Sunday, July 31, 2011

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY, Going to Church in a hemi dodge........ ah what.. Multicab

A "step dam" as some might say. To the left is a rice field.

Beautiful Flowers

One of my favorites, corn planted on the mountain side. Trust me it is a lot steeper then it looks.

Sir Brandon

Today brought about some very interesting activities. It was nice to return to FIC (Freedom in Christ) for our final Sunday and see our freinds there again. What a blessing it has been to physically see the faces of the people many of the teams in the past have talked about. Jason taught this morning,after church we ate with thee Salas family and experienced young coconut. We also had some aged coconut, I found that to be a bit rougher around the edges but sweeter on the inside. Seeing a few of the people for the last time was a bit rough, but we are just blessed to have gotten to know them. After din din the team split and went our own ways. Nick, Amber, Tom, Becky, and Jones headed over and down and up and through the paths to teacher Jayne's church where we showed a Francis Chan video called Holy Spirit (Part of the Basics series.) After the film we split up guys and girls and had a sort of discussion session. Jason, Rakel, Brandon, and Caitlin did the same at the FIC church. Now that we are getting down to the wire we finishing up a few projects (radio room window covering, some mechanical work, a few others) and will hit them head on Monday. On another note we will be finishing our lessons in the school this week so also please pray for the kids and teachers. Please continue to pray for us as we are finishing up. Also pray for the existing ministry's here, and for all the people that came to the concert and heard the message.

Until Next Time, Adios, Nick

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Beginning of the "Lasts" 7/30/11

Hello everyone!

Tonight was our very last concert for the 2011 trip.

The Andy Calope Band played two shows-one last night and one tonight. Both shows had a decent turn seemed the more the music played the more people would come. I really enjoyed their music-they're the first "Josh Garrels"-esque band we've had. <3 The youth from Freedom in Christ joined us tonight which was way fun. Amber and I had the opportunity to hang out with the girls and shoot some hoops after the guys had a full on game. :) It is awesome to connect with our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord who live across the world.

Today we also finished up some building projects in the morning-the shelves outside the radio room and the guard shack lean-to's. Yay! We had to get creative with putting the last of the shelves in...they go up to the ceiling which wouldn't be a big deal except we had to work around or should I say over the staircase. haha. We all put our brains together to make it a safe project.

Tomorrow will be our last service at FIC-I believe we're all eating together, we're bringing spaghetti and Lando and Evelyn are going to intoduce us to some Coconut. Way excited. Then we are going to split up for youth group-- Tom and Becky, Nick and Amber and Jones will head to Jane's home church while the Jason, Rachel, Brandon and myself will stay at FIC.

With that said I am going to head to bed now. Thanks for your prayers-please continue as we'll definitely need them in this last week with wrapping up teaching and shutting down. We're praying for all of you as well.

Nick playing some sweet b-ball.

Watching the concert.

Some of the many kids who stayed to watch the concert.

Tom and Lando.


They covered three songs all in one song at the end. Pretty talented.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gearing up for the home stretch

We have been working hard for the last two and a half weeks, completing many projects from the work list, as well as unexpected ones that have popped up along the way. Brandon and Nick have really gone to town on the guard house, although everyone has helped out on this project at one time or another. The last piece of tin is about to be set in place and the finishing touches added on, to protect it from the wild wind we get here at Shofar.

Here we are setting the front posts - check and re-check for straightness!

...adding on the roof supports. Watch out for those power lines!

Here is Brandon nailing on the tin for the front porch.

The "nearly" finished product - lookin good!

We are getting ready for the last weekend of concerts with the Andy Calope band. These will be taking place at two local baranguys in the Toledo area. We have been taking lots of pictures of the concerts, and this weekend we plan to shoot video of our set up so we can make an instructional film on how to set up and take down for concerts, so other teams will be able to prepare to do the same in the future. Hopefully, we can get some footage of Andy and the band to add to our “Burning Dog Traveling Show” collection, as well.

Our typical front line set up for Main speakers and Monitors.

Keep those plugs straight - 110volts and 220 volts. The minute you stop respecting this little hummer, - ZAP! - it will remind you it's there!

Last night, we invited Lando and Evelyn to Shofar tonight for dinner, and in addition to a great evening of fellowship, we also were able to get a great cooking lesson from Evelyn. Lando showed us how to ripen a bunch of bananas he cut from a tree right next to Shofar last week, and they should be ready to eat Saturday morning! Evelyn showed us how to make Lumpia, as well as a Squash, and what a treat they were!There's a whole-lotta Lumpia goin' on, goin' on at Shofar - Jon!

So long for now, thanks all for the prayers, and keep 'em comin!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Island Haven

Hi y'all. Shofar is a beautiful place to spend some time but today I am going to talk about the travels we take and the words we speak.

