Just wanted to let you all know that I arrived safe. It is 9:15 on Saturday here. But I only know that because the computer told me. I have NO idea what time it is or even what day it is while I am here! The ride over was an experience as has been the hotel and food but it has ALL been MORE than worth it! I can't wait unitl I can get back and put my journal entries on here along with pictures! I love these little children and if there was any fairness in the world, they would be coming home home with me. As I am writing htis the students from the college and my family are singing in the other room so you understand why I can't update more but I did want to let everyone know I am here and how amazing it has been! Please keep us in your prayers and know how much these most pure hearted people always find time to keep American Christians in their prayers. It is truley amazing. I have only been here a few days and I already know with certainty that I will never be the same and I am thankful for that. I hope all is well for everyone over there. I'll update soon after I get back!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I am writing this on Thursday, June 19th, around 10:00 a.m. This time next week I will be in the Philippines. This time yesterday I was seriously doubting that I would be ready. However when I woke up this morning (after an unbelievable night of sleep!) I had this e mail waiting for me...
Dearest Don and Laurie, Good morning!!! Yes, I will purchase today so that, I can give you when you arrive and it will be ready to mail it as soon as you arrived. That is no problem. We are so excited with your coming back to the Philippines with your daughter, your cousin your mom and your dad. We are all praying for your safe travel coming back here and to work with you all again. We love and missed you all. You are all blessings from God to us here in the Philippines. We thank you so much for your dedication for the God's work. God bless you all. Love and Prayers, Josie
With all the work, shopping, packing, cleaning, and traveling I had lost sight of what this trip is all about. Josie is our contact person at the preaching school and this is typical of how the people there feel. I will get everything that I need to and when I get over there none of this stress will matter.
Monday morning when I get off work Leigh will be waiting with the car packed and we will be on our way to Chattanooga. I have a couple of Dr.'s appointments and will probably do a little last minute shopping. We will go to bed pretty early because we are supposed to be at the airport at 4:15 a.m. We will be meeting my aunt and uncle there who will be dropping off my cousin Julia who will be going with us. At 6:25a.m. we will leave Chattanooga and should arrive in Chicago, IL at around 7:05 a.m. We will leave the airport there and do a few touristy things there since we have a 6 hour layover. At 12:50 we leave there to go to Tokyo, Japan. It will be 3:55 p.m. (on Wednesday) when we arrive there. Our layover is only 3 hours here. At 6:25 p.m. we leave for Manilla. It will be 9:55 p.m. there and NaNa and PaPa will already be there. We are going to get a couple of hotel rooms to shower, change clothes, and get a few hours of rest before we get on a van to go to Dagupan, the village where the preaching school is and where we will be staying. We will arrive there Thursday morning and I will stay until there until Monday night, July 7th.
That evening I will leave the group for the 5 hour van ride back to Manilla. I will get a hotel room there that night so I can be at the airport by 7 a.m. for my 9 a.m. departure. I will be traveling home alone since this trip is actually set for three weeks. Unforunately, the Montgonmery 911 Dept did not think that they could spare me for that long so I have to come home a week earlier than the rest. I will arrive in Tokyo at 2:25p.m. There I will have about a 3 1/2 hour layover. I leave there at 5:45 p.m. and will arrive in Chicago (now here's where it get's tricky...) on the same day at 3:45 p.m. I love traveling back in time! I leave Chicago at 7:45 p.m. and arrive in Chattanooga at 10:20 p.m. My mom will be waiting there to pick me up and she will be packed and drive me back to Montgomery. (She will be staying with us for the week while Daddy is still there.) So, Lord willing, I will be back here around 2 a.m., Wednesday, July 9.
While we are there me, my NaNa, and Julia will all be teaching lots of VBS- like classes in Dagupan and surrounding villages, we will also be going into the public schools to teach "ethics", adn doing humanitarian works. The school and everyone associated with it has been terribly effected by the recent Typhoon in the area so there is lots of work to do. Please keep this work in your prayers. I am so looking forward to it and feel that I am going to be blessed immeasurably by going. I won't have much access to e mail, much less blogger world until I get back. I did find my camera and will have pictures to post when I get back and (the plan is...) I am going to keep a journal while I am over there and then just type it into here when I get back.
Posted by LaurieR at 10:05 AM
Sunday, June 15, 2008
"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."- Sigmund Freud
According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of American children living in mother-only families has increased 5-fold since 1950. Children reared in single-parent families are more likely to suffer depression and struggle with learning difficulties. They are twice as likely to drop out of school. As adults, fatherless children experience statistically fewer educational achievements and economic opportunities. They are also more likely to have trouble forming long-lasting, intimate relationships.
These are all facts about fathers that I found on the internet this morning which led me to think what on earth my life would be like if I had been raised in mother only family. Know what I came up with? Nothing. I absolutely couldn't even imagine it. My father (and mother for that matter, but she's already had her day ;^) is so very intertwined into my life that it couldn't possibly even be close to the same life if he was not in it. It's not even immaginable.
So, no, I have not suffered from much depression or many learning difficulties and no, I never dropped out of school. Although not a scholar or millionare, I have achieved moderate educational achievements and usually manage to make the ends meet every month. And, even though I am not married or in any long-lasting relationship with a man, I know enough about life to know that I have a plethera of long lasting, intimate relationships. More than most people find in their lifetimes and I'm only 27! More importantly though, I think my dad has done more than that.
