No matter where I am I have friends who are half a world away. I want to stay connected and keep my supporters informed. Some times I will be very busy and only update once in a while. Other times I might bore you with how much I have to say :) Just check back once in a while when you are thinking of me and see what I'm up to!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Classes and the House

 One of the best days of the past month was when I had a room full of students saying “Jesus is my light” over and over again as I was preparing for the next activity. Let me explain…the end of April brought on two new classes for us right here in Juagdan. One of them is a “lap book study” of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. What this means is that as I read the kids are coloring pictures that have to do with the previously read chapter(s) and then at the end of each chapter we do an activity page. One of these activities included the following question: “Lucy was drawn towards the light ahead in the wardrobe. Who does the Bible in John 8:12 say is the light of our world?” After reading the verse I verbally helped them with what to write and after they said the answer was “Jesus” I said “Yes, so you can write Jesus is the light or Jesus is my light.” The following week there were a few new students so I started them with that activity to catch up and their fellow classmates kept repeating over and over, “Jesus is my light.” These kids range in age 5 to 13 and many of them probably don’t yet understand what they are saying, but it brings me joy to hear them say it because one day the hope is they will all claim it as truth instead of just repeating words the “white lady” says.

 

The second class is just basic vocabulary words around various themes. We started with food and talked about fruits, vegetables, meats, and ways to cook. Now we are studying the body parts and they really enjoy singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes!” To end the unit we will be making simple body cutouts attached with brass brads so they can turn them into paper dolls for the next unit about clothes.

 

It is interesting to see what activities the kids like the most and the Narnia activities showed me they not only love to color, but cutting and gluing is really fun for them as well. Two favored games are bingo and concentration so I try to have a version for every unit to help reiterate the words. There is overlap in the two classes, but overall there are nearly 40 students! When we host the “closing party” it will have to be in the church as we already fill the mission house when 25 come at one class.🤓


On a side note, as I have been teaching more regularly in the past two months Jun has had various people working with him on building our house. The septic tank is dug and cemented, the basic frame is in place, and today the roof is getting put together!




Monday, April 12, 2021

Flurry of activity

It has only been two weeks,but the month of April has been full!  We started right away on Good Friday... We "overbooked" ourselves so Jun went to Mabini to participate in their Good Friday Service.  I stayed home and attended a neighbor girl's "debut" party.  It is still a little murky as to what the service/party really is but prayers are said over the celebrant and special speeches are said by people she has chosen and a pastor gives a brief message.  I was asked to be on of Jewel's treasures.  I was able to tell her she is more of a treasure to our family than anything I could give her, but to also remind her that the best treasure is having God fill her up so she can share him in her life. 
Jewel and Christine at the party...

Resurrection Sunday was even better!  Together we traveled back to Mabini for a sunrise service with our partner mission in Valaga, Mabini.  There Ma'am MaryDel has challenged her members to memorize scripture.  After a service of celebrating the Resurrection and participating in Communion, we heard about a dozen adults and one child reciting two verses each.  Great way to get them to dig into God's word even if it is just to search for short verses... 😉

Christine with one of the grandmother's of the Mabini church.  Both her daughter and grandchildren have been in English class with Christine.
Jun taking a group photo of the usual group that supports the ministry in Mabini.


We were also abundantly blessed from our US family and friends.  Our compound received boxes from MI and CO this month.  They were filled with good things that bring a taste of the US for comfort.  There were also great things to use for teaching and ministry aids like games and books and prizes.  But we also have the opportunity to share clothes, shoes, and basic first aid supplies to some of the poorer areas  of Juagdan...

Jun and our dog Jebol with some of the donation boxes.  Even Jebol was excited the day they arrived!


This past Friday instead of regular class in Mabini they invited us to join in a special day of praise and prayer.  It is intended for youth and so the kids lead most of the morning activities.  It is awesome to see and hear these kids following the Spirit's leading.


