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.