Papa John’s girls are down to three. We said goodbye to Dana, Katy, Hannah (and Abby) today. Very sad after spending two incredible weeks together but they are heading back to the states. We had fellowship bracelets made for us in the Baguio City market before they left. I bought one for Lindsay, Chloe and John as well. I miss those three so much!!
In the Baguio market, God also provided some really cool ministry opportunities. There were young girls trying to sell us bags and I told them I didn’t need a bag but I would love to share something with them if they had a few minutes. I shared with them the gospel and how God sent me to the Philippines to share the love of Christ. I asked them if they wanted to pray with me to invite Jesus into their hearts and they said yes! After we prayed they asked if I had time for them to go find their brothers, they wanted them to know Jesus too!! It was an incredible experience. I also gave them tracks (a little handout book the Tebow’s made to share the gospel with them in Tagalog) so they go go home and share with the rest of their family and friends! It was really special because every time we went into the market after that, the girls would find me and give me hugs! Praise God for my new brothers and sisters at the Baguio market!
Ps: Wilmark brought over our puppy today! We gave her a bath and kept her in our hotel for a day, before Wilmark took the puppy to his wife. The puppy is so tiny and black and has been snuggling and sleeping the whole time. So cute and sweet! I love Whitrina!
I got my journal back! Thank you God and thank you Pastor Charlie. I left my notebook at a school over two hours from where we are staying in Baguio City. I thought it was gone forever. But the Filipino people are the most loving, caring and generous people I have ever met! After 16+ hour days, Pastor Charlie still managed to get in touch with the school and get my journal back! What a blessing! I was extremely sad when I realized I left my journal on the table at the school, but thought God must have meant it for someone else to find and be touched by my stories of sharing Christ’s love with the Filipino people. But I am so glad God brought it back to me!
Katrina and I in the Jeepney!
Today I had a great day with Katrina, Wilmark, Jem Jim and Ticong aka King Kong. We woke up at 3am and we didn’t get home till 6:30pm because we drove so far in the mountains. The fog and rain was so bad we had about 3 feet of visibility. It was pretty sketch driving through the winding mountain roads. Wilmark could not even see out of the Jeepney. Jim Jem had to wipe an area in front of Wilmark’s face so he could see out of the driver side windshield. We had no windshield wipers and no air conditioning but had all the flaps down on the Jeepney due to rain so the windshield was all fogged. As Katrina and I prayed for safety and sang songs about Jesus, Ticong slept peacefully in the back while his head bobbed like a bobble doll. It was a drive I will never forget! Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe!
We also want Wilmark to get Katrina and I a puppy. We want to name it Whitrina and have Wilmark keep it for us with his wife so when we come back to the Philippines we have a dog. 🙂 The Filipino pastors are absolutely incredible! We have so much fun with them. Katrina and I made a few fun videos as well with them today… including one about the C.R. (Filipino bathrooms).
Sharing the gospel at a school in the mountains and one little boy was representing Florida!
*After today, I personally have shared the gospel with 8,085 filipinos and 7,967 of them prayed to accept Christ for the first time!! And our team has shared with over 50,000 people in the last two weeks! As Pastor Charlie would say, Aaaaaaamen!
When taking Barron on his first flight, I had no idea what to expect. Would he sleep, would he cry from the pressure, would everyone around me think he was cute or would they dread being seated by a baby?! Well, I am happy to say the flight went great! We flew from Orlando to Dallas (with a layover in Houston, Texas) then a few days later we flew back to Orlando. *My 6 baby traveling tips are at the bottom!
Its also important to share I took these flights with out my husband because God gave me the opportunity to speak at an event called ‘Kiss Barbie Goodbye’ in Texas. I shared with the girls about my experience in entertainment and the lies the media portrays as beauty and worth. Not only did we have a great experiences on the plane but the event went amazing, 10 teenage girls shared publicly they accepted Christ!
Barron on his 1st plane!
On the first flight we sat next to a sweet older spanish woman and her pregnant daughter. In the airport earlier, I made the mistake of ordering hot soup to eat on the plane. What was I thinking? You can’t carry a baby, car seat, diaper bag and luggage while eating hot soup! The woman next to me, when seeing me give up on trying to eat, asked if she could help by holding Barron. I was hesitant but then she went down the list of things she knew a mother would be concerned about…. I’m a grandmother of 7, I don’t have a cold and I just sanitized my hands when I got on the plane. She had also asked his name and prayed for us to have a safe and easy flight when we took off. The combination of these things made me comfortable to say ‘yes’ and I was able to enjoy my hot soup while she spoke lovingly to him in spanish.
On the second flight, we sat next to a guy who was on ‘So you think you can Dance!’ The guy proceeded to dance to the music that was playing in his head phones the whole flight. He was practicing a move that involved holding a beating heart in his hands, eating it, and having the heart beating through his body. Which was all very entertaining for Barron to watch. We made it through both flights with out any crying. The people around us were very happy!
On the flight home from Texas we had a layover in New Orleans. We stayed on the plane and I took that time to use the changing table in the plane lavatory and walk around with him to stretch my legs. The pilot was speaking to flight attendants before the new passengers arrived and when he saw Barron he came over and started to talk to him in Donald Duck’s voice. Barron smiled and laughed so the pilot asked if he could hold him. Next thing I know he walked Barron straight into the cockpit (pictured below). He proceeded to put his captains hat on him and hit buttons in the cockpit that made things beep and flash. Barron loved every minute. And of course I took the opportunity to take photos. I had no idea anything like this was allowed. It made an incredible experience for Barron’s first time flying and gave me pictures I will cherish forever. The pilot also suggested to wiggle Barron’s ears (by gently pulling the ear lobes) during take off and landing while he sucks on a pacifier. I tried this instead of nursing him during the last flight and Barron didn’t seem to have any problems with cabin pressure. Thank you to SouthWest airlines for making it so easy for me to travel with a baby!!
