Monday, January 30, 2012

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." - Psalm 90:12

Hi there friends & family!

As I take on things here one day at a time, I just want to touch base and share a few brief updates on what's going on. There's a few things for which I need your prayer and a lot of things for which we can be immensely thankful and excited for...

1) Tomorrow I have an interview/hearing at the Immigration Office as the final step in a very long application process for my 2-year Missionary Visa. Please pray that all will go smoothly!

2) "Kahit mahirap ang Tagalog, marami ang pinag-aaralan ko kasi magaling ang aking mga guro." In English I believe that means, "Even though Tagalog is difficult, I'm learning so much because my teachers are excellent." ...That or I might have said, "I pooped in the refrigerator and ate the whole wheel of cheese"...sorry, I'm not always sure what I'm saying when I speak Tagalog :). So continue to pray for my studies.

3) On February 10th, Pastor Joshua, Teacher Toph, and myself will attend an orientation at a place called The Institute for Foundational Learning. This is in preparation to send the teachers from our informal daycare/school (including myself) to receive FORMAL training and a detailed curriculum for teaching preschool and kindergarten education. I'm so proud of my Filipino friends for stepping-up to the challenge of making our little educational daycare a formally organized and accredited outreach for street kids.

4) Over the last couple weeks, I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to meet with and learn from some great Canadian friends and mentors currently visiting the Philippines. Hart & Ginny Wiens from WMB Church came "home" to visit the Philippines, where they'd spent many years serving as missionaries in a northern province with SIL and the Canadian Bible Society. Neil & Yvonne Ostrander, also from WMB, came to drop in on International Teams Philippines (Neil is the Director of International Teams Canada). But they also came to meet their very first grandchild! You've already seen pictures of her in my blog - Isabella is also a goddaughter of mine. Neil & Yvonne enjoyed plenty of quality time with their son Brett (my friend and fellow ITC missionary), their Filipino daughter-in-law Grace, and baby Bella.

Neil says a blessing over his granddaughter Bella at her dedication service.
My other goddaughter Micah is already one year old!
I often visit her and her parents - Mackie & Lerma.
Quality time with "Ninong" (Godfather) John
5) Finally, I've been thinking and praying a lot about how I can best use my particular training and gifts to continue helping provide an education for street children in the Philippines. After I graduate from language school, that will be my number one priority. Our educational daycare is already quite self-sustaining, and while I'll continue to assist and empower the Filipino workers/teachers there, I know there is so much more that I can do beyond the daycare. To really help impoverished children in a manner that is culturally-appropriate, empowering, holistic, and sustainable (each of which is as challenging as it is important) I need to undertake a LOT of research and networking with both government and non-government organizations here who are already experts in the field of Filipino education and poverty. Please pray for direction and guidance as I look forward to how God can further stretch me in this field. Please also pray for some of the dreams I've been having for the future. I've been a bit hesitant to share them, as they're quite large in scale and still a very long way off - hence the word "dreams". Nevertheless, I'm praying about the possibility of one day establishing or partnering with others to establish an "orphanage-with-a-school" for abandoned street children. BUT, that is the kind of dream that takes a lifetime of work, much more experience than I yet have, and many, many skilled hands. Of course, nothing is too great or impossible for God. Let's just see first how I can manage the few programs/ministries He has thus far entrusted me with - and we'll faithfully and patiently wait for what's in store for the future.

Thank you for your support, encouragement, and prayers. You may not have known, but you are in my thoughts and prayers too!


1 comment:

  1. Johnny Fresh, its Douggie de, I'm just sittin and enjoyin a few sips of coffee at, (of all places) coffee culture before I start work at the musical instrument shop.
    I was reading through your blog that just popped up on my phone and I just wanted to let u know it warmed my heart on this cold winter morning.
    I'm prayin for ya forsure! And sendin lots of love and shananagains :P
    Dude you and your missionaryness always inspire me.