Thursday, May 31, 2012


Life is good at Shofar.  The teacher's were all here today to do new student orientation.  There are 19 students that have never attended Shofar Learning before that will be starting on Monday.  Today they came up to meet with the teachers and get a little training on the computers that they will be working on.  Please keep them in prayer.  

Work continues on the guard house and on the playground, although I must say that both are starting to look really good.  Much of the work done today included carrying rock and pea gravel to the playground area.  We were blessed with today with cloudy and breezy weather- perfect for outdoor work.  The sky rumbled all around us, but the rain stayed away.  Thunder here is really cool. 

The teachers also met with some of us and hammered out a schedule and other such important things. 

On a more personal note, I have really enjoyed being back in the Philippines and have loved seeing our family here again.

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today was our second day of work around Shofar (even though I am not really sure exactly what day it is...). This morning we hauled rock to level out the walkway around the front of the guard house, worked on rebuilding the playground, worked on the vehicles, and prepared the school for new student orientation tomorrow. Afterwards we went to town to pick up some much needed supplies. (I had to buy a comb - I haven't combed my hair yet)
In Tabunok we saw the new market complete with dried fish, jackfruit, and Sparkle. We then walked through the old market and headed over to the mall for groceries and chicken and my comb. After a shot of caffeine we headed back up the hill (ie. the mountain), having the strangest conversations in the back of the Jeepney on the way. We're laughing so hard our stomach's hurt and often we laugh about the silliest things that I never seem to remember what was so funny. It has been a lot of fun watching Susie, Annie and Matt; hearing their comments and first impressions as we drive, eat, work, and live around Shofar.
It is late now and I must get some rest before another big day tomorrow. I am hoping we will be able to skype the church tomorrow :) talk soon -Laura

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Today was another busy day at Shofar working on projects to take care of the building and prepare for school.  Some of us spent a good part of the day painting and getting the desks ready upstairs for the students.  We have also been working hard at doing repairs on the playground for the school.  With school starting up here next week we are doing what we can to be ready for the kids coming back.  It is really a blessing to be able to be part of the school that the kids love coming to so much.  We could use prayer so that we have everything ready by next week that needs to be done before school can began.  I for one am very excited to see the school running again and can't wait to hear them start their day with singing.

Until next time, Erik

Monday, May 28, 2012


Hi everyone!. So today we are working on certain jobs here at Shofar. Nate and myself were on the project of fixing the playground that the termites destroyed. So we framed up the flooring and it started pouring halfway through so we went and helped paint the desks in the classroom until it stopped. We then built the ladder, but we made it big so we had to revamp it to make it Filipino size. Some others cleaned up the guard shack--painting and getting the junk out to make it liveable. And oh yeah...I did laundry by hand for the first time, and it seemed more difficult than rebuilding the playground. My thoughts so far on the trip--it's been fun, it's been difficult, but learning alot and hope to get to stay for the third team. Please pray for me on this and for the rest of the team-that we work as a team.
Love and miss you,

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Sunday morning and time for church. We on the second team were all excited to go Freedom in Christ for the first time on this trip. It is an awesome thing to hear praise songs sung in a different language. It makes me imagine all of the gatherings of faithful believers scattered in the far reaches of the world all singing to God in their own tongues. What a choir; what a God. After church we split our team up to go and minister with two different youth groups. During the youth camp, one of the topics that was covered was having personal devotions. Today we began a five part follow up series looking more in-depth into how to read the bible devotionaly. As we now turn our attention ahead to the opening of Shofar Learning Center, we have several projects that need completing in order to have the school ready to go for the first day. Pray that we can work fast and be ready for the new students and the new school year.

We miss you all, thank you for your prayer, Andy

Saturday, May 26, 2012


We had our final session with the youth at the Discipleship Camp Saturday morning and then it was goodbye. It has been a whirlwind couple of days with this camp (and what an introduction to Shofar), and it was amazing to have had the chance to be thrown into a teaching role with some of the local Filippino youth from the area churches. I'm sure I speak for everyone here from JFB when I say that the 5 - 7 kids in each of our groups we led left a permanent mark in our hearts. Please pray for these guys! Most of them do not have solid Bible teaching, and so pray that they would take the Bible seriously and start digging into the Word of God themselves so that they can be dynamic Christians and key players in the churches they are a part of. After they left we had a chance to catch up as a team, rest a bit, and begin planning our next couple days. Miss you!

