* A Walk in the Woods

Another American missionary does a lot of hiking in the mountains and forests east of Antipolo.  He has invited others to go with him, so we took him up on his offer.  We left at 5 am (to beat the heat of the day) and drove an hour to where we would start our hike.

The family in this house allows Ted to park by their house 
and use their CR (comfort room or restroom).
Here's where we got our gear organized.

We walked a short way up the road to meet our Filipino guide,
 and then a little further to the start of the trail.  
There were some gentle climbs like this throughout the hike.

This is what a lot of the trail was like -- through the bamboo.

Did you know that bamboo is not a tree, but a grass?

There were a few gullies like this to climb up and down.

A meandering stream created a few small waterfalls on it's journey through the forest.

Some hikers have taken a dip in the river here.

We crossed the stream several times on our hike -- going from rock to rock.

The walking sticks helped a lot with keeping our balance as we crossed.  
I think a foot did still slip into the water now and then!

Along the way there were many small huts that various farmers built for shelter where they can stay for a few nights to care for their animals or crops, as the case may be.  

This man was raising goats up in the hills.   He was building himself a new shelter.
He even had a solar panel for electricity!

And he allowed us to use his benches.
Behind us is a pool cut into the ground, fed by the river.  
We were told the man used to raise fish in the pool until a storm 
and the subsequent swollen stream washed the fish downstream. :-(

This rice mill was inside one of the huts.

Rather picturesque don't you think?

 We hiked up a bit further into the woods to a "ulingan"
 -- a place to make "uling" or charcoal.

Here's the Process:
1) Make a clearing and dig a pit
2) Cut your wood and stack it in the pit
3) Pound in some bamboo poles to hold it in place

 4) Cover the pile with leaves and then dirt (hadn't been done yet)
5) Light the fire and let it smoulder for several days
6) Let the charcoal cool and bag it  
7) Carry it out on your back (an hour hike) and sell it

Lying next to the path was this "paragos" -
usually hitched to a carabao, not a man!  ;-)

A couple more views along the way.


* Just a Few Pictures

First, a few sights from the streets of Manila.

These cow-pulled carts come into Manila from the provinces 
in order to sell their hand-crafted items.

How's that for a hearse!

A mall gone all out with decorations.  
The more you look, the more you see!

On the way home from a meeting after a hard rain in Marikina.
Rev. Kleyn had to drive through this. 

Next, a few shots of the missionary families.

Charity found herself a reading nook....

...the boys found the puzzles....

...while others found the badminton.

And an evening at the Smits.

* New Shipment for Bookshelves

We recently received a new shipment for our Reformed bookshelf - seven large boxes!
It’s a good thing we recently purchased a couple more used shelves to store all the books.  

The seven boxes packaged by RFPA and delivered across the ocean by LBC

The process of unpacking and organizing all the books before putting them into the shelves.

The next step - putting them into our hallway bookshelves. 

At last, the books all in the shelves alphabetically

Shelf #1 - Titles A-C

Shelf #2 - Titles C-L

Shelf #3 - Titles L-S

Shelf #4 - Titles S-Y

 We take this opportunity to thank the Protestant Reformed Churches in America for their collections for this cause, which collections allow us to make all this literature available to Filipinos at affordable prices so that they are able to "give attendance to reading" (I Timothy 4:13).

* Trip to Albuera, Leyte, August 2018: The PRFA Members

The sign advertising the worship services

Geliza, BJ, and Gia, in order of age
Take picture and videos of them on your phone, show them,
and you make friends fast.  :-)

Bro Joel, Sis Malin and their three children.  They live next door to the church building and came over in the evenings to visit.

These teenage members of the church came by a couple of times to visit as well.

And Sunday evening Rica and BJ came for a while to visit and to practice their English.

Sitting and relaxing on Saturday, by the house

Getting organized

Sunday was the highlight of the trip.  
Meeting and worshipping with God's people is a precious blessing.

Getting ready for worship

Singing the Psalter in Tagalog

After the first service there was time for a picture
 and for some getting-to-know-you time.

Going home again after the services

Monday morning these two cuties came again
-- to say good-bye on their way to school.  

Tacloban, Leyte is where General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled
his promise to return to the Philippines during World War II.  
There is a memorial there in honor of the occasion, which we
had some time to check out on the way home.

It was a blessing to experience the fellowship with our fellow believers in Albuera and the truth of the Apostles' Creed when it states, "I believe one, holy catholic [universal] church."

* Trip to Albuera, Leyte, August 2018: Flowers and Food Sources

First a few pictures of some gorgeous flowers.



The house we stayed in is set right up against the rice fields.

Looking over the fence near the house.

The water supply.

Getting fattened up for slaughter.

Lots of banana trees surrounding the houses.

A rambutan tree - the fruit turns red when it's ripe.

A small veggie market

Brother Felix shredding the meat of a coconut. 

Saturday morning we took a walk.  We went back down our path/gravel road to the main highway.  We crossed the highway and took this concrete road through the neighborhood to the beach.  Maybe a mile walk one way.  

Path to the beach

Sister Norma and some of the teenage girls from the fellowship came with us.

When we arrived at the beach, some fishing boats were just coming in with their night's catch.

A lot of men on one boat!

The catch ready to go to market.