Friday, July 8, 2011

Update!


Hello!

We have begun our coffee shop interactions and have met quite a few nationals! We have set up appointments to meet with them again this week and are so excited to know them better! One girl has been very enthusiastic and cannot wait to share more of her culture with us. English classes have been going well also! We have had eight students and they are as eager to learn.
This week the girls learned to do henna. This is an ancient decorative body art for the hands or feet It will be used to tell stories to nationals! This week they learned to tell the story of Creation and the fall of man through henna!

We also were able to work at a couple of pilot schools. We were picked up by bus at around 8 am. We entered the bus welcomed with screams of "Auntie!" and "Uncle!" from almost every child on there! On the way to the schools, we learned that there were actually two schools we would be working in. One was for older children and the other for babies and toddlers. The older children were taught elementary English and some basic math before ending the day. They were ecstatic to see foreigners and loved playing with us.
At the babycare center, we helped bathe, clothe and feed them before showering them with love as we played with them. 

We can’t wait to go back!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A home for stink-free pigs

Today we returned from our 1 week stay in a rural village community.  While there, we built a "stink free" pig barn which is the first step in a community development program that the foundation we're working with is doing in the village.  Most people in the village suffer from health problems such as hypertension and diabetes due to lack of nutrition; most of their meals consist of plain rice.  So help solve this problem, the foundation is going to help the village people set up a "f.a.i.t.h. garden (food always in the home), so that they can grow their own fruits and vegetable to supplement their diets and income.  However, the soil conditions in the village are very poor, so the first step in this process is to start raising live stock so that they can begin to generate their own fertilizer (pig waste).  The pig barn is stink free because of the bedding which instead of mud, consist of rice hull which can be scooped out and used as fertilizer.  The pig food is mixed with a micro-organism that somehow eliminates the odor, the micro-organism is also mixed in with the bedding.

The village people were all very nice.  We actually didn't have a translator with us this week.  So we communicated using broken english/thai, a english/thai dictionary, and lots of charades/motions.  The people we met liked to watch everything we did whether it was the man pictured our below who sat on his porch and watched us build all day or the children gathering to watch our barefoot, muddy games of soccer every evening. 

-Tray

(To see pics of Tray's team in action, check out his blog: www.traystrawhorn.blogspot.com)

Divine Appointment?

Yesterday was our day “off”. We try to take one day a week to just relax & recharge. However, I locked myself and Kayla out of the apartment. Oops :) We had to wait about 3 hours for our supervisor to get home. Fortunately, we were stranded by the pool sunbathing all day, and we did at least have water to drink and Bibles to read.

By the time she returned, I was hungry so I started my way upstairs for a very late lunch when this young Iranian woman stopped me. She had mistaken me for a European she had met before, but continued to talk. She just moved here for school and is looking to make friends because she doesn’t know anyone. So I introduced myself & my friends, and got her number so that we can go out to lunch soon. 

Please, please, please pray that I will get the opportunity to meet with this lady soon, and that she will be open & accepting of the Gospel. I believe that the reason we were locked out all day was just to cross paths with this lady at that point and time. I’m so thankful that God doesn’t take a day off! ;-)

-Kelsey

Restored from brokenness

Isaiah 61:1-2 "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn."

That is why I am here. You don't go on a mission trip as a vacation.You don't go on a mission trip to for an adventure. You don't go on a mission trip to be comfortable. You don't go on a mission trip to be pampered. You don't go on a mission trip for selfish reasons. You don't go on a mission trip to still be mommy and daddy's baby or your "significant others" for that matter. You don't go on a mission trip for a shopping spree.

Matthew 8:18-22 talks about how you have to give up everything to follow Jesus. That might mean being away from family, comfort, and life's luxuries.   To many, the "American Dream" sounds much too dreamy. To me though it's simple. In Luke 9:59 Jesus says, "Follow me."
Is that hard to do? Well yeah- but think about what Jesus has done for us. He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, he was MURDERED for OUR sin. I think the least I can do is share His love with others. I can preach good news to the poor. I can bind up the brokenhearted. I can proclaim freedom to the captives. I can release prisoners from darkness. I can comfort those who mourn. What can you do?

