I caved, For years I said "I can handle it....I'm fine, I'm not a sissy, I am a tough missionary, how many missionaries before have survived to tell the tale, they were fine they didn't die so I wasn't going to die I can hold out....I can hold out...." and then one hot afternoon, I caved.....I bought an a/c unit.
Actually half way through my first stint in the Philippines I said to Ellora (before I knew or really felt called to come back) "If I ever come back to the Philippines I am buying an aircon [a/c]"
But when I moved back buying an a/c seemed like a silly luxury and the weather in Tagaytay wasn't as hot as Tabuk. When I did move back to Tabuk I was determined I could survive without one, even though I would wake up in the morning, stare at the blue sky and go "oh no....another hot day" or how when I stepped out in the sun I was saying things like "I hate the sun, I hate the sun, why does it want to kill me? I never did anything to it!" one hot afternoon, ate Red called me and said "Vienna I have seen the for-cast in your area and I am concerned, I think you should get an aircon," I dismissed it, but over the next few days I really thought about it, but the options available to me were too expensive for my savings, but two of my relatives came to me rescue! enough funds come through to buy it. The ironic thing is..... we have finally got rain, which is so wonderful and it is cooling the afternoons and evenings off. Of course this weather start the day we get my a/c put it....of course....
But I will say on those hot and humid evenings when I use the a/c....oh man....its unbelievable how wonderful it is, its like I can think clearly, I get all calm inside and peaceful....ok enough of that, moving on to less 'cool thing'.
We are opening in one week!!! oh my goodness, so many things to do in that time frame. We already have people ready to come when we start, we are going to try and start off with only 4 people, especially with the quarantine. I remember in the early stages of planning I was wondered that maybe we would start and no one would come but by the looks of things we are not going to have that problem. we haven't even started yet and people are telling us about individuals they want to send us. My job as treasurer has been exciting, budgeting is always fun and a massive learning curve, because we haven't started yet we are trying to guess as to how much this will cost or that will cost, and it seems every time we calculate the budget the numbers get bigger. I had a good chat with the treasurer of the church today about using excel, and how to organize the receipts and reporting ect. ect. That was super helpful! But I cannot tell you how many times I have silently cried out to God saying "Me? you made me Treasurer?" a few years ago I asked God that if i ever get married maybe I could marry someone who is good at accounting and all the financial stuff so I wouldn't have to worry about it. Instead God is just making me good an financial stuff and accounting and all that stuff. So I guess I officially don't need a man now. Fortunately I have a lot of people I can glean from and having been doing just that, and I am very thankful for me brief training in some of the money handling when at Safe, at the very least it taught me how to document and the lingo. When I was at Safe and needed to step in to help handle the day to day expenses it all happened so fast, I was handed the cash box and a record book and told "Go". and I tell ya, I learned a lot in a short time and am so thankful for that background.
The last few months
so what has happened in the last few months? the renovations!! they have been going on since October, we now have new tiles, fresh paint, dividing walls, beds, lights, a new bathroom a renovated second bathroom and a new septic tank!!! wahoo!! we have hired our staff, we are visiting offices, we have bought the foamies dressers, a stove, a dish organizer, electric fans, pots pans, pillow, spoon, plates bowls...well you get the picture. Curtains are on their way, we will be looking for a fridge and we are praying for an a/c unit in the office (there is no air flow in the office, so its like a little hot box) Oh and we received our registration which means the government says "go for it!"
I caught some babies!!!
We are praying that Ellora's flight will not be too affected by the worldwide lock-down. She is schedule to arrive in July but international flight still have not resumed, we are expecting that she will need to undergo a 14 day quarantine either way,
MSC Canada who is acting as my missionary organization sent money for helping people affected by COVID, so we did a feeding program! one of the groups that are being affected by the lock-down are the pastors, because churches aren't meeting and everyone is struggling financially the giving in churches has gone down resulting in pastors not getting their income. so we packed begs of rice and items for food and handed them out to a whack of pastors, enough for them and two portions for them to hand out to needy families in their congregation. They were all so thankful to receive the blessing.
COVID cases continue to rise in the Philippines but slower than some countries, our own province is still covid free as far as we know so we are very thankful for that and are continuing to pray it remains so. Boarders are carefully monitored by the army not allowing anyone to travel between provinces unless there is an important reason, proper papers and only a day trip, for people who want to come home from other provinces there is a required 14 day quarantine.
So things go forward. I have learned a lot about Trust these last few months, there have been lots of spiritual attacks and honestly some very low points. But God has seen me through each time, and each low point had brought me closer to God each time. I am learning the importance of spending more and more time in prayer and devotion, the more in depth I go into this kind of ministry the closer I find I need to be with Jesus or else worries and anxious thoughts start moving in. He is the ultimate comforter and the solid rock on which we stand. It is Him that moves this ministry forward. After all it is His ministry. We commit this work to the Lord every day, that doesn't mean I find myself panicking about finances or how we will keep the residents occupied during these days of lock-down but then I remind myself that God is powerful, he did after all divide the red seas, heals people from sickness and all sorts of extravagant thing. He is extremely dependable and ALWAYS faithful, so we don't need to worry, in fact there a few a verses about not worrying. Every time I think I am inadequate for this work, or thing of all the things that could go wrong I think of Moses and Gideon, Moses in how he kept giving excuses to the Lord and finally God getting angry with Him that Moses wouldn't trust Him. and Gideon who was not a typical leader, but God made him one.
"God is good, all the time!
He keeps on blessing and I don't know why
God is good, all the time"
And on that note, I will leave you, but I am really going to try and get you some more updates as we open. as always thank you so much for your support and prayers!
God Bless you all