Graduation Day

 

I love these people last year they were stranger and then they became co-workers and now I can proudly call them friends. You have all blessed my life and I am so thankful for each person in this picture!

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Long over due update with lots of news and information

School ended and I arrived state side in May, 3 days later my friend Kim had back surgery. I am staying with Kim and her family to help them get through this time of healing.  My two favorite short sticky have enjoyed having me with them full time and I certainly have enjoyed catching up on hugs!

Kim is doing better and able to be left alone, which means I am starting to catch up on my work and start preparing for next year. Which leads to answering the question what is my plan for next year. I do plan to return to Bethel International School for school year 2017-2018. The plan is for me to teach 4 classes, have a homeroom and to continue developing a program to meet the needs special needs of some of our students.

Last year was a crazy crazy year and parts of it were overwhelming but it was also so amazing in many ways. I loved seeing what God did through me. By the end of the year I could really see the fruit of my work and I also was sad to leave because I have budding friendships that I cannot wait to see what God does with them.

My budget for next year is $14,500.00 and my church has already held a big pocket and raised most of my support. Last count I was at $10,500.00. There are some changes to how to support me which will be outlined below. The reasons for the increased budget is to account for somethings that were not included in last years. Teaching supplies and portable internet for my classroom have been factored in. I have also added language lessons for me. My attempts to learn Waray were not as successful as I had hoped. I think having a teacher and someone dedicated to practice with will help! I look forward to being able to converse with my the families and my friends in their language. I also would like to have some discretionary funds to help people in need.

The big change is in how my support money will be handled. Last year First Love International handled my support and while they have been great there is another option now and it is one that makes sense for me.

Converge has created a short term missions track for teachers going to BIS. This track takes into account the unique needs of people willing to make a one or two year commitment to BIS and Converge has reduced their fees to make it a viable option for missionaries. There are two reasons why this is the best option for me. The first is my intention is to commit to a much longer service at Bethel and will go through Converges training to become a career missionary. The second is that my Church is affiliated with Converge, as my Pastor said, “it is better to keep it all in the family.” My church is more comfortable having my support handled through Converge. They are also more comfortable knowing my well being is in the hands of people they know and work with on a regular basis.

PLEASE DISCONTINUE ANY AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS TO FIRST LOVE INTERNATIONAL

My project number: 210128 should be included on all payments made to Converge for my support. Payments can be sent to

Converge
2002 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights IL 60005

First I would lie to thank everyone who is contributing to my support for this next school year. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that people are stepping up and praying for me and helping me answer this call. I will be setting up a web page through Converge and payment can be made through there but it will be a couple of days until that is set up.

I have done a fair bit of supplies shopping and I had the pure joy of spending some time with the owner of Linda’s Storytime in Monroe. She helped me create a wish list of book. I plan to ship a couple of boxes with supplies and books. If you would like to help fill the book wish list let me know!

 

How did you spend your Halloween?

I spent some time with one of my fifth graders this morning. He wants to submit a story for the magazine the is putting out this year. He worked for two hours with me organizing his idea. It is a very exciting story!

I spent the afternoon and evening with one of the 10th graders we decided to spend Halloween doing this!

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What I did today was spend some time with two very funny and smart young ladies. We let our silly sides fly.

Didn’t notice you were crying too…

One of my favorite David Crowder Band songs is “All I Can Say” The bridge goes like this:

“I didn’t notice You were standing here
I didn’t know that
That was You holding me
I didn’t notice You were cry’n too
I didn’t know that
That was You washing my feet”

This song sums up how I have been feeling over the past month. Between having a high fever for over a week and then being better but exhausted for a week. Then the following week having a upper respiratory bug. In the middle of feeling very poorly my aunt died.

Being so far from home while my family was going through this trying time was difficult. I am thankful for Margie’s friendship because that has really helped me keep my focus and releasing the repressed emotions.

I find that I have spent a great deal of time with the lyrics to this song running through my head as a constant prayer to God in order to make it through my days. “This is all that I can say right now and I know its not much”

All I Can Say

In October the people of Leyte remember the Battle of Leyte, the day during WWII where General MacArthur landed here liberating the Philippines. MacArthur brought with him troops and some of those troops died in the effort. Charles Goldberg was one of the young men fighting in that beach battle. He was injured and went on to live a long life. He died last November and his last wish was to return to Leyte and have his ashes spread where his comrades in arms lost their lives.

