Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rockin' Out

Our bible studies with the kids have the same challenges working with any children anywhere
in the world.  The goal of keeping their attention with fun in hopes they learn a truth that stays with them the rest of their life.  Oh yah, and do it under 15 minutes. So in Shine club they enjoyed painting rocks while the truth of Jesus is our rock was taught. They are drying now and next week they will take them home for a reminder of the truth.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Get to Change

    Change in life, it is the one constant, there is a longing for things to stay the same, but it won't.  I have learned to embrace change through a odd illustration and lesson.  Subangan, pictured here, is the sand area between two rivers that we have made our local play ground activity area.
But after every storm, the half mile of beach can take on a whole new shape. The river can move 200 yards.  We can gain a ton of sand or have the whole volleyball court swept away.  At
first this was frustrating and discouraging.  Then I learned the vision of opportunity.  Instead of what is, I look at what can we do with this.  We have changed to locations of every activity three or four times and each time using it to our advantage.  Because the question is not if change is going to come, but when it does what do I get to do when it comes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Live for Eternity Today

I am sad to say and pleased to announce that (the story I shared on Sept 25th about being ready with eyes wide open) our precious sister that we got to share Jesus with her that day is now in the loving arms of our Savior.  What a victory!  And no regrets!  I pray that you to will see opportunities and step into them in helping others find Jesus before it is too late.  Live for eternity today, without any regrets.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Christmas in the "-bers"

So as soon as the -bers begin, September, October, etc. Christmas begins, which is fine with us.  It is just a little different here in the Philippines with electric rainbow trees, even a bright orange tree, modge-podge of colours, the more colours the better. When people here celebrate Christmas here it is not about Santa but rather all about Jesus coming to the world and there is no if ands or buts about it. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Baptizing Believers

As we become more united with our friends and neighbors more and more of our heart pours out and by God's grace many come to know Him in a personal way.  After they ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins and they surrender their life to Jesus, we ask if they want to be baptized. After one class of the meaning of baptism and with all the parents approval and the local pastor we head to the ocean.
Here we are going over some last minute discussion and prayer before we, Patti and Meka, begin Babtizing.  Most here are from Shine Bible Club that Bekah originally started and others are from other bible studies.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Chance to Honor

Along the way and over the years you run across things that really catch you by surprise.  For example, we have met many people that have told us that no one has celebrated their birthday, and they have always dreamed some day some how that they could have a cake.  Now, obviously this is not everyone, but we have run into dozens of adults and teenagers that have said no one has even said "Happy birthday" to them.  This is not a biblical mandate, but it does say to honor one another and this has become a very acceptable and acknowledged way of honoring someone.  So there have been many people we have been able to honor with a special birthday dinner which means spaghetti and Coke, or with a small cake.  And to see the look on their face when they tell you they always dreamed of this, is priceless. One was a 42yo who never has had cake on her birthday.  Can you imagine?  This picture is our adopted daughter Tonette, who didn't even know when her birthday was when she came to live with us.  She was excited to share her cake with her classmates at school.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cross Carrying

Even though we have been called to Gingoog City, there are sometimes opportunities and callings to share the gospel and encourage in other areas.  I had the opportunity to take a young man who is growing in the Lord to Surigao and to walk to Butuan carrying a cross and sharing God's love and passing out thousands of tracks with a group that was going to General Santos. They were kind enough to let us join them.  We were able to encourage one of our neighbors that we sent out to do a 6 moths training.  We will not see him for another two months, but it was great to see him and send him off for the last part of his trip, it was an amazing trip and a huge  blessing.  God gets the credit.

copy this link and paste it in tour browser to watch a little video...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nicer with Rice

Living in a fishing village just about anything out of the sea gets eaten in just about every way you could think of. Fried, raw, boiled. baked, you name it and the whole thing gets eaten no matter what it is, if not by someone then someone else. Cold, hot, luke-worm it does not matter as long as there is rice.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Uphill Struggles

The "free" public high school is not free here.  They require internet research projects, where most students don't own a computer, nor have internet.  And the school and the library certainly don't offer any.  So most have to pay for use at the internet cafe, and then pay a quarter for each page that is printed out (20 pages would cost $5)  Money they don't have.  So here is Princess and I working in our office on her project. Stayed up till after midnight finishing it.  It was complete title page and all, for free on us.  The next day she returns in the evening and asks if she can have some of our colored construction paper for a project.  Sure. She is busy working hard cutting and pasting.  In a couple hours she is finished.  So I asked to see her project.  It is the same project we already had completed!  Same exact information she already submitted, but now the text is cut out and pasted on the colored paper like a scrap book, and same with the photos we had selected for the report.  I don't get it!  The expense of colored paper and art supplies added for submitting the exact same content.  Free education here is definitely not free.  But we will continue to help when we can to get them through these curious hoops that they are asked to jump through.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Porch Ministry and Education

