As lady leaders, our mornings start just as it is starting to get light at 5:00am. We quickly mix up our breakfast to get it in the oven in time to be cooked for the team. We light the small two burner propane stove sitting precariously on a box just big enough for half of each foot to stand on. We balance the large metal box we call an oven on top, careful not to disturb the stove beneath. (This morning was even more exciting! We opened the oven and found a large spider inside and knowing he had nowhere to go, we quickly shut the door and waited until he perished under the intense heat, pleased that there is one less spider in this world.)
Waiting for breakfast to bake, we start filtering about 30 gallons of water for the day. Then it is time to wake up the team. Once breakfast and devotions are over the team is off to work for the day. Then it’s my chance to go to town. Walking 8 blocks to the post office, then 4 blocks back to the grocery store and then grabbing a motorcycle taxi to carry everything back to the church has become the routine. It is so nice to live in town! There is a bakery right across the street selling fresh made bread and cinnamon rolls. Bananas, nectarines, apples and mangoes are sold on most street corners. A tube of ice can be found just around the corner for just 10 cents. Eggs are sold in several small shops on our block.
Most days we travel with the team to the worksite. Thursday morning the team is doing a presentation for over 1,000 children at a school just around the corner from us. They finished up their last day of construction Wednesday by pouring the floor and putting up plywood walls at a church in Tigbao.
Friday we are taking the team for a day of sightseeing. We will take a boat to an island where we will have a pig roast and enjoy the day relaxing at the beach and swimming in the crystal clear water. We are looking forward to that!
Saturday we will be busy doing laundry for the last time. We will do one last presentation at church on Sunday before packing up our things and preparing for our flights to Hong Kong. We will be flying out of Tacloban around 1:00pm, and hanging out in the Cebu airport for our 8:00 flight to Hong Kong.
Please pray for us to stay healthy, make our connections, have a great time in Hong Kong and stay safe. Also pray for us as we have to say goodbye to Talitha before we leave. She is also nervous about being “left behind” to do her internship at the Teen Missions base in Butuan until next May.
From the Team:
Wednesday was our last real work day. It’s just going to be EV from here on out. On Wednesday we did construction at a small church in a village. We finished the floor with concrete and put up plywood on the frame. It seems like the work projects have consisted of mixing concrete and hammering nails. But it’s a great feeling looking back on all that the team has accomplished. We’re looking forward to our last few days and for Thursday presenting at the city school. We appreciate all the prayers and support and we can’t wait to share about our experiences when we get home.
– Dylan Nickolson
Wow, I’m sad that my time here is winding down, but I love how my relationship with God has grown so much. My team is amazing and we’ve grown so close to each other, we are practically family. The children follow us almost everywhere that we walk and their smiles brighten my day! Seeing the people’s faces light up when we do our work is so rewarding. I feel God in a way that I’ve never felt Him before, it’s amazing. I love you all and God bless!
– Ahrissa Mendenhall
Wow! All I can say is wow! This summer has been one of the best experiences of my life, and God surely has been with me the whole way; through all the sweat from construction work and the tears from homesickness. Bit through all the hard times and the blessed times, I’ve experienced so much of God’s love and compassion to those who let Him direct their lives. The Lord definitely was at work in the Philippines this summer. I hate that I only have a couple of days before we leave.
– Will Nabholz