-Jenny

The Escape!

I am free! Okay so I was not really in captivity, just in the hospital. To make a short story longer than it needs to be, I was diagnosed with Typhoid fever after days of feeling...not good. I was going to say under the weather, but does anyone really know what that means...? Didn't think so :) and don't be cheeky and google it! When the Dr. told me, after a few days of testing, that i had Typhoid I responded and after he left I sat in my room alone and cracked up! Some of you know that I waited until the last minute to get my immunizations. Because of this I really only had time to get one...guess which one........TYPHOID! It is the only thing i was immunized against and the only think i got. hahah sigh :)

I am gunna be honest here, when I was feeling sick I was sort of hoping that I would get to be admitted to the hospital. Call me what you will, but I have (had) never been admitted to a hospital and I thought it would be cool to say that I was admitted to my first hospital in the Philippines...you know you think it sounds cool too;) I got to be hooked up to an IV and everything, so legit! I met some of the nicest people ever there and made loads of new friends.
 
The hospital was real small and there were only like four private room, one of which I was able to get. In the Philippines people are never alone, they just aren't. And if you are alone they assume you want company, so funny. Because of this, when my team mates were out watching God save the world and I was left alone in the hospital room, I was asked at least 2-3 times a day where my "watchers" were and whether i minded being alone. But let me tell you, with nurses coming in almost every hour i was not alone for long :) One good thing about having friends with you at the hospital here it to get your prescriptions. I did not have an IV of antibiotics that we did not go to the pharmacy every few hours to get.
 
I also know now how it feels to be a zebra in a fish bowl! Let me explain. There was a small window in the door to my room and I frequently would look up from my food, conversation, or book and see someone creeping in the window. And it didn't phase them at all when I stared back. lol so funny!
 
The staff at the hospital were so nice and loved it when we got to talk and remember their names! Two of the nurses asked to be my Facebook friends too, so cute!
 
Despite these minor set backs God is still doing great things. We have shared the gospel with more people than i can count right now and we have had ten bible studies. We are leaving at the end of this month to a new area. I'm really excited to get back out there and see how God will use our team! Thank you for your prayers you guys are the best for real!!!!! May God bless you, too!!!!!

-Haley

Home

Where You go, I'll go.
Where You stay, I'll stay.
When You move, I'll move.
I will follow You.
 
Well, I'm coming home. It has been a very emotional past week. I did get to come with my team to Davao for our mid-summer break. We got to hang out with another orphanage team. So I was able to chill, relax, see some sights, and make more memories with my sisters. However, today my team went back to Malaybalay and I stayed here. I'm still coping with this whole situation. I've learned a lot just in the past week. The lyrics above have been playing in my head for a few days now. I have to be obedient and follow Him; even if He's going to Aberdeen.
 
I was obedient in the fact of following His call on my life to come halfway around the world to the Philippines. However, He never gave me a time frame. He never told me I'd be here for 2 months. I just assumed that. I guess 1 month was all that He needed me to do here. It was hard saying goodbye to the kids and it was just as hard saying goodbye to my teammates/sisters. I feel as though there was so much more that I needed to learn about them. It's okay, though. We all live fairly close to each other and can visit. I know my parents are ready for me to come home. I'm sure it's been just as hard if not harder on them than anyone else.
 
I ask that you continue to pray for me, my team, and my other brothers and sisters that are still serving the Lord. Who knows what He has planned for me back at home?! No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can conceive what God has planned for those who love Him. - 1 Corinthians 2:9. You can't out-dream God. He is sovereign
 
-Claire

Random Thai facts

A few random things about Thailand...
  • we drink from straws because it is rude to drink from a cup
  • we don't stab food with forks (instead to use a fork and spoon to cut the food into smaller bites and then we scootch it onto the spoon)
  • we have gotten the "Wai" down pat and can say "Sawat Dii Kha" like a pro
  • it is second nature to slip off our shoes before we enter any building
  • we don't flush our toilet paper, and 
  • we have learned to eat a little bit of everything to show respect and not finish our plates!! 
-Bailey

My daily life...

