Not much to write here, but I thought I could give a little insight into how we’re filling our time here.
Well, first of all, during these few short weeks, I’m trying to help Donna to care for her Mom… doing all the things I can do, freeing Donna up a little. All too quickly I will be back in the Philippines and she will have to revert to doing everything. It’s also nice to spend as much time together as we can, since another separation looms on the near horizon.
Oh, and I’m working on our taxes… fun, as you all know. Yes, it’s true… missionaries file 1040’s, too, and it’s just as exciting for us to fill out all those forms as it is for you!! Actually, it’s pretty crazy because the IRS can’t quite figure out what status to give us, but they do manage to make it incredibly complex for us to file (you’d think it would be simple, huh… what with missionary financial life being somewhat less uh… expansive than some.)
I’ve also been preparing a message and presentation about the Palawano ministry. I will have the chance to share that in a church in San Diego when I pass through there on my way back to the Philippines.
YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES?
That’s all great, but how in the world could I stay occupied with ministry (not to mention, ministry in the Philippines) while sitting here in Iowa?! Well, internet technology helps… here’s what I’ve been up to:
I’ve been working via email to help some coworkers plan how to develop Palawano literacy materials and the classes to teach Palawanos to read. Some literacy consultants are coming to the Philippines to help them, and I will probably be involved by giving a little input. All this is quite important, of course, because if we finish the New Testament translation and no one can read… well, you see the problem.
I’ve also been preparing for the upcoming Bible Translation workshop in April… getting back into the language by listening to MP3’s (haven’t found any Palawanos in Iowa to actually TALK to) and looking over my Palawano materials (my grammar write-up, dictionary and previously translated Scriptures portions.) I’ve also run into some fun with trying to arrange for Palawano translation helpers to attend the workshop… how do I get word to them when I’m in Iowa and they are over there, in the jungle with no two-way radio or cell phones, etc. Well, someone reminded me you can send a “panawagan” (announcement) over the AM radio waves. This is a public service of the radio stations on Palawan. So I’ve asked our coworker in Puerto to give the radio station an announcement… they will broadcast it and Giyang will either hear it, or someone will hear it and run up or down river to tell him. Then he will know he needs to get out to town where he can get my letter about the workshop. Sometimes the high-tech breaks down and you can fall back to something as simple as AM radio and word-of-mouth!!
I’ve also doing consultant work by giving language-learning advice to some coworkers by writing up detailed evaluations and suggested techniques and sending it via email in an attached file. (Ooops… back to the high tech.) At the same time, I’m trying to work out some scheduling for giving some on-site language learning evaluation two other coworkers, when we all return to Palawan from the translation workshop. Also working on the planning for the upcoming 2nd Asian Congress on Language Learning, and the 6th International Congress on Language Learning, both in 2007.
So we’re keeping busy… just in case you were worried about us.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting back to the Philippines and our ministry there, but I’m not too anxious to leave Donna behind here and have another separation. But of course, we can’t really rush things, and the future, including Donna’s mom’s remaining days, are all in God’s hands. All we can ever do it be patient… and do what the Lord places before us day by day, wherever He has placed us for that moment.
So I pray that whether or not you are where you want to be, or where you expected to be, that you will sense God’s presence and direction and let Him guide you with how He’d like you to fill your time.
Time is short, you know.