Paul wrote Mr. Goldberg’s name in the sand and poured the ashes into the letters. Paul then spread some flower petals around the name. While waiting for the waves to wash the name away Paul shared the story of the gentleman’s life and read a couple of poems. The ceremony was witnessed by the committee that arranged Leyte Landing Day. There were construction works near by and they stopped and respectfully witnessed the events. The military band played Taps and saluted a fellow soldier.

I cried because while I was standing there I was thinking about my aunt how I would not be with my family for her funeral service. There was something cathartic about participating in Charles Goldberg’s send off in lieu of my aunt’s.

I was already feeling homesick and missing my friends and family. I miss being a part of a community where I am so well known and understood. I miss big salads and coffee with friends. I miss being around people who unconditionally love me and who always have a hug for me when I need one. As you might expect these feelings have intensified and I am finding myself opting to spend time alone when I don’t HAVE to be interacting with others. It is good for my introverted soul to be alone and seek comfort from God.

Habakkuk 3:17-19New International Version (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

My joy is not dependent on my circumstances but on my God, He called me here and I serve with a joyful heart even while I grieve.

I do have many more pictures to share but that is a challenge for another day. After Mr. Goldberg’s ashes had washed away we stopped by the pool of the hotel that shares the beach we used. We enjoyed the view and a little of the floor show before heading home.

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Rainbow Joy’s school day adventure

 

Rainbow Joy made it to school on Friday, she has found my backpack a bit overloaded earlier in the week and opted to stay home rather than get squeezed into an over crowded pack!

The first class she met was my CF 7 class, CF stands for Christian Formation and 7 is because they are in the 7th grade. The class is studying wisdom, AKA Proverbs this year. The class loved meeting her and she loved meeting them. 20160812_134341 The first thing they did was teach her how to solve “cubes” The girl in the front right is an amazing puzzle solver. She can solve them in seconds without looking! 20160812_134512 Next Rainbow Joy read to them from the bible. She felt sure this is what Thad and Ada would want her to do. They gathered around close to hear what she had to say.

 

Next we had Academic and Professional Writing with Grade 11. Rainbow Joy was a bit nervous meeting them because they are the oldest students in the school. They look more like grown ups than children. Once she met them it was a different story.

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Then we had fifth grade language. Hopefully this weekend I will be scanning and sending their letters to American.

Family Day

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Bethel celebrated Family Day in the beginning of September. Which came right on the heels of the culmination of Buwan ng Wika. This made for a very busy week! Slideshow of the Family Day fun!

 

 

Things that are not like home

You may have heard about the bombing in a Davao market a couple of weeks ago. While the bombing is no where near where I am, the effects can be felt throughout the Philippines.

I have often thought that I have a false sense of security here because of the level of security I see all around me. As an American I do not expect to walk through a metal detector and bag search just to enter the mall, but here that is normal. There is a list of banned items from the mall, this includes explosives, guns, and hand grenades. I am glad that they are careful to ensure no one brings these items into the mall and I am surprised at how quickly this became this became normal for me. I didn’t even flinch when Margie and I went down town and before we could pull into the parking garage we had to stop for security to run a mirror under the car.

Since the bombing and the recent bomb threats the security has increased even more. There are now check points along the road and I noticed today as we passed through the check point that there was a member of the military with an automatic weapon at the ready. Even in the mall I saw officers with obvious weapons. Do I feel safer? I am not sure if I do or not. The increased security made me think about the things going on in the larger world around me and not just in the very nice little circle I live in.

Here is what I do know. I really enjoyed this trip to the mall and my friend Mariles is an amazing at parking her car! After the football game, aka soccer game, Luchie, Mariles and I went to introduce me to a treat called Halo Halo. Mariles did an impressive job maneuvering her car into a spot in a very crowded area.

Halo Halo is shaved ice with evaporated milk served in a bowl with toppings. There was some bean, coconut, and well I am not entirely sure what I was eating but it was good with the exceptions of the beans.

halo-halo