Images from Around Davao

Thought I'd share images that a friend has taken of life in the bukid (mountan areas) not to far from Davao City.

Shingles update

Please continue to pray for Mikayla. The shingles (herpe zoster) are on the right side of her face and causing much eye swelling. Her doctor has increased her dosage of antiviral medicines because of the concern for the health of her eye. She has much discomfort and thankfully the pain pills help with that. Thanks for praying.

Shingles

Mikayla has a case of shingles (herpes zoster) on the right side of her face. Thankfully it was discovered within three days of symptoms starting and she is on a medication to treat the virus. She also has medicine to help ease the nerve pain. Pray for her to recover well. She started college this week as well and is quite busy between her studies and her tutoring jobs.

Mikayla being silly for the camara. This was taken a while ago
before she got sick.

Christmas and New Year Thankfulness

We have enjoyed a nice Christmas and New Year break with our family and friends.
As I've journeyed here in the Philippines, living in a third world country where poverty and need abound, the 'need' for things dies and the blessings of time with friends and family rise important to the top.

I am thankful for hugs, laughter, time with friends and family....

I'm thankful for the fun things I see...
like a backhoe being towed on a raft across the bay

like the resourcefulness of piling as many people on the boat
as possible to make the trip across the bay....

I'm thankful for car ferries and trips across the bay to another island....

I'm thankful for many lessons learned in giving thanks in all
things that I have learned from Filipinos. Relationships with
others are so important and joy is abounding no matter what
the circumstances of life are....There is a saying that it does no
good to complain, just accept what is...Maba-badtrip ka lang Pasensya na lang. Ganyan talaga, e. (It will just ruin your mood. Just be patient. It's the way it is)
This is good to a point. It also reminds me of what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

and I am thankful for my Saviour, for His love for me,
for time to reflect on His goodness, for the beauty of this
world He created, for the joy of watching a beautiful sunset...

Steve Green's song, Rest, based on Psalm 23 plays through my mind often. Times with friends and family, relaxing on a beach, playing games, walking through a village...daily life....no matter what the circumstance...God woos me to rest in Him.....I challenge each of us to remember this...

Rest, the Lord is here,
Refuse to fear, ENJOY HIS LOVE...

and as Psalm 23 reminds us....

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

May this new year, 2015, find you enjoying His love for you no matter where you are or what you are going through.

2014 Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New year from us to you!

We are thankful James' adoption was completed. Now we are working on his immigration papers for the USA and hope to come to the USA the summer of 2015.
This raises many transitional issues for us. The Philippines has been our home for almost 9 years. We love the people and this beautiful country, yet we feel a pull to return to our passport country. Our children need to acclimate to the USA culture for college and beyond; we miss our family and friends.

Quick updates on us -

Mikayla has been busy tutoring Koreans in English and helping teach 8th grade Bible class at Faith and helping with the first grade reading groups. She begins online university in January majoring in elementary education.

Kirsten is a junior and doing very well academically. She really enjoys academics, logic puzzles and listening to music.

Ben is a 7th grader and has gotten quite tall this year! He enjoys computer games and is learning some computer programming.

James is in 1st grade and doing well. He enjoys playing minecraft and cooking.

Kurt stays busy with software development. He's been working on a system for a large maternity center here in Davao. It is being well received and may be used in other medium to large maternity clinics here in the Philippines.

I've been homeschooling James and have taught Creative Writing and Music Appreciation exploratories at Faith Middle School.

We thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus, who's birth we celebrate this Christmas season.

Blessings on your holidays!