There used to be a fence in front of our house but we wanted the community to feel more welcome so we built an open porch. One of the things we do with it is put different books out for people to see.  Some have never seen books or some of the things  that we put out.  Any where from sports, to the bible in comic form, to science facts about the ocean.  It is a simple thing and it opens up doors and is a simple way to bless and teach them.  A couple nights ago things were starting to get wild outside our door while the time for the dinner feeding was approaching.  So rather than let things escalate, Patti went and sat on the porch (it was dark outside) and on a tablet looked up Youtube videos about some things they fear to help educate them like about sharks?  Many of the children gathered around.  Did you know there are 47 different types of sharks, and only 3 kinds may attack humans?  Some sharks eat one time in three days, and human isn't on their menu.  So the chances of getting bit by a shark are pretty rare.  It is more likely that you will be in a auto accident.  The kids were pleasantly surprised and even watched video footage of people swimming with sharks.  So whether books or tablet, the porch provides a place and is a tool for people to gather and learn.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

4 Minutes at 4

Daily at Subangan, which is the play area that we made from a accidental garbage site, I or one of the other believers gets to share a 4 minutes of truth to the children and adults every day at 4 pm. It is otherwise known as "4 Minutes at 4".  When it is interesting, us adults talk longer but we keep it simple and short with some sort of real life application.  Sometimes we have a snack made from native cooking class, and I have to admit there are more people when we have the snack, but we share regardless, and God's Word is at work and seeds are being planted.

Monday, October 5, 2015

It takes a Village to Raise a Child

Many children our left with their grandparents for many reasons.  Sometimes it is because the parents leave eachother and or one goes overseas to work to send money home.  When that happens we have seen it work only a couple of times, it usually ends in more problems. And the grandparents usually cannot keep up with the kids so they let them go anywhere and do anything.  These two have a loving grandma and grandpa, they are over at our house a lot and play in Subangan a lot, but they are fortunate that they do have grandparents that care.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Something from Something

So we took some donated old 70s furniture and ripped off the green fabric and the foam. Shortened some  of the springs and used bamboo to fill in the rest. It was kind of funny because when people saw us walk the furniture in they laughed, and asked, "What are you going to do with that?" They just didn't get it or understand.  And when we were done they asked if they could have it.  Actually it is for the new medical clinic that we want to open at Subangan.  Now we don't have the building built yet, nor the funding for it, but some one offered the furniture, so we took it now.  There are two reasons why we made it this way.  One, is that it will be easy to clean blood off of since we used two coats of polyurethane.  Two, is that we want the patient to know that the money that is donated is going towards them and medicine not our comfort.  We still tried to make it look nice though.  With the springs underneath it is actually pretty comfortable. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dynamic Duo

Many times I get to share and preach at churches. Almost every Sunday with Paster Ben, who is truly my brother and friend. We have been through so much together that I am beginning to loose track of what we have done. He has amazing heart for God and his translation is so good, and hitting the same timing, and intensity and feeling. It is fun and passionate to preach together. And he is always ready for my crazy illustrations, like in this photo having my volunteers try to pull me away from holding onto the cross, he rolls with it and is flexible, and adds a bit of spice and sometimes more words than what I say, but now I catch him on it because I am learning more of the language which then ends up being pretty funny because he thought I would not notice. We have a lot of fun.

I love him. It is a honor and privilege to work with him and watch God move.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Free at a Cost

Our free school system here is public and for everyone.  There are many projects and lots of hidden expenses from PTA fees, to buying cleaning supplies for the classroom, and other misc things.  It is common for the poor to drop out because they cannot afford these minor expenses.  When they come up we try to find sponsors for the kids, and then they earn it working on their local activity area, Subangan.  We never have them work on our house or any of our private things it is always community or their play area so they are helping themselves as they earn the money.  This way it means more to them as they have invested in it.  Here are some of the boys bringing the dunk rims to put them up for a busy Saturday at Subangan.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bible Doings

In sharing and caring, the relationships always turns to Jesus. Why? because Jesus changed our lives and when it comes down to it, it is who we live and will die for. So "Bible doings" happen, I like to call it that because I want to try to live the words not just study them. So we have 12 bible doings and they range from just kids, to just moms, to just teachers, to men and women and some discipleship thrown in there. We are all about application but sensitive to their culture. We have leaned so much teaching these that I know that I have grown as much if not more than them. Many times it is slow to get them to open up but God has done a lot in their lives and people that would not even speak, are now volunteering to give their testimony. God gets the glory.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

They Like to Move it Move it...

