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!
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 ❤