Ministry Update 2/6/15

I learned a lot this week about what it’s like to actually live here in the Philippines, especially about travel.

We were in desperate need for a vehicle so this week we purchased one. It is a 2007 Nissan Urvan and it will serve us perfectly for transporting the children that we are ministering to.

van

What I didn’t realize was what an ordeal it would be to get it. Since there weren’t any good vehicles here in Bacolod, we decided to go to Manila to look for one.

We left on Monday night at 8:30 and we were in Manila around 9:30. It was a simple one hour flight.

Now, if you have never spent a couple days in Manila, you just haven’t lived yet! This was my first time to get out and about in this city and it was a real adventure to say the least.

There are thousands of people everywhere you look. And the traffic, I don’t even know what to say about the traffic. I’ll just say that if you’re prone to road rage then you shouldn’t drive there. Every second seems like a crash is inevitable.

Thankfully, we made it through two days with no problems. Pastor Antonio really knows how to drive! It seems like pure madness but there is a rhythm and a flow to it all.

We purchased the van on Wednesday and finally left Manila around 8 pm. It’s only about 295 miles from Manila to Bacolod but it took us well over 30 hours to make the trip.

Did you get that? Over 30 hours to go 295 miles!

It’s nothing like traveling in the U.S. There are many challenges here. For one thing, the roads are not well maintained and you are very likely to get stuck behind someone riding a carabao (water buffalo) or maybe a truckload of live animals.

Then there are the ferries. Oh yes, the ferries. Because the Philippines is made up of groups of islands, long distance travel always includes ferries if you are in a vehicle.

ship

We had to take three different ferries to get home. One was a four hour ride and the other two were a couple hours each. The main problem is waiting for a turn to get on.

There were long lines of big trucks at each port and if you don’t get on then you have to wait on the next one. We waited six hours for one and four hours for another.

 

inside of ship

This is what the inside of the ferry looks like!

Once, when we arrived at the port it was low tide and they had a real hard time unloading the vehicles because the low tide made the ramp too steep.

So I really learned that what seems to be so simple and easy can actually be a very big ordeal. Travel here is hard. Oh yeah, we also had to pay tons of fees each time we hit a port.

While I was away getting the vehicle, April came down with the flu. She got worse and worse as the week went on and she is still sick. Please put her on your prayer list.

We have a young couple who are working with us now as helpers in our ministry. They did a great job this week of making follow up visits to the families that we brought to church last week. They even held a Bible study with a few of the parents! Last week we had three people saved at church so their Bible study was basically a follow up with those families.

Please keep this weekends activities in your prayers. Saturday will be a big day as we have several meal centers to work plus the new ministry at the dump.

As always, thank you for reading and praying for us!

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God bless,

Travis

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