I wanted to update you and let you know I will be heading to the mountains either today or tomorrow, (assuming our vehicle gets repaired by then).
This is where I will be spending the majority of my stay here in the Philippines. It is not likely I will have much if any access to internet while I’m up there, especially this trip. I am hoping to be able to use 3G data on my phone if I have cell service which would enable me to check and send email at least. I will be coming down to the main clinic once or possibly twice a month which will enable me to check messages and do any banking online etc.
Apparently the clinic there has a resident ‘ghost’ who likes to knock on doors and windows usually in the middle of the night. Though all the midwives there are Christian everyone seems to be somewhat ‘ok’ with this. I’m not sure how to describe the overall attitude or perspective of this at this point. The general consensus seems to be that a ghost is not necessarily a demon or demonic and probably one of the former owners or someone who once lived in the house. Also, there are times you should pour an extra glass of whatever you are drinking and then it doesn’t bother you.
Now I don’t know about you all, but I have a real problem with this to be honest. I do not know theologically or biblically if there is a difference between ‘ghosts’ and demons and if its possible for a human spirit to be walking around here on earth. My initial thoughts to all this is that it is not Godly even if it is ‘friendly’. I also feel like pouring a glass for this thing is essentially witchcraft and does not resemble anything at all like setting a table for the prophet to return at passover for example.
If any of you have insights or thoughts on this I would very much appreciate your feedback.
Given the background and experiences I’ve had I want to make sure that if I enter into some type of cleaning out the clinic or even that of my studio apartment they are preparing for me, that I do so in a way that is intelligent. I only want to confront that which I am called to confront.
Of course I realize I have been invited to come and take up residency in the area and at the clinic in a sense. I also realize that even though there are a lot of Christians and different denominations in the area there is still a lot of animist or spirit type traditions practiced within the culture. So I’m really praying about what and how to deal with this situation specifically.
In other news I think I told you all of my daughters news before I left the U.S. that she is pregnant. I am very much praying that I would be able to be there for her and the birth and postpartum period for her. This is fine with Georgia, the midwife here so really all I need is funding for that.
The clinic has been given the use of a former grain shed to use, approximately 12ftx14ft,
It is a concrete structure that is being renovated and should be done in the next week or so. It will be complete with most ‘modern’ conveniences. Including a small kitchenette, though I believe I will have to carry water in. They have put windows in which overlooks the river below and village on the other side. What it doesn’t have is a CR or comfort room/bathroom. I will be walking to the clinic to bath and well, you know…..This is fine except late at night (which is about 8 or 9pm as it gets dark at approximately 6:30 every eve.) or heaven forbid in the middle of the night.
I have had a pretty good stay here at the main clinic and am thankful for that. I have had several patients, each had unique issues that made me think, “what will I do up in the mountains if this happens? The reason for asking that question is that I will have an average of 1.5-2 hour transport time, and so knowing when to make the call while everyone is still safe is really important. On the other hand, the hospital is not really the place you want to be here if you don’t absolutely need to be. The conditions are not great, sometimes there is no doctor and and often a lack of even basic equipment can be a real issue. In my role at the clinic I will be the one to make any final decisions clinically. Of course I knew this of course before I came here, but now is the time I will be actually walking this out.
I think that sums up most of what is happening here and my thoughts and feelings on things.
Below is my prayer list. Thanks everyone you are so greatly appreciated, loved and needed!
• Safety and Health:
o while traveling
o physical health
• How to deal with the issue of the ‘ghost’
• Funding for travel back to the U.S. and be with my daughter for the arrival of her baby
• That I would have the skills, both clinically and administratively to help the clinic operate the way it was intended
• Learning both the tribal and provincial languages
• Personal transition of the rhythm and lifestyle in the mountains.