Sunday, June 28, 2009

Up and running

I don't want to speak too soon, but I think that our schedule if finally falling into place. We have one more school that is still in question, but for the most part this week should be the begining of a "normal" week for us.

So what is normal, you may ask. Well, first you take a hand full of elementary schools where we are showing a Cebuano version of the film "Pilgrim's Progress" and teaching lessons to go along with the message of the film. Then you add a high school (maybe two) and teach the same lesson only at a higher level. Then you throw in two jail studies
where we are teaching on the topic of discipleship, and another class before church on sundays focusing on "church growth" (I hear you can have those removed). You then add a liberal amount of youth activities, (yesterday we were able to go along on an interchurch fellowship retreat to the beach north of Toledo). Sprinkle in some radio work,
projects around Shofar, some projects in the community, study time, cooking, and there you have a "normal" week. Oh yeah, don't forget to add a little basketball on the side.
There is a lot going on, but we are really excited to be getting up to speed. We are starting to build friendships in all of the areas where we are working, which will allow us to share our faith in a genuine way which is the whole reason that we came (well, that and the fried chicken). We miss you guys, and will be praying for the group that is heading down to Cornerstone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One Step Closer...

Since the short term team has left us (sniffle, sniffle)...the long term team has been starting to discover how the summer will be with just the four of us.'s been great! Of course, there have been and continue to be challenges. We are still dealing with getting in the the Upper Camp 8 school, which is elementary ages, along with waiting to see about a highschool in Manipis.
We have, although, been able to continue work in the Toledo jail, along with Camp 7 schools, and the newly added Toledo Discipleship class.
We had our first Toledo Disc. Class last Saturday, in which Andy taught on the first steps on being a leader (which would be being a disciple yourself). There were ten young people from various denomonations there....which was the goal! We also did our first discipleship class at Londo's church, and had our first Lutops Youth meeting.
We watched the new version of Pilgrim's Progress for the Lutops youth. It was a great time, though interesting because it started raining so hard, that we could barely hear the audio!! It was alright though, we just gathered around closer...
Since last night (Mon night) it has been raining constantly...and now have just gotten word that we are in a Typhoon Lite. (Similar to Coke Lite.) So we will see what tomorrow brings for the weather, but hopefully will have our scheduled jail bible study.
Please pray for us, and the schools, and the weather, and the radio, and the people, and stuff. Miss ya'll lots!
2009 Team

Friday, June 19, 2009

And then there were 4

Below is a picture from a new school we visited - Camp 6 or Manipis. The kids and teachers seem really cool and seem to understand English and want to interact with us. Monday we will travel with Lando to visit the super nintendo (as Andy would call it) to hopefully get approval. The only draw back, is all the steps we will have to climb with the equipment. I was hoping for a concrete road on the back side of the hill which we didn't know about, but no such thing.
When we came back, there was a party with cake and coke with the Salas family, Edwin and his wife, Thomas, Shirley and kids. The short term team stayed up late to get packed and prep for leaving. To be honest, I did go to bed shortly before 11pm because I had to teach the following morning.
The short term left yesterday. I was thankful that we had a ton of things going on. After being online with JFB for their Wednesday nite study, we went to Loay for our introductory class (I didn't have to teach right away). The photo below is us praying right before they left.
We also did our introduction for Camp 7 Elementary and High School. When we got home it was painfully quiet. When just the day prior there was noise and people every where -never running out of people to talk to...
Today, Friday, the O'gara's taught in the jail on prayer. As usual, it seemed like the perfect study that the inmates needed to hear. We had a great conversation with Lando and Evelyn afterwards, I look forward to hanging out with those two more.
After lunch we split up a bit and started to work on projects. Below Andy is showing off his fiberglass hands when we sealed the cistern. We will put one more coat on and then paint it along with the bathrooms outside.
PS. We have a praying mantis friend "Zorak"
PSS. Cabang is a great dog
Talk to ya later, LD

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One and a Half concerts

Here's a brief rundown since our last post.

Friday morning the long term team held their bi-weekly study in the Toldeo city jail. Of all the things they are going to be doing this summer the studies in the Toldedo city jail has been the first to get going. Friday afternoon we all met in Toldedo City and picked up the band, Haven, for our weekend concerts and headed to Balamban. The setup went pretty smoothly. We had everything setup and the soundcheck finished so all of the short term team went to grab something to eat with the band leaving the O'Gara's and Dyers behind with Pastor Lando and Evelyn to watch the equipment. Keep in mind we had a few sprinkles of rain during the setup but it seemed to be clearing up so everything was good. Shortly after the group that went to eat recieved their food, we had what I would have to describe as the worst rainstorm I have ever been in, begin. I walked back with Edwin to help the group watching the equipment. Walking the three blocks from the restaurant to where the concert was supposed to be held was a challange. The rain and wind was blowing so hard that the two small tents we had to keep things dry were torn apart as the O'Garas and Dyers tried to hold them down. We quickly through everything into our vehicles, found a dry spot to unpack everything, repacked it, and then drove back to shofar with the band. All the while wondering if any of the equipment would work after getting completly soaked.

Saturday we unpacked all the equipment, layed it outside to dry in the sun and then hooked it up to test everything. God took care of us. With everything that happened none of our equipment or the bands was damaged. Even my rain soaked cell phone, which had been in my pocket, made it. Later on Saturday afternoon the long term team held their first discipleship class in Toledo city for area youth. It went well and I'm sure they will have more to say about it in the future. The Saturday night concert in Toledo City went off with far less hitches then the Friday night concert. This one took place in a larger arena which, for all of you that have been there, was right acrost the street from one of our favorite places to eat, Jessica's Chicken. The show went well, we gave out around 50 radios that night to the crowd. It was cool to see most of them turn their radio on right away and start listening to Shofar radio. The concerts have really helped us push the radio station which is getting to have a large following.

