us. He told us that he was praying that the Lord would send a row if angels across the ocean to protect us. Around 9pm we lost all contact with outside world as internet and cellphone signals were down.

Winds died down a little around 10pm enough for Phil to attempt to climb on the roof and lay bricks over the lifted panels. The winds were still strong and it was slippery. While climbing up the 19 foot tower to get onto the roof, the bamboo ladder snapped on one side. Phil managed to still hold on one side and get up to the roof. It was terrifying to watch. At this point I looked at some of the damage around us. It was then that I realised my washing machine had been lifted and thrown across the porch, taking the water pipe with it. Phil managed to lay bricks on the roof and when he came down winds picked up again.

The storm raged through the night and at 4 am it seemed really loud. By 6am everything was calm and people were outside picking up fallen trees, debris, roof panels. They were cutting our banana trees that had all fallen blocking the small street infront of our house. It looked like a war zone outside. Everyone seemed a bit dazed. I felt dazed as I looked around at the destruction around us. Phil and decided to walk around the island to see if we could help anyone.

It was shocking to see the huge trees with 1/2 meter wide bases knocked over across houses and roads. But what an encouragement to hear story after story of trees narrowly missing houses and people. God is so good! Not one life lost on our island. Infact one of neighbours gave birth to a baby boy during the storm. Little Yolando was born in the community centre as winds raged through their little grass house. It was so clear to us how God has protected every life on that island! Claudi was shocked to hear of the chaos at our house. Turns out that she had only some water through her windows and slept through the storm! Her house is protected quite well as it lies behind ours and has a hill behind it.

Later that afternoon we managed to get a hold of our NTMA people and let them know we were okay. It was only then that we were told of the devastation in many areas of the Philippines. So many had lost not only their homes but their loved ones too. As time passed we heard more of the devastation on surrounding islands. We truly were devinely protected! God had answered the prayer of many and placed angels across our path! So humbling to see Gods love in such a personal way.

As we heard about the desperate situation on the surrounding islands that belong to Agutaya, their lack of food and shelter, it was clear to us we needed to help somehow. Over the past 2 years Claudi (our partner) and us have put aside a monthly amount of money from our personal support to be used on the Agutaynen people for emergencies. After praying about things we felt we wanted to give it all to help. We asked the Lord to use it to His Glory and since then He has blessed this effort in miraculous ways!

Once we knew we would help with the fund we were confronted with two issues. Firstly getting the money and secondly, how could we get the food? No boats were travelling because of the weather and boats were damaged and in need of repair. Our pilot then informed us that some funds had come in and that they would buy the food and fly it to Cuyo for us! We were amazed. God has already made a way for us. Little did we know that Gods plan was so much bigger than we could ever imagine!

As Josh was buying food and flying it in, Phil was hard at work organising for the food to be collected at the airstrip on Cuyo, taken to the local church, packaged there, taken to the pier where it would bypass port authorities, and then coordinating with the boats to get it to Agutaya where it would be distributed to various islands. He coordinated with the Mayor of Agutaya and Cuyo, police, coast guard, pastors, tricycle drivers, truck drivers, boat owners and captains. It was no small task to get the food to the people! But as this was happening God was doing big things.

The mayor of Agutaya came to see us and was in tears as she described the situation on the other islands. Our hearts ached to hear from friends on the other islands struggling without food and shelter. Our NTM aviation people had flown to Tacloban to try be of assistance there, but because of red tape and dangerous circumstances they were unable to enter. We believe God was opening the doors for us to assist the people who we work with. It was with tears that we received the news that both our NTM 6 seater planes and the helicopter with our 4 pilots would fly up to help us assist the Agutaynen people! Now food could be bought and flown in directly to the people!

These islands who had still received no aid, would now be helped! While the world focused on bigger areas, the Lord showed the people of Agutaya that He has not forgotten them. It still touches me deeply when I think of our small offering to the the Lord that he has multiplied to feed the masses. What started as P100 000 pesos has been increased to over a million pesos already! We serve a great God!

