Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Goodbye Philippines

It is already Thursday in the Philippines.  Today will be a bittersweet day for the team.  In a little over 12 hrs they will board a plane in Cebu to begin making their way home to Tennessee.  They will have the despidida (goodbye/celebration) today at the orphange and there is so much to celebrate!  God has opened doors, raised up filipinos, tore down obstacles and blessed abundantly just as His word promises!  Please pray for safe and easy travels for the team.

Thankful, Sheryl

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Precious in His Sight

When I saw these pics I just couldn't wait to share them with you.  These are just two of the 107 dresses donated through Project Pillowcase. 

The first is on Judy Ann, the newest resident of Wesley Home for Youth.  She is a tiny 13 year old and only in grade 2.  She has been victimized in so many unspeakable ways.  We are currently in great need of sponsors for Judy Ann.  I hope you will be the one to support her.

This sweet baby girl lives in the Umapad dumpsite and is now clothed with a beautiful new dress! 

Thankful, Sheryl


Wanted to send a quick update.... I am running behind this morning...

Mitch boarded the plane last night at midnight and is headed back to the US.  We have a friend at the airport who confirmed his flight for us.

Glen and John Michael shared with us that they are Christians now!!  They shared that they have asked Jesus to save their souls...and now we will get to spend eternity with them.

We met a girl named Sheila who applied for the director position.  She seems to be really positive and we believe she will be great with the kids.

We met with the DSWD official for a seminar.  It was exciting to get to know her and receive needed answers to so many questions that we have.  We really have a much better structure at the orphanage and the progress has been great.

We will be worshipping with the kids at 9:30am on Saturday morning via Skype.  This is an answer to prayer!!  I am really looking forward to it!


Monday, September 27, 2010

coming to an end

So, our team has only 3 more days left in our trip.  we are still hoping to hire a director, find a full time pastor and get some approvals from the government for our orphanage.  We have just a few days to get these major goals accomplished.  We had discussed..but never really thought that a church would be started..but it is certainly in the process.  It is so exciting for us to know that our kids will be spiritually fed and provided for.  Our team has really experienced alot in the dumpsites, visiting the homes of our kids, going to the schools and experiencing worship with our kids.  This week and a half has really flown by for us.

Today was really no different.  We started our morning fairly early.  We went to the high school to pass out Bibles and share the gospel with the students.  We had an awesome time going into the class rooms and passing out the salvation bracelets.  Most of the 200 students that we spoke with prayed for salvation.  It was truly an awesome experience.

A teacher at the elementary school was sharing with us that one of the girl students was taking her 4 year old brother to school every day.  They were sharing that the family life was hard and that the family really needed help.  So, we investigated.  This afternoon, we went to visit with the mother of these two children and were really shocked with what we discovered.  The mother has been sick for quite some time with kidney failure.  She takes dialysis 2 times a day.  The 10 year old girl cooks for her mom and the 3 younger siblings.  She washes their clothes, cleans their home and basically runs the home.  The father of the children has left the family and has a younger girlfriend.  The mother will be dead soon...and there is no where to place the kids.  The kids will be homeless in a matter of weeks.  There are a few concerns with taking all 4 kids.  First is that if all 4 are gone...who will cook for the mother and make sure that she is okay.  Second, the mother does not want the kids to go without the father's consent..though the father is rarely around...and lastly it appears that the entire family has TB.  .. We are getting them all tested tomorrow to hopefully determine what their medical condition is.  Please pray for this family..I cannot imagine being 10 years old and having the responsibility of taking care of my dying mother ...while making sure my siblings are fed and in school...and getting myself taken care of..with food, bath and homework... it is way too much for this little girl.  Below are pics of the mom and kids.

I am praying that this family will be able to be with us soon....they certainly represent what we are trying to do with our mission.

Lastly... after visiting with this family..our hope and prayer for a church remains former pastor while in Cebu.. pastor Lemuel, lived over an hour from the orphanage...but he kept on coming up in conversation and prayer.  So, we went to visit with him this evening.  It was a great time of fellowship and catching up...he had not really changed that much in 10 years.  It was a true joy and blessing to share with him.  Pastor Lemuel continues to have a burden and a passion for the young people of the Philippines.  He agreed off the bat to help start the church and get a good foundation in place for the kids.  His family is from another island however...and in the future he has plans to go to Leyte to be with his family.  When this occurs he will not be physically present to be able to help and support the kids.  So, for now.. Pastor Lemuel plans to come by on Wednesday to meet the kids and for us to discuss what kind of schedule we can create for the kids so that they can have bible study and worship.  This is certainly a huge step in the right direction and an answer to alot of prayer.  Please continue to pray that God will send laborers to minister to our kids after we leave.

