Sunday, June 24, 2007

Philippeans Pictures Campo Ocho

Talk about a sunset. How we wish you could see it "live"
This is pin the skin on Adam and Eve game. The four of us play this game every night in our "free time"

Unloading for the first building project.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Shofar is inside of a storm cloud

yes, that is right, there is a cloud moving through shofar right now, it is storming here too. The whole place is in a storm cloud, we can see it pass through the living room sometimes.

Here is an update,

we have been working hard in the jails here in toledo and in San Carlos. we have around 15o guys and about 23 women totall so, it is really exciting and the praise that the guys sing in toledo jail, they have a guitarist, he is really good, he plays on an old guitar and we all sing praise in Cebuano. we have even worked hard to learn these words so we can sing along, but it is pretty hard.

we have been working with the youth in San Carlos... that has been cool too, Friday night we played pictionary, girl against boys.... the girls owon by 1 point... they totally cheated ..... but us boys let that slide... you know, to be good examples in all.

Brady and I are teaching wed. nights for Lando, we were really excited to do this, I went last wed. and Brady this wed. We don't need a translator for this so that was a little change.

we are trying to get into the High School here in camp 7, that is in another district so we have to meet another Sup. of Schools, and have a letter and all that stuff so, please be in prayer about this, we want to work here in some more schools.

well, i have to go, we will keep you posted...Trav

Thursday, June 14, 2007

And God said "let there be light"

Hey yall,
First I want to thank everyone who has been reading and commenting on the blog. It is a refreshing reminder of reality. This trip really has been a dream. It is already going too fast. Getting down to business:If you have not already been informed, the radio station is down again. It tripped off a few days ago and I reset the transmitter(sounds pretty professional huh? Then about 15 min later I smelled a strange smoking smell coming from teh transmistter room. Me telling you that I was alarmed would be an understatement. I shut everything down, Took the cover off and upon inspection of the circuit boards we found a couple of burnt electro-magnetic modules. So now we sent the transmitter back to Manilla for repair. On a happy note, within 3 days of the radio going down 3 people from 3 different cities called us personally asking what happened to teh station wondering when it would be back up. People are listening which rocks. As far as the response, the only people we have asked opinions of have been middle aged Filipino Christians. They think it is a bit racy, but I heard teh "Post-Church" praise and worship team playing at Londos church last Sundy(incl. londos sons and afew other young men from teh fellowship>and they pretty musch rocked out Jesus-style, punk rock thrashing and all. Ithink the adults try to discourage this behavior but I was motionlessly thrashing right along with them...So we'll see if we have to tone down our station in the future. For now we just need to get it up and running successfuly.PRAY. DONT STOP. I know you are all prob crazy busy with Cornerstoneand weddings and retreats, but we need your prayers more than ever. I specifically ask to pass this request on to next year's team. If we don't get through the hoops everyone is throwing our way, next year's team could have an even harder time getting into jails and schools and runnign a radio station on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Also pray for the unity of the team. Now is teh time in the trip when Satan tries to tear up apart from the inside..we are making move to defend our territory against Satan and our flesh. Praise God for letting us minister out here. PRAISE GOD for a PASTOR who is willing to deal with this ministry from halfway around the world
THe mosqitos have taken at least a quart of my blood,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate and Fortunate Events

