Mike has been the one most awaiting our return to the Philippines. He has been working on Skype video calls and Facebook Messenger with our team, who are also our friends, on a daily and weekly basis. His aquaponics dream has taken flight and is in full motion – all with him thousands of miles away. Mike will share a blog in the coming week about this dream, process and how it all came to be but I thought I would share about what it’s like being married to a dreamer who wakes up and makes the dream happen.
When we returned to Canada from the Philippines in March the idea of aquaponics had been a side note. Our friends had come to meet us in Manila and we were going for lunch at Wendy’s before we started to prepare for our flight the next morning. While enjoying some fries and frosty’ s Mike asked the guys, (one who was a farmer) “Have you ever heard of Aquaponics?” It was a side comment and one that resulted in them watching YouTube videos for the rest of the snack time together. With one sentence the minds of the guys began to turn and think how they could set something up to test the aquaponics where they were.
We did not have much time together but it was in that short hour that a thought was planted, an idea was launched and the rest is becoming very fast history! Our friend Ronnie, who is a farmer, took down his one chicken coop and decided to create an aquaponics farm in the space instead! Mike began to take any extra resources we had and send it over for materials. The first test site was becoming a very fast reality.
As a wife, married to a dreamer, it can be challenging at times. At one point I was asking Mike, why are we so tight financially? We should have more than enough? It was then that I realized that any extra we had was going to the Philippines to build this idea of an aquaponics farm. Not only that but Mike had our guys searching for LAND?!?! This was all going way to fast for me…but not for Mike. What I thought was a little project was actually just the launching pad for a WAY larger plan forming in my husband’s mind. He was dreaming of land, a larger greenhouse and invading the market with produce that was twice the size and organic.
(The day we shook hands virtually as partners as we signed a lease for land for 5 years to make the greenhouse a reality!)
I struggled to keep up, to wrap my mind around this idea of an aquaponics farm in the Philippines. I could see the partnering with local friends, I could see that this would be an amazing opportunity, sure… I could see it all. But it was a stretch on all sides. It was invading every moment of my husbands time with research, online Facetime meetings with time differences that caused him to stay up until all hours in the night and extend us in our personal finances. Yes, this was our dream to partner with local entrepreneurs and empower them to change their lives – but this was getting a little personal.
You see when you are married to a dreamer you find yourself in places you never dreamed you would be. 😊 Places of stretching, places that are uncomfortable and places you are not familiar with. To say Mike and I smiled hand in hand this entire journey would be a lie. We had to argue, talk things out and go our separate ways to pray and hear God for ourselves.
We were solid in our vision for the Philippines, to partner with entrepreneurs and see them change their generations from poverty to wealth. But at the end of the day – it was Mike’s dream to do aquaponics, not mine. I remember one day he was so excited with the progress and movement that he was seeing and I just started to cry. He wasn’t sure what was wrong but I all of a sudden I said: “I don’t know what I’m going to do?” With tickets booked for October I was having my own little crisis.
You see that is sometimes the case when you are married to a dreamer. You are put on the ride and whether you enjoy roller coasters or not – you are on it! Then you realize maybe this is not the ride you signed up for – you prefer to go on the bumper cars and be in control – it’s still fun just a little slower and not as risky. But that is also the beauty in it all – if I was alone I may not take these risks which would mean I would not be where I am today.
Married to a dreamer…is it worth the risk, the fights and the unknowns? I would say a full-hearted YES! You see yesterday Mike went to the aquaponics farm and as much I wanted to be there, be part of these first moments I was just so tired and wanted to unpack and settle in. But I am glad I did not go because our friend send me this picture and it made me cry. My husband, the dreamer – standing in what was now a reality. Surrounded by the resources he sent money for them to buy, standing with the people he trusted to build and on the phone with his mom sharing the moment. It is an incredible image and I have to say I am grateful and amazed that I too am part of this dream.
We have a very full few weeks coming up with the finishing of the aquaponics farm and the goal is to be harvesting by the first week of December and that will be another HUGE day for us all. My encouragement to you today is if you have not dreamed a BIG dream or have been afraid to dream because of disappointment I am right there with you! I too have feared to dream again – but thank Jesus I am married to a man that kept his hand in mine with determination and patience for where I was at. He knew…he knew that it would be worth it and I can honestly say he’s right – It was.