A Piece of Heaven at Uncle Dick’s Orphanage

Journal Entry: July 3, 2011
Had the most amazing experience of my life. I could live at the orphanage with the kids. Alvin, Carlos, Don Don, Christian, Sheldon, Melody, Angel, JP, Jennifer, Baby Bob and a bunch of kids. But the one I really connected with was Alvim. Alvin held my hand the entire time. He is adorable. We started by walking around the grounds and checking out the pavilion. Dogs and chickens were everywhere. I even think I saw a hummingbird.

With Hannah before Crossing the ‘rickety old bridge’!

After that we had lunch and put on play clothes. We walked, well actually I ran holding hands with Don Don, Christian, Sheldon and Alvin. They had this awesome rickety old bridge that crossed a huge river with rapids. After we crossed we found ourselves in a huge cornfield. We started running down the river and all the dogs were running and barking on the other side. John climbed a coconut tree and ran straight up on a cobra that stood up quick to strike. One of the children ran up saying it was unsafe so we so we went back and as we started to cross the bridge is started pouring down rain. We then played ‘keep away’ in the rain with the children for hours! We played boys vs. girls, climbed trees, tried to eat guava and ate the best mangoes of my life.

Playing keep away with Alvin in the Rain at Uncle Dick’s Orphanage

The boys playing Angry Birds on my iPhone

We cleaned up for dinner and then the kids in the orphanage started playing with my iPhone to see pictures from America. We all started playing games like Monopoly and Life on my iPhone. Their favorite game by far was Angry Birds. The kids loved taking my camera to take pictures as well. They got a bunch of good ones that I am excited to print.

Katy brought her beanies babies to give to all the kids as well. They loved it! And are great at sharing. Alvin picked out a buffalo named Roam to keep that was brown like his Teddy bear named Jeffrey. Jeffrey had a shirt so Alvin cut it and used part of it to make a collar for Roam. It was adorable. (writing through fields on the way from the orphanage to the airport, hence the chicken scratch).

My new friend’s Roam and Jeffrey.

Sitting with Baby Bob

After dinner the kids put on a really nice show for us. Even Baby Bob got up to sing and dance. Baby Bob was definitely overwhelmed by all the Americans and would cry when anyone came near him but after dinner I won over Baby Bob’s heart. He sat on my lap, gave me kisses and sang songs. He made me feel so special that he liked me.

I also found out that Alvin was 12 years old and has the same birthday as my husband, Andrew. October 23rd. Alvin and I were kismet from the start. Alvin even said good night to me and then woke me up in the morning!! I will NEVER forget my time at Uncle Dick’s Orphanage. I can’t wait till God brings me back there!! It seriously felt like a little piece of Heaven being there.

Uncle Dick’s Orphanage in Mindanao Philippines

Diary: A Deaf class invites Jesus into their Hearts!

Journal Entry: June 29, 2011
Had yet another amazing experience… I was able to share the good news with a deaf class in the Philippines. They were talking about skipping the class cause it would be difficult to translate from english to tagalog to sign language. However I said no way are we missing that class room. And I am so glad that I stood up and said we are going in because I had the most awesome experience. It took two sign language teachers to interpret the good news but by the end 36 deaf Filipino children took Jesus into their hearts, as well the two teachers. They were all so into it. When we got into the part about Hell I could see the worry on all their faces and when they found out Jesus was alive and could live in their hearts I could see the excitement in their eyes. It was very cool to witness. The easy thing to do would have been to walk away from that classroom but I am so glad I didn’t! I shared the Gospel a little different with them as well. I told them how God created them in His image and that they are all special. They loved that Jesus could live in their hearts and I made sure to make it very clear to always turn to Him in good and bad times. And that whether they can hear or not, have blonde hair or black hair God loves us all the same. When I finished sharing the Gospel the children were signing to me I love you, thank you and God Bless you. It really touched my heart! It was really cool.

check out some of the video from that day…

Diary: A Divine Appointment

Journal Entry: June 28, 2011

A cute baby playing outside our broken down Jeepney in Manilla.

Driving around the Philippines and we got a flat tire. Most people would be frustrated but I used it as an opportunity to spread the word of Jesus. First I gave a track to a little old man with no shirt or shoes on who was missing his teeth. Then I started to give a track to every person who walked past our Jeepney and I noticed the little old man stop to read the track. When I saw this I waved him back over to the Jeepney and told him I came from America to spread the word of Jesus and I asked if I could share with him. He said yes but spoke poor English so I tried to explain using the correlating spot with the track which was in Tagalog for him to understand. When I got to the part where you can invite Jesus into your life, if you chose, I asked if that was something he wanted to do, and if he wanted to pray to ask Jesus to come into his heart. He said yes and he repeated the prayer in English after me to give his life over to God. I knew I was going to come to the Philippines to share the Gospel with school children and was so excited God presented the opportunity to share with this cute little old man.

