Saturday, June 30, 2012


And indeed it is.  We've been busy cleaning, packing, inventory-ing, and tying up loose ends around Shofar.  Susie, with a little help from Nate, put the Multi-cab into storage until next year.  The girls worked around the house, deep cleaning the kitchen and organizing.  There was a minor incident where Lori got a little too excited about the gecko behind the fridge, but she made it through :)  We had our last "official" Shofar meal, so we went all-out and made Lumpia with garlic rice.  It was a good end to the day.  It's hard to believe we leave so soon, but I'm excited to see everyone back home.  Catch you on the flip side...

Friday, June 29, 2012


Today was a lot of fun hanging with the kids on there field trip. seeing there faces as we meet before the trip brought back memories of when i was a kid. I will really miss these kids. So on the trip we went to see how they make guitars in the morning.(fun) Then it was off to a play ground for lunch. (more fun) Finally we went to a museum. I know it doesn't sound like fun, but it was. (loads of fun) with all we did on the field trip i was not as mindful of the fact we have only two days left. Pray we close this place down well. Thanks, miss you all and see you soon. matt

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today was another day full of final projects, closing tasks and school.  This morning Susie and Nate headed to Toledo and had the multi cab looked over while Matt finished moving and items into the shed with the caretaker.  Annie, Leslie and Faye continued working on inventory and closing tasks. Lori taught collage art today.  This morning Leslie and Evelyn made Rice Crispy Treats for the students as a going away present.  It has been really neat to be here interacting with the students and teachers it is awesome that He has given me the opportunity to be here working with the students, teachers and everyone I am on this trip with.  Tomorrow Matt, Lori and I will be heading out for the day with the students for a field trip. 
-Laura Hartung

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The final days are upon us. 
1. School : Laura and Suzi covered finding unconventional instruments for music class today. Looks like it was a good time for all. Tomorrow and Friday we have more fun activities planned. It will be difficult to not be with the students next week.
2. Shed: The shed is! It has shelves and everything! We were able to move supplies in today!
3. Finishing touches: There is a lot to be done as we begin closing Shofar for the season. Pray that what we do now will be a blessing for the next team.
We appreciate and miss you. See you next week, Lori.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


We are in our last week! It has been a phenomenal ride working on projects, working with the school, trouble shooting problems, doing outreaches, and discussing future opportunities with cable TV stations. We are almost done with the shed. Electricity has been run, shelves have been installed, and we are deciding which items to move to the shed for our caretakers use. Another interesting problem resolved is that we found out by accident that our ground wire was actually carrying 110V of electricity. (Note that normal voltage here is 220v but the ground wire is not insulated and should not carry any voltage). This also explains why the florescent light in the school glowed for a while after turning them off. We had Cebeco power company up here and they determined that the ground was rusted off and crossing another wire below our transformer. They fixed it and now the lights no longer glow after turning them off. These are the types of problems and victories we are having. We really appreciate your prayers every day. Thank you for being our prayer partners. We couldn't do it without you... we also rejoice in the victories that prayer has resulted in... well... time to go and get to work... We look forward to seeing u all soon.


Sunday, June 24, 2012


Hey friends! Our last week at Shofar has arrived quickly. I am looking forward to seeing my friends at home again, but I am also trying to suck in everything I can here in the Philippines. I am suddenly realizing that a lot of the things we are doing will be the last time we will do them on this trip and I want to appreciate every moment until we leave. Today we attended church at FIC and got to spend some extra time with them today. Nate has gotten the opportunity to sponsor a new student at Shofar Learning this year, and we have really grown close to him. It is amazing that we get to continue these relationships even after our return through this sponsor program. We are finished visiting the two youth groups outside of FIC now. Please pray that there would be fruit that would remain from our work there. We are now in the begining stages of closing up Shofar for the year. It is quite a process, but well worth it. This has been an amazing trip and God has been very present through it all. Today was the 6 year anniversary of the dedication of Shofar so we had to get a picture together by the plaque out front. Wow. This place has come a long way! Well, this will be my last blog post for the see you on the other side.
P.S. It's raining for the first time on team 3 right now!!!

Love you guys--Leslie

Saturday, June 23, 2012


If it wasn't for the women on this trip we just wouldn't be able to get all of the shopping done that us men just need to do.  Of course it isnt true, but it did help today.  Today was a day of projects... you know when its about to say goodbye and you have to pack up everything and lug it home with you? Well we've got a whole mission center to pack up!  And man, finishing up all of our projects around here can be pretty intense.  Like pushing rock around on our brand new driveway!  No, that wasn't the only thing going through our heads, I think thoughts of closing up Shofar this next week is more of a precedance.  Plus, keeping our schedule of ministry going.  So, today we spent the day working on the projects that needed to get done around here, for instance, the ladies working on the driveway, painting, general cleaning, finishing the framework of the new storage shed, prepping the new addition to be boarded up, and some small electrical projects around here.  Yeah, we've got our hands full, but I don't think any of us would ask for it any other way. We learn from our mistakes, the challenges are tough, its hot, there hasn't been any rain... but God always seems to come through, no matter what we're doing. Its wierd but good that its that way cuz he always keeps us on our toes. And anything can change in a moment, for good or bad...but to Him...its always good.


