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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Packing in to the Bukid for a Month

(The Bukid is the local term for the mountain villages in the north of Mindanao island)

For the next whole month starting Sunday August 22nd 2015 I will be leading a team of 3 other puti langoy (white foreigner) girls and 2 filipina translators. Yes, I will be leading. I guess if they can trust me around the babies they think they can trust me to lead adults too. That will be an adventure in itself. They are sending us out each carrying 1 backpack packed with our sleeping mat, mosquito net, clothes, toiletries, some little girl’s dresses to give away(courtesy of Reaching the Hungry), some medical supplies in case we see a need, and I will carry one rice sack of pots, pans, and other cooking supplies. Just some bare essentials. For a girl who loved camping when I was young I am really excited, but for a girl with fibromyalgia I am also feeling a bit nervous. Please pray with me that His strength will be made perfect in my weaknesses and shortcomings and that I will be pain free.  
To begin our month we will travel by ferry to another island where we will spend our first week in “boot camp.” There we will do some team building exercises, attend church planting seminars, and do some evangelism training. We also will be learning practical skills such as how to chop the head off a live chicken, showering fully clothed with buckets outdoors, cooking over a coal fire, etc. Hopefully there won’t be too many headless chickens let loose during this week!

Next, on Saturday, August 29th at around 4am we will hop on a bus for several hours and travel far into a small village in the mountains of Mindanao island where we will spend our next week. We will travel to a new village each week. The adventure begins as we won’t know what our living conditions will be like until we get each place. We may or may not have electricity, which makes for sweaty mosquito filled nights or fun evenings by candlelight; running water, which can make for interesting showering and cooking or the developing of huge arm muscles from carrying buckets of water; or we may not have beds to sleep on; which can make for grumpy achy girls or the developing of a deeper understanding of how a lot of the rest of the world sleeps. Pray with me that we’d all go out with expectations of the Lord to work and the open mindedness to really experience the fun out of the adventure.
While we are out there our goal will be to seek the Lord’s direction in planting house church groups, evangelizing, doing health teachings, and building relationships with whomever we encounter. So you can see that we really have no agenda. We are going in the hopes that the Lord uses us and directs us, but honestly I cannot tell you exactly what my days there will look like. The people in these villages that we will be living with are predominantly Roman Catholic and some practice Islam. Please pray with me that my team will be relatable and able to build challenging relationships with the people we will meet over the course of the month and that above all else we would leave a lasting impression that brings glory to the name of Jesus. 

Since we will be traveling pretty far away from the city I will be completely disconnected from all electronics and internet for the entire month that I will be gone,, until September 23rd.  You can expect to hear from me when I get back, but until then please please keep my teammates and I in your prayers. We will need a lot of prayer and interceding while we are out as we will be spreading the name of Jesus and the enemy will try and distract, derail, and desensitize us from our goal.

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Thank you for your words of encouragement. The Sales Family