Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So, they're leaving tomorrow...

Well loved ones, we are now hours away from the much anticipated departure of our leaders... sniff. We just finished having an afternoon of meeting with Lando and Evelyn. We discussed our game plan: teaching in the jails of Toledo and San Carlos (not set in stone yet, but we hope), teaching in the schools, planning a construction project, and many many details. Evelyn brought her lumpia, mmm... Travis and Leslie took a break and went for a walk and got caught in a sudden downpour-it was hilarious. Some local lady tried to beckon them inside her house, but they toughed it out. We watched Trevor and Fatty devour pork fat and pig skin yesterday (gag) and you could still see the pores on the flesh... Jason gave Leslie, Trav and Brady the rundown in the radio room and taught them all the ins and outs. You guys wouldn't believe how high tech and beautiful that room looks, or maybe you already saw a photo. Speaking of photos, sorry we haven't been able to post any here yet. The technology we are currently using for internet won't allow us to. Soon, soon.. I just have to elaborate about our getaway to Sipaway island. Man! This place was just like a movie set. German owned, luxurious decorations and exotic animals in cages, yet...completely void of other humans.. a bit eery. We came in at low tide so there was all this bizarre sea life out in the open. I'm telling you the starfish looked so fake-bright blue, orange with brown spots. If you've ever seen "Babes In Toyland", it was similar. All movie prop-ish. There were lungfish crawling all about, you know, our ol' granpappies.. It was a glorious viewing of God's aquatic creation. I wish you could see us all lined up with our nerdy half-back and calf sunburns. We all agree that they are the worst we've ever had. Pain... What a bunch of goons. You'll probably see Sharon's video of us floating about like beached whales, lost in awe, unknowingly scorching our flesh all the while. We had gourmet dinner and breakfast and felt pretty spoiled for a night. They have a gigantoid tree on the island as big as a house, breathtaking.. We sure learned our lesson about handing out freebie radios, NEVAH AGAIN... Talk about mania. The day we handed out 1/4 sheet flyers around Lutopan for the concert was a blast. Brady and I got lost and ended up in the jungle on a dirt path surrounded by giant volcanic boulders and a group of giggling children that thought we were just about the most bizarre and fascinating oddballs they had ever seen. They led us back to town through the coolest side streets! It was like a dream in there; curvy paths and layers, plants and flora galore, gentle music flowing from humble homes, and a gigantic i mean mongo hog lying on its side tied and squealing up a storm. It's partner was a few feet ahead of him wrapped in banana leaves and fully roasted.. Needless to say, he seemed well aware of his approaching fate. Sorta like our flickering thoughts of fear and wonder as we count down the minutes til our beloved Dodsons and Gilberts vanish over the horizon.. We know that God will take care of us, but we are well aware of our part; obedience, diligence, keeping up our relationship with the General, faith... Please pray for all of these family; we have felt the power of your prayers so far. It gives us great peace and hope that we have your support and we are so honored to be here in your name. We hope to run the race well and leave our little mark in the great work Jesus Fellowship has done and will continue to do here. Bye for now..

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We have it off the ground

We finally got the Philippines radio station up and running. This whole trip has been full of trials and difficulties. We got mobbed when we tried to hand out free radios promoting the station. Now it all seems ok because the team has accomplished it's main purpose for being here. Last night, coming back in the rain, we almost got taken out by lightning. We were afraid that it would rain today cause we had to install a new transformer on Shofar. It needed to be done today because Tim is leaving soon. I think the electric company set a record in how fast they got it up. We worked with the electric company all day long. Even though it happened two weeks late it is very satisfying to have accomplished this one thing. Two nights ago we all went to Sipaway island with the whole team. Tim had not been there before so we kind of took a chance, but it really paid off. The place had phenomenal snorkeling and a 12ft wide chessboard, what else do you need? When snokeling at the equator for hours on end make sure you use plenty of We got real bad sunburns. Travis's back is all blisters. It was a great way to unwind after working non-stop for two weeks. We are going into a new phase of the trip. Tim, Sharon, and the Gilberts will be leaving us in less than 2 days. Besides this being a great privilege and honor, I also feel that a great responsibility has been entrusted to us. We would greatly appreciate your prayers because we want to finish well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stop and Go

