Sunday, April 21, 2013


Drew's 16 Bday MS Banquet 001

Andrew Jacob Lehman entered the world at 8:40 AM on April the 14th 1997. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the whole pregnancy and all sorts of details. He was so perfect, with such a gentle little cry….I won’t go into all that. I can not believe that he is now 16. He has been 16 for a week….for some reason this particular birthday seemed big! I have been thinking a lot about letting go little by little but enjoying each and every moment.

Drews 1st day of preschool2

Isn’t that what being a parent is all about? Little by little we “let our kids go”? From the 1st time I left him with a babysitter to preschool…..public school…sleepovers etc Hopefully we have prepared them for the situations that will arise. How will the act? Manners? Living in the Philippines, he is not old enough to drive here. That does not mean that he is not eager to do it! Just last Friday, after the band concert D asks to go to a movie with his buddies…I immediately said yes. He was so happy and animated and I could tell, he was just thrilled. Then my mind(and heart) started racing…how will you get home? Who’s going? Do you realize that it is already almost 9:00PM??  I mean we are living in a city….in SE Asia….WOW! I never would have imagined that at this point in his life he would have lived on 3 different continents….there is a bit of a gap between what I imagined his 16 year life would be and what it is….but I am extremely happy at who he is and who he is becoming. Won’t get sappy…I just love how complex he is, goofy yet so pensive.

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Yet, as his Mom, sometimes I know what he is thinking by the look on his face or by a simple sigh. It is a thrill to be his Mom and see him everyday. I guess I started getting a little sentimental while listening to The After's new song entitled “This Life.”

Just brings home that “We can’t own it ….. we just get to hold it for awhile…This life…..we can’t keep it or save it for another time…this life…. What we give is all we have….. How we love is what lasts….this hope will carry us through…this life”. Hope that is encouraging and does not make you sad. Have to admit, I do have tears streaming as I write…The past 16 years have been quite amazing and wonderful. Yes, there are laments of time passing too quickly and not living on the same continent of so many I love dearly. I hold on to the times we are together and I know….. “we were never meant to stay…We don’t have to be afraid of what is on the other side…of THIS life”. I am so thankful for this life but most importantly for eternal life. I have learned a lot in these past 16 years but there are many more to come!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Badjao

This morning, Leron and I visited a small community of Badjao people. They are often referred to as sea gypsies.  Everyone in that area are squatters.  Due to commercial shipping & other factors since WW2, they have settled on land. This particular community is in a Muslim area. We saw at least three different mosques. There was one little main street that would accommodate one way traffic. Lots of trikes. Lots of people. even a pool hall and kids playing games in the little dirt alley ways.

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This particular area is one that I’ve seen as we travelled  to and from Samal Island. They are stilted houses. The Badjao people are living over the water. From the shore you can see both Samal and Tulikud Island. The kids were enjoying a swim (not the cleanest place to recreate, but alas, it is what they have)

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So, that means, no sophisticated plumbing and well, they live over floating sewage trash. Planks of wood to walk on……some very slim passage ways. A maze of small humble dwellings.

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We met a pastor at the church. Loved hearing the history of his people…different languages, customs, clothing & even physical attributes. Totally unique! We also checked out their school (no children as it is summer break…April/May here), observed some boat building, & toured the small part of town while our host followed up on a medical clinic.

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I am still processing my thoughts from the morning. Wow, such poverty!! I was a bit overwhelmed as I had to watch each step. making sure my feet landed on solid boards so that I did not fall through to the raw sewage and trash below. But in the midst of it we were greeted by smiles… such gracious, kind, peace loving  people.

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Such joy in the midst of such a harsh environment. I am always looking for the beauty…..the wonderful…. and here, I found in the people’s faces. They loved to have their pictures taken & I enjoyed playing peek a boo & just laughing with the children. Next time, I will be ready with my bubbles!