Our journey back to our home and ministry has not gone as planned. We arrived in Manila for what was to be a short stop over on our way to Siargao Island. We were met with heavy monsoon rains that hit Manila. The rain and wind did not let up and soon Manila was flooded. We are thankful we made it to our hotel before the flood waters rose.
Jenn and I remembered that many years before when we were newlyweds and had no children, we were also stranded in similar conditions. We had to wade through chest high disease filled waters to find safe ground and a route to transportation. We were fortunate to make it out safely, while many died from being sucked down open sewers.
On this occasion, we were safe even though our hotel was an island surrounded by garbage filled water. All roads to the airport were blocked so we missed two scheduled flights home to Siargao Island. To make matters worse, the warehouse across the street from our hotel caught on fire. Toxic fumes from paint and garments filled the air. Thankfully the rain settled enough the following day for the flood to subside and flights to resume.
Upon arriving back in Siargao, we all took big breaths of fresh air and enjoyed the feel of sunshine on our skin. I don’t think we have stopped sweating for a moment though, especially after so many months in cooler weather.
We are taking each day in stride, trying to conserve low energy levels. Catching up on work and starting home schooling for Makana and Brison has been well balanced with reconnecting with HOPE staff and people in town who are dear to us. It was great to meet our three new Danish interns -Martin, Sebastion and Gabi. What a joy to also connect with our six new junior staff and see them in action and adjusting well.