Friday, January 22, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

"Magandang umaga/hapon/gabi! Kumusta po kayo? Ito ang blog ko."
(in English..."Good morning/afternoon/evening! How are you? This is my blog.")

I'm so grateful to share that we've just finished our second week teaching academics and literacy in our daycare center. Just before I arrived in the Philippines, Toph (23 yrs old) started the daycare as a way to reach out to his community and to provide role models and a basic education for impoverished children. Tin Tin (18 yrs old) and I quickly caught the vision and the potential for this ministry, and we joined alongside Toph as the teachers of the daycare. Although we have big dreams, we're starting small with the daycare. We're focusing on teaching and really investing in just a handful of kids to begin with. Despite our limited resources and experience, and despite the fact that the only teacher with a teaching degree is only just beginning to learn the native language, culture, and school curriculum (...referring to myself, of course), we are amazed with how far our students have come already. We also thank God for the relationships we've built with the children and their families, and we pray that the community will be encouraged by our efforts to support them.

To summarize the events of the daycare this week, we learned the letter "b", basic counting, printing our names, and the primary/secondary colours. Two of our students had birthdays this week (Ja Ja & Sophia), and they were elated when we surprised them with a big birthday cake.

Our youngest student Ally learns to write the letter "b".

Tin Tin (left) and I teach the lesson.

Chel Ann practices her printing.

Tin Tin assists Nunoy in learning to print his name.

After daycare on Tuesday, I took one bus and one jeepney to Sucat for our weekly ministry with the street children there. We provided a healthy meal, my Filipino teammates Gabby and Cecile taught a bible lesson, and I led a game with the kids. After the ministry was over, Gela (who I mentioned in my last post) and I visited some members of the community in the shanties where they live. We were heartbroken to witness two of the adults in a paralytic state who weren't receiving any medical care. We prayed with them, bought groceries for them and their families (from a nearby shop), and discussed ways in which we might be able to get them some proper care.

Street children in Sucat eagerly await our weekly program for them.

Playing in the street.

Mike (left) and I gather the kids for a game.

We never get tired of seeing these big smiles.

Finally, on Saturday we took over 40 kids from the squatter communities near our home to the park. These are the children that regularly attend our Saturday morning program. As usual, we fed the children, shared a story, played some games, and sang some songs. I was able to help lead a children's song in Tagalog (the second Tagalog song I've committed to memory!). Here's a sample from the chorus: "Sumayaw at umindak indak, kumaway paa 'ay ipadyak padyak. Sumayaw at umindak indak, kumaway paay padyak." ...which roughly translates to "Dance and groove, wave your hands, step with your feet, and repeat" (along with actions).

We rented a jeepney to transport the kids to the park.

So many excited kids packed into one jeepney.

Singing my new favourite song, "Sumayaw".


  1. Very cool John! Say hi to that giant Mike guy for me, will ya?! --Karl :v)

  2. Awesome Johnaful. You're like a wheel that keeps turning from the radical distance of ergonomic sweetness.

  3. AHH!! I love how you regularly update your blog! :) GOOD JOB JOHN!

    AND I LOVE THE PHOTOS! How's the camera treating you?