We landed here on July 21st and This is our story.
July 22, 2006 We left LAX airport on July 19th as scheduled. Our promise to trust God for that date being fulfilled, we crossed the Pacific Ocean on our way to the Philippines. With one short stop in Guam for re-fueling, we made it to Manila and the good news was, the kids were absolutely, no trouble at all. This was indeed, answered prayer.
After claiming our baggage, we met my mother & sister in laws and proceeded to go “home”.
Culture shock began to hit us both immediately as we drove through Quezon City and especially Payatas, this area had grown more depressed then we recalled. The buildings were reminiscent of world war two after the bombing in England and yet, people actually live in these buildings. Garbage and filth were everywhere and one could not imagine any improvements with out the use of a bulldozer, yet the people living here have grown accustomed to this way of living and it seems that they don’t notice a difference.
There are “homes” that seem like tunnels with dark rooms and battered walls, and it leaves you with an eerie feeling as you enter into them.
You could easily compare this “condition” with being un-saved. As one who is stuck deep in miry sin, he has grown accustomed to it and so continues his life as if this was not an abnormality. When one is exposed to the Savior, they do one of two things. They either see Him as being their redeemer to save them out of this darkness or they see no better advantage to being with Christ.
Some of these people have had the opportunity to see better homes and yet it seems that these nice homes do not have an appeal to them. Like it is no improvement in ones life to obtain such a place to live and they are resigned to stay in the “clay”.
Besides the sad condition of the buildings, the pollution is just as bad. As we drove along the roads we were accompanied by hundreds of Jeepney’s, motorcycles with side cars and other kinds of cars and trucks and most of them were continually, belching noxious fumes from their tailpipes.
I will not belabor the poverty point as you will be able to see what I just described on a video which will hopefully, soon be prepared.
Our house is actually a cute little place with two small bedrooms, a kitchen with a sink and one, cold water faucet and no cabinets. The stove is a two burner gas model that sits on the counter top and is fed fuel from the propane tank on the floor. The refrigerator is a small one that resembles something from a travel trailer. There is no washer or dryer and so we are praying for that possibility and an air conditioner would cost about $800 U.S. after installation so we are hanging on to the fans. The good news is it is a lot cooler than California! To all those that said the humidity would kill me, HA! I’m still alive.
The bathroom consists of a toilet, sink and a one faucet shower, the drain being directly in the tile floor so that if you take a shower, the water will go all over. One of my projects will be to divide the floor area with a tiled sill to stop the spreading of water to the rest of the bathroom floor.
I said, “if you take a shower” because when we arrived, we found out that we had no water due to the fact that another relative lived here for a while but never paid the bill so we were surprised with an unexpected $150 (U.S.) bill before we could have the water turned back on. So we worked out of buckets of borrowed water from a very nice neighbor.
My first shower that night, was with the aid of a tabo. For you non-Filipinos, that is a cup you use to pour water on yourself. Actually, that wasn’t too bad, even with only cold water. My big treat happened this morning, (Sunday) as it is “rainy days” here, I was able to go in the backyard and take a natural shower.
I can easily adapt and I am getting used to not having easy access to email yet I am praying that that will be remedied somehow.
What is difficult to get used to is the severe poverty that permeates the land. The lost souls of the “walking dead” calling out for help and receiving none. We have already started witnessing to people as I gave the Gospel message to our driver, brother in law and a few others.Today I was able to preach in the Independent Baptist Church of Pateros (Bro Narvaez’s, former Church. Two people accepted Christ as their Savior at the service. Also, as is customary with Baptists and Filipinos, we had some great food afterwards.
We do not know what the future holds for us here but we are determined to press on to do the work God has called us to do. We covet your prayers as we seek to find a place to hold services and the funds needed to make that happen.
We miss you and love you all.
By His Grace,
Jack & Malou Wilson