Well, we made it.  After a pretty long flight that took us through Los Angeles and Manila – we finally set foot on the island of Cebu.
We noticed the heat and humidity immediately, and we have spent the last few days studying the art of running fans on high speed and pausing oscillating fans when they are aimed directly at our bodies.  We are a sweaty, sticky bunch of misisonaries… to say the least.
Our hosts met us at the airport and treated us like long lost friends right off the bat.  They took us shopping at the mall and bought us lunch.  We dropped our things off at our house and dove into ministry immediately, attending a feeding in a small community close to the coast.  We were able to get to know many of the children while we watched a Bible School program unfold.  After the feeding we had to navigate a muddy walkway.  Outside of a few stepping stones most of the path was deep mud and sewage.  Emily took an unlucky step and wound up sinking knee deep in the sludge.   When she pulled her legs up out of the mess her shoes got left behind.  It didn’t take 5 seconds before a few of the children were reaching into the mud up to their shoulders to try and fish out Emily’s sandals.  Another couple of kids brought over a bucket of water and started rinsing her legs.  We all laughed for a while about the situation, but it was a beautiful thing to watch the people of the community rush to take care of us – completely rinsing the sandals, and an older woman working hard to clean of Emily’s legs.
The house we are staying in is a little ways above the heart of the city.  Its in the middle of a garden and it’s mostly made of concrete.  We are sleeping on cushions on the floor, bathing with buckets, and squatting over toilets with no seats.  We’ve started to get pretty used to it.  And we’re needing the bucket showers pretty often as much as we are sweating.
We attended 5 church services yesterday.  One in a pretty nice church with some swinging contemporary music, one in the middle of a squatter camp with houses built in the middle of a graveyard, and one at night in a small community on the other side of town.  We performed our drama again and again, and judging by the crowd response – we’re the closest thing to Broadway on this here island.  One of these days we’ll have to post a video here so that you can all see the act that is taking Cebu by storm.  We have also taken to singing worship songs, all five of us with one guitar in front of a church or two.  Something akin to the Von Trapp family at the end of the Sound of Music.
Today we had a bit of a rest day.  We did discipleship – the girls at the local McDonalds, and Trevor and I at “Coffee Dream.”  The girls had tiny McFlurries and read the bible, and Trevor and I had a long chat while we crammed packet after packet of sugar in our coffee.  Eventually it was nothing short of delicious.
We love it here.  We are growing as a team and learning to laugh at all kinds of things.  We are all still catching up on sleep and getting used to the time zone, but we have seen so much in two days and we could’t be more excited about all that is to come.  Everyone is healthy.
We’ll post some pictures here soon.  We just had a few moments to spare for some internet time and figured we’d give you all an update.  Continue to pray for good health, ways that we can overcome the language and cultural barriers, and for growth as a team.