Its true.

Friday, June 22, 2012

3, 2, 1...BLAST OFF!!!

Today was the grand finale of the Discovery Science classes. Leslie and Lori taught the kids how to make homemade rockets blast off with baking soda and vinegar. This was exciting for the kids. One rocket shot Leslie in the chest with a vinegary explosion. No worries. She was okay, just stinky.
Work continued to be done on the shed by the cistern. A couple of the gals on the team did some painting. We got just a brief rain shower so please keep praying for rain. It is very dry here. Thanks for all of your prayers. God is good.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Hard to believe that team 3 is already past the halfway point! We kept busy around Shofar today, with the whole team working hard on various projects. Some of us spent time touching up the interior of Shofar, while Matt and the caretaker continued work on the shed. Leslie and I got to introduce Kahn Academy to the students during their computer discovery class. It is a web program with videos and practice problems that makes learning math concepts fun, which they all got a kick out of. We had to actually make the 6 and 7 grade students leave the computers to go eat lunch! It was good to see the bunch of you on the skype call today, thank you for all of your prayers! -Susie

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Hi everyone!  It was a fun, hot, and busy day over in Balamban.  We got to visit the ATD station headquarters where Shofar TV is broadcasted from in the Philippines.  We also met the owner of ATD, Antonio Dy, and Jason worked closely with the station operator, Joey Laure, on some of the new programming.  There is now Bible teaching from various pastors, children's programming, concerts, apologetics, science, history, etc. all broadcasted on Shofar TV. The team then split up into groups and hung up posters all around Balamban to get the word out about Channel 38.  It's exciting to see the TV station expanding and growing as a ministry here.  Back at Shofar it has been very hot and dry, please pray for rain.. or just send us all of yours!  --Annie


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Today was another day full of projects and teaching.  To start the morning off I led devotions with the students.  Leslie and Nate went to Cebu to renew visas and pick up supplies on the way home.  Annie and Lori spent the morning leveling off the left over rock in the driveway.  Matt continued working on the shed wth the caretaker while Susie and I assisted Faye with Music Class.  Faye's lesson was about the ten types of music then Susie and Faye taught the Creation song that Faye wrote.  Next time we have music class Susie will continue teaching the song this time adding sign language. 

-Laura Hartung

Monday, June 18, 2012


Hot day here at Shofar. We all worked on a number of projects today. Jason
and I went on a lumber run towards Lutopan. this was a day when you learn
the term " out of stocks" very well. After searching every place in the
area we hit gold and bought enough plywood to cover our tool shed project.
Nate and Lori taught Phy.Ed. today,.teaching the infamous dance off lesson.
Nate made a music mix and had the kids make a dance routine out of it.
While each class only had to do it once, nate and lori got to do the
routine 4 times in the blistering sun. I think they are both a few pounds
lighter after today! The other girls worked hard as well, hauling rock to
fill in the space by the new edition. Matt worked on the shed with the
caretaker and watched over some electrical work. Once again I can say this
is an awesome team to work with and I am so grateful to have seen
everything God has done and is doing with each team's work.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Today was the new team 3's first day to church. The kids sang special for father's day and Jason shared his testimony. We got a great dose on Cebuano with Lando's teaching and got to practice with the youth group afterward. It was great seeing some of the kids from school in a different environment. The team broke for some much needed shopping, getting ready for the week ahead. Tomorrow we're gearing up for work around Shofar and more school lessons. We may get to see Matt breakdance....
Until next time, Lori

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Hey guys so today we spent most of the day painting Shofar as you can see. What you can't see i can't tell you (joke ra) =]. So there was a big storm that was coming our way that turned north, but i hope we still get some rain out of the deal. Well I'm not a writer (I'm a artist remember) so this is all you get. see everyone on the flip side. matt

