Archives For Philippines

It is not an island, but the best way to get there is by boat. Ransohan is a barangay of Lucena City – a highly urbanized city on the Southern coast of the Luzon Island in the Philippines. Ransohan is considered a coastal barangay with a total population of about 1,500 people. Of the 1,500, only 800 plus are voting residents. I would guess a good number of the remaining 700 would be children under the age of 18, but I’m not positive. A local pastor invited us to join them on their regular Saturday morning trip to this barangay to teach the children.  

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So, around 8:00am on Saturday morning we crawled on on a boat, headed for the open waters…well, almost. Pictured here are church members and the pastor on the left. The driver of the boat is near the back with a hat on. I forgot to get a picture of this, but he is steering the boat with a string. If you pull it the boat goes right, if you let it slack the boat goes left (or something like that).

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These are small houses that we passed along the bank of the river. I would guess the occupation for many of these people is fishing. Although, we did see a security guard getting on a boat going back to Lucena City. So, I am sure that some live here and commute to Lucena or another city close by.

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This small boat was carrying drinking water to Ransohan. They have wells for their “service” water, but it is not good for drinking.

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Do you see the old lighthouse? This is the bank where we docked. We walked a very short distance to the waiting tricycles and pedi-cabs that would take us to the house where the children waited.

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Here’s my family getting ready to ride a tricycle. This was my wife’s first time! Funny thing happened at the end of the ride. There were probably 8 or 9 of us on this tricycle driving down a somewhat narrow paved sidewalk with no curb. Well, the driver misjudged the distance and the right tire (my side) slipped over the edge and pulled the whole tricycle off the sidewalk. Other than the driver scraping up his foot and severely bruising his pride, everyone was okay. To make him feel better, I rubbed my belly and told him it was because this big American was sitting on that side. That seemed to cheer him up a bit. 🙂

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We are following the pastor on a short walk (since we decided to ditch the tricycle) to the place where the children where waiting. The two boys in matching shirts are the pastor’s sons. They really love Carter and are always showing him how to do something or helping him in some way. They are real good boys.

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These boys are helping me tell the story about how the disciples didn’t want the children to be brought to Jesus but how Jesus wanted the children to come close. We talked about how much Jesus loves the little children of the world!

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They know the songs! I think they were singing “Read Your Bible Pray Every Day” in these pictures. Precious!

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The owners of this property designated this area just for the weekly children’s services. It was actually a very kind and generous gesture because they have limited space as it is. They had to relocate the area where they butcher the pigs, as well as move a concrete entrance a few feet over. That might not seem like a lot to you, but for them this was a sacrifice especially since this family is not even in the church. This picture shows the roof – I’m not sure what they call it but it is made of grass that can be found along the river.

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This is the family’s running water. The more you pump it the more water you get!

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On the way back to Cotta Port I got a good shot of this old boat. I was shocked to learn that they were still using it for fishing. It looks fairly dilapidated. I’m not sure I would be ready for a voyage whether near or far! It doesn’t look seaworthy to me. But, what do I know about boats?

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This is the rest of our group in a smaller boat. We beat them. 🙂

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What an exciting trip. It was neat to see new things, meet new people, and see the children whose lives are being touched every Saturday morning. I hope to go back real soon!

We had the privilege of officially meeting Bro. John John Lambeth from Brazil on his recent visit to the Philippines. Although we had communicated by email for some time, this was the first we actually met in person. We thoroughly enjoyed him being with us and appreciate him visiting the Philippines.

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Food and fellowship after church with the good folks from Payatas church.
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My kids took to him right away, which is rather unusual for Avalynn. But, within 20 minutes he had her warmed up and now she talks about him all the time!

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Stopped at a little store along the road and looked at some handmade knives.

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Thanks for coming Bro. Lambeth!

 

We have experienced great revival among our young people over the past few months. Click the image below to read our latest newsletter and learn about what has been happening here in the Philippines.

