Learning a Language as a Witness

It is normal for most missionaries around the world to spend most of their time for the first year or so on the field just learning the local language. In our case, this was not required for various reasons. One can get by using just English here.

But one cannot really get to know the people and the culture of the Philippines just speaking English. I can "get by" speaking only English but I cannot "excel".

I have asked myself the question, "How do I properly live as a Christian with and among the Philippine people?" I am convinced that the answer for me starts with learning to speak a Philippine language. Here in the Philippines, it seems that nothing says, "I appreciate and respect you as a person" quite as well as taking the time and effort to learn to speak in the local language.

For example, by learning the Cebuano language I am stepping outside of the natural Christian "ghetto" that we foreigners can so easily find ourselves living within. Instead of mostly associating with people like myself, I start getting to know Filipinos at a deeper level as I try to speak Cebuano and as they patiently help me learn. I develop new friendships and new involvements with people I would have never known by only speaking English. I start to understand more how Filipinos think, what they believe, what struggles they have, and how to better share Christ with them.

So for me, learning to speak Cebuano is synonymous with speaking words of blessing. I learn Cebuano because I care about the people that speak Cebuano and I want them to know that they are important to me and especially to my God.

James and Jocy

James and Jocy are two very special friends we have here in Davao.

Recently they had a dedication ceremony for Beth Mari at their home.


The senior pastor from their church led the service.


Beth with Beth!

These two wonderful people have a ministry with the neighborhood kids and families and are planting a church. Right now their home is the church. James is currently going to seminary to get his degree in pastoring and counseling.

Pray for them as they continue to minister to their neighbors!


James, Jocy, and Beth outside their house.


Jocy, Beth Mari, and Beth

School

School has started for Mikayla, Kirsten, and Ben.
Their first day was yesterday, August 12.

Mikayla is in 8th grade, Kirsten in 5th at Faith Academy.

Ben is in 1st grade at home. He is enjoying homeschooling and has announced to me that I should homeschool him the rest of his schooling years. I told him we'd just take it one year at a time!!!

But I am enjoying homeschooling again!!!

Pray for each of them to study well, grow in wisdom and grace, and always seek first His kingdom and His righteosness all the days of their lives!

Playing


It's really a blessing to see Jerard interact more and be interested in playing!

Second!!!

For most of Kindergarten Ben lamented he was the 'only kid in class who hasn't lost a tooth....'

but now he is making up for lost time!

He lost another tooth today and the new ones growing in are already visible!!!!!