We will be interviewing all of the director candidates tomorrow and meeting with government officials tomorrow.  Alot of big picture "stuff" will be taking place and some pretty big decisions will be made tomorrow.  Pray for a good nights rest...and discernment for the team and decision makers.  I certainly appreciate all of the kind words, support and prayers that you all have been giving these past few weeks.

God we come to the end of our mission trip here...


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good News

The team has been very busy the past two days.  That is why I was unable to post a blog yesterday.  Yesterday (Saturday)..was chore days for the kids at the orphanage.  They planted in the garden, harvested the fruits and vegetables and learned how to sew pillow cases.  During the afternoon, the kids got out the musical instruments that were purchased the day before and were practicing for worship on Sunday.  All of our kids at the orphanage had invited their family and classmates to come on Sunday to worship with them on Sunday.  It was amazing to see how they would stay organized and focused on playing the worship songs though they did not have an instructor or anyone really to help them.  After practice, the property owner came by.  We discussed the future of the orphanage and how he may be able to help us.  He mentioned that he would be willing to finance the home and property with us.  This would be a huge asset and help if he were able to do this.  Please pray as we look at buying the property that we would have the financial means to do so and that the properry that we are currently on is not just leased but owned.  Later that evening a business friend of Arnell's came by.  He was so moved by the kids and their stories that he stated that he wanted to be a sponsor for our children and help out with the cost of the orphanage.  He is officially one of our largest sponsors...and the crazy thing is that it take 44 pesos to equal one of our dollars.  This man is willing to really give 44 times the amount of anyone due to the difference in peso to dollar.  What a true gift and sacrifice!

Sunday morning was filled with questions, curiousity and alot of hope.  Our kids practiced all day, we purchased instruments and a microphone system; chairs were borrowed; communion was prepared....we were ready for worship.  The question was, would anyone come.  Would anyone respond to hearing the good news from former children who lived in trash and were abused?  Would anyone want to know what they had to say and share?  It was truly overwhelming to see people come walking through our gates for worship.  There was standing room only.  They all stood up during worship and appeared to really mean the words they were singing to God.  There were several little babies that were present.  You never heared a cry or a whimper..though it was 90 degrees and we were outside...everyone was focused on the message and the time of worship.  Mitch again, led the congregation through the salvation bracelet.  He used the different colors of shirts as visual aids and the Filipinos really enjoyed being a part of the presentation.  At the end, Mitch shared an example of a prayer that could be said to ask for salvation from God.  He let them know that God looks at the heart and would be the one to convict; but he wanted to give them some words that may help them as they sought to seek forgiveness for their sins.  It appeared that all present prayed that prayer to God.  Again, I cannot state what God did in the hearts and lives of the 70 there..but it certainly appeared that many were moved.

After worship we all got together for fellowship and food.  All 70 plus stayed and enjoyed the orphanage.  The parents and the kids appeared to really enjoy catching up with one another and sharing about their weeks and about their siblings.  It was great to see them hugging and interacting with one another.  The food was great!  After the fellowship we took a group picture and provided transportation for the parents to go back home.  We then took the kids swimming.  Though they live right next to the is always a treat for them to go to the beach because they rarely have the time or opportunity to go.  The kids were so much fun playing different water games, jumping off each other's shoulders and some were learning to swim.  They enjoyed trying to teach me how to swim...but to no success.

After swimming we took the kids to McDonalds!  Which is always a treat.  Mitch and I met with Kicks and the missionary from Atlanta.  We talked about how few evangelical churches are in the Mandaue/Liloan area.  He reported to us that it was under 1% of the population was evangelical or knew of how to have a personal relationship with Christ.  We talked for over an hour about options and possibilities and how we may partner together.  We will just hope and pray that an opportunity will arise where our kids can have a permanent pastor.  That is a great prayer for us right now.

