Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No, I Did Not Forget

The Lord said to Abram:  
"Leave your country, your family, and your relatives 
and go to the land that I will show you.  
I will bless you and make 
your descendants into a great nation.  
You will become famous and be a blessing to others.  
I will bless anyone who blesses you, 
but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you.  
Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you”.

(first sunset in Perth, 3rd January, 2009.  Scarborough Beach)

Flight SQ 112, aboard Singapore Airlines.  

I will never forget the eve of the New Year, 2009.  I was on the plane enroute to Perth, Western Australia.  Eyes all damp and puffed up;   my heart was aching....crying, missing my family back home in Bacolod. Clutching on to my bag, I had great anticipation for a new life journey ahead. I was ready.  God has brought me thus far.  There was no turning back.

It’s been four years and 29 days since I set foot in the land down under, the land where I was promised to go, the land which brought about the realization of an impossible dream, the land of inheritance.

(a shot from the plane, Singapore Airlines, Jan. 1, 2009)

It’s been a blessed journey, a walk in faith never traveled alone. In His Goodness, His  amazing grace was abundant and His hand never short by showing me my "lot"  through these lovely people.  They were there tirelessly, walking with me the extra mile, whether silently or with words or with actions; the ones who never left my side.  To all of you, my heart says a humble “Thank You”.

To my Salvador-Medina Family --- my Mama, whose dreams for me never waivered.  I miss you.  I know you and Papa are looking at me now from heaven.  I know you are proud of me.  I know you are smiling big.  I love you Pa and Ma.  You have been my inspiration.  My siblings and their families starting from our eldest, Manong Jojo, Manong Jiji, Manong Jules, Manong John, Jeffrey and Janice --- thank you!  No, I did not forget your thoughts and prayers.  Thank you for believing in me.  I love you all, my siblings!

To my Locsin- Gomez family – From Papa Ed, Tita Alice, Tita Nena, Ray and H, Gerro and Gina, Jang, Meg, Tita Pynky, Aisch, Heiner.   No, I did not forget your loving support and encouragement while going through nursing school.  With you backing me up, I have earned my bachelors degree in Nursing.

My church family -  the backbone of my Exodus, who prayed for me earnestly: Pastor Joe and WOP family, FFI family, Ikthus staff and supporters particularly from the 10AM service and the Operation Care Ministry team.  I wouldn’t have “crossed the Jordan River” without you cheering for me to finish the race! No, I did not forget you.

My Jonathan sisters, Ione and Jessa.  And my sister, Mayang…..Words are not enough…thank you’s are not enough…. Hugs are not enough!  No, I did not forget the love and the prayers.  Thank you for “walking” with me.

I did not forget the very first “family”  I have here in Perth. Jing.  You probably didn’t know how blessed I am to have you as I was starting here in Perth!  Thanks for picking me up at the airport and for helping  me get a new accommodation.  The little things you did for me are a “huge” blessing!  You made my first journey steps lighter.

(Jing brought me straight to Dome from the airport for a large breakfast!)

My very lovely, and one and only landlady, Fleur!  Thanks for making me feel at home.  Thanks for showing me “things” aussie style!  You and Stef were angels and will always be.

(Stef and Fleur, at my new apartment, April 2009)

Then, there’s Faith.  My first barkada, almost half my age!  Now who would ever imagine that God will put us together here in one place?  A small congregation of people from Ikthus?  Then comes Tara and Jenny, then Ysa, and then Tracy and Estee.  How can I forget?  You were my first family in a foreign land!  Our trips to the beach, our cuppa’s, laughter and adventures together just so that we wouldn’t be lost and alone!  Look at us now!  We are a growing family of lovely, beautiful people! I praise God for all of you!

(Faith, Tara, Jing and Fleur - they helped me move in my new apartment, April 2009)

Mitzi, my Mitzi!  Four years of trusty service until now.  I will never forget our "firsts" - first flat tire, first overheat, first change of radiator, first school (bridging course), first job interview! You've seen my successes and my failures, my worst and my finest! Nothing is hidden from you! You were my constant, loyal companion from the very beginning!   How can I ever part from you?  You are a keeper!

(Very first car in Perth, Mitsubishi Starwagon, people mover.  I named her Mitzi--- a very reliable one!)

My precious jewels, CJ, Jed, Daisy and Caila…. You gave me strength to go on at the crucial times when I was about to give up.  All the hard work and sacrifice are a breeze   because you are all worth it!

(CJ, Jed, me, Caila and Daisy--- at Scarborough Beach - their first Perth adventure)

And my Bim --- my ever supportive partner and the love of my life.  Can’t imagine life without you.

