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packing.jpg

Here is a brief account of our departure from the States and return to the mission field. (Don't tell my wife I put this photo in - she doesn't know it yet!)


RUSHLY DONE IN DISORGANIZATION: OUR FIRST FOUR DAYS ON THE FIELD

After cleaning our missionary apartment and packing for ten hours, after Lenore's 16 dollar anti-wrinkle skin cream was confiscated by Airport Security because she didn't keep it in a clear plastic baggy, after Joshua's AXE body spray was taken because it was not trial size, after my being singled out for a body search conducted in Japan, after 18 hours in flight, after a delay from Japan to Manila due to redundant security checks, four hours of waiting in airports, and four more hours of traveling in a van, we arrived to our church property at. . .

DAY ONE

4 AM and new dogs didn't recognize me and continually barked, some light switches not working, found the carpet in our boys room had been ruined with stains and bleach, all our stowed away clothes had some type of mold and needed to be rewashed, a rat had gotten into our storage shed causing some damage. Our stainless steal sink was ruined with some type of acid cleaner, turned on TV doesn't work,no sign of getting any power, Phone not working so can't call Manila to discuss Visa applications, Cannot set up an internet connection due to our phone not working, Our cell phone also is not working due to unused and expired SIM cards., Turned on my office PC and got a hard drive failure resulting in lost data. A monitor of another PC system remains blurry and cannot be used. Decided I may take it apart and look for any focus knobs, hoping it may resemble the analogs I have adjusted before. Printer Ink cartridges dried up, even a new one in a package was dried up or clogged, can't print. Spent about four hours swapping parts, installing printers, and transferring files to get one functional desktop PC that I can use in my office. Wooden frame of bottom hinge on Bathroom door eaten out with termites and door leading from bathroom to hall cannot be unlocked. Our washing machine also is not working, a neighbor has taken it apart. He later says it's fixed, we pay but discover there is no rinse cycle. A new member gave us two chickens who are roosting and pooping on our washing machine in back. Our food in our refrigerator is not getting cold, and the freezer section is not freezing. Can't find two floppy disks that contained two drivers I needed for Win 98. Power went out twice at night cutting off our needed air conditioner, and we are drinking bottled water because we can't locate our water purifyer.

On the good side, our church had stocked our cabinates and refrigerator (which wasn't working) with food, had some flowers set up for us, had our AC turned on and our bedroom cleaned, and did some other little "welcomes."


DAY TWO

Good AM service, and enjoyed preaching to them but noticed many new faces and saw a boy & girl urinate at separate times in front of the church entrance, Experienced another Power outage, Heard a child playing on our expensive electric church organ and had to intervene, Refrigerator and freezer still not working so pulled out a smaller one from storage and it seems to be working fine. Pulled out and serviced a manual, (must fill and empty water and has no agitator or spinner) Filipino-brand washing machine and set it up to be used Monday. Starting unpacking shipment of PCs and heard rattling sounds coming from inside three CPU cases as if damaged. Another brief power outage, roster keeping Lenore awake at night


DAY THREE

Checked refrigerator and seems to be working, but our Microwave exploded after about 20 seconds of trying to reheat coffee, Uncovered tarp from our car and found low tires, stains on paint, and no gas. Serviced and cleaned car, drove it, but discovered it was leaking power steering fluid and was hard to handle. Went to phone company to call Manila at 11:20 AM but they were closed for lunch early, still cannot get phone fixed, cannot call Manila for Visas or get on line to e-mail, went to an internet cafe to check my e-mail only to discover that they are no longer in business - we now have NO internet access in our town, took our cell phones to a Globe Dealer and got new SIM cards and a load, Went back to phone company but was told Sister Bessy (our Asst Pastor's wife) who opened our account must authorize the change in person to place long distance calls, our Toilet chain just broke and I just fixed it with red yarn, Drove car to a repair shop to have power steering leak fixed, and had Sister Bessy report to the Phone company to enable us to access long distance.