Today we will be going to the high school to pass out Bibles and share the salvation bracelets.  We should interact with around 180 high school youth.  We will be interviewing 2 people for the director position at the orphanage.  We will hopefully be going out to meet with another pastor who may have interest in working with our kids at the orphanage.  It should be a busy day.... but I cannot think of anything else I would rather be busy doing.

Please continue to pray for us....


Friday, September 24, 2010


Today our team went and visited where all of the kids at WHY used to live.  Most of our kids have some family... Catherine only has a grandmother who is deaf..but the rest have siblings and at least one parent who is alive or incarcerated.

The team left early and went to pick up all of the parent(s) of the WHY children at a central location so that all of the parents could go on the trip to each child's home.

You can't really tell in the picture above, but it was taken in the door way of the home.  This is Daisy's former home.  The people sleep and stay here.  It was all that we could do to fit into their home...I could not imagine living there.

The goal of the trip was simple.  To see where the kids have come from, to pray with and encourage the parents and leave a gift that would help and sustain that home for a month or so. 
The sizes of the homes varied...but all of them were very small.  The floors  where 3-7 people slept (and yes I meant to type floors) were about the size of one American fact most were smaller.  IN the photo above you can see that an American bed would not even come close to fitting in their entire home.  I think (I don't like making statements that lumps everyone together) that none of them had running water inside their homes; I know the majority didn't.  Most did not have a bathroom inside their home it was outside.  None of them had a stove; they just had a designated area at the side of their home where they would put coals or build fires in order to cook their food.  All of them had Catholic idols and imagery in their homes.  And I guess the obvious..there are no refrigerators, recliners, stoves, couches, carpet, wall paper, .. basically what is in there are dirt or cement floors, plastic chairs and uhm, candles.

All of the families had smiles on their faces.  All of them were working when we arrived.  Doing laundry, sweeping the floors, getting out chairs, cleaning off shoes...what little they have, they took pride in and valued.  It was amazing and encouraging to see.

As you read about the early church....Saul went from house to house to persecute the church.  That was b/c that the home was where the early church worshipped and that you could distinguish and recognize a Christian home from the rest of the culture and people.  It was simply amazing for us as a team to go from home to home to share our faith, to express Christ's love and get to know the kind of homes and environment our kids came from.  We are truly blessed.  It "feels" like missionary work when you are physically going to different homes to pray and share your faith.  It was truly an amazing day.  The parents will be coming to the orphanage on Sunday for church.  Our very first church service.  The first time that many will hear the good news.  We have decided we will call the church, the Good News Church.  Because that is what we want the focus to be the good news.

Prayer points:  Some of the homes had NO food.  This was very concerning for me.  Every home I have been in while I lived in the Philippines has food, rice is so cheap and readily available it concerned me greatly that some homes had none.  Please pray that all of our children's extended family will have the means to eat.

Spiritually none of our families are born again Christians.  Several of the families attend church on Sundays..but none of them profess having an individual relationship with Christ.

Mentally..I cannot imagine living where these folks live; not knowing if you will eat that day, not having a bathroom, having a small mat to call a bed..and then to leave that one day (which our kids did) but leave behind the rest of my family..knowing I had my own bed and all the food I can eat...but not knowing if my mom, dad or siblings were eatting has to be traumatic for our kids.  I cannot imagine the worry that they must be under.  Most of our kids worked in some form or fashion to provide food for their they are in school and in the orphanage and the families have lost this extra income.

Continue to pray about the director for the orphanage, a pastor for the church, and a way we can raise enough funds to have a projector so that we can worship together on Sundays.

Pray for our health and strength....

Now to Him who is able to do abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine......
To Him be glory forever and ever,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

big enough

As I am typing...I am quite tired from a long day...I don't think you are supposed to gripe on a blog..I am sure that is ettiquite somewhere, so I will refrain.

My day was quite simply amazing.  After breakfast and picking up the team at the orphanage we went to the dumpsite.  In hand we had around 100 Bibles from the Gideons, about 100 dresses, several pair of pants, shirts and shorts...tons of different kinds of candies and our objective was to love on and share the love of Christ with hundreds of kids who call where people dump their trash home.  I was quite fond of that idea...and continue to be tonight.  It was great to see these kids seemingly just come from anywhere and everywhere to get their Bibles and clothes.  Many of them naked, many with diseases, many hungry and all with a smile on their faces.  We could have stayed there for days handing out the candies, Bibles and clothes..many did not get anything, and those who did will go hungry again, and be naked again....and so we are reminded of how big our God is.  That He is big enough to hold them when there is no one there to; big enough to use birds, strangers, or even angels to clothe and protect these precious kids.  God certainly does not NEED us to do any of these things..He is without question Big Enough and great enough to supply all of their needs.  But by His design and purpose He has called all of HIs followers to be His hands and feet.  He has called us to go to the ends of the globe proclaiming the Good News and showing the love of God the best ways that we know how.  I, nor any of the team are worthy to be used by God...yet while we were sinners He died for us..and now that we are His children He is shaping us to be more like Him...

