November Nightmares

It’s been a really long time since I blogged. My sincere apologies, I’d give you a great excuse but the truth is forgot all about doing it. However I’m here now, so let’s give this another go.

I arrived back in the Philippines last June 1st 2017, and its all been going pretty well, we’ve had great fun, teaching and feeding awesome kids an a particularly deprived area of Quezon City, joined a great Vineyard Church and stated teaching free English to struggling public school students in their new student centre. We’ve had an awesome and blessed few months….that was until November hit. Now I’ve had some pretty bad days during my 8 years as a missionary but usually these come in the form of one big shocking major incident and it’s over. This past month however has been a constant bombardment of minor issues which piled up until we were at our wits end.

It all stated with a visa interview, on November 8 we had our final assessment with an attorney for my formal preliminary residency, we knew that this would be quite an expense and had prepared as such, but with this extra expense on top of bills and rent, it did leave us with a very depleted budget. A few days later we took the laundry to the laundrette and as we’re tried to leave there was a giant crunch as the velocity joint under our car gave way. We called a mechanic and he informed us the shock absorbers would also need immediate attention. I no idea what we were going to do as the months budget would no where near cover the repairs. Gilbert had events booked in for the coming days which we were counting on financially. It looked like we would have to cancel. I was praying hard at this point. Thankfully we were incredibly blessed to receive an early Christmas gift in the form of money to fix the car. So off Gilbert went to the mechanic. Now we had made a promise to another ministry that they could borrow our sound system for an event, which they did however while setting up, someone decided to ‘help’….and plugged the wrong plug in the wrong outlet and everything short circuited, frying the mixer! So we then really did have to cancel Gilbert’s bookings and pay out again for repairs.

At the same time as all this the landlord decided then would be a good time to send contractors to do much needed repairs on our house. we had been praying for this for over two years and were so happy it was finally happening, however the timing could have been better. I was unable to leave the house due to the work being done which left poor Gilbert to sort out everything else himself.

Fitting a new bathroom door was harder than expected

By mid November we were pretty frustrated, but the car, the house, the sound system and visa were finally sorted and we could relax and get back to normal…or so we thought. On November 19th we were driving through the Roxas Boulevard area of Metro Manila when the car began to over heat. We stopped and topped up the water, but quickly noticed the water pouring out from under that car…the radiator had developed a hole! We waited 3 hours in a car park for the engine to cool and the traffic to ease, then got home by driving short distances to petrol stations and refilling the radiator at every stop. The next day it was back to the mechanic, and the bad news, no chance of repair, we’d need a new radiator. So we were was no choice left but to use our Christmas savings to repair the car for a second time!

The radiator was repaired just in time for the Gilbert’s busiest month of the year in terms of business and were incredibly thankful that we’d made it through. However November wasn’t done with us yet, a few days before the end of the month I began to cough, I took some over the counter medicines which seemed to help, but I began to develop a wheeze in my chest, this lasted for several days and I was struggling to breathe. I was borrowed a nebuliser machine by some incredible Vineyard friends, which really helped. Yet the wheeze continued, two days ago i finally decided to see a doctor, who advised that there was a lot of mucus on my lung particularly the left. So at the time of writing this I am on a 7 day course of antibiotics, two types of nebuliser, extra vitamin C and mucolytic capsules. Nightmare November has rolled over into December, but we are claiming in faith that at the end of this course of medication marks the end of our time of trials.

Though it all it has been affirmed to us again that our God is good, he meets our every need. He has been our source of comfort and support this past few weeks. We have also learnt a lot about ourselves, we have been pushed to our limits relationally, stress can really take its toll on a marriage, a few unkind words have been used, with voices maybe a little louder than necessary, but apologies and forgiveness and understanding have always followed. I could do nothing if it weren’t for my incredible husband. We have amazing family and friends who have been praying hard for us and helping us. Our Vineyard Manila family have been an amazing help to us throughout. Even in the midst of the storms we have so much to be thankful for.

Due to my recovery and Gilbert’s busy Christmas business schedule, we will be slowing down in ministry this Christmas period to take some time to consider and reevaluate before headind back out in full force in the new year.