Now that we had all the planes and pilots flying for us, we knew that we needed to get enough supplies to send up. We had been planning to go for our break to Manila and decided to still leave and put things in place to send food in. 10 days after the typhoon we left the island on a little boat borrowed to us by the mayor. We had hardly left the island when rough seas began tossing the boat side to side. What a stressful boat ride! Boeta was really scared and cried during the ride from fear. Both our girls were sick. I was really scared and prayed the whole way. While the sea tossed the boat around Boeta said to me, “Mom, if we sink, I hope we rather die and the boat operators survive. Because they don’t know Jesus yet, and at least we know where we are going.” It really encouraged me to know that His hope was in the Lord,and even in the midst of her fear he was concerned for the lost!

On arrival in Cuyo the girls and Claudi flew out while Phil, Boeta and I bought relief supplies and packaged them with help from the local Baptist church and Criminology students. Boeta and I flew out but Phil stayed behind to show the helicopter pilot the various islands we would be providing aid to. During our flight back home we noticed a heart shaped gap in the clouds which we could fly through. Another reminder of Gods love.

The next day we went to buy supplies to send in. Many back home may not realise that things are not that simple here. To get the amounts of money we needed takes special effort. The banks here run out of money and need to be given notice when big amounts are drawn. Buying supplies takes hours of waiting as supplies are brought down from warehouses. We have to go to more than one shop to buy what is needed. Once everything was bought we needed to get packing. It took us until 5pm to get packs completed and then had to deliver them to the plane hanger. This was our daily routine as we rushed to remain ahead of what the planes can deliver.

God has blessed us with many hands to help. Fellow church planting missionaries are helping us with the buying of the food packs and getting them to the hangar. Local church members volunteer daily to pack relief packages. Missionary friends in Manila helped get fuel for planes, our guest house manager arranged finances and helped with packages. Office personnel sent donations from Manila down by boat. Friends in the finance office in Manila keep records, opened relief accounts and ensure we have enough money. Phils friends who fly fish planes helped deliver oil for planes to Cuyo. Police on Cuyo delivered goods to the pier. Volunteers on Cuyo packed food to send in.. There are so many who have helped that Im sure I have forgotten some along the way. Its taken an army of people to get food to these dear people. Im sure if they truly understood the magnitude of all of this, they would be awestruck.

Everyday at the crack of dawn our pilots load their planes with food and supplies and fly them to Cuyo. Often they make two trips daily dropping of supplies for the helicopter to fly in. Our helicopter pilot flies as many trips as he can, landing in very windy conditions. He has been staying on Cuyo all this time. Their wives spend the day flight following to ensure that they are safe and in course. Others spend the day buying and packing food to supply the planes. Philip coordinates everything with the people on the islands, the police, mayors, pastors etc. Its a labor of love and everyone has been so blessed to be involved.

Many touching stories of peoples gratefulness keeps us humble. Its a constant reminder of how big this all really is. Although we rejoice in the knowledge that their bodies will be fed, its their souls that we care about more. We pray that God will open their hearts through all He is doing and that someday they will be ready to hear His truth. But for now we are thankful for an opportunity to give them a glimpse of His love.

Thank you to everyone that has tirelessly given of their time, money and prayers. Please continue to pray for the Philippines. Pray that through this terrible tragedy many will come to know our precious Lord and Savior.

Typhoon Yolanda

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My heart is so full as I write this newsletter. So full of thankfulness and humility when I see all that God has done! A typhoon dubbed as “the typhoon of the century” and “the strongest typhoon to hit landfall in recorded history”, and God has protected us through it all. As I write this newsletter we have no contact with the outside world. The cellphone towers are down and we have no local generator power as powerlines litter the streets.

Yes, there is devastation and destruction, but this is not a story about that, its a story about God and His Grace upon us and the people of Agutaya. This morning as people cleaned up the debris and piece together the pieces of their houses, we cannot help but marvel at the wonderful reality that not one life on Agutaya was lost! Infact God in His goodness added life to Agutaya as a mother gave birth to her baby during the typhoon! He is good!