After the dumpsite, the burden and vision for starting the church at the orphanage has continued to be laid on our hearts.  The entire team basically emptied out our wallets to purchase a drum, a keyboard and a microphone with a speaker.  We now have enough musical instruments to play and worship God (not that just our voices or a guitar would not have been enough)!!  WE are still praying for a pastor.  A leader within the community to rise up and say that they will pastor our children. Until then, our mission team has coveted with the kids at the orphanage that we will worship with them VIA SKYPE every SAturday night (their SUnday morning)..and the director that we will hopefully hire, will do Bible studies and quiet time with our kids.  However, we are officially without money...and we do not have a projector where the kids can see us as we worship, pray and listen together.... a projector here costs around $500 (for the cheaper ones).  Please pray that a heart or an opportunity will arise so that we may get a projector for our worship service.

Last night was the first night that all of us had a chance to really pray, talk about God and sing worship music with our orphans.  What an amazing experience to sit beside a child who is trying to figure out where passages are in their Bible and be the one to show them where it is.  To see their smiling faces as they give thanks and praise to God in song.  To watch them intently listen to the Good News of Jesus Christ and what it may look like in their lives to have Him as their personal Savior.  Though I love the dumpsite...sitting next to our 11 kids who use to live in the dumpsite but are now learning about the riches of God is simpy overwhelming.  To know that our team and supporters all in our each small way but collaboratively have worked together to rescue these children from prostitution and abuse is simply amazing.  I praise and thank God as I am overwhelmed by His goodness and mercies. 

Please continue to pray for the team.  We have been here about 4 days now and have had some really busy days.  We are all tired, we are all anxious and we simply anticipate with excitement all that God will do in the days to come.  Pray for discernment, good health, clarity for our team.  Thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

God of wonders

Today was an interesting day.... the things that we plan are often not what God has planned and the unexpected and the desires of our hearts that we think are not possible are often what God has in store if we only have faith.. I mean that by... this morning as I indicated in an earlier post, we were planning to have two new youth come into our orphanage today.  As we were making preparations and coordinating the travel of the 2 kids families to the orphanage we were informed that one of the boys (Nonoy) will not be coming to our orphanage due to him feeling unsafe and not wanting to leave his grandmother.  We of course hated to hear that he is no longer interested in being a part of our family...but as usual, God knows the desires of everyone's hearts.

Judy Ann, did come to the orphanage; was processed and is spending her first night in the orphanage with us today.  Judy Ann's mother is a gambler, and has her children working for her.  They have been victimized and abused by their mother for most of the lives.  Due to her mother's abuse Judy Ann who is 13 years old is now in the 2nd grade.  We sat together today for close to an hour talking about her goals, the reason she want to come to the orphanage and the life that she has lived up to this point.  Her eye glimmer with hope and wonderment as we talked about her having her own bed, going to school everyday and catching her up on her grades so that she may graduate from high school and potentially college.  Judy Ann is now with a new family... and will be learning about grace, love and forgiveness this week from the mission team and for weeks to come from the orphanage staff.

We then had another applicant come by "Rondell" (I think that is how you spell his name) with his mother.  his circumstances have changed and his need to have a place where he can eat and a safe place to sleep has dramatically increased.  Through a long screening process and interview; I am 98% sure that Rondell will be spending his first night with us tomorrow night.  I look forward to how this will work out...

We discovered yesterday while at the grade school that there is a young boy who does not have a home has been brought to school by his older sister for several months.  The boy is literally homeless at a very young age (I think 7 but not sure) and seemingly has no one to take care of him but his sister who lives in a home somewhere in the community.  We had no place to put this boy until now...and due to Nonoy not being able to come in..this has freed up a space.  I do not know his name and I don't have good details on his circumstances...but I do know that there are no such things as accidents or coincidences and I am prayerful that we will be able to provide this young man a home.