We had two concerts this past weekend. One was in Telavera and one in Buanoy. Saturday we picked up the band Ramoth Gilead and started setting up at the basketball court. Some people set up the stage, some watch the bags and some play games with the kids hanging around. To see the Philippines culture in action is very cool. In the many months leading up to the trip we watched videos and talked about culture but nothing would tell the story as well as watching kids hang out for hours on end playing basketball, seeing people stop at a shop and talk for a period of time and also watch them talk about our concert posters. It is pretty cool to watch such a different group of people, I'm so used to seeing empty streets and people who drive around with a cell phone stuck in their ear that it makes me wonder if I will return home or not... Just kidding. In our group travels thus far we have seen Sari Saris, an Ocean Highway, Basketball Courts, Bake Shops, Multi Cabs, Motorcycles and many interesting people at all age ranges.

In speaking with kids I have learned some interesting things. For instance adding "ra" to something means just this or just that. So, one could say "joke-ra" which is "just joke" or "ok-ra" which is "just ok" or one of my favorites "Jones-ra" which by this point one would hope you know means "just Jones". I have also learned important words like bogoy "mischievous" (Evelyn says that Nick and I are this) and "dili, haw√° palihog" which you can tell "bogoy" children because it means "no, please go away". There is much more to tell but I feel it shall be "lost in translation".

God is working here, and we need your prayers to keep going strong. This next stretch leads us to finishing projects at Shofar Mission, two more concerts, Bible lessons at Shofar Learning, youth group at two churches and much more.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments box and one of our representatives will be happy to answer it for you. ;)

Until next time,
Brandon H --signing off

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Caitlin giving her testimony at a JCIL (Jesus Christ Is Lord) outreach in Pondol. (Lando translated for her.)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Nick doing some much needed cleaning. Caitlin and Amber make a huge mess!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The view from the guard house to the next island over.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

New shelves replacing the old ones on the stairwell.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Amber cleaning up sawdust from her shelf-making mess.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Jones-ra sporting some cool kid glasses.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"You cannot add anything to the cross" -so they say

Well well well. It has been a couple of days since our last post. This is because we were for some reason unable to connect to Blogger from our computers. Now it is my turn to give you an update. The team has been working like mad doing the following: working on the guard house, teaching bible class, doing school devotions, installing our state-of-the-art security system, and tons of other wee things. Let me tell you, the weather has taken its turn into rain making working outside a bit difficult but we will not be beaten. The guard house is moments away from a new steel roof porch and kitchen and it's under-structure is almost complete. The alarm system is on but a couple of bugs need working out. Everyone is putting their heart into it all. There have been some great challenges, days where you feel quite defeated beacause everything you do is an up hill climb (no pun intended). This facility we have here is such a huge blessing. We sleep dry and comfortable. The meals have been good. Our interaction amongst the team has been a real blessing and challenging at times. It has also been a blessing to see the ministry-heart of those who serve God here all year. The teaching staff is top-notch. Lando and family have been a real help to us and I had a nice time last Sunday just sitting and talking ministry and vision and Bible with pastor Lando.

I have a few pics to post for you:

Ben created a crucifix-shaped clothes line when he was here. We, however, "added to the cross". We think it's "supercross" now.

"And the Lord said, 'Let there be light.' and there was light. And it was good." We installed a new rear light in the Multi-Cab. It even has "slow-jam-blue" light setting on it.

Here's the "slow-jam-blue"

And then there's the children of Calaju-an... Very cute
And then there was the post-concert Jeepney snooze. We just crashed hard after the second show last weekend

And working in the classroom? A fun challenge, especially for those who have little teaching experience. Our Shofar Learning kids are bright fast learners. I encourage you to take the time to email them or Skype call them. They are totally a blast.

Anyway, just showing you what I saw.... Love you guys and miss you.

-=pastor tom

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Projects, church and kids, oh my!

Hello from the mountaintop! It has been an eventful week, what with the concerts, projects and teaching we have been doing. On Sunday, the team split up between the Freedom in Christ church in Lutopan, and Jesus Christ is Lord church (a more rural church one of our teachers at Shofar attends). Our team members showed a Francis Chan video about the Fear of God and we had a discussion about that subject with the youth groups in both locations. The youth were a little shy since we are new people for them, but they slowly opened up and discussed the content of the video and how it applies to their lives. It was surprising how relevant the subject matter was for them, and it occured to me that young people struggle with the same fears, insecurities and sin no matter where they live. The team I was on went to the more remote location, which was a lot of fun: a long dirt road led us through a jungle-like atmosphere until we arrived at the "end of the road" (literally!) and hiked about 20 minutes before we arrived at their church. The location was beautiful (and very hot!)
Back "home" here at Shofar, we have been aquainting ourselves with the kids, doing devotions with them everyday and teaching a comic book Bible curriculum. They are very sharp and attentive children. Yesterday, Nick asked the question in class, "How can you KNOW that God loves you?" and several kids answered 'prayer' or 'the bible', but one tiny girl sitting next to me said in a tiny voice "discipline". I quietly tried to encourage her to raise her hand and say it, but she was a little shy! Many of the kids are skilled at English, but we are interpreted during our
lessons so all the kids can fully understand us.
I love hearing the kids doing their school lessons throughout the day while we work on projects outside. At any given time, you can hear them learning English phrases, and answering the teachers in a group. Sometimes we can hear them singing, too. It's a nice myraid of sounds drifting over the mountain. Before I came here, I didn't realize that we would be able to hear them all day long. It's pretty neat.
Keep praying for us- and we will pray for you too!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Working for the Weekend

....School, Projects, Concerts, Church, Youth, and even some Takyan. It was a jam packed weekend and "so worth it."

