God's Big Back Yard

Summer in the Philippines is April and May. The church we are attending is holding Vacation Bible School this week.


They have at least 100 kids participating, if not more!

Since Ben is homeschooling this year he has been able to participate. He is really enjoying the VBS program.

We thank God for the great ministry and outreach this VBS is, for all the volunteers teaching and assisting, and for God's word being proclaimed in the lives of these kids.

Pictures of the squatter area

As Kurt blogged yesterday, "The little squatter area behind our house is home to about 50 people who use wood or sawdust to cook with, live in houses constructed out of spare plywood, boards, tin, canvas, or whatever and which vary in dimensions from the size of a walk-in closet to a bedroom in the states. Some are built on stilts and some have a second story."

Here are a few pictures:

Neighborhood Happenings

Ben and I just walked back from the squatter area behind our house. We were drawn there by all the commotion ... pigs make a lot of noise when they are being killed.

We found out that it was one 4 year old boy's birthday today and the pig was being slaughtered for the celebration. Ben and I got there just as it was dying and I asked, "Motanaw mi?" which means "Can we watch?".

They were bleeding it at the neck. It was "hog tied" and held down by several strong men because it was probably a 100 to 120 pound hog. It was dead a few minutes after we got there. They had a fire made of some scrap wood and an old tire rim (as a stand) a few feet away where they were going to cook it. They had two pans of water boiling at the time.

After the pig was dead one of the men took some blood and with his finger made the sign of the cross on the birthday boy's forehead. All the children congratulated the little boy. I haven't found out what that means specifically yet though.

We left shortly after that. Sorry, no pictures today.

The little squatter area behind our house is home to about 50 people who use wood or sawdust to cook with, live in houses constructed out of spare plywood, boards, tin, canvas, or whatever and which vary in dimensions from the size of a walk-in closet to a bedroom in the states. Some are built on stilts and some have a second story.

International Day 2009

Every other year Faith Academy hosts an International Day.

This year all the continents except Antarctica were represented!
It is a blessing to have such a diverse student body.

Parents and students set up booths representing countries they are from or have lived in as missionaries....I'm sure I am missing a booth or two but today's representation included: Israel, Germany, Great Britain/United Kingdom, Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica, (South America, Central America), United States, Philippines, Korea, Cameroon, Indonesia, Thailand.

And for all our friends in Texas, yes, Texas had it's own booth too!!!!


Israel


South American dance


Korean Drum line


Korean Fan Dance


Scottish Dance - Mikayla was one of the dancers.


Kirsten enjoying the show


Kirsten with Joy and Seo Yeon. Those three have been
good friends since we moved here!

Revelation 7: 9 - 10
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs
to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Our kids as of this week

Well, a little over 5 weeks from now Mikayla, Kirsten, Ben, Kurt, and I travel to the USA for 8 weeks. Our schedule while in the states has gotten rather full between visiting supporters, churches, family, and friends. Pray for us to have safe travels.
Pray for James and Jerard to remain healthy and well while we are gone. We will miss those two a lot. But since they are still officially foster kids we can't take them out of the country.

Mikayla is finishing up her 8th grade year. In two weeks is the annual middle school banquet; a dress-up affair for the 6th - 8th graders. She has purchased a nice dress for that event. She is looking forward to High School and already talking about colleges to attend.

Kirsten continues to do well in school. Her art skills are blossoming. She's hoping for an art lesson or two from her artistic aunt while we are in the US if it works out for her to come see us in Michigan. It is a pleasure to see her growing into a fine young lady.

Ben is doing well in his studies. He has struggled with reading this year but is progressing in that area. He is such a big help with James and Jerard. He is also enjoying playing t-ball and working on a tree fort with me.

James is all energy. He loves to climb, eat bananas and oranges, get into things (more than once we've opened the bedroom door to discover he found a hidden bottle of baby powder and decided it needed to be dumped on the floor instead of used for its intended purposes - diapers and heat rash helpers!)
Needless to say, there is no baby powder in the boys' room now. He is in a twin-size bed now as he climbs out of the crib. But at night he enjoys climbing into Jerard's crib and sleeping with his brother!

Jerard is progressing slow but sure. He has started to get his knees under him and raise his upper body on his elbows. Prayerfully, soon, he will really crawl. But he does mobile himself around the sala floor very well on his belly and enjoys exploring with his hands while in the walker.

We thank God for each of our children. Truly children are an inheritance from the Lord. (Ps. 127)