A few minutes later the other Americans saw some kids playing basketball and asked the Pastors if they could go talk to them and play. As we walked down 100 yards or so to the children I noticed a family sitting on the stoop outside. It was a Grandmother, two Mothers, a Father and 3 children. I told the others to go ahead and that I wanted to speak to this family. I approached the Grandmother and asked if I could share the good news with her and her family, I explained I traveled all the way from America to share this news. She said yes and they spoke enough English that I could give the entire Gospel presentation. I then asked the entire family if they wanted to invite Jesus into their hearts right now and they all said yes. The Grandmother stopped me before we prayed to get one more family member out of the house to pray with us as well. This touched me because I knew in that moment she understand the importance of this moment in her families life. We prayed and then when I was telling their family that they are now children of God, the americans walked back up from playing basketball and it was perfect timing to tell them that they now have us all as their American brothers and sisters and that they were now our Filipino brothers and sisters. It was an amazing experience and an incredible divine appointment from God. When I was done I gave them some tracks and the Grandmother asked if she could share with her brother and one of the mothers asked if she could have more to share with her friends. I encouraged them to share the good news with everyone! It was beyond amazing. Who knew a flat tire would give me the opportunity to bring an entire family to Christ. Well I guess God knew they needed to hear it so he gave us the opportunity with the flat tire. πŸ™‚

Diary: 1,571 more people in Heaven

Journal Entry: Morning of June 28, 2011

Making “wacky-wacky” faces with John and the Filipino children!

Waking up with 1,571 more people walking into Heaven because God gave me the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. What an amazing feeling. One of the Filipino Pastors, Mars, was telling me my crown is getting bigger with each life Jesus saves and that God must be proud of me. I always make sure to tell the Filipino kids that them going to Heaven is not because of the fact that I came to them on this day but because of what Jesus did for all of us. The most amazing feeling is when you see the little faces looking at you and hanging on every word as you share the Gospel of Christ. I love hearing the children pray. I almost started to cry in one of the classrooms yesterday because a little girl came and stood right in front of me to pray and I could hear every word inviting Jesus into her heart as her Savior.

Do Something: Bible on a Bag!

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him. 1 John 3:17

“How many times a day do you stop at an intersection, see a homeless person begging and have to make a choice on what you’re going to do. Afraid they might spend the money you give them on alcohol, you pretend to ignore them by playing with your radio, or you frantically scrape for change at the bottom of your middle console before the light turns green. With Bible on a bag, you can fill your back seat up with paper bags filled with none perishable items (like crackers, mint, water, nuts, a toothbrush etc.) and a note with hope and inspiration on it. You will never have to turn anyone in need away again. You will always have something to give to anyone begging. You can be a blessing every time.” -Mrs. Sonshine

Be the change you want to see in the world and check out this inspiring video made by a 17 year old girl!

Diary: In Manilla at my first school

5am outside the first schools with Chloe & Hannah in Manilla, Philippines.

Journal Entry: June 27, 2011
Sitting in my first school in Manilla about to watch Chloe share the gospel. I am so excited! We are at an elementary school with 1,900 students. Chloe and I are sitting in the Principals office with the Pastors now – Nolie, Mars and Pastor Bong. I took the time to pray with Chloe before she steps out to share the gospel with all the children. My roomates and I have started praying at night together as well. This trip is incredible! Jesus is working in Filipino and American lives!

I just now finised sharing the gospel with my first three classrooms and the Holy Spirit moved through me perfectly. The words came right to me. I was not nervous and each student I shared with acknowledged that they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior! (117 students).

At my second school of the day I visited four classrooms and shared with another 200 students. Then went to another school and shared with four more classrooms. And at my very last school for the day, I did my first big assembly. I shared the gospel with 1,000+ elementary schoolers! I am loving every minute of this!

Today alone 9 Americans shared the gospel with 12,751 Filipino students in Manilla. I personally shared with 1,571. I can’t wait for tomorrow, even though we wake up at 4:30am. I am used to it anyways from the radio station πŸ™‚

With the kids after sharing the gospel with 1,000+ elementary school kids! My first big assembly in the Philippines.

Take a Peak into my Diary

After just meeting Katrina we hop on a flight from Jacksonville to the other side of the world!

I was looking over the journal I kept in the Philippines and I’m kind of in awe of what I wrote and how God used me to do everything I prayed about. Lots of people ask me what I really did and experienced on the mission trip. I was going to start blogging about some of my favorite experiences so I sat down and opened my journal this morning to see what I should share. Well, I think I have decided to share it all. This way you can see what a mission trip is like if you feel God is calling you, or just to read about my experiences overseas or maybe as encouragement to know how much God loves each and everyone one of us and can use us for great things if we let him! But mostly, I hope this inspires you on your walk with the Lord. This trip was the most rewarding experience of my life and I pray God will use me on many more to spread the gospel!! So here is an inside peak into my diary from the Philippines. I am going to write word for word what I wrote starting from day #1 when I was sitting on the plane. Ok, Here it is… an inside look into my diary! Enjoy and don’t make fun! Haha.

Journal Entry: June 25th, 2011
Starting the adventure of a lifetime today. I am writing from a plane on the way to Nagoya Japan. Sitting here and I have been going over my testimony and gospel presentation. Feeling confident that God will give me everything I need to touch the lives of the people I meet in the Philippines. I know at the end of the day “we are by grace saved through faith – not of ourselves but by the free gift of God.” I am trusting God to use me as a vessel to do his work.

Journal Entry: June 26th, 2011
One day into my travels and it has already been an amazing trip. Jesus is definitely with us and touching people before we have even landed in Manilla. Not only has God been touching the lives of the flight attendants and passangers, he is working in me. The people I have met are amazing. I feel blessed to have met Carolina & Katrina and that they will be in my group for 3 weeks. They are wonderful girls who I know will encourage me to continue on a rightous path.

Lord, I pray that while I’m here and making life long friendships I keep the main focus on you. I want to be stripped down to the bare bone and built back up in your name. Let this trip forever change my life and me.

Flying into Manilla and overlooking the city right now!! I can’t believe after two days of traveling I am about to land and start this adventure!