Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone, we just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! We hope you have a great day with friends and family, and for those of you sticking around Menomonie and/or Duluth, enjoy the fellowship meals :)

We were thankful to spend our day with Tiff, Erik, and the newest little Stuen. It was definitely the warmest all of us have ever been on Christmas, but no complaints here :)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Week Seven

Hey there! Sorry for the late post - it has been a busy week! I'll try to recap the best that I can...

Last week we went to a university and visited their campus ministry. They had no idea we were coming, but were very welcoming and excited to meet us! We caught them just in time, as it was the day before they left for Christmas break. We hope to reconnect with them in January and see if we can bless them in any way.

On Saturday, we attended our first Christmas party! It was held for the volunteers and staff at the organization for kids with cancer. We went over early to help decorate and prepare food - a mix of both American and Filipino dishes. They had us taste test the mashed potatoes to make sure they were up to par... :) There were games, raffle prizes, and a wall of thanksgiving. Each party attendee had to write one thing they were thankful for and pin it to the wall. It was neat to hear what everyone wrote - so many were thankful for the community and support at the organization. It's amazing to see the impact that they have on the kids and families...

Before our weekly bible study, we met up with one of our WOTS writers for dinner. It was nice to catch up with her, talk through what God's doing in our lives, and simply laugh and enjoy one another's company. Two of our other writers even showed up early and joined us for conversation before the study. It's neat to see God forming this little community...since we see each other weekly and text throughout the week, we're able to pray for, encourage, challenge, and hold each other accountable. Please keep praying for the growth of each member individually.

"Labing bulahan ang paghatag kay say pagdawat. Mga Buhat 20:35" (It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35) was the theme of the Christmas party held for the children that have cancer, their families, and friends. We helped with some behind-the-scenes work like designing a tarpaulin, t-shirts, and planning kids activities. The day of the event, we helped wherever needed, and Laura even got to get arty craftsy with the kids during activity time. The kids and families had a blast.

In other news, we got caught in a downpour on our bikes for the first time. It was actually pretty fun, sort of like purposely biking through puddles when you were a kid (wait, was I the only one who did that?). Our garden is doing well; we transplanted two of our tomato plants...we'll post pictures soon. And, we're looking forward to spending Christmas with a very special family :)

Please pray for our protection; the holidays seem to amp up the mischief around here. Also keep praying for our relationships with our neighbors...we've been trying to meet people by getting out and walking through our neighborhood.

Love and miss you all! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Week Six

Maayong adlaw!

Last week was our first time volunteering at Everlasting Hope, which is a ministry for kids with cancer. The director of the organization is a missionary from the U.S., so it has been really neat to get to know her and the rest of the Filipino staff. We'll volunteer once a week, and so far we've observed teaching time, helped prepare for the upcoming Christmas party, and met each of the kids who are staying there. We're thankful to be able to serve's incredible to see how much love the staff has and the hope the children and their families have in Jesus.

On Thursday, we handed out WOTS outside of SWU with one of our writers. She graduated from that university, so she showed us around some of her favorite hang out spots and introduced us to a few students that she knew. We handed out 50 magazines, and one of the girls we talked to emailed a few articles for publication! It's neat to see the magazine get in the hands of students - keep praying that they will read it and be challenged by it. It's a busy time for everyone (finals and Christmas), so we hope it can be a good "brain break" in the midst of  crazy schedules.

On Friday, we had two WOTS writers over for dinner. Nakaon mi ug manok ug rice. Niinom mi ug Coke. It was a lot of fun to hang out and enjoy one another's company. We even got to see some fireworks out the window (didn't you know every day is a hoilday in the "-ber" months?).

Last night we wrapped up the first chapter of Romans at our weekly Bible study. One of the girls who has been consistently coming invited three of her friends, so it was nice to have a few new faces. Please keep praying for this study and the people who have been attending. Also pray for the people who have been invited and haven't come. Right now, until we can get on campus, it's essentially Street Level.

Love and miss you all! Stay warm out there :)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Update: The Garden

We've had a few people ask how the garden is doing, so here is evidence that things are growing! During the first couple days, we checked on them every morning, hoping there would be some magical growth overnight. However, to our dismay, it was just soil. Then, after about a week, we started to see little green things poke up!

It's encouraging to watch our plants grow and compare them to the ministry here. In some areas, we are seeing the seeds starting to grow, like forming better relationships with people we see regularly. We're getting to know them, their passions, their struggles, and what God's doing in their lives. In other areas, we are still planting seeds, like reaching out to various ministries and universities and meeting new people. We are also getting the soil ready to plant other seeds by planning for and praying about other avenues of ministry.

Thanks for praying for us and the people we're serving alongside of. It's evident that God is working in both our lives and theirs. Please keep praying for God's direction and open doors to minister on campus.

Have a great prayer breakfast and workday! :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Disyembre 6 2016 Maayong buntag o sa gabii!

This last week we had the opportunity to take some children's books down and spend some time reading to the children in our neighborhood.  They are very cute and we enjoyed the bit of time we were able to spend with them.  We found a book that is similar to where is Waldo so we asked where the car, truck, etc. was in the picture.  It was also good Cebuano practice as we told them our names and asked who they were in Cebuano.  The holiday break for some begins Wednesday next week so we have an opportunity to spend more time with them. 

We also continued handing out WOTS and had the opportunity to meet a university student by the name of Irish to get her testimony for the next issue of the magazine.  Thursday evening we also had the opportunity to attend a bible study with New Covenant where they are currently going through the book of Genesis. 

We hope that you guys have great Third Place Study Holiday Meals and look forward to hearing about them when we skype next Wednesday.  As always thanks for praying for us :)