When Helping Hurts Small Group

Our four session high-level small group about poverty has ended and we are planning for our next small group. There already is strong interest here in our next topic starting in January, God willing, when we will be studying the book, When Helping Hurts - How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor ... and Yourself, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

The authors are associated with Covenant College through the Chalmers Center. They bring a solid biblical foundation and years of practical experience to the problem of poverty alleviation.

The premise of their book is that there are quite a few pitfalls that we can easily fall into when we try to help the poor. If we truly care about helping the poor, we as Christians need to be informed and aware of how to provide help that actually is help.

What I really appreciated about the book is that it shattered some of my assumptions about what really helps and what doesn't. I would recommend this book to anyone who really has a heart to help people and wants to make the best use of their time and resources ... and who does not want to hurt anyone in the process.

Bible Study

I've been enjoying attending a Wednesday lunch time Bible study with women colleagues here. It is a great study on the life of Paul.

"O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
(For All The Saints)

Another update from James and Jerard


"I'm getting better and better at being on my hands and knees
to crawl, but when I move my hands forward I usually fall on my
face! Thanks for all your prayers for me!" Jerard


"I really like to play with these fish. My Mom says someday I'll
use them to spell words, but right now I like to pretend I'm
fishing! Come visit us sometime!" James

James and Jerard


James says, "Hi everybody! I'm starting to get potty trained!"


Jerard says, "Hi everybody! I love rolling around on the bedroom floor exploring!"

Eagle Sanctuary

Sunday we took an afternoon excursion to the Eagle Sanctuary. It's only about 45 minutes from our house, it is peaceful, not expensive, and 'cooler' than the city!

It was fun to spend time as a family enjoying nature.


A Philippine Eagle


This is a banyan tree with a vine growing around it.


A pretty flower


a weird seed. At first we thought someone had dropped
plastic candy wrappers on the ground. But there were so many
of them we picked one up and realized it was a seed. The
creativity of God is amazing!


Mikayla showing how big this flower blossom is


Mikayla, Ben and Kirsten being silly infront of tall grass!

Did you know bamboo is considered a grass?


Feeding a deer. Deer in the Philippines are small...more like
the size of a goat.


A warty hog. We decided he was not pretty at all!


Mikayla showing the size of a leaf!

On our way out of the Eagle Sanctuary, a host of native tribal representatives were coming in for a convention. Many of them had native costumes on and were from the west side of the island - Zamboanga, as well as other places. It was fun to talk
with them and take pictures of each other!


And on the way home we followed a small pickup with about 4 or 5 people sitting under the tarp and these 4 guys standing behind them in the bed of the truck. Don't know how many were in the cab!