Peer Debriefing

Kurt and I were asked to take a week long training on Peer Debriefing.

So, I can hear the question "What is Peer Debriefing?"

Debriefing is often referred to as "emotional first-aid" for someone who has been through a traumatic or difficult experience. It is NOT counseling or therapy, but rather a helpful process to walk through with someone (... a peer of yours who has been trained). The goals of debriefing are to mitigate the negative impact of the event as well as help the person recover more quickly and more fully than they would otherwise. In many ways, debriefing is a very practical & effective way of putting into practice the Biblical mandate to "bear one another's burdens," particularly with traumatic events.

Psalm 23 (God's loving presence) along with Psalm 22 (God's absence when one is suffering) and I Cor. 12:12, 14, 25-27 (need for one another) remind us that we are members of a body. We need one another, and when one member suffers, we all suffer. God is indeed our Shepherd, but even the Lord Jesus felt distanced from God the Father at times. And he chose the disciples, not only to train them, but to have them with Him as friends (Mk. 3:14).

On Friday July 13 we are flying up to Manila and then taking an 8 hour bus trip up to Bagabag where the training will be held. Our children are traveling with us. We look forward to seeing more of the Philippines. We will be in Bagabag July 14 - 23.

Monday - Friday we will be in training while our kids will be with a child care worker swimming, playing, etc. After our conference is over we will be visiting an allocation with a National Translator and also seeing the infamous Banaue Rice Terraces.

Banaue Rice Terraces - 8th wonder of the world.

Pray for us while we travel, for safe travels, good health, that we learn what we need to at our conference.

17th Wedding Anniversary

The Lord is my shepherd....and He leads each of us on the path he wants us to go!

Kurt and I just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on July 7th.
I am so thankful God led my path to Kurt's path and that we have become one.

We've walked through valleys, up hills, enjoyed sunshine, had rain, dark times, but our journey is always lit by His love and Guidance.
I enjoy this adventure we are on. I am so glad that Kurt is my husband!

I pray Grace and peace to Kurt from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. "I thank my God every time I remember you.
4In all my prayers, I always pray with joy
5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1: 3 - 6

It is quite an adventure God has us on in this partnership....I look forward to hopefully many, many more years with Kurt!

Language Learning Update

Well, Beth and I continue to take weekly language lessons and "hinay-hinay lang", we are slowly learning Cebuano. In fact, we have recently stepped up our learning cycle with the addition of some Cebuano coaching lessons weekly too. The Filipino office workers are speaking more Cebuano to me to help me learn as well.

Here is what I just learned today. There are three different words in Cebuano that are spelled "baga". One means lungs, another heat, and the last the word for thick. The difference between them is that baga for lungs has a emphasis on the first syllable and a shortened last syllable (bágâ). Baga for thick has a shortened last syllable without an emphasis on the first syllable (bagà). Baga for heat does not have a shortened last syllable (baga). I still don't know how to reliably pronounce them correctly but once I do I will practice by saying, "My lungs feel thick because of the heat" (Akong bágâ ning bagá tungod sa baga).

4th of July - Filipino-American Friendship Day

Hi, We celebrated the USA 4th of July with an American Style picnic of hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, potato salad, watermelon, and brownies (plus other good food).

The 4th of July here in the Philippines is known as "Filipino-American Friendship Day". It is a day in the Philippines designated by President Diosdado Macapagal to commemorate the liberation of the country by joint Filipino and American forces from the Japanese occupation at the end of World War II.

We certainly are enjoying the many Filipino friends we are making here!

Our Filipino colleague's enjoying themselves at the picnic!

Here's a little history for you!

The Philippines was a U.S. territory from 1898 to 1942, when it was occupied by Japanese forces, and again for a brief period after the war. The country gained complete independence on July 4, 1946.

Initially, the nation's Independence Day holiday (Araw ng Kalayaan) was held on July 4, former President Diosdado Macapagal moved it to June 12, the date on which the Philippines declared independence from Spain in 1898. Filipino-American Friendship Day was created in its place, and coincides with the United States' July 4 Independence Day.

How to Kill a Cobra with a Trombone!

Well, I killed my first cobra today (the picture above is the species of cobra but not the particular snake that I killed). Now, I'm usually the sort of guy who subscribes to the 'live and let live' principle. I don't like killing animals without cause. But when it comes to a deadly cobra that is on the school grounds between classes on the sidewalk, I didn't hesitate to help the cobra die.

Mikayla and Kirsten and I were walking home from the office today when we ran across the admittedly small cobra that was about 8 to 10 inches in length. I was carrying Mikayla's trombone case so I touched the cobra with it to make sure that it was a cobra. The familiar cobra hood came up as the snake turned to face me. That was when I proceeded to pound the cobra to death with the trombone case.

Now, Mikayla's trombone teacher, who is also her music teacher, just happened to be sitting about 30 yards away. So, I had some explaining to do as to why I was pounding the school's property (we rent the trombone) repeatedly into the cement. My justification proved to be sufficient once we all had another look at the dead snake.

Cobras are pretty common here in the Philippines. But, so is sunshine, so we take the good with the bad and give thanks to God.