Saturday, February 25, 2017

Maayong Buntag o Gabii!

Kumusta  The past couple of weeks have continued to be busy as we continue preparing for Shofar Camp and the team to arrive. 
We continue to meet on Tuesday evenings at Kanna Coffee for a weekly Bible Study.  For the Valentine's Day study a couple of our regular attenders brought an island snack and doughnuts.  We are enjoying getting to know the group of ladies a bit more as well as the staff at Kanna. 
We also had an opportunity to join the River Falls crew by Skype and share about what God is doing here in Cebu and a bit of how we got here.
As noted above the time before the team arrives is approaching fast so we have been busy with things that need to happen here before they arrive. 
We took a short break to rest and hit the ground running this week as we got back into the swing of things with Cebuano Class, a BS at CIM, and Everlasting Hope. We ended the week by joining the Ministry Community Retreat for three sessions by Skype.
This evening we went for a short walk and had the opportunity to talk with one of our neighbors and hang up a camp poster while stopping for saging.  We met her daughter and learned that she spends her days drawing.  I had a picture of a bird I drew recently so she showed us her drawings as well then.  Please pray that we would be able to get to know her better and maybe even draw with her.

Laura & Brittany

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Unsay Imong Crush?

Dear everyone,

Last week was full of meetings and planning as we continued to prepare for the team to come in May. Word about Shofar Camp is starting to spread and we've even heard from a few youth that want to attend. On Saturday, we met with someone who played a huge role in the administrative tasks of the camp last year. She offered a lot of insight from her experience last year and is more than willing to help with the behind-the-scenes work again. We can't wait to see what God will do through camp this year!

A lot of exciting things are happening in WOTS right now! It has always been a challenge to get  everyone together in one place, so last week was the start of our weekly service nights. Most of the writers have expressed the desire to meet together, so we are praying that everyone's schedules will align and traffic will be light (we can dream, right?). We also have two college students shadowing in the magazine this issue, which is really exciting! Both contacts were from a campus visit that happened last year with Team 1. Please pray for these two as they step forward in ministry...our enemy never likes that.

On Sunday morning, we were given a warm welcome at Orchids' church. They asked us to present Shofar Camp and we even got to meet some youth that are interested in attending. After the service, the church broke up into cell groups and discussed the sermon for about 20 minutes. It was neat to join one of the groups and get to know them better.

God continues to work out the details of each day as we step forward in obedience and service. Things don't usually go as we plan, but we can rest assured that it's how He planned. He continues to surprise us as doors open and close and relationships grow. Thanks for praying for us; we can feel it.

Sincerely,
Team Cebu

P.S. we asked our language teacher how to break the ice with students at camp. She said we should joke with them and ask "Unsay imong crush?" ("Who is your crush?"). Not only will they laugh because you're speaking Cebuano, but they also love joking around this way! :)

Monday, February 06, 2017

Monday, Feb. 6, 2017

Since our last update one of our tasks included an overnight trip stopping at Cantabaco, Spring Park, Lutopan, and ending in Toledo. We visited churches, Barangay Halls, and other locations leaving posters and talking with pastors about Shofar Camp. We also had the opportunity to bring Shofar Radio posters and other information for outreaches that the team will do in May. Orchids, one of the WOTS writers, was able to come along for the adventurous weekend. It was great getting to know her better and a great opportunity to speak some Cebuano with her!

Otherwise, God continues to go before us and order our days and weeks. This last week we had the opportunity to attend the NCC Thursday night bible study and catch up with those guys again! It was a great study and as usual just what we needed. Friday evening provided an opportunity to fellowship with a Young Pro Group at a local church. We ended the week with a WOTS gathering to launch Issue 70. It's also the start of weekly service nights at the office on Sunday evenings. We hope that meeting on a weekly basis will create unity within the group.

We look forward to what God will continue to do here! Please pray for the missions team preparation work - specifically camp and that we would be able to connect with campus ministries!

Friday, January 27, 2017

God Continues to Go Ahead of Us...

