Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I Love You, Philippines!

This is a great colored gecko I saw and loved!

Beautiful view of the dam near Shofar.

Crazy looking spider on the screen door.

For myself, this trip has been many things all crammed into a short three and half weeks. Exhilarating, breathtaking, challenging, faith stretching, exhausting, magic sarap, heartwarming, humbling… all these things and more. Overall I am thankful to God for allowing Rachel and I to live and experience the Philippines through Shofar Missions, and look forward to the day we can return again. Oh, and one last reflection before leaving the country – magic sarap!

Pastor Jason

Today is a funny day. It sure does not seem like we are leaving tomorrow morning! What an interesting adventure this has been. To physically see the work (school, ministries, and people) going on here and the country is nothing short of more then you could ever wonder. There is a interesting change and knowledge that comes from stepping out of the bubble at home and going out to see more than Wisconsin. It’s really awesome that God allows us to be a part of Shofar Missions and the work going on here.


Thus far, the highlight of our last full day has been playing with the kids while Tom and Jason showed the teachers of the school how to use our new security system. We had to distract the children and keep them in the playground area so they wouldn’t set off the alarm. It served a purpose, but it was super fun, too: which describes so many of the activities we accomplished here! Concerts, teaching kids, painting various items: all needful and fun activities. I am so grateful I was part of this team. Please pray for lasting fruit from our trip- both in our hearts and in the people’s lives we have connected with.


Tomorrow we fly away from the most beautiful collection of trees on the face of the planet. I have been nerding out a little because I love me some nature (which some might think is odd,) because God is a good artist. Only by God’s grace have I seen the things here. Who would have though a sinner like me from small town Wisconsin would ever venture this far from home? That being said, I am giving a few last noogies to Shofar Learning kids, last goodbyes to new friends and the last looks at the beautiful mountains and trees. Goodbye Shofar and the Philippines, don’t eat all the Santils, you will get sick.


Let me just begin this final post by saying that the past 3.5 weeks have been fun, challenging and the fastest days of my life. I can hardly believe that we’ll be on a plane headed back to the states tomorrow but I must say I am looking forward to the nearly 24 hour nap that I will ensue. Haha. This trip has really taught me a lot and God has shown me some things in my life I never saw before-the good and the ugly. I’m happy and thankful for it.
This trip challenged me as it was a trip of many “1sts.” It was my first time to the Philippines and I was taken away by the beauty and I absolutely love the culture and the smells. Also, I had never taught before and once to twice a week I taught the children in either devotions or from the comic book bible. I really enjoyed this aspect of the trip as I learned a lot while studying and it was really a blessing to see the kids learning and interacting with them. It was also my first time giving my testimony to a large crowd – I have never been so nervous but at the same time I am glad I put myself out there and I will never forget that day.
All in all, I have had a great time and I really enjoyed getting to know the people on the team and our fellow partners in ministry. Shofar Learning truly has a great staff and I look forward to seeing the future of Shofar-hopefully in person again.

Makita na ta!
We are just wrapping up everything left to do at Shofar Missions. Everyone is cleaning, and packing. We have all learned something knew about ourselves, this beautiful, amazing culture, and God. I do apologize for all the people in WI that the pictures do not do justice. I would also like to warn, once you come, you don't want to leave, and you just want to come back before you leave. Thank you to Shofar Mission, and Shofar Learning. This trip has truly been amazing and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you to all the new family in Christ I met that showed me love. I love that God had the grace to allow me to come here with my husband and other family from JFB.