I cannot begin to truly describe what raging 300km/h winds sound like when they blow against your house, or what sounds you experience in the dark with trees falling around you and rain rushing in through your closed windows. It was scary to say the least. But through it all as many across the world prayed for us and the Agutaynens, God held his hand of protection over us all.

It was overwhelming to hear stories of huge coconut trees falling over and just missing bamboo houses by inches. Of how families huddled together in a room afraid as trees fell around them, but they were unharmed.Some may consider how “lucky” they were, but we know the truth.God in His goodness has spared them.

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The photo above is of our dear friend Mercy Pasete’s house. She recently moved to a grass house literally next to this one. Her house was almost untouched, but this one was destroyed. What you cannot see in the photo is a huge, thick coconut tree that collapsed behind the house. Had it fallen the other direction it would have landed on top of them. God is good!

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Part of our roof was almost blown off, and Phil literally had to hold onto it from the inside. Banana trees around our property were torn down and my twintub washing machine was lifted in wind and flipped sideways damaging the control panel. Minor damage considering the force coming at us from the ocean. God is good!

It was a scary experience for the kids, but they got to see the power of God in action. They experienced His might, and then His Grace as He protected us all. They saw His love through the many people praying for us, calling us and texting us, even as the storm raged. And today they saw that God is good when they looked at the destruction around us and realised that we were kept safe.

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Although its not an experience that I would like to relive, I am thankful. I am thankful that God showed us His love through the many that prayed for us. I am thankful that God will be glorified as we seek ways to help others around us rebuild their homes. I am thankful that many lives were spared and that they will, Lord willing, hear the Good News in the future.

God is good. Had He chosen to not spare our lives, He would still be good! He remains faithful. He remains our rock and our fortress. And it remains our privilege to serve Him as long as He will allow us. Today is a new day, and we will use it to praise Him!

Typhoon Yolanda

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My heart is so full as I write this newsletter. So full of thankfulness and humility when I see all that God has done! A typhoon dubbed as “the typhoon of the century” and “the strongest typhoon to hit landfall in recorded history”, and God has protected us through it all. As I write this newsletter we have no contact with the outside world. The cellphone towers are down and we have no local generator power as powerlines litter the streets.

Yes, there is devastation and destruction, but this is not a story about that, its a story about God and His Grace upon us and the people of Agutaya. This morning as people cleaned up the debris and piece together the pieces of their houses, we cannot help but marvel at the wonderful reality that not one life on Agutaya was lost! Infact God in His goodness added life to Agutaya as a mother gave birth to her baby during the typhoon! He is good!

I cannot begin to truly describe what raging 300km/h winds sound like when they blow against your house, or what sounds you experience in the dark with trees falling around you and rain rushing in through your closed windows. It was scary to say the least. But through it all as many across the world prayed for us and the Agutaynens, God held his hand of protection over us all.

It was overwhelming to hear stories of huge coconut trees falling over and just missing bamboo houses by inches. Of how families huddled together in a room afraid as trees fell around them, but they were unharmed.Some may consider how “lucky” they were, but we know the truth.God in His goodness has spared them.

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The photo above is of our dear friend Mercy Pasete’s house. She recently moved to a grass house literally next to this one. Her house was almost untouched, but this one was destroyed. What you cannot see in the photo is a huge, thick coconut tree that collapsed behind the house. Had it fallen the other direction it would have landed on top of them. God is good!

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Part of our roof was almost blown off, and Phil literally had to hold onto it from the inside. Banana trees around our property were torn down and my twintub washing machine was lifted in wind and flipped sideways damaging the control panel. Minor damage considering the force coming at us from the ocean. God is good!