As we are ending another month God has continued to go before us and order our days and weeks. 
We had our weekly BS on Tuesday and had a couple of new people and welcomed back one of our WOTS writers from medical missions training!  We also had the chance to get dinner with one of our writers before the study. 
This week we had the opportunity to meet with a couple of campus ministries.  God continues to open and close doors as he sees fit.  We had the opportunity to meet with one and grab a quick bite to eat with them after the ministry meeting as well as meet some other students.  God continues to surprise us with the people he puts in our path for us to meet. We are continuing to learn we must trust God as we go through the day knowing He has the plan already worked out and knows what will happen. 
We started Module 3 (the last one) of Cebuano this week!  We continue using Cebuano phrases and words when speaking with our neighbors, taxi drivers, students, and when we volunteer.
This week ended with volunteering at Everlasting Hope.  I also had the chance to participate in the Parent/Children Tea Time.  It was great to get to know the kids more and also practice my Cebuano with both them and their parents.We had the opportunity to continue working on multimedia projects and do a Bible Lesson activity with the children. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Saging ni Kintoy

Hey everyone!

After spending most of the rainy weekend inside and avoiding the madness of Sinulog (google it), we were thankful to get out and go to our Bible study on Tuesday night. A few of our regular members had to miss it, but we still had a great discussion with the two young women that came. We talked a lot about God's grace and how the trials we go through are divinely given or approved by Him, making us more and more like Jesus. We may be from different sides of the world, but one thing we have in common is the fact that we've all been broken and we desperately need Him. Please keep praying that we will grow as a small community where we can be honest with each other and go through life together.

On Wednesday, we revisited the Campus Ministry that we met with in December. Unfortunately, it's midterms this week, so not many people were around. However, we were invited to come back next week for one of their meetings where everyone will be there (hopefully). So, we're both really excited to go back and see what kinds of doors God may open there!

Today as we were walking to Everlasting HOPE, our friendly neighborhood banana cue vendor, Kintoy, was hard at work deep frying and sugaring his tasty treats. We didn't have time to stop, but we promised we'd be back in a few hours and asked if he'd still be there. Lo and behold, as we were walking home and turned the corner, we were greeted by Kintoy and a group of Filipinos out enjoying their evening. It was really neat to talk and joke around with everyone - they loved hearing us practice our Cebuano and even taught us a few things. Thanks for praying for our neighborhood - God has allowed us to get to know so many people this week. We also continue to stretch our Cebuano muscles, because as our language teacher says, "you can win a Filipino's heart by speaking their language."

It was a quieter afternoon at Everlasting HOPE, but there was still plenty to do with the staff and kids that were there. Laura helped one of the staff members make biko (which we all got to taste test) and then helped with a Bible lesson and activity for the kids. I continued working on social media graphics and interviewed one of the staff members for her bio for their website. It was really neat to hear her story, why she works there, and some of the joys and challenges of the job. Honestly, it's cool that both of us get to serve in ways that pull on our strengths and things we love to do. I'm also really thankful to get to know the staff and families a little better each week.

In the upcoming week, we will continue preparations for Shofar Camp 2017, send a new WOTS issue to print, and reach out to another university. Thanks for keeping in touch and telling us about the random happenings back home (like snowblowers gone wrong and America's team moving on to the playoffs). Thanks also for your prayers!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Enero 13, 2017 :)

As always God continues to order our week for us. On Tuesday before the Bible study, we had the opportunity to have an impromptu conversation with a girl that had been coming to the Bible study before.  It was good to catch up with her and see where she is at now and have the chance to talk a bit about her studies, dreams, and the campus ministry she is involved with. 
We continue weekly cebuano lessons learning the question words: What, who and where this week.  I put them to use along with the basics of introducing myself when meeting a new child and his father at Everlasting Hope. The children enjoyed responding to my questions and a couple of them tried to teach me what a few words mean on their island.  While introducing the activities I prepared to go along with the Bible Lesson they enjoyed my Cebglish...though they didn't seem as excited when I asked how to say clean up in Cebuano!  (They end the day like American classrooms with clean up assignments) before going outside to play until supper.  Brittany worked with the volunteer coordinator on some social media posts and other ideas to add to their branding. She even took some photos around the center. One little girl was camera shy at first but then walked with me as Britt took photos.  As always it is a blessing to work with Kristina, the staff, and the children! 
Otherwise, we are looking forward to and starting to prepare for the 2017 Shofar Youth Camp, finishing up Issue 69 of WOTS, and continuing to pursue campus ministry. 
Thanks for your continued prayers and we look forward to skyping with you each week!!