I’m sitting in a hammock in the middle of the Philippines.  Surrounding me are coconut trees and mountains.  A cool breeze is gently blowing, a subtle warning of the coming rain shower disguised as a break from the humidity.  Just a short walk down the road are Filipino families in bamboo houses, some on stilts, others wide open.  The way of life is so simple here, though it can be a struggle.  There is no looming pressure of the future, just the necessities of the present.  In America, people are so concerned with keeping track of time and never wasting it.  But here… Here I lose sense of the days of the week.  If it were not for my watch, I would hardly know the date.  I wake when the sun rises and sleep when I finish washing my dishes from supper.

Never in my life have a I thought of living like this.  We “shower” in stalls with a faucet and a bucket filled with water.  You take a scoop and pour it on yourself, so as not to waste it.  It is always cold.  But, it is the one time of the day that you can be anything other than hot.  Laundry is washed by hand and hung to dry out in the hot, tropical sun in hopes that they are done before the daily rain comes in.

Rain here is different.  It is a given, but you also always know when it is coming.  The sky is bright blue, and the sun is beating down.  In the distance, rain clouds loom like a warning to put away anything you want to remain dry.  Dry is a relative term here, anyway.

Living here makes me realize how much we take for granted.  We don’t *need* air conditioning, washing machines, or even refrigerators to live happily.  We don’t need to own vehicles or expect even fast transportation.  Most of the time we walk a few kilometers to other barangays (villages) instead of paying for a ride.  Though, on market days, we ride to the city on top of Jeepneys (sort of like a bus) because it is cooler than riding for an hour inside.


I have come to appreciate so many small things which so many of us just expect.  A cold drink.  A bucket of water to bathe with (not hard to get, it’s just so humid here, you want to bathe all the time—-though in some places, it might be hard to get).  Dry clothes.  Peanut butter with rice.  A breeze.  Music (I’ve no iPod or similar device).  Iced coffee (a surprise from this morning).
I wish I had more words to describe what it is like to live here.

-Amanda

The Pursuit of Boldness and the Practice of Discipleship

We spotted a couple of women and children sitting outside their squatter homes, eating the soup we brought to the village. We walked over and began to chat, mixing in what little Tagalog we know with their giggles at our efforts and their pretty good English.

“Do you go to church?”
“Yes! Every Sunday.”-they said.
“Do you believe in Jesus?”“OF COURSE!”-their response.

I smiled in reply, but on the inside, I was screaming: But do you know Him? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Do you wake up every day craving His Word, desiring more than anything to know Him more intimately and be more like Him?

These questions burned deep within my soul, but my tongue remained paralyzed. Why am I this way? I fear rejection. I fear failure. I fear anger. I doubt their ability to understand and change. Why? Don’t I realize it is not up to me to save them? All that is required of me is faith, prayer, and availability. Am I not just willing to open my mouth and allow the Spirit to speak? I am just a vessel. Oh, how I disgust myself!
“After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of encouragement for the people, please speak.” (Acts 13:15)

Oh that I would see those I come in contact with in this way: people seeking for words of hope and encouragement. May I recognize the power of Christ dwelling within me and not withhold the Good News from the lost just because I am afraid...this is the cry of my heart.


-Heather

EX & EV Teams Mid-Summer Break


Every one except for Brandon and Matthew are at home base for a break. Brandon and Matthew are taking a break in a bigger city near the island they have been visiting. We are all enjoying time on an island that has power all day, food variety, and beds for each person. We’ll be here for a few days before we head back out to continue exploring the islands. 

These are some of the kids we have been visiting with on the islands. Please take a moment and ask Dad to watch over these kids and for them to encounter and know Him in their time on earth. We also ask that you ask Dad to keep us safe as we head back out and to guide our steps for the next two weeks. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Half Way There.

