Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WEEK #3 in the Philippines!

I definitely do not need to wait this long between blogs. So many things I’m sure I’ll forget but I’m surrendering this process to the Lord and HE will make of it what He sees necessary.

So beginning our first week of school here was very interesting. Daniel and Lydia are in the same class and I am in there with them as a teachers’ aid. However, by this week I’ve been doing a lot of teaching on my own which says a lot about the kids and myself. Their English is getting better and my Malaynon is getting better too. In the classroom there are 31 students. They range from 4 yrs to 15 yrs old. The reason for this is that some of these kids are right at Kindergarten level and some are above, but most of them are right at it. The reason for the older kids is that they have never been educated yet. The ati people have been pushed out of the society here so if they can’t pass a certain test to enter public school then they cannot go. This school gives them the opportunity to learn enough and even more to pass the test so that they may start public school. Now, you can’t tell they are up to 15 because Daniel is almost the biggest kid in the class. They are so mal nourished that they have not grown like they should, or they are just small Filipinos.

While we are at school, James and Sam are usually running errands for people or taking people to and from the clinic or hospital. This week James and the people have been working hard to get the mayor’s permit finished for our school! Everyone here has fallen in love with Sam Sam and he brightens days wherever he goes!!!

We attended some new feedings last week and they are in beautiful locations. Here everything is very green and there are lots of rivers. It’s such a sight to behold. The people here live almost completely off the land. For instance, on our way down from a very long hike to a feeding this lady tore off a leaf and stuck it to her forehead. I asked why and she said it’s good for headache and tummy ache. I should have grabbed a handful but I didn’t.  I also learned to make coconut oil this week. And we had fresh coconut milk because of that process. Here they cook with the coconut milk a lot and us the oil for pretty much everything. When my friend was showing me what to do, after she finished squeezing the milk from the coconut pieces, she ran her hands through her hair. She said the milk is very good to nourish, like conditioner.

We made another trip to borocay but this time the boat was a very nice inclosed ferry. At borocay we got lots of American style foods but we are mostly taking on the Filipino ways of eating. My kids love the bananas and mangos here.  We eat rice with every meal and lots of vegetables. Our meats are mostly pork and chicken. My friend, sister anna, is teaching me lots of ways to make foods here and I haven’t found anything I don’t like. Daniel eats more than I do these day s and Lydia has lots of rice with sugar sprinkled on it. Sam loves it all, but mainly the rice, just by itself.

The kids have made lots of friends and so have I. I am happy to say I know about as much Malaynon (the language here) as a two year old. I’m working very hard to learn. I have a notepad I keep with me to write down phrases and words I’m learning. I’ve learned enough that I can actually teach all alone!! My issues come when the kids are telling on each other, then I need some help. James is learning a lot from me and the kids are just picking up things as we go.

It’s a cooler time of year here right now. It’s about 70 at night and 80 during the day. It’s still very very very humid but we seem to all be getting used to it. We sleep with the ac on in our bedroom at night but no ac during the day. We have windows open and fans running. We moved the kids’ bed into our room so all five of us are in there, Filipino style. I like that better anyway.

We had a 4 yr anniversary celebration for the radio ministry here, last Sunday. There we over 300 people who attended and it was an awesome time to give praise to the work God is doing here. Our church in Cugon had and choir that sang (young people) and Rick Holden brought the message.2 young men gave their lives to Christ!! It was very cool!! I got to sing with my friend, sister anna’s group. I have just jumped right in here and I love it.

There are a few kids here I’m pretty sure will end up being our children forever but all of them have made their way into our hearts. There is nothing like holding a child, knowing they have no mother to hold them and that God has appointed you for that moment in their life. Or, filling their bowl with food and seeing their face light up. Who needs a thank you after that!?! 

At the feedings the food are one pot sort of meals. Mainly rice, with veggies and chicken. There is enough to feed the kids and their families and these feedings cost anywhere from $10 to $25 depending on the needs at each location. This feeds around 40-80 people. We also have coloring sheets for the kids and a multivitamin for them (the chewy kind). All of this meets such a small need for them, but at the same time it’s huge!! I’ve never been more fulfilled in my entire life, just by seeing their grateful faces. I’ve never seen a kid here say “no, I don’t like that” as a matter of fact they usually come back for seconds and thirds!!

I want to close this blog by saying Thank You/Salamat!! Without you and your prayers and financial support, we would not be here. I hope you know just how important you are to the work God is doing over here. I wish you all had the chance to join us, even for a little while, just to see the awesomeness He is doing here. I feel as though our family has so many areas in which God is using us here and none of that would be possible without your obedience to HIM. WE praise Him and give Him all the honor and Glory for everything and every day.

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