It was a scary experience for the kids, but they got to see the power of God in action. They experienced His might, and then His Grace as He protected us all. They saw His love through the many people praying for us, calling us and texting us, even as the storm raged. And today they saw that God is good when they looked at the destruction around us and realised that we were kept safe.

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Although its not an experience that I would like to relive, I am thankful. I am thankful that God showed us His love through the many that prayed for us. I am thankful that God will be glorified as we seek ways to help others around us rebuild their homes. I am thankful that many lives were spared and that they will, Lord willing, hear the Good News in the future.

God is good. Had He chosen to not spare our lives, He would still be good! He remains faithful. He remains our rock and our fortress. And it remains our privilege to serve Him as long as He will allow us. Today is a new day, and we will use it to praise Him!

Our first month!

Its been a whirlwind of a month! We have seen God’s goodness in so many ways that I hardly know where to begin this newsletter. He is so good to us!

On the 26th August we loaded all of our things on a boat headed for Agutaya. Unfortunately the boat didn’t leave as planned and so all our things spent 3 days out on the ocean. It was hard to believe that everything would arrive unscathed and so we prepared for the inevitable. Only, almost nothing was damaged! Despite being on the ocean for so long, through various hands being loaded and off loaded and then transported by tora tora (motorbike with a side car), almost everything arrived in good condition! Only God could have done that!

The kids, Phil and I, the 2 dogs and 2 cats travelled to Agutaya by small pump boat on the 28 August. The Lord calmed the seas in time for our trip and despite a few splashed and a rain shower, it was a great trip. Before our move it had rained almost everyday for 6 weeks. How amazing to have such calm weather on the day we needed it most!

We are so thankful for our home. Every brick laid is a testimony of God’s provision and a reminder of all those who contributed to this work. What a blessing to finally have a home of our own after 9 years of being missionaries. There is still a lot to do, but we are overjoyed to have all that He has given us. What seemed impossible, He has made happen.

This past month we have continued to work on the house. We don’t have running water to the house, and the well still has to be completed. Its an adjustment getting used to living without power for most of the day, and having to buy drinking water from Cuyo (3 hour boat ride away). But once again God blessed us unexpectantly. Friends from the US came to help us set up our electrical system so that we can have the generator connected to the house and to lay the water pipes to the house etc. At the same time fellow missionaries serving in Mindanao bought new gel batteries to run their solar system, and gifted us their old ones. This is a wonderful gift as we can now run our 12 volt freezer with them. Before that we could only run the fridge for 8 hours with the town generator and this was not quite keeping our months food frozen.

Jason (our friend from the US) was able to connect the 12v system for us too, and the water pump so we could have water closer to the house. Yay for not having to haul heavy buckets so far anymore! While Jason was here he took a look at our generator. We wondered why it was struggling to run the washing machine etc. He informed us that our gen. (Which was gifted to us used from SA and cost a lot to get through customs) runs on 50 hertz unlike everything in the Philippines runs on 60. So to cut a long story short we would need a new gen. Not the best news for us at this time, but once again an opportunity God used to bless us! Within a week we received the money to buy the new Gen. from one of our churches! How humbling to see God at work. When we might worry, He has already made perfect plans. Words cannot express how thankful we are.

We are back to home schooling which can be a little challenging when the typhoons come and its dark inside the house. But, it makes us appreciate the luxury of being able to turn a light on when this is not an option for us. Please pray for us as we adjust to living on the island. Pray above all that we will be a testimony of God’s goodness to those around us. Please pray for us to be able to build relationships.

Thank you for praying and partnering with us! We are so blessed to know that we are not in this alone. Praising God for all He has done!

Much love,
The le Roux’s

August news: Moving Time!

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Stormy weather keeps boats from sailing frequently

Its almost surreal that our moving day is almost upon us! We are planning to move within the next week. It sounds strange to not have an exact date but its all because we are dependent on boats to move our things which inturn are dependent on weather. Also, we have had a little set back with the toilet of all things. We were blessed with toilet as a gift from our old NTM guesthouse. They removed it to put new ones in and donated it to us. So being an older model toilet finding some parts has been more difficult. Lord willing we have the part brought in by Claudi’s 3rd building team who bought it in Manila for us. Hopefully Phil can get the toilet installed this week, get out electricity connected (Agutaya has a generator from 4pm to midnight) and have a fence put up around the property this week. Then it will be ready for moving in!

