Shipping Our Stuff

One of the initial motives for becoming missionaries was a realization that we had slipped into some bad habits, accumulating possession that were encumbering us. We’re now in the process of purging them. We’ve sent the really nice books (leather-bound Tolkien, etc.) to live at our friend Erin’s house, and we’re storing our king sized bed and 12 of my model cars with Matt’s parents. (Sora rather wishes Matt would get rid of all the model cars.)

But as pleasant as it is to get rid of things we don’t need, we we found we couldn’t go to the Philippines without books. They are central to Matt’s ministry, helpful for Sora’s ministry, and an integral part of who we are as a family. Even paring the library down to only the ones we really want to have with us in Davao, we were looking at this:


(The stacks continue on the floor outside the borders of that photo.)

Many Filipino expatriates (“balikbayan”) and emigrants send gifts home to their families via surface freight, a custom known as pasalubong. They thus have a network of cargo shippers who will ship very large boxes and charge by volume, not by weight.

We distributed our books into the bottom halves of four balikbayan boxes, and filled the rest of them up with board games, stuffed animals, bedclothes, and towels. The result was four very heavy boxes, sealed up and with their contents catalogued (see below).

It took both Sora and Matt working together to load these titanic boxes into our minivan, but we did it. That means that everything else in our house is either to be carried in our luggage, or else sold or given away. Unfortunately, the boxes probably won’t arrive in Davao until mid-February. They go by train to California, then by sea to the Philippines. Our carrier is Star Kargo, operating out of the Pinoy Clasik Asian Mart on Cin-Day Road. The boxes cost $85 apiece to ship. It feels very good to have them sent off now.


You can tell a lot about a family by their books and their board games. If you want to know what we packed, you can see the list after the break:

Box 1: mostly Matt’s theology and Biblical studies books

Collected Works of David Daube, four volumes
NT Wright, Christian origins, three volumes; simply Christian, what St. Paul really said
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia – large edition
Pelikan, the Christian tradition, five volumes
The Schilder passion trilogy, three volumes
UBS Vulgate
Nestle-Aland 27
UBS 4th edition Greek New Testament
Metzger textual commentary on GNT
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia small edition
Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter
Leithart, Brazos first and second Kings, A Son to Me, deep comedy, house for my name, heroes of the city of man, priesthood of the plebs, promise of his appearing, ascent to love
7 CS Lewis paperbacks: Discarded Image, Surprised by Joy, Four Loves, Experiment in Criticism, Screwtape, Scr. proposes a toast
Gallant, Feed my lambs
Kohler/Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the OT, 2 volumes
Barfield, history in English words
Cornelius Van der Waal, The Covenantal Gospel
Schilder, Extra-Scriptural binding: a New Danger
Bockmuehl, Jewish law in gentile churches
Joachim Jeremias, parables of Jesus, Eucharistic words of Jesus, Origins of infant baptism
Stratego, blokus, settlers of Catan, Isle of Lewis chess set, Ticket to ride, Hey that’s my fish
Three PW Akkerman bottles of fountain pen ink.
A stuffed triceratops (that has been across the continent to British Columbia and back).
A few bath towels and clothes for padding, green scrubs

Box 2 – mostly Sora’s midwifery books.

Compact Oxford English Dictionary
Anne Frye Holistic Midwifery vol i and vol. II
Statistics explained
Essentials of writing biomedical research papers
Breast feeding answer book
Examination of the newborn and Neonatal health
Designing clinical research
Healing passage
Diagnostic tests 7th Ed
Supporting sucking skills
Tongue tie Hazelbaker
Making more milk
Where women have No doctor
Oxhorn and foot human labor and birth
Simpkins labor progress handbook
A midwife’s handbook
Medications and mother’s milk
Statistics for experimenters
Third culture kids
Principles and practice of research in midwifery
Lactation management binder/ Linda Smith Class notes
CanRef Book of praise (Anglo-Genevan Psalter)
Susan Cooper, The Dark is rising (boxed set)
Deluxe scrabble
Wise and otherwise
Helmantel New life Painting
Green exercise ball and ball pump
Sheets and pillowcases
Girls sleeveless church dresses

