The Bicol Bulletin
Volume 1, Issue 2 - April 2003
If you were to ask my daughter, Carly, what she misses the most from the US, her typical answer is Applebee’s and Silver Dollar City! But there are also days when “our world” comes to a screeching halt, because we miss family too! Well, we found an amusement park, but I still haven’t found a restaurant that serves Fiesta Lime Chicken!
Our family life these days could be well described as a merry-go-round, if not a three-ring circus! Being in the pastorate for the past several years caused me to expect the unexpected as I planned each day of ministry. Being in language school every day is like riding on a merry-go-round—you go up and down, round and round, but the scenery never changes!
Our day begins whenever Caleb, our two year old son, decides that it is time to get up! I have tried keeping him up late so he will sleep in, but it seems that each time I have tried, he gets up even earlier the next day, but with a less “cheerful” attitude. After quiet times, exercising, and showering, we are usually ready to begin the work day. Joanna and Carly go to school—school is the room downstairs that is off limits to Caleb because there are too many permanent markers! Carly is doing quite well in Kindergarten. She studies all the basics, plus music, art, and piano! She even has reading homework a couple of nights a week.
When mom and Carly start school, it is time for me and Caleb to “work” too. Caleb’s morning is filled with Steve and Blue, Clifford, VeggieTales, and Miss PattyCake. When he gets tired of that, he will wonder into his room and play with his toys. Unfortunately, Caleb can be a bit mischievous, so when he gets bored with everything else, we put in our secret weapon—the classic, Peter Pan!
My mornings are filled with studying, corresponding, and just living! There is no Wal-Mart here, so to buy groceries, you may have to go to 3 different stores plus the market to find what you need. It is not unusual to stand in line at the bank for over an hour. But amazingly, you can walk into to see most any doctor without an appointment and without waiting!
We eat lunch about noon. It usually consists of tuna, grilled cheese, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. At least once a week, we either go to McDonald’s or have them deliver. When lunch is over, I begin my language school.
God has truly blessed me with a wonderful language tutor! My tutor, Bong, grew up in our BMA church in Bulan, Sorsogon, just 3 hours from Legazpi City. He is a native Tagolog and Bicolano speaker, but he also knows the Illongo dialect. He has earned a Masters degree in English and has his teaching license.
We have class for three to four hours every afternoon (“tuwing hapon” in Tagolog, just so you know that I am learning something). Class consists of drills, vocabulary, drills, practice, and more drills. My favorite phrase I have learned thus far is an answer to the question, “Why are you studying Tagalog?” My response is, “Para gumanda ang pakikisama ko sa mga Pilipino at gusto ko hong magturo ng Biblia sa kanila!” In other words, “So I can have better relationships with Filipinos and because I want to teach the Bible to them!”
After class is over, we start working on supper. Eat. Clean up. And then we get ready for bed. Every night, after reading our Bible together, we “count our blessings.” This has become our family tradition. We sing the chorus to “Count Your Blessings,” then each person tells what he or she is thankful for that day, then we sing again. It has become one of our favorite times of the day! Then it is off to bed for the kids, while mom and dad share a few moments of peace with each other or with family on the internet. Then we get up and do it all over again the next day!
Now you may be wondering why I have told you all of this. My answer is simple. When I first considered moving to the mission field, I had a glorified view of the life of missionaries. Then one experienced missionary told me something I will never forget. He said that 80% of mission work is just living! I put it this way, “Life is kind of like a merry-go-round.”
Please pray for:
Thank God for:
For More Information Contact:
Send mail to
[email protected] or
[email protected] with
questions or comments about this web site.