Friday, June 15, 2012


The wind is a blowin today, but this school makes it worth it.  Everybody who watches the news here knows that a storm is comin. Weve got a tropical storm coming right towards us.  We need the rain, thats for sure.  But today for the kids, they went through devotions and classes and recess and lunch just like any other day. For me though there is always something new to be learned or seen. I haven't had a chance to see their devotions yet til today, and wow, what a blessing.  I just hope things arent lost in translation, which for the most part i dont think it is, I think they get the gist.  I just cant believe that we as church have done this sometimes.  and the amount of lives that we are affecting is enormous. Any of us only get to see little bits at a time, but what we are doing is huge!  ok enough ranting...its not all fun and games, these kids learn, like today they learned all about how eggs can be fun and the scientific method. That was Leslie and Annies science class. so in all a pretty cool friday.  oh and the tropical storms name is  Batchoy, junrey tells me that it is a type of noodle soup that is a mix of flavors...he thought it was pretty funny.  I can definitely see that from how windy it is already.  have fun out there...nate

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Today we checked the water level in the cistern, hauled water, put sealant on the new addition, transferred sand to the playground, worked on the pathway, played volleyball at recess, washed camp dishes, did laundry, ate oatmeal, ate ramen, ate tomato pasta soup, taught the kids about the climate and did a scavenger hunt where they found animals, plants, trees, and insects around Shofar, chatted with Lando and Evelyn, burned garbage, planned tomorrow's activities, ate some goop balls, and did a few other things. I enjoyed having nescafe today and having God direct my day as I was cooking, talking with the other team members and Evelyn, and observing Discovery class. Thanks for prayin'!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Well, Team 3 made it up the mountain and to Shofar safe and sound.  We're all excited for the next few weeks and what God will continue to do here!




Tuesday, June 12, 2012


We are getting ready for our day in Manila. Found shelter for the rain.  Broke out our ponchos.  Getting ready for our flight to Cebu. Faye's excited to see Mr Donut.  We are excited!

-LLs (Lori and Laura)


I am not planning this I swear!  it just happens to fall to me to write when we are "in between" teams.  So far, for Leslie and myself, we are 2/3rds done.  I think the challenging part will be this last trip(team), as my thoughts of how everyone back home is doing and what they are up to are running through my head.  As I write this both teams are in the air.  Jason and his crew was delayed an hour and a half in Japan, while the first team had probably landed and took off from Japan only 6 hours earlier.  As we wait, its been a quiet day up on the mountain as it is Philippine Independance Day, so the children had off of school to celebrate.   We did some early morning shopping, and then it was an afternoon of projects around the place to get ready.  We did things that can be kind of difficult with school in session and got ready for the new team arriving. But, once again the chance to build the relationships with who we get to is always amazing.  Some of us cooked and made food that we brought over to our new caretaker. He came up to me during the day for some help on a project over at his new place, And so he decided to help me with hanging our door closers on the C.Rs outside.  I was also lucky to hang out with Pastor Lando, Caretaker Jason and a little guy named Andrane...we all were invited over to Jasons for in all, a good day ...oh and praying for our new caretaker.  He's a great guy that I think all of the future teams coming over would love to have as a caretaker.

Monday, June 11, 2012

NIGHT SHOVELING (the best kind)


AND THEN THERE WERE 5 (for a day or so)

Hey y'all,
So we said goodbye to most of team 2 today. We had an awesome trip with them and they should be in Manila right now. Much of the comic relief left with that crew, but now someone else will have to pick on Susie! We continue what team 1 and 2 began. Today Matt, Nate, and Annie taught the first round of Phy. Ed. classes. We teach 4 classes running from 8:45am to 4pm with some breaks in between. Today's subject?? Hackysack. Matt came up with this lesson of course and it was a hit. Simple, yet entertaining. It was very sunny today and Annie got a "bandana burn" on her now the top of her forehead is white and the rest beet red. Susie and I did cleaning, cooking, and laundry part of the day. I also started preparing for my "egg themed" science lesson on friday (more to come). We also dug up some very thorny flower plants near the cistern and replanted them by the playground to make room for a future tool shed. We ended the evening shoveling sand for others to pick up tomorrow morning. It was a great day overall and is such a joy having the kids around for school. It seems such a natural part of Shofar now, I can't imagine what it would be without it. Keep on praying guys!! 3rd team needs all of your support...
You are the best church family in the world!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Today was our last Sunday here in the Philippines.  We reached a milestone at Shofar this morning- Nate did dishes for the first time (Joke ra). 
This morning at church at Freedom in Christ, we were able to see a child dedication, hear Matt give his testimony, listen to Tim preach, and eat Evelyn's famous lumpia and mongo beans!
The afternoon was much like the last two Sunday afternoons, with the team splitting up to go to 3 different youth groups (Lutopan, Media Once, and somewhere near Toledo).  Erik, Susie and I stayed at Freedom in Christ and we talked about where to start reading the Bible, which is part of our devotions curriculum. 
The evening was filled with Lechon Manok, Coke, and a cool lightening show all around us. 