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I cannot express how thankful we are for what the Lord has provided for us! We were even donated tiles as well as our toilet and bathroom basin. It makes the house look so much nicer and I am so thankful for a break from the concrete.

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The windows are a huge highlight too as we will have mosquito netting on the windows. They greatly sets our hearts at ease with diseases like dengue which would be really dangerous for Angelique. We recently had 3 cases on Cuyo which is not supposed to have Dengue. What a blessing from the Lord to be able to have it installed!

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First bug kept out by mosquito screens

Its amazing to think what God has provided and all those He has used to build this home for us! We have had help from South Africans, Canadians, Germans, Northern Irish, Filipino’s and financial donations from the UK, USA, South Africa and even friends in Korea. Its taken more than a nation to build this house, its taken the wonderful Body of Christ. We are so blessed!

We covet your prayers over this time. The move will no doubt be stressful and challenging. Just getting our things like our fridge to the house takes lots of organising and expense. There are no vehicles besides motorbikes on Agutaya so we will have to move everything using a motorcycle with a side car. A challenge to be sure!! Not to mention the trip by boat that will be a scary endevour! Please pray for things to work out according to the Lords will and His timing. Also for us to not be overwhelmed over this time.

Thank you for your prayers! We look forward to updating you from our new home in Agutaya!

Much love in Him,
The le Roux’s

P.S. Are you reading our news updates? Please drop us a note to let us know that you are out there. It sometimes feels our letters get lost in cyberspace when we hear nothing back. Thank you!

July News

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Its been a busy month in the le Roux household! This past month the house building has jumped leaps and bounds, we took a short trip to Manila as a family and we have packed up most of our things in Cuyo ready for our move to Agutaya. But house news first!

The house is almost done and ready for us to move in. Plastering is almost done, porch has been completed, electrical has been laid and front doors made. There has been lots of other progress but in the interest of those who prefer a shorter newsletter we won’t mention everything ;-). There have been unexpected delays too though. The windows have just been completed this week (4 weeks late) and our electrical has not been connected yet because the electrician has been unable to go to Agutaya because of family health issues. So we are still awaiting his arrival. This week we are struggling with bad weather which means no boats, so windows, wood, cement etc. cannot be taken to Agutaya. So we patiently wait for the Lord to calm the seas.

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We still plan to move in as soon as possible and are hoping that will be in early August because of delays. Please keep praying for the building process. There are so many unknown variables and it can be quite stressful. Pray also for Phil’s safety in travels and for his health and those building the house too.

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Our family trip to Manila was wonderful! We cannot help but be thankful for some time in a different environment enjoying some “luxury” again! 6 months of cold water bucket showers makes you super thankful for hot running water showers. We loved seeing many friends and catching up on all the news. The kids loved going to the movies and McDonalds.

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Buying my own groceries was my highlight of the visit. Just looking at all the choice available was fun! I won’t even mention the joy of using an automatic washing machine and tumble dryer!! Phil loved catching up with his running team buddies and doing the Milo run and a triathlon while we were there. The kids and I did a 5km Milo run too. Not quite as far as Phil’s 21km, but a fun start to running for the kids.

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Beside building on Agutaya, Phil had the opportunity to preach on Agutaya and Cuyo this month too. He has had opportunity to speak to many people of our role on Agutaya and we praise the Lord for favorable feedback. Recently some people on a boat on Agutaya were overheard telling others that we are different because we believe in the authority of the Bible only. Praise the Lord they are coming to understand what makes us different from what they are used to. We really pray that they will come to know the truth of God’s Word too!

