We had our 5:00 a.m. core group meeting again this week. They seemed to participate a little better in the singing. Someone even mentioned how things had picked up as they learned the new songs. They used it as an example as to how we ought to introduce new songs to our congregation. I think we made some strides this morning, if any action is taken on the things we came up with. I need to figure out some way to encourage greater training efforts; I did push them a little today toward greater organization of the worship program and greater emphasis on the monthly themes.
Saturday afternoon, I noticed that the right CV boot on our vehicle was torn. Pastor Alex looked at it yesterday and said that I should take it to the dealership. I was pretty scared about what it was going to cost me, but Pastor Alex said nobody around here would know how to replace that. Madam Becca suggested that I have a Filipino take the vehicle to the dealership, so that I wouldn’t get ripped off. So this morning, I headed over to Pastor Gacal’s house. I called out “Apo,” was invited in and told to take my seat. I started right in to the topic at hand then interrupted myself to ask Pastor Gacal about his weekend, what classes he was teaching, etc. He actually seemed anxious for me to get to the point. (Maybe he’s used to dealing with Americans, who don’t know any better). So I told him the situation. He said he would take it to the dealership for me but could look at it to see if he could fix it himself. I assured him that it would be best to just take it to the dealer. In retrospect, that may have seemed insulting. I was really trying to save him the trouble of getting into a very difficult job. He said he would come soon to get the vehicle. I asked permission to leave and headed back to the house. Soon the pastor was there for the car. I showed him the problem. He acted like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I kept arguing that it would be a difficult job. I told him to just drop the vehicle off and I would pay his fare back. He said he would just stay if the job could be finished before 5:00 today. I gave him 21000 pesos to make sure there was plenty for the bill. He looked at me like I was crazy and peeled off only 2000. He said it wasn’t safe to carry that much. I finally convinced him to take 5000. Sure enough, it cost less than 2000 and only took an hour or so. Live and learn, or live and just keep being stupid (as I generally choose).