-- susie

Friday, May 25, 2012


We've all been having an awesome time at the Youth Camp this weekend!  We have about 60 kids attending from all over the island.  Some even came from the next island over.  We've been going through material in small groups about how to build and maintain a relationship with God.  One thing I've noticed at this camp is how much the Filippinos LOVE to play games.  We had a blast playing "human foozball" and we showed them how to play chubby bunny American style. They thought this was the funniest thing!  Oh, and it was decided that Americans have the biggest mouths :) It has been an incredible blessing to get to know all of the youth, learn, and have fun together.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New room!

Onward HO!

Hey guys! As you saw on the skype call, team two has arrived. Though I miss the first crew and really appreciate the time we had, it is exciting to see the new team as they assimilate to Shofar. Today was the first day of the youth camp. This has been a new experience for me and has been challenging and amazing so far. Please pray for the rest if the camp that we would communicate God's message properly and make real connections with these guys. Tomorrow is a full day of camp staying with small group devotions at 7:30am. Thank you for all who have been praying-it honestly shows both personally and as a team. Love you all!

Monday, May 21, 2012


One Third

As I scrape the paint from my skin I dont know what to say, other than it was an emotional time to see our team split up, say our goodbyes, and remember the good and difficult times that we all had together.  For me and Leslie, we are at this time are one third of the way through our stay.  Once we saw the five that left us leave, we had a mixed bag of feelings...but the work didn't and doesnt stop.  (As I write this our friends should be landing in America.)  So after a short break(an hour?), we got right to work. On Monday would be our open house/placement testing day for new we broke down the bunkbeds that were in the classrooms, cleaned, repaired, and painted.  then...the fun monday of testing day came, and to see all the new students was really a fun time. They had two tests and for the most part all did as expected. so a new batch of students will be arriving at the start of the school year on june 4th.  Tim and I kept the students entertained during their breaks by repairing the school bench by our tree.   and once everybody left for the day it was back to work.  We painted the new rooms for the second teams arrival, and moved the school desks to get ready for the youth camp.  more preparations will be made today for the youth camp...and our friends from America should be arriving in Manila tonight!  It is amazing to see what God has done with Shofar!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Wow I can't believe its been three weeks. Today we helped The men at FIC church build an addition on their church for the youth and their mid week meeting. This is the project that is financed by our Gnosko and I was able to share some pics of the Gnosko dinner theater and explain that God allows us to have much fun while Blessing the kingdom. Like I needed to explain that to them as my new best buddy CARDS ( also known as Cardo that built all of Shofar) is also known as the biggest prankster here at FIC. We laughed and worked the day away and then were not disappointed with the best food in all the Philippines, also known as Evelyn's lumpia. It is really hard for me to leave as part of my heart will always remain here with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Though we don't know for sure when we will meet again we know that we will meet again with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So bye bye for now to all of you here on Cebu Island I'll truly miss you all and may the Lord Bless You And Keep you.
Love Bryan

Friday, May 18, 2012

Marathon Day!

How to recap the day......Make breakfast, finish cementing windows, put in windows, build screens (very slow going), finish electrical in rooms, do ceiling in both rooms, opps... rewire a couple of lights, (oh much better) not to forget fixing the door ways, cleaning all the junk out the rooms, sweep the floor, make lunch, clean off the table from a coating of dusk, eat quick and back to work.  Build a rock water way, pave the path around house, put rock on upper drive,  take down sifter, chat with Clifford while he makes new bamboo slates for benches, clean up around house. Help unload multi cab, make supper,clean off dust again and eat. Back to work! Not done yet? Cement pillars in rooms and outside of house. Pick up in and outside of house. Say good-bye to workers. To finish off God's day with a light show to top Georgia's, so awesome you can't describe. I can't believe my time is up here! What a great way to build muscle, work on a tan, and meet new friend.thanks for the opportunity to come her, I couldn't have done it without your support.  Thank, Laura