Thank you for praying for us! Its easy to feel alone here sometimes because we are so isolated and because we are so different from those around us. We praise God at every rememberance of you. He has truly blessed us with your love and support!

Please keep in contact with us if you have time. We would love to know what is happening in your lives too.

Much love,
In His service,
The le Roux’s

Look what God is doing!

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The side of the house, kitchen window

Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe it. There are no words to express the feeling of joy we have in our hearts when we see what God is doing! Our home is making wonderful progress and each brick, each steel bar and each bag of cement is testimony of His provision.

An old hymn that I am reminded of asks, “Does Jesus care?”. Well, he certainly does! He cares not only for us, but for the lost souls on Agutaya who have not heard His truth. Soon we will be able to move into our house He has provided for us, and begin the process of reaching the lost, and all because He cares! We are so blessed!

So, what have we been up to this last month? Phil has been hard at work on our house in Agutaya and also made a short trip to Manila to buy some electric supplies for the house (Short considering it involves boat travel to Manila). In the last 5 weeks we have only been with Phil for less than 10 days in total. Please keep us in your prayers. Although necessary, it is never nice being apart so much and for so long.

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The lounge and kitchen

This past month they have almost completed the roof, put all the doors in, layed almost all the floors, framed the windows and started plastering the inside walls. Next to be done is completion of the roof and floors, electric (which Phil is doing almost on his own), putting in windows, the well and veranda.

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Main bedroom

We still hope to be able to move in mid to end of July, so please pray that things will go smoothly and quickly. We have lots to do before that will be possible, and we know we cannot achieve this without your prayers and His continuous help!

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Soon to be veranda

The kids and I are looking forward to a break in Manila at the end of this month. It will have been six months that we have been on our little island without leaving and we are looking forward to a change of scenery, not to mention some family time with Phil! It is our hope that on our return we will be moving onto Agutaya!

Please continue to pray for us. We miss everyone so much, and this is brought to light so much more when we are apart too. Know that we pray for you too! We would love hear from you, and know better how to pray for you!

Learning to look up

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It was a rough day. Things were just not working out and my nerves were quickly frayed. Its easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes especially when the weight of Philip being gone so much feels a little too much to bare.

I had been trying to accomplished what was supposed to be a simple task. Simply to send cement to Philip on Agutaya. Only, it wasn’t simple. In between empty promises, irritating red tape and trying to organise between the boat people and cement people, I ended up with the cement paid for -but not delivered. The boat gone to Agutaya -without the cement, and the port duties paid -and proof of payment sailing into the sun on the boat that left without the cement! Frustrated.

As I walked through the sweltering streets of Cuyo towards the pier (for the 3rd time), it felt as though the heat from the road was bubbling through me, feeding my anger and frustration. The further I walked the quicker I walked trying to dodge tricycles, people, dogs and muck in the streets. Boeta skipped along side me just pleased to be out in the sunshine. My mind blanked out his chatter as I worked through a mental list of what I needed to do.

And then I felt his hand slip in mine. And immediately my thoughts were brought back to the present and this sweet boy still willing to hold his moms hand. “Mom? How are you supposed to get a girl to marry you?” he asked. So I began explaining to him.

Inbetween questions and answers and lots of sweet remarks (like, what do you do if a girl says no when you ask her to marry you 🙂 ), I suddenly realised how far away my problems felt and how very blessed I was at that moment. The truth is that I am so unbelievably blessed – always. I have so much to be thankful for and yet I choose to grumble. I am surrounded by so much grace but I sometimes only see the hardship. I’m so busy focusing on the clouds that I fail to notice the rainbow.

But not today. Today I’m going to look up. Today I’m going to be thankful for His Grace in my life. I’m going to praise Him for problems that help me to be thankful for the many things that go right. I’m going to hold my sweet boy’s hand and tell him all about life. After all, my problems are in better hands than mine. I just need to let go.

(Incidently if you were wondering, the cement was delivered on another boat a day later. So problem solved. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to serve Him. Please pray that our focus will always be on Him.)