Hello all! May is here - boy time is flying! Our to-do list is getting shorter, but it isn't done yet. One big praise God - our preliminary missionary Visa paperwork is complete. We will have more to do with that when we arrive in the Philippines, but the stateside work is done! Yay!
We also shipped our boxes to the Philippines at the end of April. Four boxes of our belongings are somewhere between Lubbock, Texas, and Davao City, Philippines. We expect them to arrive at their final destination sometime in late June. (Pray that they do - and that all the contents are safe and accounted for!) The shipping was a lot easier than I anticipated. (Not the packing - but the actual shipping.) We drove to Lubbock with four giant boxes in the back of our van and went to the Asian grocery, which also doubles as a Filipino shipping agent. The people were so sweet and gave us lots of good tips on living in the Philippines. And, they gave us a small discount on shipping since we were going as missionaries.
I have all my needed medical supplies and textbooks. One sweet EMT gave me his high-end stethoscope, which was a real blessing to me! I also got to try out my new fetal heart Doppler on one of my pregnant friends - fun times! I've begun to work on the book reports that are required with the organization I will be serving with. Lots to read. Fortunately I find it very interesting.
I've taken the last month or so to really seek God through prayer and fasting. I figure if Jesus prepared for His ministry that way, I should at least attempt something similar. It has been a really sweet time of reconnecting with my Savior. Sometimes the sweetness gets lost in the busyness of life. It's also been a time of coming face to face with my sinfulness - not so fun - but important and productive none the less. During this time, I've specifically been praying for (1) preparation for my family and me as we transition to the Philippines - specifically as we leave a wonderful place - and as we settle in to a very different wonderful place; (2) unity among all the missionaries; (3) specific purpose/ministry for Nolan; (4) a clear mind and ability to serve well; (5) God's protection and provision. I hope you'll pray with me in these areas!
Last week we spent some great family time with Nolan's brothers and parents at his brother's house in Plano. We did some fun outings like a Rangers game and the Ft. Worth zoo - but most of all we enjoyed each other's company. The guys only left the ping pong table long enough to eat, watch the NFL draft, play video games, or go to the park to throw the football. It was a great week, but hard knowing we won't see his brother's again for a long time. We are thankful for the time we did enjoy! We were also able to spend one afternoon with my mom's parents and several aunts, uncles and cousins. It was lovely to connect with them as well before we leave the States. We are so blessed!
Finally, I would ask that you pray for our housing situation in the Philippines. The directors of our mission organization are searching for a suitable residence for us. But it is hard as things don't function the same there as we are used to here. For example, there isn't a real reliable real estate market - word of mouth is your best bet. We've seen pictures of three places - only one would (barely) meet the space requirements our family will need. We aren't real picky, but we would like 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. We would really prefer 2 living areas - so we can use one for school/play. Location - close to the clinic - would be ideal. And, of course in our budget. God provided a wonderful home here in Perryton when we moved here eight years ago, and we are trusting Him to do the same in Davao. Would you pray with us for this?