   We are halfway through our missions trip! We just finished at the second barangay a few days ago and are wrapping up a three day vacation. Again, the Lord blessed our efforts and the Holy Spirit worked in the people's hearts. The second barangay we visited was very different than our first. The people were not as open to responding to the message of the gospel. It was evident by the questions that were asked by the locals we had Bible studies with that the Lord had already begun a work here. We were able to reach about half of the village of 100 households.
    Many of the questions asked were regarding many of the different beliefs of the religions in the Philippines. The people of this barangay had been solicited by many different denominations, all of whom believe in salvation by faith with the addition of works. In the first barangay we visited, most of the locals we encountered understood that God was the creator, believed the Bible was inspired by God, and believed that Jesus was a sinless sacrifice for our sins. Because of this, our gospel presentation was pretty straightforward with an emphasis in faith alone without our works. In the last barangay, we had to start from ground zero and ended up giving a "Creation to Christ" message as well as answering various questions they had. When we left the village, one person had professed faith. Praise the Lord! My overall impression of the work we had done was that we had planted and watered. How wonderful    it is that it is the Holy Spirit that moves and works in hearts and not our presence. We left thirteen Bibles there. 
    The next to barangays we go to are going to be very remote. Pray for us. We have had many different challenges the last month. Satan has attacked us daily. It seems like for every hurdle we jump, there is another one waiting. But the Lord has blessed us with health and open doors which is more than we ask for. We are excited to see what the Lord will do in the next barangay and we thank everyone who has been praying for us. I have realized more than ever this summer how significant prayer is to our ministry. The Lord has been working in our hearts as well. Pray that all of us will humble ourselves before God and never lose our passion to be the chief servant of Christ.

Village # 2

As my time here in this village ends the lyrics from the song "Desert Song" by Hillsong United popped in my head especially the part that says:

"All of my life. In every season you are still God. I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship"

I found these lyrics very encouraging during my time here because we as a team unlike in the first village haven't really seen the people to be as interested in the Bible Studies. These lyrics  reminded me in every season whether it is the harvest season or planting season, God wis with us every step of the way. I know God will be working in the hearts of the people here that is why I had a reason to sing and worship here in this village.

Many times we Christians tend to forget that we cannot save the person we are talking to, but only by the Grace of God through faith. It was hard this week remembering this simple truth because I wanted them so bad to understand the simple truth of how they could have eternal life in heaven. I had to realize that from this verse that encourage me that our time is not God's time and his timing is perfect in the salvation of people here in this village and all over the world. 

2 Peter 3:8-9

"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand year as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 

3 profession of Faith
18 Bibles given away

Lacey 

EX & EV Brandon and Matthew

I have just returned from a visit to the island that Brandon and Matthew been exploring for about two weeks now. This particular island is exceptionally rural compared to the other islands in this area. Like a few other smaller islands, the electricity is only on when the sun is down, but even then there are often times when the power generators fail. Electricity or no electricity the team seems to be going strong and enjoying their time on the island.      
During my visit with the guys, we explored the waters and beautiful coral reefs while scuba diving, went on a 10-mile nature hike, visited with the locals, and feasted on young coconut during it all. The village in which we slept while I was there, is built entirely on the water along the coast. The houses are either built on rocks that have been stacked in the water, or on wood posts. These houses are connected by very narrow bridges made from 2-3 long wooden planks, creating a network of homes strung together as a community. However, these particular planks are usually very old and are not quite dependable for us because westerners are generally larger and heavier than the locals. Brandon learned this the hard way, and unfortunately fell about 10-feet to the mud when one bridge broke beneath his feet! As soon as we discovered he was not injured, we all had a good laugh at the event while helping him out of the low-tide muck.
Another day, we arrived at a village after a 10-mile hike along a poor trail and the people were astonished to hear how far we had walked. We discovered that there was indeed an easier path to the village but we made it there and the people were glad to greet us. Not having enough time in the day to make the trek back, we decided to take a very small wooden boat back to our port village. The trip was quite amusing because we were struggling to remain balanced throughout the ride on the small boat.
After a short break in a bigger city, Brandon and Matthew will return to the island for another 10 days. Please ask Dad to guide their travels as well as for guidance in meeting the people He has been working in before they ever arrived. 