See you in a few,


Saturday, June 09, 2012


So today was team two's last full day at Shofar.  We spent the day finishing up projects and getting things done before we leave on Monday.  There was some plumbing projects, some last minute painting, a new camera mounted in the school, and preparation for our last Sunday in the Philippines.  We finished the day by taking a short walk to enjoy the scenery around Shofar. Tomorrow we will have church at Freedom in Christ and for team two our last day with the youth groups. It is hard to believe that our three weeks here is almost up.  It will be hard to say goodbye to our friends at Freedom in Christ but we are also looking forward to seeing everyone at home. 

See you soon, Erik

Friday, June 08, 2012


I've never seen a more beautiful day here; the kind you had as a kid growing up. It was hot, but that did not stop the kids at school from playing badmitton during the breaks in front of the rolley polley white clouds. This morning, Andy had devos with the students and observed how the classroom styles are different from his school. For lunch we had PB&J. To a Filippino that is only snack. If you served rice with that, then it would be considered a meal. Anne, Leslie and Nate had a Discover Science class about avalanches. They had a good time with the different age classes. Lastly we finished up some of the jobs around Shofar and took a walk to say hello to teacher Grace at Upper Camp 8. It was good to see how their school has changed since we were last there - ie. electricity, they have added teachers and have more students. Half of us are thinking about travels home while the other half are pushing forward, expectantly waiting for the last team to arrive. I will see you all soon in America... Laura

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Today was a school day so some from the team worked with the kids well other worked on stuff for the school. Its great to see the kids enjoy school. The only school i enjoyed was gym class so it will be a lot of fun to be in gym class with them. i cant wait. As allways there was work to be done on Shofar as well. This place is hard on thing so there is always something to fix so it seams. oh ya by the way i got a visa waver so i get to stay for three more week. thanks for all the prayers, see you soon team three see you later church family. Matt

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


It is official, the new school year at Shofar Learning Center has begun! The team worked hard last week finishing up all of the projects and preperations to get the school physically ready for the students, and bright and early Monday morning they were here and ready for the first day of class. Every morning the school day starts with group devotions ( just like school back home, err maybe not...) Erik led devotions today from the first chapter of the gospel of John and walked the class through some basic comprehension and application questions. Then the students broke up into their groups to work on math, science, Filipino history and the most important subject of them all Art! I was blessed to be able to teach a drawing class today for the different grade levels. God blows me away sometimes. Never did I think while taking art education classes at Stout that I would one day be able to use those skills for his kingdom in a missions school on the other side of the world. He is indeed awesome in all of his ways. Tomorrow Erik and Susie will begin teaching computer classes, with science, music and Phy. Ed. soon to follow. Thank you everyone who donated books for the library, the students have been very excited to see the shelves full of new materials.

It has been a really fun experience having the students here; getting to know their names and hear stories and just seeing the school in opperation. Please continue to pray that the kids would not only get a top of the line education, but that they would be affected by God from this young age in a way that would change them for the rest of their lives.

See you all soon, Andy

Tuesday, June 05, 2012




 Lately we've had a new friend around Shofar and there's been some dispute over his name, but we've reached a somewhat tentative agreement as follows: Alfredo Dufresne (du-fray-n) Demon-toes. This little guy is super scrawny but because of us has now been fed a steady diet of chicken bones and coconuts. Besides him, there's an abundance of wildlife here, including the larger-than-life bugs and plenty of geckos (there's currently two large ones now residing in the outside CRs). I actually mistook a butterfly for a bird and then a bird for a butterfly, quite confusing. 


The team got the chance to ride over to the other side of the island in the Jeepney to Toledo. We went supplies shopping and also got the Jeepney repaired. In between we ate at Jessica's Fried Chicken and it defintely lived up to its reputation. In Annie's words, "So much better than KFC."


School started at Shofar! There are 41 kids enrolled. It's just awesome to see them in their school uniforms with their Shofar learning patch sewed on. I'm looking forward to interacting more with them in the next several days with the lessons we have planned for them, and I know the rest of the team is too.


Thank you for your prayers guys... :)



Sunday, June 03, 2012


Hi all!  We had a busy Sunday here on Cebu.  We went to church at Freedom in Christ, where Erik gave his testimony and Tim preached on hearing the voice of God.  Some of the boys climbed up a coconut tree and we got a little treat before we left -- young coconut.  The guys got a little carried away with "chugging" the coconut water...


After that, we split up into teams of three and headed out to the youth groups to continue our series on personal devotions.  Our focus this week was how to actually do a devotion and the practical steps involved.  We had a group at FIC, Media Once, and one at a new location in Minggit near the ocean.  It's great to see the youth coming each week and tuning into the teaching.  I'm reminded each day of how great God is and what a blessing it is to be serving Him in such a cool place.  Praying for you all back home...