The first concert was in Jaclupan near Tabanuk and the second one was in Calaju-an near Manglanilla. Calaju-an is closer to the ocean and a smaller venue; basketball court.

The band, Fervent stayed with us over night. They are part of a church near Cebu City and also have a school. It was an awesome time getting to know them and working with them the next day to put on the second concert. Started early with paking bags and food and supplies. Hauling equipment and making our way to Calaju-an. Hanging banners anywhere we could find a nail. Hanging posters and meeting new people with the band. Setting up equipment and finding electricity and even a little Takyan. (takyan is the Cebuano term for a local football game(hackysac-like) made of chicken feathers or colorful plastic pieces from rice bags). As usual there were a ton of kids at first and then once the music started the people of the town started to find their way in. It was a great turn out and an awesome night!

Journey and Jason or Jason and Journey..hard to tell who is who. (hahaha)....Some people thought Jason was the dummer on the poster we were hanging up. So they switched places for a day.

New friends....

Brandon learning Takyan...


In Concert..

The way home....


Friday, July 15, 2011

First times!

Hello there!

We sucessfully held our first concert last night with the band Fervent!

It was a whirlwind of a day. Tom, Rachel, Jason, Amber and Brandon and Jeremy all left with the jeepney around noon or so to drop the equipment down at the basketball court. Tom stayed at the court with the equipment while the others split off into groups to hand out posters and verbally invite people to the concert. Overall, it was a success...the concert spread fast by word of mouth and everyone seemed excited to come--much different then back in the states. After handing out posters they got to hang out with some of the kids that were at the basketball court and Brandon and Amber learned how to play takyan. It's very similar to hacky sack, however, in this game you can use your hands/arms to keep it off the ground also.

While they were handing out posters Becky, Nick, and myself stayed back at Shofar to teach the kids the comic book bible series. The kids seemed more comfortable and eager to answer our questions throughout the lesson and overall it went well.

After the lesson, we left shofar and headed to Freedom In Christ to pick up the drum set and some other equipment and then met the rest of the group at the basketball court and began to set up the equipment.

The concert began at 8:00 and it was packed! Fervent played a few songs and then we showed a video from the basicseries --Francis Chan. It was subtitled in cebuano which was really cool and the adults definitely showed an interest in it. Pastor Lando took the stage after to expound on the video and preach the good news and then fervent finshed up the evening with another set of songs.

I cannot even explain what a blessing this first week has truly been. Pictures don't do it justice and it is just so awesome to see God working here and to know that he is working back home in the states and everywhere else in the world-all at once. God truly is never far from us!

We are off to our second concert tonight with Fervent in a different town. Please continue to pray for us and for all this work that we're doing to bring glory to God!

Caitlin <3

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Concert: Take One

Gettin' Concert Equipment Out


Eh. Good to talk to you. We are all excited to put on the first concert of the trip. The band "Fervent" will be playing tonight and tomorrow, so we look forward to what God will do with these concerts. It's a huge blessing to be a part of the work over here and see also how concerts work. The culture shock and the landscape are still setting in but it is finally starting to look real now. (By the way on a side note I can finally believe that the ocean is real because I have now seen it with my own eyes. JOKRA) Also today will be our second day,(my first day) teaching in the school. That also is a neat thing to do and we pray it leaves a positive effect. We thank God for the good teachers at Shofar who can translate because that seems to help a lot. Thanks for praying for us, and please continue to if you would. Thanks.


It’s only been a few days since we arrived, but I already feel at home. It hasn't really set in how far away from WI we really are, but I'm okay with that.

The God we love is amazing! He has created the most beautiful and jaw-dropping scenes!

We have been some busy little bees so far. Trying to get used to the time change and be diligent about our tasks. We have been working on different projects around Shofar, such as the maintenance on the vehicles, cleaning inside, touching up paint, building shelves, organizing new school supplies, fixing little things, and more as we work tomorrow.

Today was our first day in the school with morning Devotions, from 7:50 - 8AM, and our first religion class from 12:45-1:30PM. We would say things in English, and then the teachers would translate and repeat in Cebuano. I was really trying to pay close attention and pick out the words I knew and understand the translation as well, tricky.

It is very interesting speaking to the children and the teachers with English and Cebuano. We say Maayo Buntag, and they say Good Morning! Very fun!

Everyone is doing quite well; no illness has struck anyone at this time, and no injuries!

Tomorrow we are going to be doing our first concert with Fervent, and will then be hosting the band at Shofar. Saturday we will do another with them in a different town.

Then Sunday we will have church and Youth group in the afternoon.


We all did our laundry today.

This is the giant grasshopper that hit me in the back of the head/neck that felt like the size of a bat.

These are the curtains that Caitlin and I washed on Tuesday.

This is Jason sorting the new science supplies for the school.

These guys altered the concert banners for this years bands.