Saturday, June 23, 2007

We celebrated four special birthdays at the little children’s home this week.

Sheila May turned one. Her birthday present is that she has a new family in the US. However, since we are still waiting the matching to be approved, we weren’t able to inform her new parents.

David, though, also turned one, and his parents sent presents for him. It is so awesome for them (and for us) to be getting to know their parents even before they meet them in this way.

It's a way for the family to be together even before circum-stances allow it--like Advent before Christmas, Lent before Easter.

Angielyn received a birthday present today from her new family, so she and David opened their presents together.

Senon was abandoned in a shopping mall, so his paper work will take longer. But it was the manage-ment and staff of the mall where he was found who bought the cake and juice for the party. It was a time of celebrating God’s saving work in these precious children.
One hundred and thirty-three ladies graduated from the prenatal seminar at Shiphrah (Exodus One) Birthing Home this week. We had special celebrations on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for their families…with games and food.
Expectant mothers received with pride a certificate of their completion of the seminar, and many shared about how meaningful it had been to them.
Helen, our home supervisor, prepared some Filipino specialties: pancit noodles, arrozcaldo and ginataang bilo bilo. (This last is a spinach-like leaf cooked in coconut milk with sticky rice and rice gelatin.)

We played games like relay races to dress a doll while you are blindfolded, and carrying an egg – calamunsi – on a spoon in your mouth.

There was a garage sale styled give away of donated toys clothes and cloth for diapers. And each family got a receiving blanket specially prepared by ladies in the missionary community from material we were able to purchase at reduced cost.

Each family was celebrating the work that God has done in preparing them for childbirth.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today was an important first for me; I taught my first class in Philosophy of Religion at Ateneo de Manila University.

I've been so looking forward to this and I feel wonderfully privileged to have this opportunity. The class itself was exhilarating: terrifying and exhausting. I will have a lot of work to do to keep up with it, but I'm probably looking forward to that the most.

Friday, June 08, 2007

With the help of a remarkable lady, a nurse from the States, we have a seminar going on right now for our workers to learn basic first aid and life support from the Red Cross. All our workers are there (with a few exceptions of people who cannot be freed from there responsibilities). Everyone is a excited to be learning such vital information. This is the kind of training we very much need, but usually need the assistance of outsiders for. So, thank you Tricia!
We've just spent the most lovely four days with the Gall family from Colorado. They adopted Mira and Sam from the little children's home eight and twelve years ago respectively. We visited them in their home last year, and this year they brought them back to the Philippines for their first visit to their home country since they left here as babies.
One of the special things they did was to arrange a meal at one of our workers' homes to experience something of the way Filipinos live. Helen and Belen put on an outstanding meal for us. It happened to be Helen's birthday, so we were able to celebrate it with her.
Both Sam and Mira have very soft hearts toward the children in the baby home. It was a little like the meeting of long-lost siblings. They both (as well as their parents) wanted to spend a lot of time at the home, just enjoying the children. Walking away for the last time yesterday Sam said, "Mom, Nika needs a family." They know the importance of that very well as the recipients of a great Christian home.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Volunteers from the community (mostly missionary families and an expatriot lady) converged on the birthing home today, to help us utilize some of the paint the sailors left with us last week.

We painted, some of us, from 8 til 6. We got a tremendous amount of work done, and more will come tomorrow. It's amazing how rejuvenating a fresh coat of paint can be.