Monday, May 17, 2010

The Reason I'm in the Philippines

Dear friends and family,

At the beginning of this month, I reached the halfway point of my one-year internship here in the Philippines. I can't believe it's been 6 months already! In contemplating the last 6 months, I realize that what's always got me through both the joyful and the difficult times is the children that I'm blessed to work with everyday. I thank God for each and every one of them. As an expression of my appreciation, I've created a video dedicated to them and the immeasurable impact they've made on my life. However, this video is for them and about them, so this time you won't find any pictures of me in it.

This video is best-viewed on youtube

Our final DVBS took place in another remote area called Olongapo. Children came from all over to the church where we hosted the program. Some kids even hiked down a steep mountain each morning just to join us! I'm thanking and praising God for the impact we were able to make in the lives of these children - even if we could only spend a week with them. Not only were the children a joy to serve, but the environment also offered us some incredible sights and adventures. We were able to swim in the river, to eat fruits I never knew existed, and to hike a mountain just to visit the families of the children in our DVBS.

Our team hikes a mountain to meet the community.

Dirt roads in Olongapo lead to the small village where we held the DVBS.

Excited children line up hours before the start-time of our program.

Games and activities in the hot, hot heat of the day.

Our summer minsitries are now over, and June is "back-to-school" month in the Philippines. Our regular ministries with the urban poor in Metro Manila are resuming once again. The day care will officially begin on June 8th, and we're already recruiting more helpers/teachers and planning a revised curriculum for the school year. I've also enjoyed returning to the feedings and programs in Alabang and Sucat. Just yesterday, we took 15 street children from Sucat on a roadtrip to a place called Tagaytay. Here they enjoyed a nature hike near a volcano, a huge picnic on a hill, and even horseback riding! All of these experiences were a first for most of these kids, as they typically never venture beyond the squatter community they live in.

So great to see the Sucat community kids again!

In addition to a healthy meal every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday,
we're also giving vitamins to the kids in the Sucat community and
monitoring their health and weight.

In other news, Jared and I will be moving to a new apartment this week! We actually plan on moving our church and our team office to a new location. The only reason Jared and I chose our original apartment is because it was in the same building as our church and office. However, the new apartment will be just a one-minute walk away, and thus still situated near the squatter communities we're reaching out to in the city. If you'd like the mailing address of our new apartment, just send me an email and I'll gladly pass it along to you.

Thanks so much for reading! Take care and God bless!

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