|After almost 11 months we are finally back in Manila. Just before our departure date God threw us a curve. The 150 year ice and snow storm. It closed down the airport in Tyler so we had to rent a car and drive to Dallas to meet our flight to San Francisco. After spending the night in Dallas we boarded the first leg of our trip.|
We were put through the wringer here. After three hours of haggling, and begging, all to no avail, we were: Denied!
Devastating! I was missing one little slip of paper which was a receipt for my visa stamp. (Don’t mention the fact that I have the visa stamped in my passport WITH the amount it cost written in.) Donna has hers, I couldn’t find mine. Now its almost 11:00 PM, the flight has departed and we are stuck in a hotel on Saturday night to wait for the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco to open on Monday so we can see if things can be worked out before the next flight to the Philippines on Saturday, February 24th, four days away. If not, we will have to abort as our visas expire March 2.
And yes, we had to wear face mask and shields during the entire 14 hour flight to Manila. HYPERVENTILATION
Arrived in Manila at 4:30 A.M. It took 2 hours to go through all the regulations and procedures: Orientation lecture, temperature taking, Traze verification (so they can know you don’t break quarantine), pay for covid-19 test, get hotel verification, get transportation to hotel verification, go through passport and immigration control (talk about being nervous), pick up luggage, go through customs, walk out of the airport, drive to our quarantine hotel.
Our home away from home for the next ten days of quarantine. I know it looks “swanky” but it is just a room. We can’t leave our room for ten days until we receive our health clearance card. None of the hotel amenities are available. Food is brought to our room for each meal. On March 3rd nurses from Detoxicare will come to administer the co-vid 19 test, then we wait for two more days for the results to come back.
|Our visas expire March 2, 2021 so we are back by the “skin of our teeth.” There is a ministry here led by Catherine Torente called Christian Missionary Services. They have been coordinating missionary immigration issues all the way back to when the Moore’s were missionaries here. So, they picked up our passports to begin the visa renewal process.|
Now Donna and I will just spend the next week hanging out in our room, teaching our Bible College classes on line and watching a lot of YouTube videos. We will look forward to reporting next month from our house in Talisay City on our Island Negros Occidental.
This is the fourth year we have coordinated World Mission Day in the Philippines with the United States. Thanks to Pastor John Rey Vallejera (Pastor JoJo) this year’s event was a great success. Donna and I helped encourage student participation virtually (above), and on World Mission Day there were over 250 in attendance with over 26,000 pesos raised for missions (that’s over $250.00 USD, it just sounds more impressive in Philippine Peso).
One of the biggest celebrations in the Philippines and in Bacolod is Chinese New Year. We missed it this year by just a few days.
Filipino students from all over the Philippines arrive on our campus to “make a difference” in God’s missionary work to TELL THE NATIONS. You can “make a difference” by helping with tuition scholarships. $1,200.00 ($100.00 a month) provides tuition and room and board for one year. They need your help. Click the DONATE tab below to give your gift and a student will be assigned directly to you to encourage and get to know.
Just thought everyone would be interested in hearing the story of our return to the field. It has been hard and still a bit to go. But, it makes me wonder what it was like in the days when missionaries had a 3 month trip by ship, no communication back home for years and traveling with children.
We are glad to be back in the Philippines. It is weird how God makes a place feel like home. It is a bit frustrating to be confined to a hotel room. So, even though there are lots of “co-vid inconveniences” in the United States, it hasn’t gotten quite as bad as it could get. Be thankful.
Stay up-to-date with The Scroggins and their work in the Philippines by visiting their website and checking-out their blog!