Dance is a part of the culture of our area and of much of the Philippines. Many of our young men and our girls practice and preform for competition, church, or for ministry. We even built a wall that opens up with mirrors in our back room so that they can work on their steps when they preform. We also have battery powered portable  speakers to help them when they preform. Some times we help but it's about 99 percent their amazing ability. We like to encourage this positive purpose. Sometimes we find work for them to earn money for their dance outfit. We want them to earn it so that it means more to them rather than if it was just given to them. Recently our boys took first at the festival. We are so proud of them. Here they are practicing at Subangan for a upcoming festival.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Kids Raising Kids

Many 9-14 year old  are having to be responsible for the younger siblings (1-4yo).  A 10 year old packing around a 2 year old on their back every where they go.  Not being able to enjoy their own childhood because their responsibility demands are high. Many times not knowing the right thing to do also. This happens to be a picture of a young girl who is very good at taking care of her two little sisters and her brother. Her mother is a great mom but things like washing clothes by hand take a full day and some times two. Not to mention that many times you need to go to the market every day. Most of the children that are raising their siblings feel, stuck or trapped and many times will just let them go or do what ever they want. We get a lot of those kids because they need love and direction, and we love to love and give direction.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Eyes Wide Open and Ready to Go

A lot of times, as you find in the Gospels, ministry doesn't always take place in church, or according a planned schedule.  Many of the teachings and miracles of Jesus took place when he was going from one place to another.  As I have been learning and working on this I have found it to be very true. Today I went to the hospital to help a Nehemiah girl be treated, but while I was there I saw a patient I met a week ago being readmitted. She was swollen all over, revealing she is in renal failure.  She is young, probably in her 30s, and a lesbien.  A friend and I prayed together for her when we met last week.  So here she is today, and the way she look, I thought, "She doesn't have long for this world."  So with Annamae translating we shared with her the love of Jesus, and how He offers us forgiveness and the gift of Himself if we will receive Him. We asked her if she wanted Jesus, and wanted to follow Him the rest of her days.  She was hungry to say "Yes".  Right there, in front the busy ER, while she was sitting in the triage seat, we prayed together and lead her into the His Kingdom, and prayed for her healing.  I felt the presence of God all around.  He is so over joyed to welcome her into the family. With our eyes open, our hearts soft, and our faith in hand ready to seize the moment, it is great to see what the Lord can do. Please continue to pray for her! Thanks!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Other Side of the Coin

So the stories are true, hundreds have come to the Lord, children are feed, the free clinic helps hundreds of people. But there is another side of the coin, injury, aches, pains, lice, amoeba, rats, cockroaches. This is a picture of me getting a couple of injures feeling better, and iced down so I can go back out. It is not much different from most people who get hurt and do what they have to do. We do it to, we don't talk about it much, because it does not really matter, when you get to see someones life change, it is all worth it. Your prayers and love keep us going. We relay on the Lord and His strength. Thanks so much for all your prayers and love it keeps us going because we need it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Basketball as a Ministry

Basket ball to the young boys is like breathing. They love it and want to be like NBA players. I tried coaching a team and teaching them the right way to play, but all they wanted to do is be superstars. They don't even care if they miss as long as they look good. After three years every day of coaching them they refused to give up trying to be superstars. So I did some thinking and came with Sand Dunk, Sand basketball. It uses a volleyball and the rim is a 7 foot dunk rim that most everyone can dunk on. They finally get to be NBA players. This draws in the boys and gives us a chance to get to know them. They only have to dribble the ball once then they can run with it. They seem to love it and it allows a way for us to be in to their lives.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Freedom Ministries

There is another ministry here, it is inside the ministry, that is having a short-term team come and live with us for a short time. 7 days to 11months have been the groups we have hosted.  We take a different approach to this, in what we call it "freedom ministry," meaning what ever they want to do or learn or teach we let them pray about it and we go form there. What ever the Lord leads.  Many want to help on what we are already doing while others try new things or have new ideas.  The other way is fine where people come to help do what your doing. This way of freedom has brought ideas and people into our life that would have never happened any other way.  And the people that come become a new mission field, meaning, they may have things that you can help them with or they may have things that they can teach you. Our last group built and introduced a new game taught at Church and taught a self-defence class. It was great but nothing I would have picked, and the kids loved it.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Second Generation