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Hello all,
Thank you for the rain prayers. We received about an hour or more of rain today to help fill our cistern.
We lost electricity for a few hours and just when we were about to eat by candle light our lights came back on..(candle lit dinner would have been nice). So Leslie was up on the roof a little to long and look what happened.  See you all soon Kory

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Hi Everyone,
Today was yet another busy day for all of us.  With lots to do on the addition, needing supplies, and other important business on the to-do list the team split up.  Some of us headed out to surrounding areas to get and take care of what was needed while the rest of us stayed back and kept busy on the addition.

Some of the projects today were sifting sand ( push-pull, push-pull... another shovel full please. )  we need the finely sifted sand for the finishing work on the block walls, a tedious job but very important.  Which brings us to the project of the finishing work on the block walls throughout the addition.  We removed two current windows and demolished 1 of 2 sections of wall for the entryways to the sleep rooms before we ran out of daylight.

Tomorrows another day and looking forward to it.  Thanks for all your prayers, keep 'em coming.

Love and miss you all.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


We worked on many tasks today; making our trench behind the new addition bigger, more sifting of sand, and painting chalk boards.  Me and Angela got to pick weeds in the childrens playground.  We also got to visit with Erline as she helped us pick weeds.  God also continues to bless us with rain as we need it...Thank you to everybody for your prayers. 
P.S. We still havent let Leslie off the roof yet
-Angie B.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The big tree

After being here in the Philipines 16 times, I've come to realize that
there are things that still amaze me here.
For instance, this big tree which i've seen many times,,.I look at it in awe every single time because it is hard to grasp the greatness of it. That's the way it should be with God, it's when we forget to look at Him like that; when we think we know what He's all about that we lose the fact that He is God.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Hi everyone,
Today P. Tim, Kory, and I started to wire the new rooms here at Shofar. While most of the group continued to carry water and sift sand for our workers to continue on the finish layer of concrete. When we removed the outside light fixture that we're going to use for power in the new rooms we found a bunch of small eggs. Some were hatched and some were not, not knowing for sure what they were we asked P. Lando. He said they were gecko eggs and that the unopened ones were still alive. He also said we could eat them to witch I responded go ahead, but he only laughed. The sifting of sand was a very hard and long process. First you build a sifter by attaching some screen to some long sticks and hang it from a tree limb or whatever is handy ( note we built two of them). Then you shift the screen back and forth to seperate the fine sand from the rocks. When all the sand is out you give it one last flip to get rid of the rocks and then someone dumps another shovel full on your screen and do it again and again and again and again and again. Well you get the picture as this was not the funnest job. Thanks much to our dedicated Philipino workers and our team for working so hard at this.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Hello Brothers and Sisters from half way around the world.  Friday came and went for us already, but we had fun and worked at the same time. 
We had some extra men to come here and do some finishing work on the outside cement walls.  The floor is poured and almost all the walls are up.  We were running short on sand for cement and God came through again right at 5pm, so saturday we can start with new sand.  Being able to communicate with our new friends over here is awesome.  The laughs, the smiles and the the shoulder shrugs are just priceless.  God has been giving us perfect weather, cool evenings, warm/hot days and He evens throws a little rain in there for our water supply.  Thank you for all those prayers over there.  well TA TA for now...Kory

Thursday, May 10, 2012


A thunderstorm was the first thing that we woke to.  It never really hit us but it left a double rainbow, violent yet subtle is gods promise of never flooding us again.  thank god..but we still need the rain. We went through 3 55 gallon drums worth of water mixing our cement today. The plan is that we will go through 6 drums of water tomorrow.  Our thanks to everyone back home praying, because the work continues and we had rain today, right after the roof went up.  Gods timing if you ask me!  The workers that we hired are letting down their guard around us and joking around a lot more.  Its really cool to be able to build these relationships with the native workers that we work with everyday.  Its funny how weve learned how to take the work that we can do to help these guys build our new addition.  we have been bagging sand and gravel and carrying it up so our friends can do the concrete mixing. So in all a good day...nate