(In joy and in sadness, in sickness and in health, together forever and for eternity.
  April 2009 at Scarborough beach)

No, I didn’t forget,   I will NEVER forget!

What about you, my friend?  Do you remember the people who helped you where you are now?  I hope you didn't forget.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thank you, 2012 - A year of Breakthroughs!

The year 2012 was a year of breakthroughs.  It wasn’t all rainbows, all bed of roses, and all laughter and joy.  In fact, it was busy, full of  activities. Too,  we had our share of sorrows and pain,  however, victorious in every way, all by God’s grace and favor.
For a long time we have prayed for Bim to find a stable  and permanent employment.  Just as he was about to turn 50 in April (his jubilee year), God had granted “our” wish.  He now works for TransPerth as a bus driver, a job that he truly enjoys.  He trained for a while to get himself qualified for an HR license and passed the driving assessment with flying colors. 
(Bim turning 50 in April, 2012)

(Bim in his work uniform)

CJ, now on to his 3rd year in MotorSports Engineering continues to work part time as a removalist (Bim's former business) and a part time university student.  A fine young and dedicated man, he is committed to fulfill his dream to someday finish a double degree in  MotorSports and Mechanical Engineering.
(CJ, as a removalist and Jed, as a Heavy Metal Fabricator- 
both engineers in the making!)

Jed had commenced his apprenticeship in Heavy Metal Fabrication Engineering early this year.  Our big surprise was when his professor announced the news to us that  amongst the new trainees in his class, he was commended to be the best in his work.  His employer loves him as much.  Being his first year in apprenticeship, he is oftentimes given the task of supervising his division; quite a high commendation on his first year of training.
Daisy finished her 8th year with a loud bang having to earn the highest academic (Principal’s Award) achievement and honors in Athletics Award as Rookie of the Year.  She officially starts high school in the coming year in a specialists/extension program: a group of students who demonstrates the highest standards of achievement and participation.

Caila, our sweetest Little Peanut, likewise finished the year with a Principal’s Award having to achieve high standards in academics in her class.  She was commended by her peers and teachers to be the most well-behaved, well-mannered, and most-spirited. 

I continue to work in the hospital twice and in the nursing home near my home 5-6  times a fortnight as a Supervising/Coordinator/Clinical Nurse role in the areas  of specialty in Geriatrics and Continence; Plastics, Urology and ENT.  It is challenging in a way as I am tasked to oversee and making sure quality nursing care is delivered to the residents/patients. 

(Jenny with her St. John of God Subiaco Hospital work uniform)

Bim’s brother, Gerro, came to visit us from the Philippines in September-October.  The two brothers had not seen each other for almost 4 years.  We took him around the Perth region and up to the Avon Valley. Gerro’s visit was one that we cannot forget.

I went home to the Philippines for my mother’s homegoing in November.  My siblings abroad came home as well and we're all reunited after about 9 years.  It was a sad time for us but God’s grace was sufficient to comfort us in our most deepest sorrow.  I miss my mom so much.  However, knowing that she is now in a better place, gives me peace on her passing.

We are approaching our second year  in our little piece of paradise, now we call home in May.  This gift of a dwelling place is haven for us.  This year, we’ve added the deck and extension to the alfresco area, and some other improvements in the house.  There is still a lot to do but we will take it up as we go. 

(the new deck the alfresco extension at the back garden,  painting of fence still ongoing)

(Kalbarri, Western Australia)

(the lighthouse in Geraldton, Western Australia)

We managed to do a short trip up north in Geraldton and Kalbarri during the Holy Week holidays.  On some weekends, Bim and his bike mates went down south around the areas of Pemberton to explore the bike trails and outback of Western Australia.

(Bim with bike mates one weekend)

My small group composed of young mothers and engaged women, meet a fortnight to pray and soak in God's word.  A venue where we can just put our hair down and vent out frustrations with family and work.  A safe place to be, a fellowship of women committed to God's word and living it out everyday.
(the women in my small group- with some of their partners and children)

It’s been a busy year alright.  We saw God’s hand in every successes and even in our troubles this year.  My heart rejoices that when trouble comes, I see my family all the more hanging on to our faith in the God that we serve.  That is more than I can ask for… indeed, it was a year of breakthroughs.
I praise God for the year 2012.  We welcome 2013 with open hearts.  Again, God’s mercy is all sufficient and new each day!  Looking forward to what our good Lord has in store for us this year!
(kids keeping warm on a cold winter's night)

(exploring God's word in our women's small group)

(one find spring afternoon at the Swan Valley)

(day trip to Araluen Park)

(Christmas 2012)

(the last day of year 2012- with the Arroyo's and de Leon's)