Saturday, June 28, 2014


We have been busy in the library sorting and categorizing the books to ease finding a specific subject.

Team 2 also spent time packing to get ready to venture home.

We were able to take a walk and check out the mine, it was way cool. 

We will miss being here but are also looking forward to coming home.

Thanks for all your prayers and welcome Team Pederstruen!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Today was an emotional day for us. We are anxious to return home, but sad to leave the kids at Shofar. We said our goodbyes and received letters that the kids wrote us, which made it even harder to leave them. We have been truly blessed to teach such a wonderful group of kids.

Earlier in the day Teresa and Sara taught the kids about proper dental hygiene and distributed toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss for all of the kids, which they were very thankful for. Annie taught on mixtures and solutions, the guys continued to work on the fence, and  Laura found an interesting creature while doing laundry.

Thanks for all your prayers. The short term team is looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Today marks the 18th day of our trip. We are nearing the end now. There have been a ton of amazing things and still more to come. We had another busy workday.The rain held off enough for the Dodsons to make it back to Shofar safely and almost dry.

Other projects included continued work on the fence, the usual cleaning and cooking, and a supply run to Lutopan. Laura got to put her art teaching skills to action in another country and the Clines and Susie taught an exciting music class with Jeff conducting a talented recorder band playing the Hot Cross Buns concerto. God continues to use these tasks to teach us and mold us more into the people and team that He desires us to be.  

We have also lived together long enough to start dressing alike.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


It's midweek, and we're back into the routine (if there really is such a thing as "routine" here). We're assisting with school classes, hand washing our laundry, and working on the fence project. Our third English class for the local community is being held one floor above me as I write this. The Dodson's are stranded in the city because of torrential rains (which is almost becoming routine itself), and we're all winding down after a long day of rewarding work.

God is with us here, and we know it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Maayong Gabi'i... or Maayong Buntag, depending on when you're reading this! We're on the home stretch for Team 2, and we are continuing to follow God's lead on all of the projects He's directing around here. Today we went down to Toledo City near the coast to do some shopping for groceries and other odds and ends for Shofar. It was a HOT day, and I think it was the first day it didn't rain at all. The Filipinos say that July is the drought month, so the rain has actually been a big blessing for the long term team who will be staying through the summer. 

School has been going well, we are entering our last week of teaching MAPE classes (Music, Art, Phy. Ed). We are continuing to work on the fence: cutting, welding, painting... only a few minor injuries were sustained (is that blood or rust-resistant paint?... we're never too sure with Susie). Thanks for praying and reading the blog; you can pray specifically for us to finish well and listen to God's direction on how to do that. He is good, and we are blessed. That's all for now!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Today was nothing short of amazing. We rose from peaceful sleep a little early and spent the day at the landfill. We attended a church service delivered by  a German pastor and translated in Cebuano. We then ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and prepared for our afternoon assignments.
In the afternoon the children who live in the cemetery and the children that live at pier 4 were bussed to the landfill for an afternoon filled with a lot of love and a lot of God.  Teresa and Chelsey presented the children with the parable of the Sower. They loved it. Before the children left  all 100 or so were given a 2 kilo bag of rice for their family to help them make it through the week. I believe that God has humbled all of us today.
We want to thank  from the bottom of our heats all of you back home who are praying for us. Your prayers are felt and welcomed.
God is good all the time.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Today was a good day for working on projects around Shofar.  More progress was made on the fence, laundry was done, and a run to town was made.  Three of us walked the hill on the way back from town and as Tim says:  Good job God....the view was awesome.  Thanks for praying for us. 

Friday, June 20, 2014


We've had bumps along the way but we continue to press on to work and to minister, and most of all we are a team and we look out for each other and help each other. We hope that people see that we are Christians by our love for each other.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Welding with Sandals? We are not in America anymore!