EX & EV Tyler and Daniel (6-29-11)

            Hello all,  I have recently returned from a two-week excursion to a relatively remote island with team members Tyler and Daniel. 
            During my visit to the remote island on which Tyler and Daniel currently remain, we trekked from village to village inquiring the locals about interesting areas, mountains, rivers, etc. on the island.  We even traveled to two other smaller islands that were nearby, just to visit the people. In one mountain village, a leader guided us to local waterfall where we camped for a night with some of the villagers. Swimming in the ice cold, clear water of the river was quite refreshing after a two-mile hike down the mountain. In another village, we visited a cave that was home to hundreds of bats that did not seem to enjoy our presence while our flashlights penetrated the deep darkness.
As we traveled across the island, we were able to find some people of peace that showed us kindness by preparing food for us and also by opening their homes for us to sleep. Dad taught us many things in our time on this island. One of those things was to rely on Him for direction and providence, for sometimes we had no plan or idea of what was to come, but He was there to help us. I asked that you continue to talk to Dad about watching over Tyler and Daniel as they continue they’re time on the island.
           

The Work of the Spirit at Home Visits

   Every Saturday, our team at LTC goes out into a nearby community and visits new believers that are members of a local church. Every week, we are left with impressions of their hospitality and warmth toward us. We are always treated with potatoes, cassava or bananas, and always some type of soda.
   Today was probably the most encouraging day for me with community home visits.
Our first visit today was to a widow in Baliok (a community in Davao). She has six children who all live in Manila. She has a sari sari in the front of her home.
    After introducing ourselves and listening to her sweet testimony, we began a Bible study looking at Genesis 22 when Abraham offers Isaac to God as a sacrifice. Our team was discussing this passage the other day, what an incredible display of faithfulness and obedience to God. Man, even now thinking of it I am amazed. No wonder Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness.
   Anyway, so here we are sitting around her table in her dining area. And as Jeffrey, our friend and supervisor at the orphanage, interprets all of our questions and comments, I wonder to myself if this woman thinks these four Americanas are simply full of it – as if we could have anything to teach her about faith.
I shared with her how much it means to me that Abraham always knew God would provide the sacrifice, yet he acted on what God requested of him anyway (Genesis 22:8). I told her how significant I thought this was – that no matter what we are going through; God always is the one who provides strength or whatever it is we need to get through our situations. Not confident that what I was saying was making any sense, I asked her what the Scripture meant to her. I looked down at my Scriptures. I looked up.
She was wiping tears from her eyes.
She began to share just about the grace of God in her life through many trials and how he has always seen her through. She shared about the strength God has given her. I sensed that this widow, who now lives alone and looks forward to visits on the weekends from children, experiences much loneliness.
We gathered around her to pray, and as I put my hand on her back I felt her quiet sobs. After our time of prayer, she joyfully served us pansit and sweet macaroni (not sure how used to that Filipino dish I will get).
Just before we began reading Scripture I felt led to just pray for the blessing of God’s word. We had already spent time praying, but I felt I should pray again.
The Lord just gently reminded me today that I need not rely on anything – any sort of planning or preconceived ideas about what he will do – but to allow his Spirit to have freedom and authority to reign and lead us. When I though surely this woman could get nothing from this awkward conversation because of all the translation, God was at work.  And I left with the peace that we had accomplished what we were supposed to accomplish. May I never limit when or how he will move. To him be the glory!
The team with a family from home visits