DAY FOUR

Was successful in getting an internet connection but when Lenore tried to accesses a web page the PC shut off. After several attempts of trying to start it up only to have it shut down, I removed the battery (maybe 220 over charged it) and it completed it's start up which enabled me to do some system and registry scans to remove questionable files. It's working now but sometimes the provider password needs to be re-entered. Our washing machine is now fixed (our helper had been turning the knob the wrong way breaking the timing and cycles), our refrigerator is also fixed (by the same neighbor who fixed our washing machine and at a very low price too), and our car has also been repaired and was driven back to us by a mechanic who attended the Sunday AM service I preached. And while Joshua lost his passport (a legal disaster for us) we were able to find it. The bad news is that Lenore and Joshua also lost their tickets to Hong Kong which means we may lose the $650 opportunity to refund them! (these outbound tickets were required by Immigrations but can be refunded once we apply to stay as missionaries). I unpacked and tested about six used PC notebooks and gave one to a visiting national pastor who also asked me to speak in his church which I agreed to. I also ordered two dump trucks of dirt to prepare our lot for our building program, and drew some layouts on a dry erase board to share with the church during our prayer meeting tomorrow. Lenore was unsuccessful in trying to call our son Jonathan in the states because his cell phone has no load to answer her call, and the landline where he is staying has a caller ID which blocked her call. So I e-mailed Jonathan informing him of our attempts. Lenore also located our water purifier and set up all the elements (charcoal, rocks, a ceramic membrane) to enjoy good water in the morning. This time the roster did not keep Lenore awake and we did not detect any power outage.

DAY FIVE

I checked our e-mail, got a letter from Jonathan and called Lenore over to reply.... stay tuned....! Mike Mislan and Family



An E-Mail I must have sent my Sending Church about two weeks after I returned here.
 
Just have been busy.  Yesterday we rented a van to Manila to get some needed things at the Mega-Mall which included a UPS for my PC, some battery backup lights (power outages are common and unpredictable), insect killer, a mechanical push lawn-mower and a few print cartrages. Our roaster had attacked Lenore twice but his hen is laying a few eggs.  I figure we'll eat the hen and just get rid of the cock (the meat is no good).  We already got our building permit and started one of two building projects, but we still need to dig for water to intall a water pump, and dig out a septic tank.  Also, for the past few weeks I have been working on various projects like painting, roof repairs (we had some leaks when it rained heavy), maintenance, landscaping and getting my office organized, as well as configuring the 12 PC's we have in our PC lab (which I'll use in our semnary once I can restart it).  Our church is doing fine but since I have been away, we had gained some "users" who only attend to ask favors, sell things or borrow money which they never pay back. While this is common in poverty nations, it can cause those with jobs to leave our church as they are tired of being continually hit for laons.  Life is very simple yet very exhausting here.  Nothing is easy to accomplish and one problem usually leads to another.  lately I've been dealing with a large colony of red carpenter ants that do bite.  They have been using the phone line to relocate from a Mango tree (they use trees for telephone poles here) to infest the front of our house and bug poison only deters them for a day or two, until they find another path or just push through.  I have oiled the wires, stuck double sided stick tape at an entrance point, have sprayed with Raid, but nothing lasts and they are determined.  Getting restless, they have climed a new wire that leads to our PC Lab and now I must fight them on two fronts. While it sounds funny, they can take over your house, bite at night and ruin your wooden trusses.  I also have been on three roofs today, taping, sealing with vula-seal, and painting to try to better rain proof our home, car port and storage shed.  This was after I hand waxed my Nissan Sentra with a white die wax that sure made it look new again (and Lenore is gone driving it now).  Joshua is having a great time with his friends, especially a 20 year intern who is currently living in a Sunday School room until we can fisnish our second building.  They play basketball, learn guitar, and go out once a week into Olongapo City.  During the rest of the time, Joshua does his school work and helps out with some work here.  He's very fluent in the language and is right at home where he grew up.  Jonathan (who is in Michigan) has about $16,000 saved up for Bible college and will most likely enroll in January to start mid semester in Oklahoma.  Just let the family know, I've just been busy from sun up to sun down, working, entertaining visitors or reacting to something that pops up that needs my attention. I really haven't had a single off day where I can just relax.  But it feels good being back where I know I belong.  Take care, and feel free to pass this message on, Love Mike.  Sometimes our connection is so unstable, I have to type in notepad, get on line, insert and send before something goes wrong.  This was my third attempt in this session (I tried a few other times yesterday, and three today), ie unable to establish a connection, failed to connect to the remote computer, invalid user name or password, the remote computer did not respond in a timely fashion- mike

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