Friday, June 18, 2010

Back to School!

Hi there family and friends!

With June being back-to-school month in the Philippines, we were SO pumped to begin our second year of daycare. This will actually be our first full school-year, as we only officially started the daycare shortly after I arrived in the Philippines in November (...which almost seems like ages ago now). Everyday I take joy in witnessing the daycare's impact on our community in new and awesome ways. Only by God's grace and love has this all been possible - and we rely on Him completely for all the provisions and volunteers. Word has gotten out, and others too are seeing the benefits of this little school in the lives of the children. Several broken families and parents of street children are now asking us if we can accommodate their children as well. Many of the parents in these squatter communities are unemployed, some are in jail, and others work for pitiful wages as a street sweeper or a bartender (to name a few of their occupations). While we originally intended to limit the enrollment in our daycare to 10 students, we've actually allowed 16 kids to register, and we're tentatively considering a few more. However, the average age of our students this year is only around 4-5 yrs old, and without any limits on class size we would be sacrificing our ability to invest in the personal growth of each student. Nevertheless, God is continually equipping us and challenging us for bigger things. Please continue to pray for this investment in our community.

Here are some highlights from the first week of school!

The youth in our church built a giant blackboard for the new school year!

Riveting new lessons from our fresh, new curriculum.

What's a daycare without fun and games?
Everyday our students (and teachers) enjoy playing with their friends.

Our kids grow super tight bonds with their classmates.

Making origami butterflies in the first art lesson of the year.

One of our other rapidly growing ministries is our Saturday morning children's program. Over the last few Saturdays, we've had between 65 and 80 children attending! This last Saturday was an exceptional event though. A charitable organization called "The Chummy Chum Foundation" (...true story...I couldn't make that name up) visited our church and put on a carnival for the street kids. They provided plenty of fun games, cotton candy, popcorn, and even school supplies! Not to mention we were graced with the appearance of their lovable mascot "Chummy Chum" himself - a giant, purple...thing.

Games and prizes at the carnival.

Chummy Chum gets chummy with the kids.

Each child receives a package of school supplies.

Thanks again for checking in and reading my blog! Take care always!

ps. Here's a random video for your enjoyment. This is Bernadette - one of our newest daycare students. She's a 5-yr old singing sensation who also loves to make funny faces while having staring competitions with me.


  1. Great post again John. Sounds like an exciting start to the school year. All the best.

  2. John, you are BEAUTIFUL.