King Over the Flood

   When we say that God is the king of the flood, do we understand the magnitude of that statement? This week my team and I experienced the meaning. The heavy rains that came to Davao early on the 29th brought with them flood waters that damaged the community of Matina, a place far enough from the orphanage that we were oblivious to the disaster until our volunteer coordinator explained it to us.
   The flood waters came from the mountain runoff and rose above first floor levels of hundreds of homes. We had no idea that the flood had come until later in the day when we learned about the waters that had risen at one in the morning. Instead of doing our usual VBS type work in the communities closer to our home, we helped the orphanage gather up loads of donation items to transport to Mantina. On the way, we saw different signs of the flood, trash thrown about, water damage, and a taxi nose down in a ditch. It wasn’t too bad until we slopped into one smaller community that was situated by the river that had flooded. Just taking a look at the buildings told us how high the waters had risen from debris and discolored bamboo. We met with a pastor of the church in the little community and he began describing the flood. He told us that many were able to go to their second floor to escape the waters that rose within a time frame of ten minutes, but that some, mainly small children and elderly, were not able to survive. The death toll from the flood was around thirty people the last my team asked, but I feel that the number now is higher.  It was difficult to understand how so many had died until we worked our way father into the community. We walked ankle deep in water and mud the whole way, and everywhere we looked trash and dirt and mud covered the floors of people’s homes.
    The faces of the people who lived there were grave and desperate as they waded around, trying to piece back together their lives. We slipped around fairly often, because we weren’t as nimble as our Filipino friends, and we had to be extremely careful, because there were sometimes sharp objects hidden beneath the coat of mud on the ground. After finally making it to the church we were going to help clean up, most of my team had removed their flip flops to better walk in the sludge and mud was flung up our backs from just walking. The church was covered! All of the items that could be saved when the family was awakened by the flood were stacked in the attic where the family had to sleep until the flood subsided. A thick layer of mud covered the floor of the church and every other item that had been underwater. We spent the afternoon taking pieces of plywood debris and using them to shove out the mud. It was a dirty afternoon, but it was nothing compared to what the inhabitants of that community were facing. It wasn’t just a visit for them, their lives had been drowned in a flood no one expected to happen. 

Scraping mud out of a flooded church
Some of the damage in Mantina

Community Outreach

    For our Tuesday outreach we tried to make it more interactive to get the kids involved in the Bible story. It was so cute to see them act out the story of Jesus’ birth from the wise men following the star to the birth in the stable. The kids really seemed to enjoy it, if the laughter was anything to go by. They are remembering the songs really well and participating more and more each time we come. I am excited to see what God it doing in these children’s lives through our team.
    Every time we go to outreach one of the older kids goes with us to translate. We headed out like our previous Fridays but when we met up with the Pastor of the local church, she brought us to a new place.          There were so many children, too many to count and too many names to remember them all. But one face I remember well. A five-year-old little girl stood in front of Brittney and started to sing her a song. I leaned in close to hear and was amazed at the little girl’s angelic voice as she sang, “change my heart oh God…” She sang another song with Brittney and then said a verse and walked away. We did not see here again the rest of the time we were there, not during the songs or the games or the Bible story.
    When it was time for the Bible story, all of the children gathered around and listened intently, even the adults were listening. When the story ended, we sang a song and then we had our question and answer game. Hands shot up to answer questions and we took the pictures of the winners so that we could give them prizes when we return next week. I can’t wait to see what God will do and show me through these children in the weeks to come.

Community outreach in Mantina

-Robin

Americano Breakfast

    A few weeks into our trip, we were asked to prepare an “American breakfast” for the children at the orphanage.  My team and I wondered what we would cook that could be considered American. A few of us voted for grits, but whenever I told one of the kids that I liked grits, they asked, “What is a grit?”  Grits were out of the picture.
    So, once we thought about what would be the most practical thing to prepare, eggs and toast seemed to be the perfect meal. We planned to be in the kitchen at 7am Saturday morning, but whenever I went to the laundry room at 6, the lights were on in the kitchen, so I woke my team up so we could begin cooking. My team and I went out to the chicken coop and scooped up close to 50 eggs. Once we got the eggs, we went and milked a goat for some milk. That was a challenge. After we gathered our milk into buckets, we had to walk a mile back to the orphanage so we could begin to churn it into butter for the toast. The toast had to be cooked one at a time over a fire, which finally set ablaze after we rubbed two rocks together for about 20 minutes. One of the pieces of toast burst into flames and we sadly had to waste a whole bucket of goat milk to put the flames out. That was a sad day. My team’s motto: “No use in crying over spilt milk.” Joke lang!
     Okay, so although my story does sound completely convincing, that’s really not how the morning went. We prepared the eggs over the gas stove and toasted the bread in a skillet and in a wok. Simple enough, huh? And of course after that, we had to prepare rice. What is a Filipino meal without rice? Yes, in America we like our eggs and toast with grits, but rice is a great substitute. Believe it or not, if my team and I don’t have rice at least 3 times a day with every meal, something is wrong. We feel empty on the inside…really. We’re becoming more and more Filipino the longer we’re here. When we first arrived, we thought it was strange that they always wanted rice, but now we crave it as well.
     Once breakfast was prepared, the children set the table and seemed really excited about their “American breakfast.” I guess you can say that we brought a taste of America to the children here, if you consider eggs and toast to be American.  It’s good so that’s what matters the most. Even Ate Susan, the cook, loved the meal, and that’s saying something, because she is an awesome cook.  So even though we didn’t really have to collect the chickens’ eggs, rub rocks together to make our fire, or waste a whole bucket of goat milk on the inflamed toast, we still had an adventure and a great time serving the kids. It’s always an adventure with my team. 