I will try to be brief about other updates.  Due to God opening up doors from the summer missio team; the kids at the orphanage are really enjoying playing music and learning how to play music.  We purchased musical instruments today and have identified a teacher so that our kids will be able to have a worship team to sing praises to God!  Furthermore, our kids are hungry for God's Word and to grow spiritually.  There have yet been more doors opened and we will be having church/worship at the orphanage this coming Sunday with our youth leading the worship and Mitch and myself structuring and sharing during that service together.  We hope to give everyone a chance to respond to entering into a relationship with Christ this coming Sunday which will include not only our kids but their families as well.  Another thing that we are planning to do is to offer an opportunity for our kids to become members of our church by the means of baptism.  Please pray that the youth in our orphanage and some (if not all) of their family members become believers and desire to be baptized.  We are truly unsure of what their response will be.  So.. saying all of appears that we are in the process of starting a church this week.  We had no idea or plans to start a church on this mission trip.  But people, resources ... and I believe God has opened up doors and opportunities for this to occur... and we simply want to respond in obedience.

Personally...please pray for Sheryl (my wife) and I.  We have been looking at opportunities and ways to go overseas to live so that we can serve Filipinos full time in mission work.  Today, I met a good friend of Andy Stanley who is a full time missionary in Cebu who is looking to plant a church.  That group have been praying to find others who are called to serve Filipinos and help plant a church in Cebu Philippines... I am not sure if Sheryl and I are the ones that they have been praying for... but we are prayerfully going to inquire with them and learn more about the need. 

Thanks for all of your prayers and support,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Amazing God, Amazing Filipinos

The elementary school where our kids attended allowed our mission team to come in and share the good news of Jesus Christ in the 6th grade class rooms and we partnered with the Gideons to hand out Bibles.  My battery is about to die on my computer...but I just want to say... the eagerness in these kids eye to hear the "secret" (b/c it is not shared) on how to have a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ was obtained.  I told them that Jesus does not care as much about the words that you pray as much as He does about your sincerity and your heart.  You should have heard these children in all 3 classrooms pray to God for their was truly sincere and amazing.  I am SO thankful that over 180 kids got to hear the plan of salvation and all to my knowledge did pray to God to be saved.  I cannot tell you what He did in their hearts but I can certainly tell you what He did in mine.  What a privilege and an honor to be able to present God's Word and His plan of salvation to those who have never heard and have never been told of his grace and love!!  We were able to distibute around 400 Bibles at the elementary school.

The Gideons who are there were very impressed with the ministry and the goals of our ministry.  They have agreed to help us with the spiritual growth and fomation of our kids at the orphanage which has been a huge prayer concern for us.  They have also commited to bringing around 1000 Bible next week to be distriuted at the high school where our kids attend.  It was truly an amazing amazing day!

My battery is almost dead... today we welcome 2 new kids to the orphanage.  Please pray for their transition and that they feel welcomed and safe.  Please pray for our team as we make relationships with them and their families.  Today we also have a big board meeting that will really impact the direction of the ministry in Cebu.  Please pray for discernment and God's peace on key issues that we will be discussing.  It will be a busy day and God will again be given all praise, glory and honor for all the He does in and through our lives today.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Camotes w/team

So, yesterday when the team arrived, they looked pretty exhausted... I remember the feeling quite well.  We went to the orphanage where Mitch and Tina could see the orphanage for the first time and hopefully get to see some of the kids before they went to school.  Most of the kids were already gone.  The new room looks amazing!  I will try to take some pics today so you can see it.  We can now double our capacity and be at 20+ kids if we had enough donors and sponsors.  I am really hoping and praying that God will lay it on the hearts of churches, small groups, working environments and families to help fund this ministry of rescuing kids off of the streets and dumpsites.

After a quick breakfast we took off to catch the ferry that goes to Camotes where the donated property is located.  Unfortunately we did not catch that boat..but this gave us time to rest some and find a store where a few supplies could be purchased.  When we arrived in Camotes one of Arnell's friends picked us up for lunch.  The team was able to relax a few minutes before we got to the land.  The land was not very wide, maybe 100 feet, but it was very deep.  I estimate close to a football field.  It was great to pray while walking along the property and just dream about what God can do with a plot of land that has been designated to be used in His service.  God can do alot with the VERY little that we have to offer.  We found out later that day that the mayor of Camotes really believes in the mission of the orphanage as well.  He has offered to donate a large plot of land owned by the government that we can use to teach others how to farm and live off of the land.  We could potentially have a vocational school not only for our kids to benefit from but for other Filipinos who want to learn.  This is a great opportunity...and I know nothing about starting a school (much like an orphanage)... so, I am quite intrigued about what God has in store for us!

