Last night, Kurt and I were guests at the 34th Founder's Day celebration of the only government run orphanage here in Davao.
Venus, the social worker who worked with us in the adoption
some of the children dancing for the guests.
We were blessed to see how well the children are cared for, yet saddened at the many children abandoned. We heard stories from the social worker that some of the children had been exploited by parents in cybersex human trafficking, one child was found in a plastic grocery sack, another left in a church. Many of the children we saw had histories of abuse. Some of the children are unable to walk due to clubbed foot and other orthopaedic issues.
Founder's Day guests
The staff that works with the over 50 orphans in their care.
This is the orphanage that James and Jerard could've been placed in had we not taken them in. I am thankful we took them. While the children are well cared for at the orphanage, there is a lack of ability to provide as much one on one stimulation as each child needs for language development, etc.
The kids having a special visit from a McDonald's character.
James 1:27 reminds us Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Mikayla turned 20 on November 6th.
We celebrated with calamansi pie, ice cream, 20 candles - quite the fire!!!
Mikayla has been busy volunteering at Faith Academy and tutoring adults in English and students in subjects. She will be taking her sophmore year of college courses on line while she stays here with us. Pray for her as she continues to grow in her Christian walk and life. She is a blessing.
November 1 and 2 are huge holidays here. This morning we walked around the cemetery that Jerard is buried in. It's busy already and will get busier as the day goes on.
Our friend, Tomas, who works at the cemetery
more info on all saints day.................
Filipinos pay their respects to their departed loved ones on All Saints' Day, a liturgical celebration that begins at Vespers on the evening of October 31 and ends at the close of November 1. They offer flowers, food baskets, and prayers and light candles in cemeteries, memorial parks, mausoleums and columbariums nationwide where they gather with friends and relatives, say prayers together, and share food and memories.
Hallowmas or All Hallows is a term for All Saints' Day. In the Philippines, it is called "Undas," "Todos los Santos," or "Araw ng mga Patay." The celebration is similar to Mexico's "Dia de los Muertos." For Catholics, it is a holy day of obligation, when they go to Mass and participate in ceremonies for the dead.
Government agencies, assisted by private groups and individuals, help ensure that the traditional event is peaceful and orderly. The Department of Transportation and Communications activates "Lakbay Alalay" to ensure that roads and highways are in good shape for safe and comfortable travel, while Department of Health places medical personnel on standby in strategic areas. The Philippine National Police and Metro Manila Development Authority beef up their security in crowded public cemeteries, bus terminals, air and sea ports. The Bureau of Fire Protection is on alert to safeguard lives and properties.
In Catholic theology, the day memorializes those who have attained the saintly vision in between. In New Zealand, Catholics build altars to pray, hold vigil, light candles, and offer flowers, to honor Christian martyrs. In Lisbon, Portugal, children mark Papor-Deus, and go door-to-door where they receive cakes, nuts, and pomegranates. In France, church celebration memorializes all the saints.
The first All Saints' Day occurred on May 13, 609, when Pope Boniface IV accepted the Pantheon in Rome as a gift from Emperor Phocas. He dedicated the day to honor the Virgin Mary and all the martyrs. During the reign of Pope Gregory III, the festival was moved to November 1 to include the honoring of all saints. He consecrated a chapel to all the martyrs in St. Peter's Basilica.
My cousin, Teresa, has been here visiting us. She just left today. She had timed her visit to coincide with the week of vacation Kirsten and Ben had from Faith Academy.
We had fun showing her around Davao, Eagle Sanctuary, Malagoes Gardens, Blue Waters Beach Resort, Eden Nature Park, China Town, Aldevinco, Crocodile Park, D' Bone Museum, some resteraunts, and other places.
I really enjoy having visitors and getting the chance to show them around here.
at the market
trying sweet rice and native hot cocoa
Trying halo-halo at Chow King. She really liked it!
It is a favourite dessert here and one I really enjoy.
drinking pepsi in a bag!
walking a path to our house.
James turned 7 yesterday (10/26/14). Today we picked up his passport. He is really hoping during his 7th year of life he travels to the USA! We are thankful for James and pray he continues to grow in wisdom and grace, seeking first God in all his ways.