We woke up early this morning and headed to Minglanilla and went to Southern Bethany Christian School and we were able to show the film MOST which is a parable that illustrates what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago in a modern story format.  Then we split into two groups and discussed the film.  It was a lot of fun to talk with 260 students about the price Christ paid to save us and even though they live in the Philippines and we live in America we worship the same God!

We were back at Shofar by 10:30 am everybody got busy, some went up to the school, some worked on projects inside and outside.

A couple of us were able to ride with the students after school on their bus route home.

It was another amazing day in the Philippines, God is good all the time.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Wednesday was a very eventful day. Some of the group started to build a fence by the students recreational area, others worked in the school, and a few of us drove down to Cebu. The first English class was also held in the evening for people in the community. We had 20 people attend! We were all very excited to meet more people in the community.

On Tuesday the students received their letters. They were all so excited to get the letters and see pictures of their sponsors. One girl started that this was a "once in a lifetime" experience. Justin was able to ride the school bus home with them and see how excited they were as they exchanged pictures and letters.

Thanks for all of your prayers!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Today was another busy day at the school. Justin and Sara taught an art class. Some of us were able to read with students during the kids library time. We went down to Lutopan to order the supplies needed to start building a fence around Shofar. The end of the school day was a lot of fun. We got to talk with and play volleyball with the kids waiting to get onto the bus. Jesse drew a crowd when he decided to be the dumb American and retrieve the the ball that went down the mountain (a task best left to the kids) God has continued to teach us and show us how amazing and completely in control of everything He is.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Today was a day of "firsts." Jeff, Tim, Justin and Jesse drove to Tabanok for their first trip to what Jeff has dubbed "Filipino Menards" to buy tools for the upcoming fence project. Justin took his first ride in a long time on a school bus after school with the Shofar students. Chelsey, Susie and Teresa taught their first lesson with the Boomwhackers, and Laura H. sat in on her first Rosetta Stone English lesson. Annie got to play a game called concentration with the kids for the first time. Laura S. filled in for a teacher at Shofar and taught Filipino History for the first time. Sara T. had her first opportunity to help facilitate library time in the school and read books with the kids, and, thanks to Sharon's cooking skills, we all got to eat our first meal of homemade fettuccine alfredo for dinner. Thanks for all your prayers! (Well, you guys and the mantis...)

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Sunday means church.
We made plans to go to church in Lutopan, but some things came up, so we decided not to go. Instead, we figured we should go to church in Cebu and take care of some things while we were in the city, but things fell apart and we weren't able to go. So instead, we decided to go to church down the hill in Manipis, but some stuff started happening, and we couldn't make it there on time. So instead, we just stayed home.

The mission field is unpredictable... one day you're running around like headless chickens, and the next day you're sitting around like chicken less heads.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


We spent our Saturday at Shofar working on little projects here and there. In the morning, before the HEAT of the day, Laura S., Chelsey, and Jesse walked down to Loay (a little village down the road from Shofar) to spread the word and hand out posters for the English classes we will be offering on Wednesday nights. They met some new friends and had a couple people sign up on the spot! Back at the ranch, the rest of us kept busy with cleaning, studying, and painting. 

And did I mention painting? We gave the newer addition rooms a fresh coat of white paint to brighten up the place (we may have painted a few ants into the walls, but who really knows...). Susie has a new contender for more-paint-on-body-than-walls. Chelsey got a little too excited about painting with the roller and is now even whiter than before! It was a really great day for getting stuff done, but also for building up unity as a team. Nothing brings you together like bumping shoulders as you work alongside your brothers and sisters. Keep praying, God is doing some very great things here, and we are learning a lot as a team about waiting on the Lord and following His lead.

Friday, June 13, 2014


It was nice to have the sound of the Shofar students laughter and learning in the background of our day today. A few of us were able to spend time with the kids during recess and computer time. We also taught our first lessons at school. We planted seeds with them that they can watch grow over the next several weeks, and we also did some fun science experiments like lighting tea bags on fire to see if hot air is heavier or lighter than cold air. The kids are so great to be around, full of smiles and laughter and an eagerness to learn.