The trip back to Cebu was long and the team was really tired; we had a quick dinner at the orphanage that was prepared for us...and then we got to go and see the kids!!  They were all in their rooms and it appeared that they were getting ready for bed.  We went into the girls room and got caught up some...and then we got to pray for them.  Pray for their bodies, souls, minds, their families that they had was great to hold their hands and pray to their Creator that great things will be done in their lives and that He will be known in their hearts.  We did the same in the boys dorm as well.  It was a perfect way to end a LONG day!  (I had messed up the time on my alarm and woke up close to 2 hours too early (4am) so I was ALMOST as tired as the team...but they were exhausted.

So, now it is Tuesday morning... please pray that the team had a good nights rest.  Pray for their strength to be restored and their minds to be clear.  We have a wonderful day set before us.  We arrive at the school at 10am to meet with the principal.  We will then plan and discuss the Bible distribution and how we will teach the purpose of the salvation bracelets.  Pray that God will use the Bibles and the salvation bracelets to reveal Himself to these children ...pray that God will help them realize that He is accessible by prayer and not through an idol or a saint.  That He is personal.  And that they can enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ today.....We hope to distribute over 300 bracelets today...and around 2,000 Bibles!!  What an amazing opportunity that God has laid before us.  Please pray for those children who will hear the plan of salvation for the first time in their lives.


Safety Update

Hi friends!  For those who are wondering, the entire team is now safely in Cebu.

Thankful, Sheryl

Sunday, September 19, 2010

back again

So, it is different everytime I come back to the Philippines.  I am different...the newness is less; the struggle between life in the US and the life in the Philippines gets stronger.  It is very very confusing... I have my values in the US along with my beliefs...and so do Filipinos.  Common sense would tell you that I should not impose or expect Filipinos to adopt my set of values and beliefs because I am American.  And so, while I am in the Philippines, I try my best not to.  So, if I am not to "impose" my values, but I do want to share the love of Christ to them and the message of hope and do I do that?  I want you to think about this and put yourself in my shoes.  I am in a foreign country with perceptions of Who God is and how one interacts with God very differently from my own. I have a Bible for point of reference that I can read and they can read and we can agree that certain passages mean certain things.  Like, that Jesus died for our sins.  But through the course of these mission trips we are to the point in the ministry where it is time to disciple and teach about what it means to be followers of Christ.  I don't mean to over complicate things...but saying you are suppose to sing 3 songs, shake peoples hands, sing another song, take up an offering and hear someone speak for 15-30 minutes is church or what it should look like.  Furthermore...not to make you think that I am totally off my rocker... but I am not overly convinced that saying a single prayer or repeating a prayer that someone tells you to pray secures a person's soul into heaven.  I am not sure if Americans have this whole church/God thing down too good. 

Yet, I am here in the Philippines with the intentions of sharing my faith in Christ and helping others to understand what a relationship with Him should look like (if I even know) and I have 2 weeks to do all this.  The more I am thinking about what we are doing, the more and more I am convinced that we need long term solutions.. . which costs money if we are talking staff... and we are talking identifying like minded people who will teach the perceived truth to these kids.  Which goes back to my initial confusion -- what is the truth and what is American?  The more I pray and the more I wrestle with this line of thought the more I realize the need for me and my family to be here....and while we are here, to figure out as best as possible what a relationship with Christ should look like without expecting our own perceptions and beliefs to be freely and readily accepted in a culture where you must go to a parent to request a date with their it makes sense that you must go to Mary to request that you can "talk to" Jesus.  Yet that is their beliefs....though Jesus died so that we may "approach the throne boldly".

Please be in prayer as we go about this week.  Sharing our faith, showing the love of Christ and establishing long term, solution focused plans with the orphanage so that the kids can have the structure they need, the community can have a place for resources and help, and that the good news of Jesus Christ is clearly, culturally relative in a manner that Filipinos would consider taking up their cross and following Christ every day of their lives.

