Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hello from the Philippines!

I've been on the other side of the world from home for just over a week now, but it feels like so much longer. Not in a bad way at all, it's just that I've experienced so many new things in that time! In addition to driving many random places, I've traveled by plane, bus, and in the back of a pickup truck. I've been able to see a lot, but haven't been completely surrounded by the culture yet- God was very gracious to allow me to receive the newness in small doses! Some initial observations:

-Traffic, especially in Manila, is absolutely terrible, in a very different way than the US. The driving mentality is totally different- fewer rules, lots of passing and pulling out in front of people. It's like everyone (drivers and pedestrians) assumes they have the right away, but stops if someone else takes it first. There's also lots of honking. It took me a few days not to feel like we were about to hit someone every second.
-Things are more laid back here, and schedules are not held to as tightly as they are in the US.
-"Aircon" is a wonderful thing. It's certainly hot and humid here, but really, not too much more than in NC.
-They have McDonalds, but the menu is a bit different than back home. For instance, I had "McSpaghetti" for dinner last night. For some reason, I find that highly amusing, but it tasted good.
-The most unusual thing I've eaten so far is a dessert called "Halo Halo". I really liked it!

I have loved getting to know the Talbots, and have had so much fun spending time with the kids especially- coloring, jumping on the trampoline at the NTM guest house where we're staying right now, and so forth. They have made me feel very welcome, and I'm looking forward to all that's ahead- teaching comes soon! I've also been incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to get to know some of the other missionaries here. It's amazing to hear the stories of how God brought them here, what He has taught them, and what He has done. It really is such an amazing opportunity He's given me.

Only a week, and God is already hard at work growing, stretching, and teaching me. One of the biggest things has been the need to choose to find sufficiency and joy in Him alone, regardless of what my emotions are doing, regardless of whether or not circumstances are hard or confusing. It's something that I knew already, but He is faithfully driving it home deeper and deeper. There are certainly many new things to get used to, and adjusting has been somewhat overwhelming at times. But I'm very thankful for the opportunity for the chance to be pushed out of my comfort zone, because my comfort zone is self-centered and needs to go, even if it hurts. For all of the challenges, and the missing those at home, I can say without reservation that I am really, truly happy here. I know that I'm where God wants me, and there's a beauty that comes with that that's hard to describe.

Pray for all of us, especially Chuck and Shannon, as we prepare to move into the village. Pray that God will live through me, give me wisdom in every moment and live through me to love and serve those around me. And pray for the village, as they are currently in the midst of a bad drought.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so...

Saying "See you later" to those I love at the airport

Sweaty, gross, desperately in need of sleep, but finally in Manila!

This was waiting for me in my room. :)

Holding baby Bea for the first time

Outside the NTM guest house where we are staying right now

"Tricycles". They are everywhere here.

With Hala in the back of the pickup truck

Coloring while waiting for lunch after church on Sunday

Having fun on the trampoline

That's all for now!
Much love,


Emma said...

It's good to hear from you and see these pictures, Lindy! I am excited for all that God is doing through you and teaching you. I know that the family you are staying with will be mightily blessed by your presence! Praying for you that you will have bountiful grace through this season of intense stretching and growing. :)

Lindsay Meeker said...

Lindy, I was SO excited to see and read your blog this morning! Thanks for posting pictures too! I'm so happy for you and know that God is doing amazing things through you there. It's funny, as I was reading your blog I was thinking about how it felt for me to be in a totally different culture- the people, the land, the traffic, the food. Everything is different but, for me, overwhelmingly beautiful. Guatemala is such a poor country but God really showed me the beauty of all those differences. I would go back right now if I could take my family! We ate at a McDonalds too that had fried chicken with the bones and all. :-) You are such a wonderful woman and I can't wait to hear more about your journey. We will be praying for you, your host family, and the villages. Love you, Lindsay

Barbara Hemphill said...

Lindy, Your story brings back all kinds of memories of the first time I went to India. I'm SO proud of you for doing this, and will pray that you will be blessed and be a blessing.

Barbara Hemphill Taylor (from Mount Zion)