To see young men that used to be on my basketball team 8 years ago bring their children to Subangan for them to play brings me great joy. Because the hole rason for basketball was to reach them and then to see there children being brought to a place that loves them and that was made just for them and that the would trust me is a great honer and a excitement it led them tho the loving arms of Christ.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


There are many heath issues in our area and one in is a very obvious one.  There are not very many bathrooms.  So many people will just go outside, or in the bushes, or make what we call poop bombs (that is where they go in a plastic sack and throw it in the bushes or in the river or on top of a neighbors roof.)  Then when it rains and floods, all of the bombs make their way to the river and ocean.  Some will burst open and some will get stuck on the way.  This is why many times a year we get Amoebas, and other critters that get us sick.  The city has helped to build a few small outhouses, and Zoe has helped build six.  This lack of sanitation in no way reflects the character of these people. In fact this family in this picture is one of the sweetest and most faithful to Patti"s bible studies in the the area.  Her passion and love for Jesus is amazing. We are continuing to find ways to help and the city has been helping more than ever before.  So thank you for your prayers and hopefully soon we will get everyone a bathroom.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Safe Place to Play

A safe place to play is important but there are not a lot of options so we started building out own. We use what ever we can find.  Now we do this for two reasons.  One, is to show them it is not about money.  Two, it is to empower them and to show them that what you have is more important than what you don't have.  So this big boat anchor rope washed up and now it is a swing.  Here is a mama watching her child swing for the first time.

                Here are kids playing on a bamboo jungle gym

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Matthew 11:12

Just like anywhere in the world there are bad things that happen.  It is different though when it is next to your house or to your friends.  When we first moved here a man that was older, he was dying and decided to take people with him.  He walked through the next village and started stabbing people. Four people died and seven injured.  It was a tragic and shocking event.  That mentality is my hope and prayer to aggressively love and reach out and bring as many people with to us to heaven because we are all dying.  That urgency can be done with fun and love, but it still needs to be a focus and with the reality of it all.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Helpers Amongst Us

It is so exciting to see our help whole heartedly with abandon, teach the children about the love of JESUS.  EVERY night we feed 25 to 40 kids. In that time we try to get in a greeting, manners, one blessing that happened to you, and a short bible study in their language.  She sometimes interprets for us but now the evening feedings are mostly her.  She lets a small group in at a time, prays with them, feeds them, and teaches them.  Then when they are done the next batch comes in.  She does this voluntarily on her own.  She is amazing and the kids are growing. Thank you Lord

Saturday, August 15, 2015


This is an amazing journey that always starts with friendship and turns into love.  Love that cares about how much food they have or if the need medicine or a tooth pulled.  Through love comes the desire that you want them to have the most precious thing in your life.  And that is knowing and loving God, His ways, and His purpose.  So when they do ask Jesus into their heart, to forgive their sins, the next step is Baptism.  We have had the privilege of being involved with many kids and adults on the way to being discipled.  I never take it for granted how big a deal it is and how much of a privilege it is, and God in all He's mercy gets the credit and glory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

To Live Where You Work

To live where you work, there have been many different feelings and approaches to this thought.  When you live as a missionary, which I believe we are all given that title and mission when we accept to Love God and Love others.  But when you come into a village, as a missionary, and live side-by-side with the people you share with at church and in bible study, a whole new aspect emerges.  I have learned to be real and honest because perfection is first of all not real (at least for me), and how you handle problems and struggles many times ministers louder than words.  I would say it is easer to work some where and travel home.  But having your home be your work brings extra work and extra blessing, and there is no hiding.  In the end of the day when you make it through, God gets all the credit.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Other Important Things

Along with doing feedings, clothe drives, medical, speaking and bible studies, we also try to do a number of things to inspire and create a new vision in their lives.  Many people do not think these things are important and truth be told, they are not as important.  But I believe that they are important, just not as important, but that does not take away their worth.  So we offer up different activities.  We have a guitar class, dance, arts and crafts, swimming and snorkeling, basketball, volleyball, etc.  I feel it is important to give each person a chance for trying something new or to follow a passion. Raising money for some of these things does not go so well because these things are not as important.  When I see the child get lost in the activity and enjoying life, I see that these things are of value and  I will continue to create these opportunities to the Glory of God.