Our muddy footprints

An ordinary, modern Australian family with four kids, living in the depths of the jungle.  Yep, that’s us.

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Since arriving in the Philippines in 1993 we’ve spread our fair share of muddy footprints around the place.

In the early days when the children were little I would sometimes despair of ever having a clean house as little feet would constantly track muddy footprints over my wooden floors – usually after a marvellous time playing in a tropical downpour.

“Footprints in the Mud” chronicles our family’s life and journey amongst the beautiful Banwaon people of the Philippines.

Mud glorious mud!

“Footprints in the Mud” also shares insights into modern missions.  We are not the first missionaries to tread these paths.

Others, their physical footprints long faded, have left imprints in the hearts of the Banwaon people.

Like us, they’ve lived amongst these people.  Learned their language.  Their culture.  Taught them to read and write in their own language.  Bandaged their wounds.  Loved, laughed, helped, hurt, cried, sung, played, danced and worked with them.

Co-workers

But most importantly, the Banwaon have been given the opportunity to hear the story of God’s message to them from the Bible.

“How beautiful on the mountains,
are the feet of a messenger
    who proclaims peace,
    who brings good news,
    who proclaims salvation,
    who says ….. “Your God rules!”

Isaiah 52:7 (CEB)

Albert and Bastun working on the water Jan 2003

  Yes, our feet have been muddy.  At times they’ve been sore and tired too.  But what brings great joy is to see the feet of the Banwaon people themselves now pacing across the mountain trails as they share the life-giving message of hope and truth.  “Footprints in the Mud” tells their stories too.

Kaking&Bastun teaching at Bayung

 We often joke how the alternative life we live here, by virtue of necessity, leaves a very small carbon footprint.  We generate our own electricity from a small hydro-electric unit powered by a nearby waterfall.  Our house is made from primarily natural renewable materials, similar to the houses of the people.

Castelijns house in tribe

 Our carbon footprint barely impacts the environment here … yet in contrast we see a huge footprint making an eternal impression on the lives of the Banwaon people.

The footprint of God.

And it is good.

Kids-hi