I’m praying that my two upcoming flights in June (to South Carolina) and July (to Utah) with Barron on Delta, will go just as smoothly! I will keep you posted. 🙂
Barron in the cockpit with the Pilot!
Advice for traveling on a plane with a baby:
1) Nurse him/her during take off and landing – it really helps to relieve the pressure while keeping them feeling safe and soothed. A bottle will accomplish the same results. After the first flight (and more confidence), I used a pacifier during landing/take off, and wiggled his ears a few times. But, keep a bottle on stand by incase the baby needs more than a pacifier to keep calm.
2) Bring along books, toys, a stuffed animal and or rattle. Anything your baby likes to look at and grab to keep distracted and entertained during the flight.
3) Bring a soft blanket so baby can cozy up and go to sleep, plus the planes get cold.
4) Check your stroller and carseat at the gate. It does not count as a piece of luggage and that way it is placed on top of the other luggage and brought back to you immediately upon landing (instead of thrown in the middle of piles of luggage where the risk of damage becomes higher). You can also buy a travel case at baby stores for $15-25 to minimize scratches.
5) Use a baby carrier – this allowed me to be hands free in the airport (you can also wear the baby through security, instead of taking in and out of a stroller which has to be broken down to go through security) and I used the stroller to carry the luggage and diaper bag etc. However you can not wear the baby during take of and landing incase of emergency.
6) Don’t forget diapers and wipes. On my flights there were changing tables in the bathroom lavatories. I am not sure if it is standard on all planes but your flight attendants will know what is available on the planes for babies.
7) Request an aisle seat – you’ll have more room and be able to get up and down easily, with out bothering other passengers (FYI make sure the airline knows you are traveling with a baby, they can only seat you in a row with an extra oxygen mask and there can only be one baby per row).
8) Bring a copy of the baby’s birth certificate (travel is free up to 2 years old).
9) Pray that God gives the gift of having a happy and laid-back baby while traveling.
If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comment box!
Andrew & I are excited to share with you, God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy this Thanksgiving. Driving home from the hospital on Thanksgiving day, we had never been so grateful in our lives!!! God showed us the true meaning of being thankful this year. We give Him all the praise for creating this wonderful little boy and placing him in our lives. Thank you for praying with us on this new adventure of being parents.
In the clouds with students who had never seen a white person
Went up the mountain today with Jim Jem. A local pastor from the area saw us hiking up the road and gave us a ride to the elementary school. The kids once again, like yesterday, had never seen a white person before. When we got to the school, the principal rang a huge cow bell that called in all the parents and the neighbor filipinos on the mountain to come in and meet Jim Jem and I. I couldn’t get pics with the students until after I shared the gospel. Again, they would run and scream, standing 15 yards back watching me. I had a chance to meet a woman who was considered head of their what would be our PTA, she was really nice, working the veggie gardens at the school and the families and students arrived for the day. We were so high up that I was literally sharing the gospel with clouds rolling by all around us. Another amazing experience provided by God!
boiling eggs in volcanic hot springs
Later that afternoon we went with Lolo Bato (aka Papa Stone, aka Pastor Charles Stone) to a hot spring and boiled eggs. I have never done anything like that, it was so much fun! I seriously feel so blessed, God keeps giving me these incredible experiences that will stay with me my whole life.
Pastor Stone, Pastor Morris, me, Carolina and Pastor Charlie at the hot springs
Today has been one of the best days of my life. I was put in a group with Dana and Pastor Phil. I started at a school by myself with Pastor Arnold sharing the gospel with 1500+ high schoolers. Then we traveled up the mountain where I at some ‘mystery meat’ before giving what was left to the roaming dogs. I had no idea God was preparing something so special for us after lunch. The clouds got dark and started to swell with rain as we made our way to this awesome bridge. We left our jeepney and started to cross the bridge in the rain. As we crossed the river I truly knew I was experiencing a gift from God. After crossing we walked trails that reminded me of hiking the Appalachian Trail… we took narrow winding paths through trees right on the edge of the cliff.
hoping the fence to enter the rice fields
caraboa working in the rice fields in the rain
After the woods it opened up to a huge and beautiful rice field. We had to hop fences and walk through a huge rice field filled with pigs, caraboa, goats and chickens. It was amazing and I could experience God everywhere around me as it rained on us. The caraboa was plowing through the rice fields with a filipino man in a raincoat, the pigs and piglets were running around us hoping to get food, some pigs were hiding under roofs to try to beat the rain along with goats, chickens and roosters.
Forty-five minutes later we finally made it to the school. When I walked in, the children all screamed and ran away from me. I had no idea what was going on or what I did that scared them. Then their teacher laughed and said that her students had never seen a person with white skin before. The children literally ran, hiding in corners, left the classroom and were watching me from outside the windows. One brave boy finally decided he would accept my offer of a high-five. He slowly walked toward me, slapped my hand and ran away as quick as possible while the other students screamed and laughed. It was amazing to see how after sharing the gospel and the love of Jesus the children were not scared anymore. They knew we came to spread love, hope, mercy and grace. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. I will be forever blessed to our Lord for using me to be a part of the children’s journey to know Him.
the children running away from me because they had never seen a person with white skin before