Other than school, we were busy with other projects around Shofar. Cleaning and inventorying of supplies and such. It was a good day for organizing and planning out what we will be doing in the school the next couple of weeks. We are also setting up an English class for adults that has sparked a lot of interest.

This evening we entertained ourselves with an impromptu boomwhacker circle (think drum circle but with different pitched plastic tubes). The torrential downpour made the event even better. Then we combined boomwhackers and recorders and serenaded ourselves with "Hot Cross Buns". . .

We really appreciate your prayers through this trip. Especially that we are sensitive to whatever God wants us to do here. He is doing great things, it is an absolute blessing to be here to see it all first hand.

Hope all is well back home. . .

Thursday, June 12, 2014


  Today was interesting to say the least. It just happened to be Independence day in the Philippines. Jesse independently blew up tire number 5 with a bicycle tire pump. Jonah C always say's man who run in front of car get tired man who run in back of car gets exhausted.
  We are all doing well and are looking forward to getting started on school projects tomorrow (Fri.). God is teaching all of us about patience. Morning devotions led us to a story about scaffolding. We need to put up the scaffolding to fix our spiritual walls that are in need of repair. Remove all the old junk and rebuild.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Team two made it safe and sound to Shofar after staying in Cebu last night.  We spent part of the day unpacking, walking around Shofar, and making a plan for the rest of the week.  What an awesome trip up the mountain again this time...thanks for your continued prayers!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In between

Team one is safely back in the US and team two is almost here. we took advantage of the rare opportunity of having an empty jeepney in Cebu and filled it with many items that we needed back at Shofar. Thank you team one for all your hard work, laughs, and awesome experiences. We're now looking forward to see all that God has planned for the time that we have together with team two. Thank you for all your prayers!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Team 1 Homeward Bound

Hello all. We had quite a day today! We started out by going to Crossroads church in Cebu City and enjoying a worship filled service with them. A band from Texas was visiting today called Summit and a pastor was with them and he did the sermon. After that, we dropped our bags off at a hotel and visited a couple of malls in Cebu City. For dinner we went to a local restaurant and then had a nice cup of coffee before setting off for the airport. Please pray for safe travels home, see you all soon!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Ice Cream and June Bugs

After many weeks of buzzing around the island from city to city it was really nice to spend some of our last hours here working on projects around Shofar.  We cleaned out and organized the office, made some informative how-to videos, walked down the mountain to hand out posters, started packing, and cleaned up before team 2 arrives.  We also completed the installation of a brand new ceiling fan above the dining table. It works very well...maybe a little too well.  The draft blows your seasoning onto your lap so you have to aim the garlic powder just right for it to make it onto your food--a small price to pay for a nice evening breeze.  We ended the night with homemade coconut milk-banana milkshakes, alternating our sips with swatting the june bugs off our backs as we sat on the porch one last time.  Thanks again for all your support and prayers.  We'll be back real soon. 

Friday, June 06, 2014

Hanging Out At The House

Hello everyone, today was a good day, we all had different projects to work on around the house including fixing and breaking a variety of things.  I'm pretty sure we fixed more than we broke.  We did a bunch of cleaning around Shofar, things never seem to stay clean very long here.  There was some painting, some tech guys stuff, and some organizing.  It was really exciting to have a little bit of interaction with the students today.  We were able go in 2 or 3 at a time and sit in for some of the classes.  It was a cool opportunity to see how things are done here at the school.  We had a guest here for lunch and had tocino, which is absolutely amazing.  Its basically pork with a  special blend of seasons.  Filipinos apparently marinate and cook in the sun for 3 days but a half day in the fridge and cooked very well on the stove is more stomach friendly.  We also had a lighting storm pass through us today, we were literally in the storm cloud.  I think someone got some cool videos of it.  Its hard to believe  that we will be home in 3 days.  It will be hard to leave this place but I know it will be great to see everyone at home.  Please pray that we finish well and see you soon.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Wait... We Have HOW Many Days Left??!!?