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Is this in the right spot? No,over to the left!  Leslie!  Wednesday


Busy day for all. Tim n Sharon had more errands to run for us n them.  The guys still building, have pics. The ladies painted stairs, moved living room n dining room around and of course the usual-laundry, burning garbage, n making meals. Another steamy day on top of God's mountain at Shofar. Miss u guys but having a warm time. Until another day, Laura

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Tuesday. Another steamy day on the mountain. A couple of times you would have thought it was going to rain, but it held off until 4, so we (being the guys) got alot done on the addition. Now (the female version) Webster did some more wash, put a sealant coat on the cistern, burned more trash, made a few meals. Then for our evening entertainment we walked to the local store near the basketball court. I so wanted to play with them, but they all stopped and sat and watched us buy snacks. Nate struck up a conversation with a couple of local boys. They followed us home. Talking the whole way so fast you couldn't understand a thing.  He held off the rain until the end and Bryan was able to share some pictures  of what he does back home. Enjoy the day God gives, Laura

Monday, May 07, 2012


Today we did not leave the homefront, we did a lot of work at Shofar.  We painted and patched the water tank.  We had really tasty mac and cheese.  Almost ready to put the roof on.  The bug of the day is a 2 and a half inch cockroach.   God bless, Angie.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Climbing to new heights

Hey All...
As a first timer it's been amazing being here at Shofar and surrounding areas, seeing everything first hand & being able to meet and shake hands with the people we've heard so much about over the years.

The last two days have been quite eventful. Yesterday was an early morning with breakfast and devos., then it was off to Toledo to meet up with our brothers and sisters at F.I.C. and head for the ocean for a baptism. It was such a blessing for us to be apart of this with all of them. Evelyn introduced us all to a new dessert made with cassava root, it was tasty yet nothing like we've ever eaten before.

After the baptism it was back to Toledo for supplies and a quick bite to eat at Jollybees. The craving for fast food french fries was meet, while the temptation of ice cream floats on the banner across the street was left denied. Our trip back up the mountain was testing with the multi-cab in need of repair and the extra weight of all the supplies, it was a longer walk up the mountain from camp 7. There were many prayers for strength and endurence for us all during this time, and God was faithful and delivered. We all made it back to Shofar in one piece, Thanks God!

Today we attended our first service at F.I.C., it was a true blessing to be in fellowship, worship God, and hear God's word with our brothers and sisters on this side of the world. Tim was lead to give the first of a three part message on discipleship and Bryan gave his testimony.

Now we're back at Shofar and it's business as usual, lots to do with the construction and general up keep.

Thanks for all your prayers, love and miss you all.

Sent from my Samsung Captivate(tm) on AT&T

Friday, May 04, 2012


and lastly some of the childrens books that we brought.


we created a new fire ring at the top of the hill.


Home at Shofar safe and sound! It is really amazing coming back here 5 years later and seeing all of the progress. Now we are adding even more! So far we have spent our time opening the building back up and stocking it for the team to live in. We spent one whole day picking up food and supplies for building our new bunk rooms. We had dinner with Lando and Evelyn last night and it was great reuniting with our church family here again. Their son Nathan is six now, and I had fun running around with him as he gave me a tour of the Shofar playground. He is very eager to enroll in Shofar Learning Center and is begging to test in early as he is still a year away from meeting the age/grade requirements. Today was our first day "hitting it hard". We all started working early. The guys began working on on the building project and made great progress. They all worked from about 8am to 5pm and the sun was shining bright. I'm sure you will see photos of the progress. The girls hauled bunks upstairs, built a fire pit, put away our donated children's books, and did the first batch of hand-washed laundry...along with the normal cooking and cleaning. Everyone is healthy and seems to be really enjoying their time here so far. This is a really fun team to be working with. Keep praying...we've only just begun!!
 Until next time...Leslie