Hello friends and family! Much to tell ye all from this side of the planet. Like the title of this post proclaims, we've certainly had our ups and downs of late. Every day seems to bring the mountain top experiences with the valleys. I experienced the highest high I've ever known in my short ministry life thus far-teaching the women in the Toledo jail!!! There are 10 women and we did not expect this! Here's the scoop on these ladies: they never get to go outside and we got to meet them out under a little pavilion in the fresh air, they have absolutely zero programs and no Bible studies, they don't own any Bibles and don't get to sing praise and worship like the men do (in fact they said that they put their ears up to the walls to hear the Bible studies and worship), and we've never had such appreciative undivided attention in a study, ever.. They told us that 3 people had recently died there and are convinced that it was due to "people not like us..." They want a catholic priest to come and cleanse the place of the evil spirits. You can see how desperate these ladies are for the truth to overcome the superstitions they've grown up with. Leslie and I shared our testimonies and it meant the world to them. Evelyn told us that they were saying, "they're just like us!" They shared personal stories and why they were in jail and they fully understand that we did many of the same things, just never got caught. Needless to say, they definately don't think that we are coming in there all holy and high above them. What a perfect first session. I told them the simple good news as an introduction and explained what the course will be about. They all vehemently signed on, hands down. These girls are precious and could use your prayers. Here is the biggest prayer request I could ask of you all right now. The warden told us that we need to get a letter signed from the main office of the jails in Cebu City. If they don't give us permission, we are totally out. It was by grace that we even got to go in that one day at all. This is the last thing we want to get shut down as we encountered a desperate need for God's love to be shared in Toledo jail. Please pray hard that it would be God's will for us to go there and that He would be behind the decision and give the officials the right heart to allow this.
On to other happenings. I apologize for yet another gruesome photo, but we just had to share this unfortunate little gecko's demise, as seen above. He must have been asleep or something, as these puppies are usually lightning quick. We discovered the horror of his final place of life on earth-our front door jam.. We really wanted to bring him back to you Bird, but suspect that the awesome pose will be somewhat ruined when we scrape the carcass. Another unfortunate and seemingly endless event around here lately is that both of our beloveds, Trevor and Fatty, happen to be in heat right now. This means late night terror... The boy dogs come around at night and fights ensue that sound as if they are coming from the very bowels of Hades. It sort of startles a person at 3am... Brady's new name is Fredy, as this is what everyone seems to translate when we introduce ourselves. We got our new shelves from Moses the other day. They worked so hard and fast for us that when we picked them up, the varnish was still wet. Trevor discovered the perfect nap spot as they were drying on the front porch. We got our gravel delivered by yet another truck that barely made it up the driveway and almost got sucked into the very red-hell-clay-whatnot that we are trying to deter with the gravel. Beloy and crew have been working very hard to get this all laid for us and man is it ever a treat. No more mudcakes on the shoes! It's simply amazing how many varieties of the Lazarus dog are out there in the roads with that stubborn-i-just-don't-care-if-i-get-smoked attitude. Man these guys look rough. After church up here at Shofar yesterday, Lando and Evelyn took us over to Roy's place to eat fresh young coconut! (Roy is the owner of the house that last year's crew remodeled). What an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives! Thomas was climbing trees and slinging down coconuts faster than the naked eye could see. They stuffed us to discomfort with fresh coconut water and the "tender meat"... You should see Lando with a machete; it's quite the sight to behold.. The chickens and dogs and pig were happily joining in on the feast as well. Just munching coconut with the locals, what an honor. For those of you nature admirers like myself, UH MA GOSH!!! You would not believe the lightning show the other night! It was like God had a huge spotlight and was consistently setting it off behind this panorama of majestic clouds with intermitent storybook flashes of dramatic lightning bolts. I was in awe... I just sat out there in wonder of our amazing Father and His beautiful work here on earth. Then I started dreaming of heaven in impossible comparison that the mortal brain can't fathom and then I thought, back to the dishes and laundry and stuff because I could get real lost out here... Our skin has been peeling like never before; big sheets at a time, quite eery yet, satisfying. Evelyn discovered this on Leslie's leg in the truck on the way back from Toledo and was squealing with, I don't sheer horror? She had never seen anything like it as you can imagine the rarity of a Philippino getting a sunburn. We gave her a heart-warming experience, that's for certain. Leslie gives me daily sometimes twice daily lice checks, as my paranoia levels are higher than the average "Joe". Speaking of Joe, we were walking down the streets of Toledo and passed some fellow white folks and Travis says, "Hey Joe." Now, if you haven't been here before you may not understand the absolute hilarity of this. We get more hey Joe's from the locals in any given day than we could ever keep track of. So, from one whitey to another, this is pretty funny. Our friend Romollo taught us the way of the fire. We've been struggling with the insane moisture of our garbage that we need to burn quite frequently. Brady was out there in just such a struggle when Romollo appeared with dried banana leaves, the secret weapon. The fire will never be the same again. We've also been battling the mold demon. Ghastly discoveries have been made in the bedrooms; belts, shoes, sweaters, and handfans so engulfed in mold they were barely recognizable. Ick man... A precious lesson: everything I mean everything gets put in plastic bags.. We went down to play basketball in the nearest village last night (Brady and Travis played, we were the onlookers), and what a time. It's amazing how a game can bring you right into the heart of the scene up close with those we want so much to meet and know. It was wonderful and we plan on going there whenever time allows. There were tiny little boys that were trying to impress us with their premature skills. A goat herding boy came through with this forlorn look on his face like, "wish I could ditch these goats and play some ball.." Made me think of David. Brady and Trav can sure draw a crowd with their presence. What an awesome tool of developing relationships. Last but not least, Lando lets the guys teach at a little outreach of his in a place called Lantouin. It is like something you've dreamt about. Just a humble little spot up in the mountain under a tarp with the kindest folks. It's been one of the coolest things to see here. These kids there were playing with an avacado like a ball yesterday and just couldn't be happier with their toy. What a picture.. Well, this is the longest post I have ever written. Hopefully I won't be stoned at the gates by my compadres here... Bye.

