Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grave Situation

This has been some week for us.  For some time now we’ve been planning a trip to the Philippines but it’s been a thing shrouded in confusion and sense of hopelessness.  This has changed as our church really got together on Father’s Day and addressed the purpose of this coming trip.  It is times like this in which I find an eternal gratitude to God for our little church.  We are not bound by a way of doing things and when there’s a need to pray we will do it at the drop of a hat.  Our meeting brought great focus and a much needed sense of direction.  We are set to proceed with our trip a month later than at first planned meaning Lovely and I and the kids will likely go in October…mom and part of the team will arrive a few weeks later then the other will come a couple weeks after that.  Hopefully by then we will have secured a house.  The team will be much smaller than we first intended but still my dear brother will be coming from Africa with another friend of ours from there and perhaps and African or two from Chicago.  I sense a tremendous relief in it all!  We will try to secure Filipino passports for the kids who are duel citizens.  This makes a huge difference for us in customs in Manila.  We then intend to proceed to Davao City where we will continue the work that we began so many years ago now.  It will mark my eighth trip.  All the kids have been there before except Gabby…it is time for them to see the other half of their heritage.  This is not an easy thing nor is it safe…please remember us in your prayers.


One of my dreams has been to take pictures in an old graveyard in Ireland.  This year that dream became a reality…thus the title of this post…hope you don’t mind the pun!  It really was a grave situation!  Some headstones were hundreds of years old and could no longer be read at allbut I thought this didn’t retract from them being quite photogenic none the less.  Some crosses were simple yet beautiful in designwhile others were far more intricate in appearance.  The sacred heart is well seen here.  A bit further away and you can see it in all its glory.  Why be satisfied with only one angle?  It felt like there was a lot of history here though that is not unusual for Ireland.  The weather was pretty edgy yet it when it cooperated I got busy clicking more and more shots.  The large trees provided shelter when it began to rain and thus this shot presented itself.  Some stones were smaller and simpler than othersbut I thought they all had a personality unique to them.  Here is a more classic design back dropped by a far more Celtic grave.  This was a shot taken through one stone while looking out on the graveyard.  I found the contrast between the grey on the headstones and the green of the grass almost shocking.  I have no idea what these aphids hoped to find to eat on this head stone.  Another shot through the head stones.  The church was unique in that it had memorials in the stained glass windows.  Leaving the church I could see some new angles that captured my attention.  This grave reminded me of some of the markers along the road you might see in Oregon.  Small wonder there was so much moss on these graves with the endless rain.  This cross had actually broken from it’s grave and was placed near the cemetery wall.  This stone had a candle near it…someone still comes to remember this person.  It is written that we parish without a vision.  I believe this so much.  We will press forward with both vision and purpose…an new mission awaits!


  1. I love the pics from the graveyard Joe. Excellent shots.
    It is good to read that your trip to the Philippines is coming along as planned. Prayers for this Joe.

  2. Hello Joe,

    I pray God's blessing on you and your family and friends for this trip and all that it involves.

    In the sweet name of Jesus - Amen

  3. Terrific photos of Celtic stones. All those names on the one marker which ended in 1984, are they all buried there in one grave?
    Glad that the trip is ah go.

  4. *´¨)
    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Here's the thing about faith, it's free and available to all people at all times. It gives us the power to make a way out of no way, when we can't see the way..... and praying has never hurt either. :) As you yourself knows Joe, things have a miraculous way of working out when a person has a little faith! I
    am glad to hear that you and yours are still planning your trip to Philippines! October sounds like a fine time.

  5. *´¨)
    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Really admire those pictures. I think I got a little lost in this graveyard while taking a tour through your photos. It would be the first time, doubt that it would be the last. Just looking at all these headstones, I can't help but wonder about all the great 'rubbings' we could get from them. Yes, these graveyards have quite the history to them and could you image the stories that could be told if these headstones could speak? Amazing stories I bet!

  6. Hi Joe,
    Your next trips for extend to October that is okay because on September has uncertain weather's in Asian countries "Typhoon" etc.

    The photos are very interested to look at an old grave stones, Jame Murphy's one is date on 1933. Thought it is rather nice on Moss on graves too.

    Enjoy your day.

  7. Hi Joe , Im concerned about your up coming trip more than the others you have share. I guess I know that there is so much danger over there. Not alot but I know some. I will keep all in my Prayers .
    You can count on that.
    I love the crosses. What beautiful heritage is way over there. I would love to see that side of the world someday . The places I saw as a child that only children remember and so on.
    Thanks for sharing .. Oct. Huh.. Not much time
    Prayers are being said and held steady .

  8. I like this first song you have on.. Nice choice.

  9. *´¨)
    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Keep going... it's almost Friday and then you can enjoy the weekend.

  10. Things happen for a reason and we've yet to know why you must postpone---but it will be evident why when it happens. Really like these pics of the cemetery. I personally love to walk through really old ones---there is something peaceful and serene about them---plus the headstones are fun to read and see. Thanks for sharing them again. Never tire of them!

  11. Hi back things are a not good yet here But i want to stay in contact with every one here.
    The pics of the typical Irish cross are simply perfect.I have such ones in my Irish album U see such ones no where else

    Its good that u feel bit better with the trip now.Its possible that we leave fro sri Lanka
    ( when God allows) in october.

    Be well Joe and family