The kiddos enjoying their Americano breakfast

-Brittney C.

It's a Lifestyle

The healthcare team has split into their 4 groups and has been working in their separate villages. Their life styles are all different from how they get water, how they get to the villages, how they sleep, bath, use the CRs (comfort rooms (Restrooms)), etc.

So I decide to attempt to describe the living arrangements of each team. As of now I have only visited the Lawan 2x, pronounced Lawan Lawan, team and the Casiklan team. I will post a blog for the other teams in the future.

Lawan-Lawan team:                               Casiklan team:
Team leader- Liz                                    Team leader- Etienne 
Sam                                                       Hannah 
Megan                                                   Katie 
Translators:                                           Jilian 
Jael                                                       Translator:
Vonn                                                     Balong

Both teams' villages are in the mountains, to get to Casiklan they have to take this thing called jeepney up the mountain. Some of the path up is very rough.



The Casiklan team has a nice health clinic to work in, it has it's own running water, and they have a filter on the porch to get clean water for drinking. The clinic has its on CR that is flushed by a bucket of water and can also be used for their bucket baths. They cook on the fire in the back of the clinic and have a rice cooker for their rice.

They sleep up in an upstairs area of the building next door or in the clinic. The upstairs area is really nice for hammocks but can get cold some times.
Where they sleep

view from clinic
The kids of the village are constantly at the clinic while the team is there. They will watch in the windows while the team is cooking, eating, talking, relaxing or helping patients. They will hang out on the porch and try and talk to the teams at almost all hours of the day. Which is fun until the team is trying to get something done and they have kids in the windows calling their names over and over. The ladies on the team said that some of the kids even call them princesses.



The Lawan 2x team has it pretty hard. They are farther up the mountain than Casiklan. So they get off there with the other team, but then they grab these bikes called a "Hubble Hubble" which take them the rest of the way up to their village. The Hubble 2x can be filled with 6 or 7 people.






For their water they have to walk down the road and down the mountainside into the valley where there is water coming from the spring. They fill their jugs and buckets there and have to carry them back up the mountain and down the road to the clinic. In the valley is also where they bath in the open and wash their clothes in buckets. To filter their water they have a small pump that filters they have to pump to filter the water from what thing into their drinking container. For cooking they have a small wooden house across they road that they can cook on open fires.

Water-hole is circled


For CR use they have an area behind the house that is simply a whole in the ground with some tarp around the area for coverage. For sleeping the team sleeps in the Clinic or in a hammock on the porch.

house across the street (and if you look close the CR is just to the bottom-left corner of the house)
the clinic
It’s very quiet there sometimes because it is a smaller village than the others.

Side note: this what happens when the neighbors chicken gets curious and wanders on your porch. It gets fly trapped.

Both teams seem to be adjusting well to their lifestyles. It just amazes me how different people can live from just that far away. As for the other team I hope to get a post for their living arrangement by next week. Keep us in your Prayers. Romans 5:3








Be the Artillery for the Infantry of God!

