Sunday, July 19, 2015

Despedida for the UK Short-Term Mission Team

Why are we all walking down the road...carrying children and assorted dishes of food? Well...good question--
This last month, NTSM, the nearby NTM training center for national missionaries, had a mission team from the UK come and help with their ongoing renovation. Over the last couple of weeks we have had the team over to our house for a meal, and gone out there to speak at one of their meetings.

They're a really neat group, and kept on working outdoors even through the monsoon downpours!
To celebrate them coming, and give them a Despedida (kind of a farewell party) many of the National NTM leadership and all of the students and staff at NTSM got together last Saturday--

We were invited too--- there was just one problem. The rain. It has rained almost non-stop for the last two weeks. Normally to get into NTSM, you have to drive over three fairly docile river crossings. We can normally even do it in our glorified station wagon. But after two weeks of monsoons, the river was swollen and flooded and there was no way to get across, even in 4x4 vehicles. 
So, we headed to the farewell luncheon the old-fashioned way....hiking on the muddy trail. Our kids thought it was a big adventure, and had a great time trekking through the rainforest. Some of the UK teammates and one of our NTM co-workers hiked out to our houseto help carry in the food--Rainy Season...It's more fun in the Philippines!

Skye spent the hike on daddy's shoulders, but the other three kept up with the others...and even tried to push the pace at times. :)
The kids always love visiting NTSM...lots of room to run and play....when it's not raining too hard.
We had a great time with our National NTM co-workers, and the departing UK team.
Tons of food...a bit of flooding, and lots of fun.
Oh, it was also our 12th anniversary that day...so we celebrated one dozen years with several dozen people!
The UK team gave a last singing performance...
The boys, as usual, got tired of sitting for any length of time...
There were last pictures taken with everyone who came and those who helped the mission team....
And, after lots of food, fellowship and farewells, we headed back out on our homeward hike.
That would be Skye...once again happily hanging out on top of daddy's backpack on the return trek. It was a muddy day, but a very special one--
safe travels to the UK team-- and come on back! (maybe during dry season next time... :) 

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