We’ve been in Davao for 2 weeks now. Sherry is starting to settle in at the clinic, and I’m still wondering what my role will be here, besides chief encourager and prayer warrior. My early morning rhythms are staying pretty much the same: I still get up early, have my devotions, exercise by either running or going to the gym, and then . . . The rest of the day’s a crapshoot. I’ve contacted several organizations, a local pastor and a couple men involved in their own ministries here. So far, I’m still waiting on God’s unfolding plan for my time in Davao.
Milo. Golden lab. stellar friend!
I know. It’s only been 2 weeks. I get it. I think. But imagine yourself alone in a big house that is about 85 degrees and 75% humidity inside with barely any air movement; aircon in one bedroom, but you can’t live your life in there, right? I’d do some yard work, but there aren’t any tools and the one weed whacker we had here just got borrowed. The dog (Milo) is a delight, but he isn’t leash trained and about yanks your shoulder out of the socket if you try to walk him.
I Never Thought I’d Love going to the mall!
So I walk to the mall. It’s called Abreeza; and after walking the 1.1k I’m typically drenched in sweat and get the shivers (super cold!) upon entering the air-conditioned mall. They allow you 1 hour of free Wi-Fi there, so I’ll sit in Starbucks (terrible coffee here) or KFC or ChowKing (for Coke Zero) and attempt to get some writing done and posted to my blog. And I wait. For someone; anyone, to contact me and invite me into their work.
As I’m waiting, I have some impressions about the city and the people. In general, the people are kind, gracious and polite. It’s rare that they initiate greetings or conversation, but once you make eye contact or speak to them, they light up, smile and greet you back. The appearance of the city is much like so many other places we’ve visited. Main streets are lined with businesses with little offshoot alleyways, narrow and what I might call “cluttered” with little lean-to shops and one or two-table “restaurants.” Most of these little “restaurants” are comprised of a single grill attached to a gas tank, and if the alleyway is 100 yards long, there will be a dozen of these little eateries. Most of the ones I’ve visited have drains running underneath the walkways and the tiles are often broken and sometimes missing. One such place, I stepped on – and through – a couple of galvanized sheets covering the junk underneath. Fortunately, I didn’t go all the way into the waste, but now I’m a lot more aware and careful! And by the way, I haven’t taken photos of these places out of respect for the people who live there.
In addition to these eateries, there are tons of tiny “markets” with chicken wire fronts; hanging inside and on the chicken wire are all sorts of chips, candies and snacks. All the business is transacted through a little rectangular window like a teller window you might see at a bank. Another thing many of these little shops do is sell “load.” Almost all the cell providers are pay-as-you-go, so you have to “load” talk time on your phone. That’s done in denominations of Php100 up to Php1000 (Php are Philippine pesos). If you have no load, you don’t talk or text. Simple.
Overall, my impression is that I like this place. Sure, it’s hot but there’s a sense of “giving back” when you’re in a posture of saying, “Here I am, Lord; send me!” There are multiple Unreached People Groups for whom I’ve been praying and asking the Lord to possibly give me access to them. Maybe with the wells? Maybe with stories?
In general, I think I feel content. To simply be here and able to support Sherry; to wait upon the Lord, expecting Him to unfold His purpose for Rick in Davao. Thanks for your friendship and for your prayers!