Friday, June 08, 2007

view this morning

sorry about the gross toe photo maybe this will help make up for it...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Transmission from 13 hours in the future

-It tis only a flesh wound...-
-She also knows sign for im hungry, feed me-
Since I gave my declaration of the first successful lauch of the station, it went down for three days. We figured out the issue and are pretty confident that this won't happen again. The station reaches a long way; sometimes the signal is blocked by the hills if you are in a valley. We are getting good reports of the signal being picked up in cities far away on both sides of the mountain. Both Travis and I have taught over the air. We are getting used to avoiding potholes, chickens, and dogs in the road when we drive into town. Lando let me teach at an outreach on Sunday afternoon. Please pray for his son. Lando had to take Nathan to the hospital. He had a 102F temp. Now he is doing better. They brought him back from the hospital last night. Today we did our first visit to the Toledo jail. The four of us ministered there with Lando, Evelyn, and Bernard. Bernard is a local pastor from Toledo who has gone into the jail in the past. We immediately had 40 guys sign up for our class and next week we will be able to offer it to the general population. The guys we met with today have come to Bernard's studies in the past. Since Bernard has not been able to go in that often, the inmates have been studying the Bible on their own. Their worship is very sincere and passionate. Every day they meet in the morning and sing worship songs and study the Bible together. One of the old imates is actually a pastor in Mindinao now. Yesterday we met with pastor William and his assistants in San Carlos. Early in the morning we took the ferry. Many times they will play action movies to entertain you during the voyage. This time however they played a dvd reunion performance of Air Supply live in concert. We were thrilled to sing along with the other passengers to such hits as -"You're Every Woman in the World To Me"-. Here I guess Air Supply is bigger than the Beatles. We will be going into the jail in San Carlos on Saturdays to teach. The church there wants to use us for their youth outreach. I got to meet the pastor's pet monkey. If we get lice, the monkey will go on a search and devour mission for us. I myself haven't had a chance to try the lice yet. They introduced us to a great restaurant where we had lechon baboy (grilled barbecued pig) It was awesome, especially with 20 hot peppers. The local pastors enjoyed watching me eat so many peppers. Every Friday they do an outreach for the city's youth. Many of these kids are out of school. That means that they have about an 8th grade education and won't proceed much further. There is rampant drug abuse in San Carlos and misconceptions about relationships. Many of the youth are having premarital sex as early as 12 years old. The church helps some of the youth develop vocational skills like welding and carpentry. Andy is our primary connection in San Carlos. He is also one of the best interpreters our church has ever worked with. He will be helping us when we teach our jail classes there. We will be going in to teach at the public schools on Tues, Thurs, and Friday. Travis is helping me improve in basketball. The other night my team beat his. The game went better when I passed a lot. One interesting thing was watching the locals chase the ball down the hill. We play by Shofar on the side of this mountain. Occasionally the ball goes off the edge and that isn't good because it can go for quite a while before coming to a rest. The local kids have the ability to bound down the hill like a gazelle, outrun the ball, get under it, and catch it. They were quite amused when I attemped the same feat. We have been learning alot. For one thing, it is quite humbling to see how hard people work here. People live a radically different culture, but in many ways it is better than ours. For instance they are quite friendly, they have strong friendships, and very close ties with family. They live more simply because they are forced to make their limited resources go further. We all realize how much we have been trusted with. It has been a real privilege to work with Lando and his family. We will greatly appreciate your prayers.