I have attached some photos to this blog.  They are from my trip in Bohol.  I am amazed at God's handy work and how His creation cries out to show and bring his glory.  Seeing the sand, the beach reminds me of how he cleanses and makes things new, the chocolate hills reminds me of just how unique and special each one of us are and the tarsier monkey reminds me of how fragile we are and that are total dependence must be on God (they have no skull or bones).

Now that I have enjoyed God's creation I do look forward to sharing with others the Good News!  I pray for discernment that I will know the rights words to say and the right time to say them in.  I hope that Filipinos do not see Americans coming to tell them how to live, but Ambassadors of Christ sharing that there is hope and freedom found in Him.  I  look forward to sharing more in the days to come!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hello Friends!

I apologize for the lack of blogging lately.  I have been busy getting my favorite missionary ready to go.  Dustin flew out today and the rest of the team will be on their way on Saturday.  We should be receiving updates from them next week.

In the meantime, PLEASE keep each of them in your prayers.





I would like to give you one update to ponder and pray about while we await present day updates and photos from the team. 

Please keep in mind as you read stories of the children currently living at WHY (Wesley Home for Youth) and children in the dumpsites, they are children....just like ours in the US.  Sometimes we expect orphaned, abandoned and neglected children to behave differently than our own.  Some of these children have been sexually abused by family members, some have been abandoned by parents and left with other relatives who could not afford to take care of them....they don't always have perfect manners or attitudes of gratefulness....they are children who are now being given a safe place to live, an opportunity of an education and being taught about Jesus in a different way than they have known of Him previously.  Some of the children are bitter, some of them disobey and neglect their chores -- but no matter, they need LOVE, ATTENTION, PRAYERS and FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

Please pray for John Michael, Catherine and John Loyd as they are struggling with being apart from their families and with their responsibilities at the home. 

Please pray for Glenn as he is in his last year of high school and has the leader role in the home. 

Please pray that Jolly's asthma and health will improve. 

Please for Emily in her first year of college.

Please pray for Judy Ann and Nino in adjusting to their new environment.

Please pray for Daisy, Jeraluz and Michelle as they struggle with getting involved in extra curricular activities and the effects of puberty and early teenage years.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thankful, Sheryl

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dresses, dresses, dresses

I have very talented bloggy friends!  I thought I would share with you some of the beauty that has been appearing at my door over the past few days.  Not only am I excited about the dresses but also where they are coming from -- all over the country!
Utah, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Kansas and of course Tennessee!
A total of 107 dresses!  All handmade by people with different fabrics, different levels of sewing talents, different patterns and creativity -- just the way God made us!  Beautiful.

Thanks for pitching in to help clothe children that are half way around the world, that you've never met, that need to know someone cares -- and you took the time to show them.  Thank you!

Thankful, Sheryl

Friday, September 3, 2010


This is officially the 100th post of Offer Them Christ.  It is a big deal in the blogosphere.  But instead of excited, I'm feeling beaten down. 

I am truly craving more time with God, I am craving His word and worship.  I feel that the little I get is just not enough.  I feel empty, like I am a hamster in a wheel going as fast as can -- but going nowhere.  The ravenous wolves of this world are nipping at my heels and I am constantly only just ahead of them.

But I found comfort in these words....They remind me of the strength of my God, but the warmth; the power but also the kindness in His voice. 

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

So often we take great offense to people like Mr. Hawking, to negative things in the news, tragedy in our country and around the world.  But oh, how He loves.  He is here to protect, to provide, to strengthen, to comfort, to love us.  We just have to reach out to His hand, the hand of Jesus.

On this the 100th post, I would like to say thanks for reading, for wanting to be updated about life in the Philippines and life in general.

VERY thankful, Sheryl

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Project Pillowcase Update

If you have been feverishly finishing those dresses, it's time to step away from the machine! 

Thank you for giving of your time and talents.  Please leave a comment if you need the shipping address to get the dresses mailed out.  I appreciate all of you who have been involved in this project and am THRILLED to keep it going.  I plan to continue making and receiving dresses for future shipments to the Philippines and future mission trips.  Please spread the word to sewing groups, friends, neighbors, etc. 
My husband will be taking pictures of the girls who receive the dresses (and boys who receive other clothing items) and I will post them here. 

Thankful, Sheryl