The term "home" has always been a tricky one for me since moving fulltime to the Philippines in 2015. Before moving to the Philippines, home was always Ohio, but now Avery, Mia and I technically have 2 homes, but truly feel the term "home" encompasses being where our loved ones are.
We have now lived in both the USA and the Philippines during our 4 years of marriage. We feel extremely blessed to have family and friends on both sides of the world, and at this moment, we feel so happy to be home here in the Philippines!
What a whirlwind it was trying to get back to the Philippines since March 2020 when the pandemic shut everything down the night before we were set to leave the states. Avery and I counted around 6 attempts between 2020-2021. The Lord finally made a way and we were able to step foot at Obed's on March 27th after being away for nearly 1.5 years. It was a hard year for us stateside as we lived in limbo for most of that 1.5 years, but God really showed up in HUGE ways for both our family and Obed's ministry and we could not be thankful enough for the lessons learn and love we felt during our time home in Ohio.
The second we arrived home to the Philippines, it felt like a breath of fresh air! We stepped on the sidewalk in the Cebu airport and the sights, smells, and sounds instantly welcomed us back. It was so great to physically hug and spend time with Avery's family and also our Obed's family. We all laughed and cried tears of joy and ate lots of meals together our first week home. My teenagers grew feet and their voices changed and they have matured so well. I made a comment to a friend that on my first night watching the kids by myself, it was so much easier than the past years. They don't fight over the small things, no fist fights (at that point anyway) and you can seldom find them getting into things they aren't supposed to. Of course this is all with thanks to our incredible staff who held down the fort. What a tremendous blessing it was for me to come home to the same staff, no runaways, and even 2 new faces! God is good!! So far my favorite moment that has occurred since being home was last Friday during our MWF devotionals. I mentioned that my prayer request for the kids was that anyone who didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, or who hadn't been baptized would make that decision this year purely from their hearts. That prompted 2 of our kids who come from a different religious background to ask more questions. Our conversation took over the rest of the evening, and great sharing was had. Nothing makes a mama's heart happier than hearing your children share about Jesus and their knowledge and understanding of the scriptures with one another. I think I will never forget that evening!
Although COVID has changed our daily routine at Obed's, it has been nothing short of amazing to watch the staff play 2 job roles at times, tutoring and being house parents, and seeing the kids thrive in an environment where they are safe and healthy! Of course, Mia is loving the extra attention and playmates and the kids love her too! We have a great and exciting year ahead of us, and are expectant to see how God will move. Thank you to all who prayed us HOME to the Philippines and who've prayed for all of us at Obed's throughout this pandemic. I have a short list of prayer requests below, so if you have the time, please join us in prayer for these things!
Avery, Meredith and Mia & The Obed's House Family
A NEW ROOF. We are coming up on our 6th year anniversary at Obed's this July. With that, many areas of our building have had some significant wear and tear. Our roof will cost around $4,000 to fix the roof and gutters.
A HOUSE RENTAL FOR OUR FAMILY. In the past, Avery and I have lived at Obed's in my old bedroom. When we first got married, we rented a home in the city but stopped our lease when we got pregnant and came home to the USA. Please pray for the "perfect" rental house for our family of 3. We specifically are praying for something near to Obed's, and in a safe guarded community.
PRAY FOR THE KIDS. Specifically, for them to be able to go back to in person schooling, for their families outside of Obed's, and for their hearts and relationships with Jesus.
PROJECTS AROUND THE HOUSE. We have a various list of projects for the house that aren't totally urgent, but we do want to share and ask prayer for them! We're currently in need of some new electric wall fans for the kids rooms. Painting the exterior. Patching the upstairs ceiling. Installing exhaust fans in the bathrooms and stove area.