This Wednesday I dropped my very slender and handsome husband off at the Minneapolis International airport. I wondered, had I packed him enough granola bars and trail mix for 13 days… and I said a little prayer that his luggage would arrive safely with him because he was carrying some incredibly important cargo. Off to the island of Leyte in the Philippines.
Over 12 years ago Chuck served a 2 year LDS mission on the island of Leyte. He learned to speak the Cebuano, and developed a love for the Filipino people and culture. It is hard not to love people for whom you have served. He has always hoped that someday he would get to return. Yet, never would have imagined it would be under such circumstance.
After the Typhoon Haiyan devastated the island….we in our own small way were devastated for them. Chuck began to find it difficult to sit in his office chair at work, answering seemingly trivial questions about real estate software, when he was viewing images online of the apocalyptic damage. To hear stories of parents whose children were torn right out of their arms or imagine them walking the street surrounded by their dead became difficult for him to bear and he was driven to figure out a way to help.
He began looking for places he could donate money, but wondered to whom? Which Organization would be best? Then he found out that some former missionary companions were going to the island to deliver cargo sent from Giving Children Hope, a charity organization in California, and they asked if Chuck would like to come too.
There were a lot of details that were super unclear… how would he get work off? Could we afford it? Would the cargo load get there? How would they distribute it once there? Could Chuck get a passport in time? Would he be safe? Would he be able to help? Would his wife go insane in his absence?
But in spite of all doubt and fears we decided that he should go. And little by little things started falling into place and pretty soon he was buying plane tickets. Then lots and lots of gear and in the midst his very last minute preparations he had a very inspired idea.
Around here we are Essential Oil users… ummm perhaps “junkies” would be a better term. They pretty much constitute 95% of our family health care and prevention, and we consider them to be a pretty invaluable asset to us. And Chuck thought, “What if I could bring oils to the Philippines, a whole suitcase full.” He started reaching into his oil network and asked for any donations he could get. The response was awe inspiring.
Almost immediately packages were overnight-ed to our home filled with oils. Two giant boxes arrived only hours before he had to board his plane. We had to carefully repackage and wrap them to fit in his luggage and miraculously they filled an entire suitcase. We are really touched by the individual users of doTERRA who contributed and to organizations like GiveOils and the Healing Hands Foundation, which were willing to contribute to Chuck… just some random guy taking a suitcase over.
The kids and I wanted to send him with something too. It was not much but we bought some simple dolls and stuffed animals and different kinds of candies to give to the kids who might be scared or sad. I told the girls that we could make them extra special if we filled them will love. And so we gave each one a hug and a kiss before we packed them up for their long journey.
(Side Note: That is Daphnie’s new favorite way to smile)
Tonight I sit at my computer (which I have not had the internet in my home for 4 months… Chuck lovingly ordered it for me before he departed so I could be in the know) and I wonder what is he doing and what is he seeing and experiencing? I hope to post some updates as I receive them.
We knew that this Christmas we wanted to help someone…. we tossed around the idea of soup kitchen service, nursing home caroling, gifts to the poor. Just trying to instill some sort of message to our very small children that Christmas is not about presents under a tree. It is about much greater gifts. It is about LOVE, and the One who Loved us First. May HE watch over my husband, and bring him home safe to us on my Birthday, December 23rd.