Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday

Today we got to worship God with our brothers and sisters here on the other side of the planet, and on opposite sides of the island.
We found Ben! He was preaching at a small church in the barangay of Sagay, close to Toldeo. Ben and Sasha and Jesse and I were able to visit this church. A few of the young adults that went to our camp last week were there, so it was neat to continue the connection with them. It was really a blessing to be a part of their church service.
The rest of the team headed to the opposite side of the island, to Jeff's church in Cebu city. It was a great blessing to see God's community across the world. Everyone said they almost felt like they were home because of the church's hospitality.
Thank you for your continued prayers, we really appreciate it. We are looking forward to school starting here tomorrow, and the rest of the week is filling up quickly with various ministry opportunities. God is truly great, we are learning a lot here as a team and individually too.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

How to Paint a Shed in the Philippines

Today the team did more work around Shofar to gear up for the beginning of the school year. It took some innovation, duct tape, and a stick, but we finally managed to paint every crevice of the tool shed with no casualties. We took a walk down the mountain and through a neighboring town to get a better view of the other side of the island. We could see Cebu City and we also found the Shire...but still no Ben. On our ascent up the mountain back to Shofar, we picked up some cold Cokes to bring back for lunch. Overall it was a nice day at home, but we're all excited to head to the city for church tomorrow. We're gearing up for a busy week of ministry and excited to see what God will do! Thanks for all your prayers.

Peace & blessings, ya'll.
XOXO

Friday, May 29, 2015

Chocolate cake and playgrounds

Hey from the Philippines! Today was one of the days where you work hard but the payout is amazing. We had some leftover rice after the camp last week (like 100lbs) so we bagged the rice up and went down to the dump in Lutopan and handed out the bags to those that are always down there. They seemed to enjoy getting the rice and were excited. We did some shopping in town and got some special chocolate cake for the team from Julie's. Back at the farm people painted and fixed parts of the playground.

One thing you learn when you come here is how short things last here because of the weather and certain things constantly needs fixing every year it seems! We are considering our ministry possibilities for the next two weeks and the days are starting to fill up with lots of cool things. Keep praying for us as we consider these things and also as we hit the half way point. The farmer's tans are starting to emerge and we are still looking for Ben.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Impromptu Landscaping or Time That Kills

Its true, up here at Shofar we have a friend, who always seems to be on time. Never to late, but right there when you need him.  The clock is about 13 inches round, and the monster behind probably thinks we don't see it, but we do. No foolin' us, he is definitely there. 

But really its back to school time here, back in the Midwest, the schools I imagine are wrapping it up. Not so here.  Come Monday, public and private(ie us.) get back in the swing.  So, what does that mean for us? We are doing everything we can to make this mission center shine, repaired, and put back in order to help any way we can.  Today Jesse and I went to Toledo to get some repairs done on our multicab and pick up some more supplies. Most everybody else kept busy with inventories, and cleaning, organizing (our tool shed looks awesome guys), to finish the day we all pitched in with some quick landscaping of the school grounds. Its just really awesome to be a part of this group and to see (like actually see) the work being done and completed.  Team one is about 1/3 over, still we have a lot to go, and I am excited to see how God will use us until the very end.  God is blessing us, and challenging us.  Go God, Go Jesus! 

P.S.
Its hard to think that school is starting on Monday. but it is.   Where did the summer go?...oh wait, I get it now...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Getting stuff done

Today was a day filled with many small projects around Shofar. We cleaned, painted, and drove to town for supplies. It was a good day back home to catch our breath after two full days of ministry in the city.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Inayowan Day Camps

The last two days we spent leading day camps with the Inayowan Pro.Vision kids.  While we were at camp, Tim and Sharon were running errands around Cebu and seeking new ministry opportunities. The kids at camp ranged from 9-14 years old and were from the landfill and the surrounding areas. Games (led by Lisa and Nate), Worship (led by Brittany, Chelsey, and Danielle), Groups Discussions, and more filled our two days.

Bonds were quickly formed, even though we were only with them for a few hours each day. The kids loved hanging out with us and teaching us some of their favorite games. We shared three bible stories with the kids, including the Good Samaritan, Parable of the Talents, and Jesus healing the Paralytic Man. Seeing God's love shine through and recognizing his love for all was definitely a humbling experience.

On Monday night, the team got a taste of a Philippines Classic, Pork Sisig. Over half of the team ate this and really enjoyed it over garlic rice and some cold Cokes.We continue to learn each other's quirk and have enjoyed our time together so far. Please continue to pray for our team's unity.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Day of Unexpected Events

Today was a day of unexpected events. The Morrisons, Lisa, and Abby left Shofar to teach at a youth group that contacted us just this morning. After arriving in Lutopan, plans were changed but the day was still a success. Lisa and Abby's first trip to Lutopan was full of potholes, purple eggplants, a funeral procession (Don't worry - we are all still alive, however we still haven't found Ben...), chickens, a multi-cab of empty water jugs, bananas, and mice and dogs walking down grocery aisles like they own the place. Sasha driving the multi-cab up the mountain was also a highlight of the day.


Back at home, the rest of the team worked super hard cleaning and preparing for our two day camps at the dump which begin tomorrow. Please pray that the children we will be teaching will be open to all that God has for them. We ended the day by standing at the very top of the mountain overlooking the beauty of God's creation.


Thanks for all of your prayers, everyone. We love and miss you. Hoping all is well back in the States!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

It's More Fun in the Philippines!

It's slowly sinking in that we're actually here...we've consumed more rice than we have our entire lives, goats are calling out for Ben, and Abby thinks everything that moves is a gecko that's out to get her. We cleaned after the campers left, which is way more fun in the Philippines! It included a high speed chase of a giant spider down the stairs (Pastor Tim led a memorial service for it) and the theme of the day was "I thought this was black...but it's not." Chelsey will be black for days. Our team is bonding and laughing together and at each other. Pray for continued unity and for God's direction for the rest of our trip.

We've Seen Jesus Revealed

No...we're not just jet-lagged - we've been busy running the Shofar Disciples camp for the past three days. Over 60 campers arrived at Shofar on Wednesday, eager to learn more about Jesus. It was great to meet everyone and get to know our brothers and sisters on the other side of the planet. God definitely united us as teams over the weekend and everyone learned how Jesus is our Underdog, Revolutionary, Hero, and Headliner. When we weren't doing sessions, we were having fun with Team Olympics, a Talent Night (where Nate performed a stunning narration of the Bible in Cebuano and Ben was hunted by natives...we still haven't found him) and a true American dinner of hotdogs and marshmallows roasted over a campfire. It was sad to say goodbye to all the campers, but lots of photos were taken to remember our time together. Thanks for praying for us...please pray that the campers will go home changed and ready to live out what they learned this weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's Like Montana, But With Palm Trees..

Well, we finally arrived at Shofar this afternoon.. On the drive up to Shofar, we crammed into the back of the Jeepney and took in the sites, sounds, smells, and humidity. We stopped for bakery before turning to go up the Naga road. The mountains and beautiful scenery inspired what was easily the quote of the day: "It's like Montana, but with palm trees.."

We hit the ground running to get things ready for the Youth Camp, which begins tomorrow. We have 65+ youth's from the surrounding area coming. Please pray for them as well as for us as we try to make this a deeply impactful weekend for the campers.

Ps: An explanation for the photo..  Nate almost didn't make it through the Japan airport -  but was finally able to bribe security to let him through after a short acoustic set consisting mostly of his earlier music. (no hits, deep tracks only..)