People ask about my adjustment to the States. In some ways it seems I never left. In other ways it seems like a foreign culture to me. When I took a domestic trip to Virginia a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed at the check-in process. Almost no one (except me) had a paper ticket. Everyone was quickly swiping their cell phones over a scanner and moving on.
Yesterday, as I worshipped in the church sanctuary, I was a bit distracted by the sweeping colored lights, the many musical instruments, and the songs I have never heard before. My thoughts carried me back to some of our Philippine churches who sit on bamboo benches on a dirt floor under a tarp tied to nearby trees. Ducks, dogs, birds, and pigs sometime join in the singing!
But I’m eager to share with churches and groups here about what God is doing in the Philippines and in other parts of the world. During the missions conference I attended I spoke with fellow missionaries from Italy, Egypt, Brazil, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Our missionaries in China shared how the current government is stepping up its persecution of Christian. Northern European missionaries talked a lot about the immigration crisis. Still, stories were told of how God continues to reach across borders and boundaries to make Himself known.
So far, I am scheduled to speak in churches here in Texas during October and November. My 2019 schedule has not been made, so I may be traveling out of state after the first of the year. I have a few family projects to work on that will keep me busy. But most of all I treasure the times I am spending with my kids. Sara is living in the mission house with me. (My phone number is 817-658-9667.) I take care of Christy every Wednesday morning. I’ve visited several times already with David and Jonathan. I was with Martha in Virginia on her birthday. I will be seeing Hannah and her husband in a couple of weeks.
Still, I never forget my brothers and sisters in the Philippines who minister in hard places with few rewards. They are the front-liners. They are my heroes. I am honored to call them my friends. After my year is finished here I know I will be ready and eager to return to that nation of islands on the west side of the Pacific.