Heyooooo... so we're coming home soon. It does NOT feel like it. We still have so much to do! Today we got to visit the landfill where "The Jesus Fellowship" ministry is. Nancy, the wonderful woman who took over as the facility head last year was AMAZING. So full of gentleness and sincerity.

We were only there a total of 5 hours but it seemed like we'd spent all week there. We were able to do assemble and paint cabinets for the school, sort all of the books for the school and completely relocate the
entire clinic! How does that happen in one day?!

See you sooner than you think. :-D

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Holy Toledo

We were in Toledo today, and were able to experience a lot. Mobs of people, hobble hobble transport, grocery shopping, some Jeepnee Maintenance, getting so me overdue legal papers, and Jessica's Chicken. With hopeful hearts and expectations that had been swelled after many a reference to the mouth watering chicken, we were not disappointed. The warm meat pealed off the bone with an impeccable balance of crisp breading coating the once living and dirty animal. Throughout the entire day we were amazed to experience and learn a bit more about the culture, and dive into their world. It has been amazing to see the way God's creation lives across the globe. It is wonderful to see a little more of what God has made and thus, a little more of who He is. 

We love you, and will be sad to leave, but glad to be reunited with you all in the next week. Thank you for the prayers!

Follow Your Nose to the Market

Hello friends and family...

Today we were in Toledo City and were able to visit the local market! We perused up and down isles of clothing, rice, school supplies and heaps and heaps of dried fish (which is easy to find...just follow your nose). Some of us got to practice bartering and what its like to shop like a Filipino. We also were able to buy our staple of rice, the food of champions. It was really amazing to experience and to spend time in the colorful city of Toledo on the coast!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers...we will be seeing you SOON!

With lots and lots and lots of love,


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Adventures on the Mountain

Maayong buntag from the other side of the world!

Yesterday, school started up again at Shofar, and it was nice to see
students on the grounds, excited for school to start for the day. And I
must add that they look super adorable in their uniforms!

Besides being able to see the kids, we took our first long walk up the
mountain from the Camp 7 bus stop, and we also went into the more rural
areas of the mountain to hand out posters for an English speaking class
that will be offered at Shofar starting later in June to people who lived
in those areas. It was such a blessing to meet those we handed posters to,
despite the language barrier. After all the hiking, we sat down for some
refreshing Coke...with ice, which pleased a certain individual on our trip
very much (i.e. Sacia) ;)

Later y'all!


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Coconuts and other comments

There is absolutely nothing quite like waking up on a Sunday morning, piling into the back of a Jeepney, zooming down the local roads and landing in church surrounded by people just like us...goofy folks who the Lord has changed and used for His glory. Neatness... Today a few of us also shared our stories about how God found and rescued us and afterwards Pastor Tom gave a message from Psalms. Pastor Lando and Evelyn were ever the gracious hosts and treated us to the best meal this side of the Pacific consisting of rice, chicken, lumpia to die for and biko (sweet rice). And for second dessert some of the church guys chopped up some coconut and we all attempted to drink the juice without dribbling down our fronts but that is definitely an art form to be acquired. Next we split ways and some of us stayed back at church to discuss in small groups the video we watched last week about courage and taking a stand for Christ. This was followed up by a giant game of Mafia which concluded with Kelsey B being renamed to Shady K for reasons we're still not quite sure of. Some of us also got to go on the outreach to a village way out yonder. We taught about God's promise and sang songs with about 70-80 kids that attend the outreach weekly. Thanks for all of your prayers! God is moving here!

Church from the pulpit perspective

Hey friends. We love you all so much. God is good. The concert was a blast. Everybody worked hard and it was good. The bands were top notch and strong believers. The guy who spoke was really good. He preached it hardcore! Then we got home just in time for ramen on the porch and good laughs. "I didn't have to use my AK... I have to say it was a good day"