Sunday I attended a church service consisting of only 3 Americans, Jordan (American Healthcare supervisor), Casey (Another Missionary) and myself (Media man Jarett). The Pastor spoke on Acts 12:5-11, Where Peter had been arrested and was going to put to death.  The Church was praying for him. The night before his trial an angel rescued him.

The pastor used an analogy using military. He said how the artillery would fire ahead before the infantry moved forward into battle. He explained how the artillery shoots ahead, the people who don't have the opportunity to go out unto the missionary field or battlefield. They should pray for the missionaries/pastors/volunteers and for the people they would encounter. So the people not able to go is the artillery and the ones able to go are the Infantry. so his challenge was for the church to be in constant prayer for the people going out and the harvest that would come across.


So my challenge to you family, friends, fellow beleivers in Christ is to also be in constant prayer for the many teams out sharing the love of God with the people around the world. Don't just pray for the one team that you know someone on, but pray for all the teams that are out serving. Pray that God prepares the hearts of the people we will speak to. Pray that the teams are used by God to expand the Kingdom of God. Be like the people in Acts 12, pray earnestly to God for the teams and the advancement of the Kingdom.

God's Provision


            Hi, my name is Jordan. I am the American supervisor for the rural healthcare team. This is my 3rd summer in the Philippines with the rural healthcare team. However, this is my first time in the supervisor position. I would like to just share with you a couple of the ways that God has been providing both physically, emotionally, and spiritually amongst the 4 groups that make up our team.


            God has in many ways provided for our needs as a team physically. The team has not experienced any major injuries or sicknesses, but I want to share with you a way God provided that we often do no notice in our western culture. The morning of tuli in Casiklan the water was not running. This is a problem because we need water not only for physical sustainment, but also for cleaning the tools for tuli. I began to worry. God called to my mind a passage from 1 Peter. It says. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)" I decided to pray for water. I sat down and explained to God my worries and asked God that he would provide. I finished my prayer and just waited.... nothing happened. I have been learning to trust God and the need was not immediate yet. So I just continued my morning. I walked outside to check on the food, and walked back in to this strange sound. Immediately my brain recognized that the water had just begun to flow. I felt God speak to me in my spirit, "Whatever you ask in my name, will be given to you." How strange it is that we sometimes doubt and have little faith in our great God.

           How gracious and providing is our Savior! I ask that you continue to pray for the healthcare team. Just as our work is not done here, neither is the work of the evil one among our team. I am without a doubt confident that it is because of the prayers from afar that I am sustained and made strong and my prayers are lifted to the ears of the father. I would also like to share that there have been several people already added to the Kingdom of God through these teams! Worthy is the Lamb!

Boy's Baptism

Praise the Lord for another soul we’ll see in heaven! Boy is so excited to be a Christian and wants to share his faith with everyone.


Boy's Baptism

Also, please be in prayer for Tony. He told everyone in his community about his conversion and baptism and his promise to God not to drink again. Unfortunately, instead of being happy for the amazing difference God is making in his life, they began to persecute him. His mother (who lives with him) is threatening to kick him out, as is his landlord. He’s going to start coming to the local house church, and we want to keep doing Bible studies with him, but we’ve got to be careful now because he told us last time we met that his landlord would be angry if he saw us with Tony on his land. Just please pray that they will see what a change God is working in Tony’s life and relent. He’s an incredibly excited young Christian and is already running into some very difficult obstacles.

First Trip to Cebu City



Yesterday we made our first trip into Cebu City. It was our rest day for the week, and we were all craving some American food. We got up early to catch a bus into the city, and after an unexpected hour and a half delay, we finally made it there for a late breakfast at McDonald’s. We walked around SM Mall and then met back together for lunch at Pizza Put. After some more walking around and a few games of bowling, we got McDonald’s again, and headed back home. The trip was long, but it was so worth it for our first taste of American food since we left the US.





PS. Please pray for Boy, because we just baptized him today (a video will be posted soon) and for us, as we are having one of the busiest days of the entire summer today (7 bible studies, a baptism, and a basketball game). The Lord is at work here and we’re really excited to see people responding to the Gospel.