Here in the Philippines, the grading system is opposite of the USA system.
I have a 1.0 in my master degree classes for a counseling degree so far! Don't worry, I'm not flunking!!!! It means I have A's!

A Day of Firsts June 2011

Today was the FIRST day back to school for Filipino students! (Their summer is April and May).

Today was the FIRST big outing Jerard has had since his major siezures a year ago.
Today was the FIRST boat trip James and Jerard ever went on.
Today was the FIRST boat trip our wonderful helper, Arlene, has ever been on.

This is the FIRST boat trip I've been on in which people coming
on boat trip were delayed getting to the dock due to a
flag-raising ceremony by a military post housed near
the boat dock area.

Tired boys!

FIRST boat trip for newborn, Luke, and his momma since giving
birth about two weeks ago!

It was a great day on the ocean, enjoying time with friends and family, the sun, ocean, and sand.

Praying for my kids

As a mom I am in prayer-mode often for each of my children. It is important to pray the Scriptures for our kids because God's Word is alive and active, and accomplishes His purposes in our kids' lives. When we use the words of the Bible as the basis for our prayers, we tap into God's power and align our desires for our kids with God's divine purposes for their lives.

Our kids have many transitions here; saying good-bye to friends moving away; moving to a different house soon; etc.

John 15:7-8,
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is
to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
May God get all the glory and may we and our kids enjoy fruitful lives that are a million times better than anything we might have planned on our own!

A great book for praying scripture is by Jodie Berndt. She has written "Praying Scriptures for your kids" and "Praying Scriptures for your Teens."

If you think of Mikayla, Kirsten, Ben, James, or Jerard just pray that each of them will grow into the person God wants them to be with a deep passion and hunger for His Word and His way.

"Father enthroned on high,
Holy, holy
Ancient, eternal Light,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, save us from the dark
Of our striving,
Faithless and troubled hearts
Weighed down.

Come, oh Redeemer, come,
Grant us mercy.
Come, oh Redeemer, come,
Grant us peace."

Fernando Ortega, 1996 Metro Music

School Year in the Philippines

The school year here in the Philippines is starting up soon - most schools will start between June 6 - 13. Schooling is not free here.
We have four students we sponsor from our monthly income - 1 pastor pursuing a seminary degree, 2 college students and 1 high school student.

Emily is in college; Emilyn is starting her fourth year of high school.

James is a pastor with a vibrant ministry in Dumoy. He is pursuing
a seminary degree in theology and in counseling.
Our other student is starting college. We don't have a picture of her (yet)!

This past week we had two other families come to us asking for help in sending their children to school (one elementary and one college). It was heart-breaking to tell them at this time we were unable to help them. The needs here are great.

Street Scenes May 2011

On the way home from watching the dancing at school James and Jerard enjoyed the stroller ride.

We saw a carabao near the trash bins.....

We saw jeepney drivers taking a break, playing cards and eating merienda under a tree.....