Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Now what?

We worked very hard during this trip. I never got enough time to just sit and talk, but talking went on while we worked. We knew God wanted us there. The sore muscles and difficulties that go along with working at Shofar are exactly what God wanted for us. In return, He gave us the great honor of doing something for Him and also seeing the results of the work. I'm so thankful to have been able to go on this trip, as well as all of the trips.
Jesus said in John 9:4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work."
This is what He said when He was on earth. He grew from a baby to an adult and knew exactly how much time He had here. One of the differences between us and Him is that He knew when His time was up.
Jesus had 33 years. He had a lot to do and He packed it in as much as He could, not things that HE wanted to do, but what He came here to do. Those things were to follow God's instructions for Him.
What are we to do, then? "Work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day"
That means today. We aren't guaranteed a tomorrow, it's not certain, but right NOW is the only certainty there is. As far as we're concerned, out time is up today, we don't know if tomorrow will ever come for us individually. If all you have is now, what are you doing right now? Can you say with what you are doing that God wants you to do it?
One of these days it will be too late....Jesus knew that. "The night is coming when no one can work."
So it's good that we worked hard while we were there, we only had a month and God used every minute of every day, and I'm thankful.
Sharon

Sunday, June 26, 2011

News


Last Sunday was fathers day and the kids made candy necklaces for the dad's, i wanted one but was denied..






Monday brought a fun time helping to re-stabalize the "santol linkoranan" or santol (a kind of fruit) bench. Jear and Job helped with that. With no cost involved we just used what was available...a tree! Pretty cool but it will have to be renewed again in a year or two due to rotting.


Also Job and I cleaned up around the church and pulled a lot of weeds...with no weed-wacker or lawnmower its a bit of a chore..but a good fellowship.

I wasn't able to do the homestudy the first week but last Thursday, after jail, i was able to go. It was just on the edge of Lutopan up through a walk in a narrow path. I wasn't able to take pics inside but it was a great experience and we plan to go next week. I taught the New Creations material that we are doing in the jail.



Junrey (the only one who will climb the tree's) retrieved some coconut for us and it was great. They make a drink with it adding orange juice and crackers with the coconut....the crackers in my drink didn't appeal to me so i just drank it straight.



I also got to play some ball with the guys at the Cantabaco High School court..it was 5Pesos and i found i'm no better than i ever have been. The guys are great team though so it was fun.

After church on Sunday we we're invited to a cousins's birthday party. He reminds me of leaf a lot because he is always moving...his name is Marion.


Lastly...Evelyn threatened me.....joke ra

Sunday, June 19, 2011

While Your Away

Well the first team is gone and I have to admit its a bit strange. In 2008 I had some fellow Americano's here. Now it's just me...







After the team left I went back home to continue ministering. It was a bit different ride from Cebu without the team and truck. I took a series of Jeepneys and then a bus, with the help of Avegail who was going home due to a leg injury. That ride was not the most fun, because of the crowd, and took about 2 1/2 hrs to make it back to Lutopan.



Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we are having a youth discipleship class going over Forgotten God, the Francis Chan video and
material that Jesus Fellowship did in the 2011 Discipleship Conference. I'm using my laptop and a small speaker from Shofar to show it. So far its been awesome.




Friday morning was the first day I was able to go into the Toledo jail. There was a great reception and a couple of faces I remember. There I am going in minimalist with just my notes and Pastor Lando, the material is the same material we use in the addictions class, called New Creations, in the Dunn County jail.

Wednesday nights at 7pm I am continuing to facilitate, going through 1 Peter and the material that JFB went through in 2010.Also starting Thursday we are going to have a home study with an inmate that recently got out, he lives in Lutopan and I'm excited to start that.

That's all for now...oh and i found my favorite chips

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blog ra














Last weekend had some interesting goings on's. On Sunday the team split into 3 small groups and headed in opposite directions for the afternoon. Mike and Laura spent time with the FIC youth's doing a service project, Jeremy went with Pastor Lando to his church outreach near Sinsin, and the rest of the group went to teacher Jane's church near Toledo to spend some time with the youth group there.




The FIC youth went to Rudy and Pecta's home to help them with laundry, cleaning, and constructing a new walk from the road to their house. The male youth's built the stairs while the females went into town to shop, and then later cooked and cleaned. All parties were blessed by the day. The youth's got a taste of what it means to serve together in the community. Rudy and Pecta were blessed by the youth's generosity.





Basketball Jones went with Lando to the church outreach near Sinsin. The people were surprised at being asked questions and having open dialogue during a bible study. But the group was talkative and willing to discuss.











The youth group at teacher Jane's a church (JCIL) watched two more videos in the "Keep Climbing" series and then had small group discussions. It took some ice (and chair) breaking games at halftime to get the youth's to become talkative. There was also candy, soda, games,

video footage, hacky sack, and Filipino energy drinks involved. All told, it was a great day. Hopefully the youth's were impacted and encouraged as much as we were.
















One final note, today is our final day at Shofar. We are tying up some loose ends and preparing to shut the place down until the next team arrives: non-perishible foods are being moved to the star shelf, floors are being swept and mopped, blogs are being written, shelves organized, bags packed, photos of school children taken, etc, etc...


The last 3 weeks have passed quickly. It's been a great blessing to be here and I already look forward to a return trip.. Please pray for our safe travel tomorrow. See you soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Schools in for Summer







































School days, school days...life at Shofar has taken on a new dimension with the beginning of the school year. We've arrived at the end of the first week of school and the total enrollment is hovering at 42 students. The students seem to enjoy the ciriculum and many have jumped right in to using their netbooks. In fact, the enrollment was slightly higher than expected, which meant that Tim & Sharon needed to take a trip into Cebu to pick-up a few additional netbooks for the students. We worked late into the evening on the first day of school to get everything set-up and ready to roll for the year.