My dad taught me how to ride a bike, shoot a basketball, tie my shoes, to get up after I fall down, to always remember who I am and Whose I am, to love my family over all except God, to be proud of who I am and where I come from, to love the Braves and Vols football, how important friends are, how to trust, and how to be trustworthy. These are just a few of the things he taught me, I could obviously go on forever. But, I think these things and the fact that no matter what I have done or how I feel my dad has instilled in me that I can always talk to God and to him, are way more important than any educational opportunities or even my ability to form long lasting relationships.
So, this blog is just to officially post how much I love and appreciate my dad. For that matter, my Daddy and my PaPa. And, for the almost nineteen years that I was lucky enough to have my Granddaddy around I appreciated him and still appreciate what he was to my life. I hope that everyone who reads this is as blessed as I am to have wonderful "fathers" around and remember them on this day and to thank God for them!
Posted by LaurieR at 7:39 AM
Friday, June 13, 2008
I am completely aware of how long it has been since I last posted. Here is a quick rundown of the last month or so..... I went to camp which is one of my favorite things of the year. I loved it and am SO sad that I will miss my second week this year (due to the fact that I will be in the Philippines). I LOVED going to Bible camp growing up am so glad that I get to go every year and try to give to these kids what all of the counselors (way back in my day) did for me. If you have a child that is close to that age you should definitely send them. You can ask my mom, I was completely opposed to it when she first tried to send me and then it quickly became the highlight of my year. I have seen a few children who didn't love it but they are SO far and few in between! Before camp was VBS. We had the 1st and 2nd graders this year and they were hilarious! The rest of my month or so has been busy working, trying to raise money for my trip to the Philippines, and getting ready for the trip. I'm sure there is more but my mind is preoccupied right now so I'll have to update later.
If you know me at all, you know that I am fiercely protective (some, like Leigh, may even use the word OVER protective) of my friends and family. Believe me when I say that I am completely aware of HOW blessed I am in both of these areas. I am sure that you have wonderful friends and family, but I know for a fact that no one has any better than mine. This being said, if I had to put my life's mission in to words (and leave out the obvious, which is to go to Heaven and take as many people as I can with me) it would be to do everything in my power to keep all of "my people" from as much physical and emotional pain as is possible.
Right now one of my very best freinds and definitely some one who has been to more of my birthday parties than almost and of the rest of them (she was at my 1st and my 18th, and most in between!) is in some very serious emotional pain. To save time I am going to let you take a detour to her page to get all of the facts but here is the "Cliff Notes" version. Melissa and John met at Hrding and got married. On Novemeber 21, 2005, God blessed them with one of the most prescious angels that He has ever created, named Kayden. Kayden is beautiful, wonderful, sweet, and NO DOUBT just a small version of her mom! On April 19, 2007 Melissa was pregnant with their second child when she went for her routine ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. This is when she got the devestating news that the baby had anencephaly. This is a fatal birth defect that is caused when the neural tube doesn't close over the top of her head. This means that the baby's brain will not develop and she doesn't have a developed skull. There is no chance of a baby living with this. On August 9, 2007 Janey Hicks was born and a few minutes later left this world for The Better One. This was devestating for all who knew and love Meli and John (when you have the time you really should click on the Meli link on my page and read some of her post from around that time, it is inspiring to say the least) Between August, 2007 and February, 2008 life has not really stopped throwing curve balls at this family. They have been dodging things such as money problems and job difficulties, ect. However, they have handled things nothing short of amazingly. In February this year, they found out that they were pregnant again, due in October. Again at the "routine" ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby the Dr. found somewthing was amiss. He didn't know exactly what it was so he sent her back to Macon to see the same specialist that had seen her for Janey. It was there that they got such horrible news yesterday. The Dr said that it was one of the following three things, 1. That her kidneys are weird looking and always will be but they will function just fine. 2. That something is wrong with them and they will start to fail. Not sure what, but for sure wrong. 3. That she has polycystic kidney disease. He talked a lot about this one and I feel sure this is what he feels it is. The main point being...it doesn't look good.
Here is the point of this post, PLEASE keep this family in your prayers! Everytime you look at your healthy children, please just take a quick moment and thank God for them and their health and then pray for this pregnancy and this baby! God IS the great physician and He CAN make Brecken (the baby's name) healthy! All I can do to protect Meli, John, Kayden, and Brecken is pray and get as many people to pray as I can. So, this is my mission. Please put them on your prayer list, on your congergations prayer list, and ask any Christian you know to pray! I TRUELY believe that God is going to do great things with this!
Since I am already on the subject of your prayer lists I can't miss this opportunity to ask you to remember a few other things.
1. Little Avie Dawkins will be having surgery October 28th and continues to have complications from her cleft pallet (sp??)
2. As always, Adam's widow, Erin and their little girls. All of ou men and women in our armed forces and their families.
3. All those affected affected by these horrible storms. Ecspecially, the families of those little boy scouts.
4. Me, Daddy, NaNa, PaPa, and my cousin Julia leave on the 24th of this month to go to the Philippines. I will post more on this before I leave, hopefully. But please pray for our safety and that we will be successful in spreading God's word to as many as possible.
Posted by LaurieR at 8:01 AM