Last month with our travels the return to classes in Juagdan didn't go so well.  But we will try again this month.  On Saturday we invited one of our more eager families to spend a little time with us.  Mom came with her four kids and a niece.  We did lots of reading and talking about the books for their first round of Reading Club.  Then we introduced some food vocabulary with simple worksheets.  At church next Sunday I will announce the start of the Read Aloud Class.  So on Tuesday afternoons I will read from CS Lewis's the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Each week we will do some activities to verify comprehension but also at the end of the book have a movie time to watch the newer release as we received it in one of the donations! 
Neighborhood mom and kids doing matching and spelling practice with fruit and veggies.


Some of the Sunday school kids playing the new "Word Search" game.


This brings me to yesterday.  Our new church family in Valencia celebrated their 14th year!  A senior neighbor in Juagdan used to beat part of this community so we were able to provide transportation for him to join us for the visit. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was trying to be a more active participant.  The guest pastor followed the "Keep Moving Forward" theme and talked about some of the places we get parked that are misleading... But the ultimate goal is to not park, but keep moving forward towards God and His way for us.

 Thank you for taking the time to see what we are up to!  Be blessed!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spinning in circles

 The last several weeks it has felt like I'm spinning in circles.  One step forward in a project or process just to find out it has to be redone or rules changed.  Fortunately, if I look back it is really two steps forward and just one back.  Meaning to say it is still forward motion!

Long story shortened ... We traveled off island for the first time in a year hoping to accomplish visa updating.  We have someone working on it for us.  Returning home has proven more difficult than expected and so a planned over night has become more than a week.  Ultimately it has been an emotionally draining week and I'm ready to be home, but we made some new connections in Christ.

Yesterday morning was a highlight as Jun has the chance to share an impromptu message with a group of teens in a private setting on the beach...


And then we also sang some songs to God ...

(I will try to upload that video later)

Friday, February 5, 2021

Pictures and Stuff

 So I finally have an Android phone again so I was able to go back and at least fix the text color so hopefully you can read these posts easier.

This month Jun and I will be celebrating... February 14 Jun will be another year older and we will have been married for a year and February 24 I will be another year older.

I will try to catch up on some photos so here is January for now...


Having snack and coffee after church with a few of the seniors.  The young man uses our motor to take them home as they come from Cagting instead of just right here in Juagdan.


The youth we called forward to sing a song one Sunday morning last month.





Jun acquired and cut the majority of the wood needed for framing out our first house.  These are the corner posts.



We have had a few date nights and visited the new damn in Benliw.  Jun was one of the first people to start breaking up the stones for the main wall.




Precious Cajigas has put together a Sunday school program again.  The little kids meet in the Mission House and sometimes Jebol joins them.  Silly dog!



We did our best to dry all the corn.  Then Jun took over 150 kilos to the mill in Alicia. There is about the same still to go when the weather is better.





This was the church and people of Anas, Valencia.  We met them on a weekend away and see able to provide them with some new chairs.  They asked Jun to preach so we went back and sort a day with them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Quarter in review.

 I was thinking the other day that it had been awhile since I updated.  Now I see it's been too long!

The end of November we hosted an American Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family.  I (Christine) shared a little of the history of the relationship between the Pilgrims and Native American people.  I was greatful to have the opportunity to research it to refresh my memory because there were some interesting questions.

December began with a class closing party for my small group in Mabini and hen we took a break for the rest of the month from class.  Although it was a class break the time disappeared.  Jun and I did take a weekend away, but that brought us to a new church and relationship.  It was a super busy time for Jun who had to actually begin to say no to some things because he had so much with corn harvest and chainsaw work.   There were also plenty of parties and even a wedding.

January has brought a lot more already.  School started again so I have students coming for modular help.  Jun had a few neighbors help with shelling and drying the corn.  He has already had half of it ground for selling.  Total there is likely to be close to 400 kilos by the time he takes the second batch for grinding!  He has also been able to start cutting the lumber for building our house!

Mid January we were able to bless the new church we met with a dozen chairs to upgrade from rough wooden benches.  We were also able to spend that weekend in fellowship with them as they requested Jun to preach.  We were also blessed to attend the wedding of our nephew!

Next up is preparing for starting regular classes again.  Creating a new schedule might be interesting and I'm still not sure what our limitations will be.  Please pray that communication with officials is effective and beneficial.  The hope is to start again sometime next month.

I will try later this week to post pictures of some of these events!