With both the concerts done Sunday morning we got up to attend Pastor Lando's church, Freedom in Christ, in Lutopan. Pastor Tom taught on the first 15 verses in Ephesians 1. Sunday afternoon we had planned to help out with the Lutopan Youth group but due to some problems we had with the truck we instead spent the afternoon fixing the truck and working on other projects around shofar.

It will soon be time for the short termers to head back to Wisconin leaving the long term team for the rest of the summer. With final preperation being done and decisions being made about how the team will be spending their summer prayer is needed.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hey All...

Life is good at Shofar. Its been a busy couple of days, and the weekend also has the potential to be packed with events. Tuesday, after doing laundry, we headed out to make contacts with schools. For the most part, the long term team has set up the schedules at the schools- Loay, Camps 7 and 8 and are starting to teach next week. Wednesday, we headed down to Toledo City to the jail. It was a huge blessing to be able to go in and meet the women. After that, we headed to the mercado- the long term team shopped for fruit and the short term team shopped for merchandize for Cornerstone. Later that evening, we went to Edwin's house for supper and learned that his wife can definitely make some mean lumpia. On our way home from Edwins, the truck broke down. Luckily for us, today (Thursday) was a workday at Shofar, so the guys got their hands dirty and got to know the truck a little better. Some plumbing was also done as well as some cleaning and burning garbage. As far as the pics go...the snail we met going for walk in the evening after it rained. The Shofar bumer sticker is cool...because its one that we handed out this year...probably at our latest concert in Manipis.
As for this weekend...we have 2 concerts one in Balamban and the other in Toledo City. The one in Toledo City is taking place during their city we are expecting quite a crowd! The long term team is also starting their discipleship class this Saturday.
See you later....time to go make supper....Sweet and Sour Chicken....

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ahh Yeah...

Hi! We just want to keep you updated with all of the "going ons" here on the other side of the world. Since the "Arrival of the Fittest" we have hit the ground running putting on two concerts this last weekend with the band "Frontline".

Friday we set up shop at the Lutopan Plaza... At first we were a bit concerned,we only saw about forty people sitting in the audience( most of them being small children) But God..., as the concert went on,started to bring people from all over Lutopan to hear the message... after the band played a couple of songs we showed the movie "Most", topping it off with a message from Pastor Lando... not a person moved... the whole plaza was full and people were standing all along the fence to the street. All in all ,we guess that there were upwards of 300 people that came out that night... We were blessed... God was glorified...The band spent the night at Shofar and we were able to interview them... so look for them on Burning Dog Radio...

Saturday night we had the same band and we made our way for Manipis(Camp 6). Which is a mountain village about 15 mins. from Shofar. We set up on the local basketball court... People started coming well before the concert began... We showed the same movie with the same results... The people of Manopis were very surprised that someone would come, give them some attention, and bless them... In the end I can honestly say that we were the ones that were blessed the most...

A couple of things that you guys back home can pray for: This week we are doing the finishing touches on starting in the schools, starting in the Toledo Jail, our new Interchurch Community Discipleship Classes in Toledo( which is going to be held in a funeral home....sweet!) along with pulling together the finishing touches on this weekends coming concerts in Balamban and Toledo City.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Arrival of the fittest...

The short term team (Tom & Becky, Erik & Tiffany, Jonah) have arrived in the Philippines, as of Tuesday. We did loose one day, but we lost none of our luggage...

We had a very speedy changeover in Manila: Getting luggage, going through customs, exchanging money, getting tickets confirmed, checking baggage in just enough time to run to the gate and catch our flight.

After shopping in the city of Cebu, we took the jeep ride the rest of the way up the mountain to Shofar. Although it was dark when we got to Shofar, it was great to finally be at the place we would call home for the next few weeks.

The truck has been running well lately, which is great because with concert outreaches coming up soon, we've got to move a full team of 11 people and the sound system. Tonight (Friday night) we are doing our first one, it's in the nearby town of Lutopan. The band "Frontline" will do the music, we'll show the video "Most" (with Cebuano subtitles), and pastor Lando will be speaking. We are hoping for good weather and a good turnout. Our next concert will be Saturday night at a town called Manipis a little farther out.

From Shofar Missions Center,

PS. Remember, just becuase something is new, doesn't mean it works of the box.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Shofar Minutes

The truck:
It was supposed be quick trip into Tabanok, but it didn't end up that way. We've been having some strange issues with the truck since Friday evening. It would die on us while we were driving home from the youth retreat. It continued to give us problems Saturday, Sunday and wouldn't start after stalling today. The group sat and watched the truck as Tim found a ride to Shofar, got his motorcycle and went back into Taban0k to pick up a new fuel pump. I think we waited a couple of hours. We made a new friend, a mechanic in Camp 7; Edgar. He fixed the vehicle yesterday and today.

The Outside Bathrooms:
Since the truck took most of the day, the boys are now installing the lights and plumbing for the outside bathrooms. I think it will be a very late evening cuz the team is coming tomorrow and we have stuff to get set up before they get here.

Lumpia (like an egg roll):
We'll be rolling a bunch of these when Evelyn comes to show us to make it along with Biko. Little does she know that I have planned ahead and brought seasoning for a fajita meal for Lando and her some day...

It's been super windy and cold for us upstairs at night. It has rained once since we got here, so pray for rain. We do not want to run out of water when the entire team is here.

You can make a "kit" out of anything in this country cuz of all the plastic containers.

I guess that it's for now...