A week and a half in. I think jet leg is finally over. The days all run together already. It seems so far that things are very "stop and go". It has been easy going in some areas like the alarm system and the concert planning. But it has been very difficult in others like the power for the radio station, collecting the mini radios from the port (they want to charge us more to pick them up from the port that it cost to get them made!), and lack of running water(at some point I will take a picture of how little water we use to take showers somewhere around 2-3 gallons per couple) and what a blessing it is when we get to boil a little water to have a semi-warm bucket shower:)
Pray for Pastor Londo and his family. He has been such a blessing in helping in so many ways. He has been extremely busy trying to get our mini radios and power for shofar. He also has numerous outreaches during the week. And he has a family of four (and others) he supports. He lives the "Jesus Fellowship" ministry lifestyle, but lives in a culture that does not support such fast-paced living. He will have many crowns in Heaven.
Today we hope to start running the line and digging the posts for the electricity. Because of the delays and broken promises from the radio contact we have here, we have cancelled our retreat to Dumagete to continue our work on the radio station. Please pray for our patience, and continued diligence for all the work that needs to be done. We need supernatural understanding on what to do on each step of this process.
The people here are very welcoming. I can't wait to begin teaching in the schools and interacting more with the community. Evelyn is so cool. You feel like you have known her forever after you have talked to her only a little while. Trav has already played a little basketball.
With all this tribulation, many blessings are in store. Thanks for all of you prayers already. Don't quit!! Love and miss you all! We are also praying for you. Take a really long, hot shower for me:)
Leslie

Monday, May 21, 2007

life in the yonder...

I am sitting on the front porch of Shofar in the cool evening right now. Jason "da techy-master" Gilbert hooked up his laptop so I could post out here! He said he loves to push the techyness to the limit.. Trav and Leslie, Brady, and Tim and Sharon are also out here with me. There are little glowing fires off in the mountains, a lovely quarter moon, bright stars, good conversation, strange gecko cries from over our heads.. Speaking of geckos... Tom may have shared this with you all already, but there was a gecko that at first seemed like a cat on the wall just lurking in our bedroom!!!! I was talking with with Brady when he looked over my shoulder with eyes as big as saucers and stuttered, "just just just turn around!" This mother was as long as my arm and quick like ninja. I've been teased a bit about my reaction, but let me just say indeed, the gecko is my friend; devourer of bugs that want my flesh, but... out of the bedroom buddy.
Anyways, today we went on the ferry to San Carlos to put up posters and promote the concert we'll be having this Friday. Uh..ma..gosh you would not believe the response. For all of you that have experienced the tougher times of postering in Street Level (blantant rejection, ugly looks, even uglier words..), let me tell you this was the eden of poster routes. People were thronging with joyful curiosity! If we passed up their shop, they were offended and chased us down for one. We were a few blocks over from where we started and went to hang one and the guy was like, "Oh, the auditorium concert this Friday right?" Talk about word of mouth!! These folks are so jazzed for the show! Be expecting news of a crowd...
It's been a strange thing to adjust to feeling like a watched creature at the zoo. I completely understand, because I have to fight the urge to stare back at these beautiful people and their humble and amazing way of life. I can't imagine ever being less than blown away at the scenery around me.
Satan's playing dirty my friends... It's been a crazy rough start, but man are we anticipating great and bountiful harvest from it all. It seems that every fiery dart he shoots, God counters with a last minute, only God can do this type of miracle. He is most definately making sure that we are 100% dependent on Him, every moment..every day. Pray hard for us. Pray for Tim as he is non-stop grappling with crazy situations and decisions. Pray for rain........ We are still hauling water in here at Shofar. The rain has been sporatic and very minimal. I dig bucket baths and all, but what a hassle. Also, the radio is still not up. We are hoping for the delivery of equipment tomorrow morning that will get the job done. Pray it works. Pray..pray..pray...
Lando and Evelyn had us over for dinner last Friday night and what an honor. She made lumpia and a stir fry and we brought chicken and the best pineapple I've ever had in my life!
We hung new laundry lines way up by the roof and will be rigging a pully-ladder system to get to it. This will give us more room and more wind. We found a hot pepper plant growing alongside the house just for Brady.. He's pretty excited. Jason has been sick with a cold and Faye is feeling it coming on. Sudafed boy...
Here's a long obnoxious finishing list of random things that I can't make full paragraphs about, though I want to:
late night karaoke from down the mountain featuring those who shouldn't have the mic for so long, very emotional and tear-inducing singing of worship with our extended Philipino family, Fatty and Trevor feedings, coercing Fatty to accept our love and affection, a spider upstairs that could take out your firstborn, roosters...roosters battling in pride all...morning....long.....starting at about 4am, passing the conch between the Brodman's and the Klatt's (depending on who screws up in any way and loses the conch, sorry if you've never seen Lord of the Flies), dramamine and electrolyte tablets, a baby goat screaming in the yard for about an hour because he lost his mommy, learning and watching Tim and Sharon X infinity, more roosters, calamansi soda, Jessica's chicken, red clay mud from hell and the washing of it from light colored pants, little chocolate biscuits, beautiful children that may be found in my carry-on upon arrival home, sweat, bananas like manna, the many giggle responses of our Cebuano attempts, old men chastising us in the park for being American, the mad mad market, more mall-walking than I'd ever imagine I could do in a third-world country, and hey...it's bedtime and I got way carried away. Hope that makes up for the lack of communication we've had due to technical difficulties. Pictures and more news to be posted soon. We love you and we are praying for you all too. Hey, it's a very great possibility that we'll be doing discipleship classes in the jails of Toledo and San Carlos so pray hard for this. No one wants these guys but we certainly do and this is most definately Jesus Fellowship style. Later family... (you can tease me about the long post, it's ok)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ahhh internet

