Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week Four

Hey everyone! Tomorrow marks one month since we've been here. How did that happen?

On Sunday morning, we ventured out to Talisay to join Pastor BJ's church service. We got there way too early, but we were greeted by a sweet older woman who barely spoke any English. It was a great opportunity to put our Cebuano skills to work. Needless to say, we could use some more practice.The entire service was also in Cebuano, but we were still able to follow along and understand the main point of the message: responding to God's love. We also go to share our testimonies, which was cool, because a lot of people in the church are high school students and young professionals.

Yesterday, we met up with one of our WOTS writers and handed out the new issue outside of a university. It started to rain, but that didn't stop us. In fact, it allowed us to talk to a few students that were sitting at a bakery to wait for the rain to pass. It was really neat to see students open up the magazines and start reading it. Please keep praying for the distribution of this issue! We plan to visit a few more universities over the next couple weeks.

After handing out the magazines, we went to our Tuesday night B.S. The rain kept a lot of people from going out (sort of like when it snows in WI), but one of our WOTS writers joined us for the evening. The day before, both of us watched the first session of the Kindred retreat material and realized it tied in perfectly to what we talked about last Tuesday at the study. So we brought the video along and thought we'd intro the study with it, but since it was only the three of us, we ended up focusing on that for the night. It was a really good discussion and very timely for all of us. Please pray for the young lady who was there last night - she's currently looking for a job and trying to find what God's purpose is for where she is now.

Thanks for praying for us. We're praying for you guys, too. Love and miss you all!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Garden

"What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building." 1 Coritnthians 3:5-9

Today, as I dug my hands into the soil and carefully placed each vegetable seed in it's spot, God reminded me that ministry is much like gardening. First off, it's messy. You gotta get your hands dirty. The soil gets everywhere - the ground, the table, under your fingernails. You can't be afraid of making a mess and you can't be afraid to stick your hands into what God's doing.

Second, it's not up to you to make the seeds grow. You can do everything you can to create a healthy environment for them, but you can't control how they react to the soil, water, temperature, and their neighboring seeds. You've just got to be faithful in caring for them the best that you can. Just like with people, you can pray for them, spend time with them, give them as much spiritual food as you can, and even try to protect them from danger, but ultimately, their spiritual growth doesn't depend on you. It depends on God.

Lastly, you can celebrate and enjoy the fruits when they come...in their season. You've got to be patient while they grow. Celebrate the milestones and thank God when you see growth! And don't be surprised when some seeds don't do anything.

I think these seeds are an accurate picture of the ministry here. We're in the messy, planting stage right now. Our hands are dirty and we are planting seeds wherever we can - bible studies, handing out magazines, visiting churches, sharing meals with people, meeting our neighbors, etc. We don't know which seeds will grow and which ones will be dormant forever. In time, God will produce the growth. That's the thing - He's the Master Gardener. He's the one who can clean up our messes and turn them into something beautiful, useful, and sustainable. In the mean time, we'll just keep planting and watering.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone, we just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you enjoy the day with friends and family!

We were blessed on our warm, rainy Thanksgiving day to join twelve other American missionaries for lunch. One couple (along with their four kids) ministers in the mountains, our host leads a children's shelter and ministry in the city, one young woman just arrived a couple weeks ago for 6 months, and a few others have been working at one of the Bible universities for over twenty years. It was awesome to talk ministry, how everyone ended up in the Philippines, and where everyone was from back in the states. Maybe it was the fellowship, or maybe the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes (seriously), but we both came back refreshed and encouraged.

It truly is a day to sit back and thank God for all He has done. The fact that we get to be here, how He is leading us, the people we have met...we're blessed. And we're thankful for all of you, back home. We miss and love you guys!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pitlaw Tulo: Happy Deer Hunting and Thanksgiving!

Maayo!  Our adventure this week began with Sunday service and ended with a Word on the Street gathering.  Both were great opportunities for us to catch up with people we have met since being here and get to know them more.   At the WOTS gathering we talked about vision for the magazine and why they write for the magazine.  Articles were also discussed, writers were assigned, and future writing topics were talked about.  

God continues to go before us...with the shift of the Bible study to Tuesday evenings, on Monday night, we talked and prayed about where to best reach university students and get the word out about our new study location.  When considering where to go, we kept in mind three things 1) The need for a copy shop to print the posters and quarter sheets 2) A location close to the study 3) We want to reach college students lost and needing Jesus.  Of course printing didn't work as planned, but after asking a couple of students, we were led to an internet café that is frequented by students for the same purpose (and we were able to put up a poster there)!  The two young ladies had an hour off and walked with us to the café and helped us get our items printed.  These ladies are both in their 3rd year studying Early Education and want to work with young children.  I must say it brought me back to my days spent in the Home Ec Building at Stout as we talked about their semester of assessment and development of curriculum and how the time commitment and fixed schedules means these ladies forgo day time events like a Bible study as they have class during most campus events.  As I reflect on this experience and this trip so far I can't help but remember my week in America out with one night noting my experience after leaving that establishment 13 years ago in January forever changed my life and how God intervened and had a new plan for my life.  We had an opportunity to put up posters and hand out quarter sheets at bakeries and eating places that university students frequent between classes (think downtown Menomonie but with fast food and roadside stands.).  

"Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell."  —C. T. Studd

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

WEEK TWO

Hi everyone! A lot has happened over the past week, so I’ll try to sum it up the best that I can. We have been reaching out to other ministries to see if there are any ways we can serve and bless them. One of the organizations that we met with helps kids with cancer and their families. It was neat to meet some of the kids - they’re so sick yet still find reasons to laugh and smile. One of the girls even had a rainbow painted on her face. Hopefully in the future we can teach some Bible studies or hands-on science classes!


At our weekly Bible study, we met a couple of new people and said goodbye to one of our regular attenders. She was off to Manila to continue her training in the medical mission field (please pray for her!). We felt that this would be a good time to start fresh, so we’ll be meeting at a quieter location and going through the book of Romans. To get the word out, we’re promoting it in the next issue of WOTS (releasing this week) and will tell people about it when we distribute the magazine. That’s another new thing - instead of simply putting WOTS in racks or at stores, we’re going to distribute by hand outside of universities. Pray that we get to meet students, have real conversations with them, and that they would be challenged by the magazine. Also keep praying for access to campus…

Language classes have been going really well! Not only are we learning words and sentence structure, but we’re also learning a lot about Filipino culture. For example, serving pizza or nachos to a Filipino isn’t considered a meal. It’s only a snack. If you really want to make a Filipino happy, make sure you serve them rice!

Lastly, we have tasted the difference between a native chicken and a roasted chicken. Chicken...it’s what’s for dinner:


Monday, November 07, 2016

WEEK ONE


WEEK ONE
Hello from the Philippines!  We are nearing the end of our first week here and beginning to settle in. We are getting to know the neighborhood and our neighbors.  Other than the everyday tasks of cooking and cleaning, we are continuing our weekly bible study, getting involved with Word On the Street, and starting Cebuano language classes.  As you can see from the picture, bicycles will be our main mode of transportation so we have been out riding around a lot. We are getting used to riding here and bringing back groceries and other items needed from town on our bikes.  Please continue to pray for us!  Specifically for God to allow us to get on campuses and pursue Street Level Ministries, for safety in getting around and learning the best bike routes, and for the next issue of WOTS (releasing very soon!).