Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Philip

Philip on the left with our brother Mark

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I referred to individual family members by "screen names" in an effort to protect their privacy. The blogosphere has been a friendly place and I am more comfortable with talking about family and friends and more specifics of my life. One of my earliest posts mentioned my brother, Philip, who I called El Granjero, or The Farmer.

Philip is the middle of five children and was born strong and independent. A man of few words, he is determined, stubborn without being argumentative, and an incredibly hard worker. There has been little he has set out to do that he has not accomplished. When my parents moved to Mexico in the mid 1970's he lived with my husband and I in Canada for a year or so while he completed high school. He worked at a pig farm, and used his earnings to get his pilot's license at our local airport, hitchhiking out to his flying lessons. After he graduated, he went to Europe for a few months with a couple of friends, a backpack and a Euro Pass. After this he attended Bible School in Texas and worked at a plant nursery to earn his way.

Flag ceremony at Philip's school in Mexico- June 2006

Now he is a pastor, teacher and the administrator of a middle school in Mexico, but in his heart he is a true farmer. On his property he has planted hundreds of trees and has had a variety of farm animals as well. He loves his country way of living and for relaxation will climb a mountain or seek out a deserted beach for the day. Like all the children in our family he learned to play more than one musical instrument and is a gifted musician.

Philip played trumpet in a marching band

He likes solitude but also works well with large groups of people. Philip is very humble and is reluctant to talk about his accomplishments. I find it is like pulling teeth to get him to tell me what he is up to. I have been trying to keep a web page updated for him when he is inclined to share something about his life. I have tried to phone him this weekend, but he is very difficult to pin down. So I have published his birthday greeting which he may see the next time he goes onto town to the internet cafe.

Philip with his youngest daughter, Vanessa

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.

Psalm 85:5-7

Happy Birthday Philip (June 22)!


  1. Anonymous9:05 pm GMT-4

    Happy Birthday Philip!!! Certain things I am willing to share on the blog but their are some others that I am still cautious saying! This seems innocent enough!

  2. Isn't it great to be able to wish our brothers happy birthday via this medium?
    Happy Birthday to Philip.

  3. What a lovely tribute to your brother. A belated Happy Birthday to Phillip!

  4. You obviously hold him in very high regard and I'm sure he regards you the same way.

    Happy Birthday to him :o)

  5. Thank you all for your birthday greetings for Philip. Like KGMom says, this is a great way to acknowledge special days for family members who are far from us.

  6. What a wonderful tribute to Philip! You used one of my favorite Psalms to describe him to a tee.

    I shall check tomorrow morning when he returns from one of his vilaage works (Santa Maria del Oro) that he has seen it.

  7. It seems Philip is a very special man - and has a very special sister. This is a loving tribute to a cherished brother.

  8. Happy Birthday to your brother Philip. I'm glad you shared that story about your wonderful brother.

    I have a brother Philip too! So now I know your parents and my parents both have children named Ruth and Philip. Interesting.... Any chance you have siblings named David or Anna?

  9. Thanks Mom!

    Cathy- I think we tend to appreciate each other more as we get older. No more sibling rivalry..:-)

    RuthieJ- How interesting that you have a brother Philip. My dad is David as is the first name of my eldest brother. I have no sisters, so no Anna.

  10. Happy Birthday to Phillip.-There are tons of things that I'd like to blog about but am hesitant to.-I have deleted several of my own posts after second thoughts.


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