Box 3 – mostly favorite literature, more theology, and homeschooling

Complete Calvin & Hobbes
Vos commentary on WLC
Van Bruggen: Christ on Earth and Jesus the Son of God
Robert Alter the five books of Moses and the David story
Lingua Latina 3 textbooks, 2 workbooks (3 green, 2 orange)
Nance, Introductory logic(3 books)
Williamson study guide for Westminster confession of faith
Mathison the Shape of Sola Scriptura
Enger, Peace like a river
Rebecca West, Black Lamb and grey falcon
10 Penguin classics (Dante, Cloud of Unknowing, Chaucer, etc)
Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (paperback reading copies)
Isak Dinesen, three paperback books
Davies, the Deptford trilogy
Ciardi, How does A Poem mean
JKA Smith, Desiring the kingdom
Grimm’s fairytales
Global missions handbook
Cross-cultural Conflict
Raising resilient MKs
1982 hymnal
Big box Carcassonne game
Calligraphy pens and ink
Bed Sheets
Hebrew flash cards.
Daimon (adventure story in Latin) x 2
Kozel psalms
Book of Kells design book
Athenian architecture book
Children’s antihistamines, Children’s Tylenol
Pomona’s Universal pectin
Dental floss
Kitchen knives, veg peeler, spatula
Silpat baking sheet

Box 4 – mostly children’s books.

Mother Goose
Rhymes for Annie Rose
Flight of Dragons
Apples to Oregon
Flight of Dragons
Charlottes web
Bartholomew and the ooblek
Dinotopia (x2)
Holly and ivy
Leela and the watermelon
A teeny tiny baby
Hello baby
The kitchen knight
St. George and the Dragon
John Willy and Freddy McGee
Make way for ducklings
How the Grinch stole Christmas
Tommie DiPaolo’s mother Goose
William Blake’s Inn
The city of Dragons
Beatrix Potter treasury
Horton hears a who
Where the wild things are
The clown of God
Dr. De Soto
Five little monkeys sitting in a tree
Beowulf John Howe illustration
Complete Winnie the Pooh
Harry Potter six volumes
Romeo the robbers daughter
Homer price
Centerburg tales
Emmett otter
Phokey the sea otter
Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve
The Griffin and the minor canon
Complete Adventures of the borrowers And the borrowers avenged
Miss happiness and Miss Flower
Walrus and the carpenter
The waterbabies
The Chosen
There’s a carrot in my ear
Alfie gives a hand
Green eggs and ham
One Fish two Fish red Fish blue Fish
Frog And toad are friends
Frog and toad all year
Mouse tales
Abel’s Island
The Chinese daughter
Hop on Pop
Obadiah the bold
The hunting of the Snark
Fabian escapes
The Maggie B
Understood Betsy
The valiant chatti-maker
The 24 days before Christmas
Am I beautiful?
The art and industry of Sandcastles
Bedtime for Frances
Catch me and kiss me and say it again
21 balloons
The wolves of Willoughby Chase
Pippi Longstocking
Lavender colored “princess” NKJV Bible
Pictures: 3 calligraphy prints from Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta, Henk Helmantel’s paintings of little red shoes, bread, bread and eggs, plums, and church interior of Bozum.
Some towels and a sheet for padding

5 comments on “Shipping Our Stuff

  1. Mrs. Butler says:

    Your list brought lots of tears. Good choosing.

  2. […] missionary / midwife family with four children decides which books from their ample, beloved library… to their first posting in the […]

  3. Cornelius van der Waal made the cut 🙂

    • mattcolvin says:

      Yes, but its easier for me to take a book to Davao than it is for me to bring one back. I’m sure Vic Bernales will be happy to take CVW off my hands if (as seems likely) _The Covenantal Gospel_ doesn’t “make the cut” for the return trip.

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