Monday, September 29, 2008

Loving Life at Valley

Okay, it took a while. But finally, here are some pictures from our time last weekend at Valley Cathedral Children's Home. We really enjoyed seeing the friends we made there last year as well as making a few new ones. The kids love the new swing set!
Patricia in her Sunday best
Jenny still loves to climb on everything and everyone.
Novi and Adriana really enjoyed their time together.
Anna and Alayna
Lita celebrated her anniversary with us. Her husband, Pete, was accompanying Mommy Zelma in the USA.
My buddy, Jason, was almost always at my side. He still does not have much to say, but he sure can make me feel special.
Walking to the beach.

Of course, Alexie and Jenny were nearly inseparable.
This is "Baby". His real name is Allan, but everyone calls him Baby.

April and Annalise became good friends.
This is Ton-Ton. He recently came to VCCH, a tragic story of abuse. But you can see that he feels the love of the staff at VCCH.
Annalise and Hannah
Annie is the youngest girl. She and her 3 siblings, all with "A" names, are new to Valley's family.
Jenny likes to hold onto hair - it seems she liked to keep a tight hold on us.
We did not get to see to much of John Mark. He and several of the other children were quarantined due to mumps.

Miracle has graduated and is now in college.
Giggles with Jenny
Adriana and Stephanie

Lisa and Judy loving on each other

Sad goodbyes
Lisa's buddy, Emmon, is back at home with his biological parents. Lisa missed seeing him and giving him hugs but hope and pray that he is experiencing life in a loving family home as is God's plan for every child. Returning to Valley Cathedral Children's Home was bittersweet. It was a joy to be with the boys and girls and all those who lovingly care for them but it also meant we needed to endure goodbyes once again. Everyone wanted to know when we will return. It is so far away, about 15 hours, that we really don't know that we will be able to even though we would love to. Knowing that, we just tried to give out as much love and hugs we could in the two days.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jesus Christian Ministries

Today our friend, Pastor Rely, came to the YWAM base we are staying at in Manila to escort us to his church where Thomas was to speak. It was good that he was there to guide us or we might still be wandering around lost. We walked a bit then took two different jeepneys, a bus and then another jeepney before arriving at the church about an hour away. Alayna and Annalise were excited to hear they have Children's Church but "It was in another language," said Annalise. Alayna quickly made a friend that was kind enough to translate for her and then Alayna told Annalise. No one translated for us but worship and of course the message was in English since it was given by Thomas. We had heard Filipinos really like their music loud and today proved that. There was a wonderful spirit of worship and they played it loud.

We met Pastor Rely when we first came to Manila back in May. He was the driver for YWAM Balut at that time (while also pastoring his church at home, an hour away). He was so patient and helpful as we travelled from government office to government office playing bureacratic Calvinball. When we saw that it was time to give up for a while, he drove us to two different bus terminals to get us on our way to Bontoc. At that time he had invited us to visit the next time we made it to Manila. Well, here we are, so there we went.
We do not know who this guy is, but when Pastor Rely took us out for lunch, we thought he had great taste in shirts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kakabay Revisited

Last weekend when we visited Valley Cathedral Children's Home, our friend, Greg, was able to arrange a trip to Kakabay. The time I spent in Kakabay was the highlight of my outreach last year. I was eager to revisit my friend, Robuan. I was honored to be part of his becoming a Christian and his baptism. I looked forward to seeing him again and finding out how we is doing.
Saturday afternoon we made the drive to Kakabay. Greg promised me that his new tires would get us through the garbage dump since it had not rained much in the past few days. That may have worked except for the jeepney that had already gotten stuck and was now blocking the path. So we took to our feet. Fortunately, it had not been raining so we were not sloshing our way through it.

Since last year, they have expanded the school building to include the covered area we had puppet shows and visited with people last year.

Even in Kakabay, basketball is popular.

I made a small photo album of pictures I had taken last year in Kakabay. The kids loved seeing themselves and their friends. I later gave the album to the people of Kakabay. Robuan will keep it since he is the Barangay Captain. That way everyone can see it.

Remember the mystery fruit from a while ago? This is pomello while still ripening on the tree.

This is the part I had waited for - meeting with Robuan. It was good to find he is still following Christ, although he struggles with old habits sometimes. His strength is growing and his numbness diminishing in the side of his body affected by the stroke we have been praying for. While Jerry has been so helpful in each of our meetings, we are eager for the time we can share stories without a translator.

Time to go...

As the Lord puts it on your heart, pray for the people of Kakabay. They live a difficult life. The church is growing there, but it is very young. Pray for their health and spiritual growth.
To travel down memory lane you can visit these posts from last year about Kakabay: