Family Photo Shoot!

June 23, 2014 — 2 Comments

I got my beautiful wife a family photo session for Mother’s Day this year. We had a good time and were pleased with the pictures. This is actually the first time we’ve ever taken family pictures in a studio. But, here in Manila it is rarely cool enough outside for a outdoor shoot. When it is cool enough it is probably raining!

Anyway, thanks to Lea and her crew at Yellow Sun Studio for the awesome pics!

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Yes, they captured some of his finer moments…

In the month of May we were privileged to join a church in two different child evangelism efforts. Click to read our official newsletter detailing some of that experience. Thanks so much for your interest in our mission here in the Philippines. To God be all the Glory!

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

Some time ago I posted a picture of a man’s shirt which read, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.” At the time, I could not find the author of this quote. I read many places where it was some ancient Chinese proverb (which is who people blame if they don’t really know) and others just ascribe it to “Anonymous,” whoever he is.

GIVE A MAN A FISH

However, I recently came across a webpage from the United Kingdom that has some interesting information concerning the origin of this quote:

Continue Reading…

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!

 

While searching for recent stats about national rate at which people read and comprehend information, I came across the Forbes article called Do You Read Fast Enough To Be Successful? The information was based on a current e-book promotion speed-reading test done by Staples.

I did it and here are my results:

You read 331 words per minute.
That makes you 32% faster than the national average.

That sounds great until I realized it was less than the average for 11th grade students! Admittedly, that was my third time to take the test. The first time I was 18% lower than the national average. But, I was stumbling over the words because the style was different and it kind of “dumps” you in the middle of a story. Also, I was reading out loud though I’m not sure why.

The second time, I read faster (I think it was 14% above NA) but was still reading out loud. The third time, I read silently and that sped things up considerably. Given my experience, I think the test is skewed somewhat but it was still fun!

Why don’t you try? Click on the image below — it takes just a few minutes. (If you don’t like your first test results, just try again!)

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Source: Staples eReader Department

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.

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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.

Kids Singing

May 1, 2014 — 16 Comments

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I had the kids record a few songs the other night. Carter gets a little carried away while writing a song on the spot. Hysterical! Make sure to listen until the end…