Hello,

I know it has been a while since you heard from us, the good ol' Philippines team, but we made it. We had problems getting Internet set up(which is totally amazing that we can do this up on the mountains, in the middle of nowhere), but we brought a computer tech master with us this time and God is on our side. We are all in good health and spirit, and God is doing His work, first there is a strong possibility that our radio station might be up as soon as tonight, thank you Jesus, second we have made contact with the band, and we are in the process of planning out the concerts and disciples classes. Right now we are working on the Shofar center ( security,truck,laundry...ect). Please continue to pray that God would guide us in His direction of this trip, Satan is surely doing all he can to mess this up.

Pastor Lando and his family are doing well and we should be attending his church this Sunday.
we hope to post pictures and more stuff soon so, stay tuned.

P.s. I got to play basket ball with some guys from spring park, yes, they are good at the game.
I was totally having fun playing with them, and i was amazed that despite the flat ball, and massive language barrier, my partner who was a native and I pulled off, a pick and roll move, no matter where you go, the pick and roll stays the same... Trav and Brady

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stay Tuned

It has been a while since there has been a post on the Shofar Blog, and that's unfortunate because it gives the impression that not much has been happening. However, that could not be farther from the truth. Since Tim was there in October much has happened. The roof of Shofar is no longer open, there are two more rooms, the radio room, a wash sink and much more. Behind the building a radio tower has been put up to broadcast our new station. There are big things happening, and happening soon!

The next team to go over to Cebu leaves on Sunday, and 4 of them will be there until August. I'm sure that you will be hearing from them soon but to give introduction; staffing Shofar this summer will be Travis, Brady, Leslie, and Danielle.

Watch out Philippines, you have no idea what you're in for.

T minus 10, 9, 8, 7...

Hello family! Well, it is now approximately 66 hours and 58 or so minutes before we peel out of the church and head for the airport. This is our first posting on the Shofar blog for the summer '07 team. Most of you are probably well familiar with the following facts, but for those not so in the know, here's a general outline of what we'll be up to on the other side of the planet: turning on our new 1000 watt radio station that this fellowship made possible all together with God's leading, hosting the band "Still" in concert for two nights and inviting the attendees to regular discipleship classes Brady and Travis will be teaching in San Carlos and Lutopan, giving away 2000 small radios that will be locked in to Shofar Radio DYJF 107.1 FM (declaring the truth from the mountain top!), airing live radio shows on a regular basis, teaching the Bible in possibly 3 different schools up on the mountain, having Brady and Travis preach the Word at any given chance, working on some sort of community project (possibly construction of some sort), and taking on whatever other ministry opportunities God decides to bless us with while we are there.
I think it's safe to speak for all four of us in saying that we consider it a very great privilege to be a part of all of this. Personally, I can never get over the way God uses the most unlikely of folks to take part in His amazing work here on earth. For those of you who know us, can you imagine taking a trip back to the B.C. days in any one of our lives and fathoming that we would be doing THIS here in 2007?!!!
Be prepared for abundant posting here and sharing of photos and perhaps video of what we are up to. Last year's team was pretty limited as to their availability of internet use, but we are blessed with top of the line internet right on the rooftop of Shofar in our new radio station this year! We hope to take advantage of that and keep all our loved ones well informed. There's definately alterior motives behind this... we'll have an armada of prayer warriors armed with details because WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR PRAYERS and are not shy about asking for them. We will be in the twilight zone of unfamiliarity and keeping a hefty schedule that demands the Holy Spirit's power and ability, not our own. Please pray we would remember this every day, every hour. It's been a strange week of staring at this pile that needs to fit into an army duffel, remembering a seemingly endless amount of subtle details, making new layers of ink messages on my arm, the never-ending dashes to Walmart for yet another item, and trying to remember to rest a bit. We've taken to forced time-outs in the hammock, just laying and listening to the birds in the backyard..
Anyhow, expect to hear from us again soon as sojourners in a new land!