Friday, September 30, 2011
P.S. Steve has also written a very good article about Filipino currency if you are interested. It is below this blog link if you scroll down.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Salem and I were humbled... their combined weekly income was less than $60. We were challenging them to put back about $10/week. I wish I had a camera to catch each of their facial expressions when we worked out a budget that would allow them to do this! They had never thought about what life would be like not to have to live week by week. In fact, they took our figures and cut their budget more. As a couple, they are determined to save more than 25% of their income in order to be able to personally plant a new church in the future. I was inspired that evening, and it made me think about how many times in our lives we have missed God because we have debt; we lack financial goals; or we have been simply interested in getting more instead of giving more.
How many of us would be willing to live smaller so we could give more for God's Kingdom in this next year? How many of us actually sit down and budget to spend less so we can give it to those in need... instead of buying that new couch. How many of us have forfeited God's best, because we are poor stewards of what God has given us? These are questions I was left pondering when they left our house. Please be in prayer for this couple as they seek to honor God. May their example allow God to speak to us.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
This was cultural immersion at its best. We began back in July by getting one of our Filipina friends to take us to the road-side stand where you order the bamboo furniture. We had to make detailed sketches of each piece of furniture including all the dimensions. We found out it is kind of hard to figure out how much of a recline you want in a couch - and how to communicate that. But we did our best.
Our friend, Elsa, was amazing as she was our go between translating not only words, but ideas to the bamboo man. But at the end of the 1 1/2 hour conversation, none of us really knew what we might end up with.
We heard from the bamboo man (via Elsa) a couple of times in the past month and a half - usually to say the rain was holding up things as the bamboo has to dry out before making the furniture.
So Monday afternoon when I got a text saying the furniture was at our neighborhood front gate and would I please come let them in, I was quite surprised - and excited. I drove to the gate and was surprised to find all of our furniture loaded inside a jeepney along with six men (two drivers and four bamboo furniture makers). I'm guessin' that was a long, cramped ride from the mountains! (Once again, I didn't think to take a picture of it all loaded - but imagine a king size bed, a double wide loft bed, a double wide set of bunk beds, two couches, three end tables, and six men crowded into this vehicle - no wonder it needed to cool off once it got to our house!)
The men proceeded to unload everything in our front yard. Then they carried each set of furniture into the house and assembled it. The kids were super excited, and I was too - until I started seeing all the bugs that came in with the furniture. Combine bamboo and "fresh from the mountains" - and you get bugs. So after the furniture was assembled, we washed it down with bleach water and then sprayed it with bug killer. Never done that to furniture before!
We took a quick picture with the bamboo guys - the man on the right is the man we ordered everything from.
After it was all assembled, washed, sprayed, etc - we had to draw templates from the back and seat of the couches in order to get cushions made. We should be able to pick those up on Monday and have complete furniture.
(Note the "I love soccer" shirt Nolan is wearing - he is coaching Caleb and Isaac's soccer team. Somehow even here in Davao he gets comandeered into such things :)
In the meantime, the kids are really enjoying the beds as you can see here! I did turn on the lights to take these pictures - but it didn't seem to bother them!