Monday, June 04, 2007

We have been working very hard to get this radio station working.

107.1 Shofar Radio, Cebu Island, Philippines

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mother Load of Pics

our friend the geko

Our friend the freak rainstorm during a relaxing walk.

First Picture

The Day They Left Us

:Your Mom... Shofar Style

Sup Folks.
Concert San Carlos: Up early. Ferry from Toledo to San Carlos. Met Pastor William. Ate at Jolibees. Dropped off bags at YM Business Inn (nice). Handed out fliers. Each coulple went to a different area by themselves. It was HOT!!! People were very responsive. Chilled(literally) in hotel for a few hours. Went to auditorium to set up for concert. People signing up for free radios and raffles were thronging us immediatly. THere was a sence of fear and excitement for all the chaos. The guys in the band are awesome. THey actually want to get together with us later on in the trip. They are from Cebu City. We will play them on both stations. Many people came to listen. A young man from Pst. Williams church named Andy translated for Tims message. Andy is a really cool guy. We are trying to get him to translate for us in the San Carlos jail as well. Over all it went well. Glory to God.
Concert Lutopan: Up early next morning. Breakfast at hotel. 10 am ferry from San Carlos to TOledo. Ate at Jessicas Chicken.mmm. Drove to Lutopan. Handed out fliers throughout the whole town.HOT!!!Big hills for fat white people. Started raining when concert started, stopped raining when concert ended. Pilipinos do not like rain at all for some reason. Band sounded even better here! 20 and 30 somethings realy seemed to be listening to TIm's message. Couple of BAs with tattoos and piercings took an interest in Travis and were surprised to hear that God could love people like them. Especially surprised to see me and travs body art. PrAY for continued ministry there! Radio hand out just as crazy here. People had to fill out tickets with their info on it and hand it back to us to recieve the precious radio. People were handing us little pieces of TP as tickets. Wow it was like we were handing out ipods. We have been testing some of these radios and are finding out that many of them dont fuction at all. Pray that God would supernaturally make the ones we gave away work (at least for the people who didn't try to con us:) Everyone in Lutopan definatly knows who we are now!!
Radio: It seems life we take one step forward and two steps back in the radio! Now we have the power, but the antena and/or transmitter is malfunctioning. THe station has been down for two days. It is a bit disheartening but I know God will show us all the kinks that need to be worked out before we leave...and with that comes many delays. Hopefully this will teach us the ins and outs of what it takes to run this station. There are very few radio stations around here so I think we will have an even bigger effect than initially thought. People are very eager to hear it on once and for all. A man named Burt is the Radio Operator that has been working on this project. He has gone back and forth 3 times since we have been here and had been staying here a full month before we arrived. Now he has to come again and he lives very far away. Pray that God would give him supernatural wisdom on how to solve the current problem so he doesn't have to return again. He says he is a Christian as well. Also pray for the Pilipino/American communication gap esp. concering the radio so we can understand directions recieved.
Favorite new Pilipino discovery: Calamansi. Oh how ill miss you when I'm gone...
peace love and grace
Leslie of the Hill People

Friday, June 01, 2007

Most people work hard to stay OUT of jail.....not us

One of the greatest joys of our ministry is to work with jail inmates. As I woke up this morning and prepared for my day the realization came to me, " I'm going to attempt to work in a jail in a foreign country". As we went to meet with the Commander in charge about scheduling and stuff I thought back to a time when I wasn't committed to Christ and He wasn't working in my life like He is now. This is a time when I was in jail and God used a group of people to teach me His word. I became on fire for Jesus and never looked back and the whole time I wanted to be just like those who taught me in the jail, I wanted to be a jail house minister, and that God allowed me to be apart of the Dunn County Correctional Ministry. The commander said she needed to talk with the Warden and Lando told us that this would be no problem and we are most likely in. Fellow Ministry Volunteers Pray that we can be used in this way here in the Philippines, and pray for us too, because we represent a Life Changing God. We also represent the County Correctional Ministry Volunteers, and a Chaplain who invest his life to train us. This is an outreach we are ALL apart of and we need your prayers.
God is Good, Go Jesus its your birthday, Go Jesus its your birthday....( while doing butter churn dance motion).. Trav