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"And whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."
Colossians 3:17

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1st Month in the Philippines by Grace Sales

Orientation 
When we arrived in February 1st, we had one week of orientation.  I was able to meet five other girls who came in at the same time as me. First we completed paper work, then we toured the city and the clinic.

House/roommates/classmates
I am in a house with 6 other girls and so far I like it a lot. I share a room with one other girl and I love her! She is sweet, spunky, and, in many ways, just like me when I was her age (19yrs). She is a missionary kid from Thailand and very easy going. My other house mates are also really great and so far everyone is getting along really well.

Gracie's Language Class
First Day of Language School 
Gracie walking to school with roommates
Language school 
We began language school our second week. All 6 of us who arrived at the same time will be doing our whole program together.  We travel together to language school on Monday through Friday until the beginning of April.  There are 3 of us who live in my house and we begin our day around 6:40am, walking for about 10-15 minutes to meet the other girls and catch a jeepney. A jeepney is the most common form of public transportation here in the Philippines and is always a challenge: a very crowded and uncomfortable ride! All 6 of us catch our first jeepney around 7am and ride it for about 10 minutes.  Next we wait for a second jeepney, which could be another hour, depending on the driver. The second jeepney drops us off on the main road where we hike down another dirt road to the language school.

Classes are from 8:30am to 3:30pm, but because of the arduous trip back, we aren't home until 5pm. Altogether, the days are long, hot, dusty, and physically and mentally draining. 

Health
My body has had a difficult transition so far but I think I am over the worst of it. Thank you to those who have been praying. I was feeling really exhausted and then began to have bad stomach aches, nausea, headaches and body aches.  Eventually everything I ate made me sick and I just felt weak and dehydrated no matter how much I drank.  Thankfully with a lot of prayer, fluids, and some medication, I am feeling much better. I am regaining my energy, able to eat full meals, and my stomach pains are not quite so bad. 

I really appreciate all the prayers and encouragement;  please keep'em coming!
About to start work.


Clinic observations   
I have now had three shifts observing in the clinic and have enjoyed it so much. Although I am usually exhausted from the week of language school I look forward to my 8 hour shift each weekend. My first two shifts were calm with no births ---just a couple laboring women, postpartum patients, and a few transports. On my last shift, I was able to observe a birth and a newborn bath.

Over all I am so glad that I am here; I feel God's confirmation almost daily.


Prayer requests:
•continued energy and strength to get through the days
•good health/ healing from fibromyalgia
•blessed relationships with the other girls and family and friends back home
•clarity of mind and retention of language 
•continued growth in my relationship with Jesus and desire for remaining in the Word

Praise reports:
•I made it here safe and with ALL of my luggage
•I was pleasantly surprised and blessed at how nice my living situation is and that I get along well with my roommate
•My body is recovering 
•The Lord has given me a joyful and grateful spirit 
•It hasn't been sooo hot yet, so the weather acclimation has been easier 
•The Lord has given me so many opportunities for prayer with and for other people 
•Communication in my relationships with people back home have been clear and blessed 
•I am developing sweet friendships with many different girls of such diverse backgrounds