Short News - April 2014

 

You can also click one of the months below and view past newsletters. Continue Reading…

Here are some un-enhanced photos I’ve taken within the last few months as we traveled on the island of Luzon. There are many beautiful sites here, but as I understand it, there are other islands that are even more beautiful. I can’t wait for the chance to explore some more. Enjoy!

Rice fields

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Magandang Hapon!

May 4, 2014 — 4 Comments

The other day we were driving around looking for a facility that would work for our upcoming youth camp. We ended up taking a route that led us quite a distance from the city into a more rural area. I had just decided we had gone far enough in this direction and was looking for a place to turn around when we saw these children on a bridge.

As you can tell, they thought it was funny that I was taking a picture of them. At one point, the little boy on the right was pulling the hair of the girl just in front of him trying to get her to look at us. They were having a good laugh.

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Apparently, they were either on their way to pick something up or had just dropped something off. Even though the road was not that busy it is still hard to believe that they were this far away from any houses or other buildings and obviously had been traveling along this road. Not having shoulders or sidewalks, they would have just been using one of the lanes. Amazing.

As we left I told them, “magandang gabi” and they began laughing again. As I pulled away from them it dawned on me (or maybe my wife reminded me) that although it was only around 2:00pm, I had just told them to “have a good night.” What I should have said was, “magandang hapon”, meaning “have a good afternoon.” Oh well, they probably needed the laugh.

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It’s real! God is still pouring out the Holy Ghost JUST like He did on the day of Pentecost. The message has not changed. The experience has not changed. The promise is STILL unto you, and to your children, and unto all those who are a far off!

Ralph is a college student and was seeking Truth! He testified after service that he finally found Truth. For He is the way, the truth, and the life! To God be the glory!

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Stopped at a public park a few weeks back. A man had these horses here specifically so you could pay him to take a picture of your kids, not for riding. Well, we obliged.

It doesn’t look like it in this picture but “little miss” likes horses…lots better than dogs!

As often as we can, we have Sister Joy from one of the churches come and teach our children Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines. I have heard how easy it is for children to learn languages but it is so neat to see it first hand. Even this morning, Avalynn, who will turn three this May 26th, looked at one of my one hundred peso bills and said “lilà” with a smile on her face. The bill is a purplish violet color. I’m amazed at how many words they know already.

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Sister Joy teaching the children Tagalog

The picture below is what Sister Joy drew to help the kids learn animal names. Carter was so proud of this sheet that he wanted me to “send these to everyone in Tulsa”, or something like that. 🙂

Carter's and Avalynn's Lessons combined

My wife reviews with them almost daily between lessons which is the key to their retention. One thing she did just the other day is post Tagalog words and their English meaning around the house. She put “malinis” for clean above the sink and “madumi” dirty above the trashcan, etc. This is pretty neat and helpful to keep it in front of us. Consequently, my wife is learning just as much as the children.

I’m so thankful my kids have the opportunity to learn another language like this. My prayer is that their knowledge of the Filipino language will someday benefit the kingdom of God. Just think, I would have my own resident interpreter to take to Bible studies!

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Mantra of Missions

Isn’t this what Jesus did – taught men to fish?

A few days ago my wife and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. We kept things simple this year and went to our favorite local restaurant, Cafe 1771, in Ortigas, Metro Manila. Last year, when my mother-in-law visited us in the Philippines we took her up on the offer to babysit and went out on what we told the kids was a “special date.” I found this cafe online and it looked good and had good reviews so we tried it. It turned out to be delicious and reminded us of places we liked back home.

Short Family at Cafe 1771

Now, the kids really like the idea of going on “special dates” whether it is two of us, or the whole family. They get really excited about these times together and so do their parents! I greatly love being with my family and I am thankful for the time that we are able to spend with one another. Life is definitely exciting with our little munchkins around. They are growing too fast!

The Lord smiled on me the day I met the young lady I now call my wife over twelve years ago. I feel like a blessed husband and “daddy” today and just wanted you to know.