The guys also spent some time wiring up the additional desks that were purchased to accomodate the increased enrollment. Fortunately, all of the desks are fully wired and nobody had to feel the lovely jolt that come from 220v wire (much).

We've also been able to prepare new blackboards for the school. Believe it or not, you can actually find chalkboard paint in the Philippines. Laura, Andrea, and Ben spent an afternoon braving the potent fumes of the paint in order to give the teachers a nice, quality chalkboard.

This Wednesday was also our last session with the youth group at Freedom in Christ. We arrived at church just in time to find out that the church had a brown out...which is an issue if you are counting on electricity for a video presentation. Fortunately, we were prepared with Plan B: a full battery operated projector, speaker, & netbook; so we were able to finish the"Keep Climbing" series, power or not. It was actually a really cool evening with the youth as we all gathered around a few emergency candles and had our final session together by candle light - something none of us would have thought to do. What Satan means for evil, God uses for good.

Today, we worked on some of the final projects that we have on our list and are beginning to make preparations for the next team. Among other things, we were able to paint the new CR so that it will have a better chance of weathering the Filipino humidity over the next year.



We also have a new dog hanging around Shofar. Her name is LaMange (because everything sounds better in French). We're trying to see how fat we can make her before we leave.

Keep praying for us as things draw to a close for this trip; we're praying for you all at home. We'll talk to you soon.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Team Split & First Day of School












Today is the first day of School at Shofar! I'm sure there will be many more details coming over the next week. As a breif overview: so far today the teachers have been leading orientations of the classes, Mike did a quick demonstration with Junray how to use the laptops, we have taken pictures of each of the students for badges, printed materials for the students to take home (School rules, bus route... etc) are making chalkboards from chalk board paint, and are getting each child set up with their laptop comptuers. The day's not even over yet!



Sunday (yesterday) the team split and went three different directions:

Andrea, Rahsaan, & Sharon: Taught the men's and women's youth group in Lutopan, then rented Hobble-Hobble drivers to catch a ride back to Shofar. A Hobble-Hobble is basically a taxi but on motorcyle. A normal fair is about 50-60P ($1.25) to ride up the mountain. Of course they tried to charge Rahsaan double.

Ben: Went to an outreach church with Pastor Lando. He said "it was awesome!" it took about and hour to reach the church. He got to teach 20 people from a "pulpit" with a translator and watch Lando perform a baby decication.

Tim, Mike, Jeremy, Laura, Sheena: Left to go find JCIL (Jesus Christ Is Lord Church.) Teacher Jayne (who works at Shofar School) invited us to teach the Keep Climbing material at her churches youth group. We knew it may be hard to find as our instructions were to go to a certain town, turn right by "the bikes," drive until the road stops, and walk down a narrow path for 15 mintutes... Needless to say we got lost, texted Jayne and she came to show the rest of the way. This area is somewhere Jesus Fellowship had never been before. It was incredibly beautiful! Not enough space to talk about this experience here but it will be one of my favorite memories of the trip so far. Some of the youth had been at the retreat the past weekend and were really opening up to the teachers. Pray for them, some have families that are doing all they can to keep them from serving and loving God.


~Sheena

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Camp na Camp




































































































Hi everyone,

We just finished a whirlwind weekend at the first ever youth camp held on the Shofar Mission grounds! The camp began just as the final nails were being pounded into the somewhat trialsome CR's... (they got plenty of use which made all the building effort well worth it!) The camp was a mixture of youth from Lutopan, Toledo and beyond. They came ready to learn and full of energy.

The camp was filled with games (improv. skits, shaving balloons and more), worship music led by Mike L. and Avegail, a 4-part Francis Chan series called "Courage," small group discussions, a session on purity and godly man/womanhood, and large group teachings by Tim. We set up a volleyball net (American height of course!) and the Filipinos joked about how Americans weren't allowed to jump so the game would be fair. We lit up a bonfire on Friday night and showed the kids how to roast marshmallows- something they hadn't done before. After the final session on Saturday, we finished with communion.

We also got to eat some amazing food, thanks to the sweet ladies from Freedom in Christ church that volunteered to cook. They made fried rice, ginamay (delicious mystery stew,) lumpia, puto cheese (spongy sweet bread,) and the grand finale of roast pig.

Each of us on the team led a small group for the discussions, and were blessed to get to know the kids better and talk about their struggles standing strong for Jesus in a world filled with peer pressure. In the final session, we talked a lot about serving God with your time, talents and decisions and running the race of the Christian life with a heart to win and finish well.

This was a tiring, rowdy, laughter-filled, blessed camp and we all gained a bit more understanding of how big and full of love our God is.


-Laura

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Preperation

Hello again all. Yesterday was testing for the school and there was a great turnout. Most will make it and be put into one grade lower than what they would in the public schools here. For less than half the price of a well known school in Manilla we are able to better educate the children here. How awesome God is.
It's almost time for camp and we are well on our way to getting ready. The kitchen is set up for those cooking for the event, they will cook right next to the guard shack and sleep in the guard shack.

The outside CR (toilet) is almost complete, and the tent is being put up as I write this. We are excited for the camp to happen because there has been great warfare on our part and all around us. But we know, just like when the boat seemed to be sinking, Jesus will show up and calm the storm, encourage us to walk on water, and bring us to the other side. With that also, we will be expecting 65 youth to come...thats twice as many as we expected and planned for..."is that a ghost out there in the rain?"

Today also will be the second youth night that we will have at Freedom in Christ (FIC). It's always a blast to hang out with them and study with them as well. While some are there others will be putting the finishing touches on the CR that we have been building.

That's all for now, thank you for all of your prayers we are in desperate need of them.

-Jeremy-