‘Daw kahapon lamang’ (Seems like yesterday), we said goodbye to our family, relatives and friends in Iloilo, Philippines.
On 10 November 2012, we reached one year of living in New Zealand.
Moving and travelling to a new country and starting a new life is one faith journey we will never forget.
On the one hand, the hardships went with the transition. They are always given and expected.
On the other hand is God, His loving-kindness, His Mighty hand, continuously guiding and showering us with goodness and grace.
Travelling to a foreign country for the first time as a family is fascinating and enjoyable.
It’s fascinating because you get to experience many “firsts”, and you enjoy laughing at all the “miscues”.
Of course, as a rule, it’s always good to ask when you’re in doubt.
So, we were inside the old Manila International Airport. I was pushing our trolley full of baggage towards the Malaysian Airlines counter. I approached a Chinese-looking guy wearing a Malaysian Airline uniform and spoke to him in my best English, only to respond in Tagalog. He’s Filipino.
Seeing our daughter enjoying the trip, cheering and smiling all along, unmindful of what lies ahead in our New Zealand trip, gave us priceless and immeasurable joy.
We left Manila on 9 November 2011.
The three-hour flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur was smooth and on time.
Because our connecting flight was still three hours away, we waited at the KL International Airport. We also got to know other Filipinos bound for Auckland.
Wi-Fi Internet at the airport enabled us to contact home and update our family.
Finally, we left Kuala Lumpur at almost 10:00 PM, and with an 11-hour flight, we slept and took much-needed rest.
At Auckland Airport, Boyet and Sharon Quimba met us. Boyet was a schoolmate at Central Philippine University and a Baptist youth mate. He led the Campus Crusade for Christ at Central Philippine University.
We are so grateful to Boyet, Sharon, and their family for providing shelter and valuable guidance as we started our new life in New Zealand. They’d lived in Auckland for several years before we came.
A few weeks later, after finding work, we moved to our own rented flat and integrated gradually into our new country, New Zealand.
We thank all our brothers and sisters in Christ who consistently pray for us.
We thank our families and kin for your love and thoughtfulness.