Diary: Baguio Market and Whitrina da pups!

Journal Entry: July 9, 2011

Children I shared the gospel with in the market.

Children I shared the gospel with in the market.

Papa John’s girls are down to three. We said goodbye to Dana, Katy, Hannah (and Abby) today. Very sad after spending two incredible weeks together but they are heading back to the states. We had fellowship bracelets made for us in the Baguio City market before they left. I bought one for Lindsay, Chloe and John as well. I miss those three so much!! 

In the Baguio market, God also provided some really cool ministry opportunities. There were young girls trying to sell us bags and I told them I didn’t need a bag but I would love to share something with them if they had a few minutes. I shared with them the gospel and how God sent me to the Philippines to share the love of Christ. I asked them if they wanted to pray with me to invite Jesus into their hearts and they said yes! After we prayed they asked if I had time for them to go find their brothers, they wanted them to know Jesus too!! It was an incredible experience. I also gave them tracks (a little handout book the Tebow’s made to share the gospel with them in Tagalog) so they go go home and share with the rest of their family and friends! It was really special because every time we went into the market after that, the girls would find me and give me hugs! Praise God for my new brothers and sisters at the Baguio market!

Ps: Wilmark brought over our puppy today! We gave her a bath and kept her in our hotel for a day, before Wilmark took the puppy to his wife. The puppy is so tiny and black and has been snuggling and sleeping the whole time. So cute and sweet! I love Whitrina!

Whitrina

Whitrina

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Diary: Bad mountain weather in the Jeepney

Journal Entry: July 8, 2011

I got my journal back! Thank you God and thank you Pastor Charlie. I left my notebook at a school over two hours from where we are staying in Baguio City. I thought it was gone forever. But the Filipino people are the most loving, caring and generous people I have ever met! After 16+ hour days, Pastor Charlie still managed to get in touch with the school and get my journal back! What a blessing! I was extremely sad when I realized I left my journal on the table at the school, but thought God must have meant it for someone else to find and be touched by my stories of sharing Christ’s love with the Filipino people. But I am so glad God brought it back to me!

Katrina and I in the Jeepney!

Katrina and I in the Jeepney!

Today I had a great day with Katrina, Wilmark, Jem Jim and Ticong aka King Kong. We woke up at 3am and we didn’t get home till 6:30pm because we drove so far in the mountains. The fog and rain was so bad we had about 3 feet of visibility. It was pretty sketch driving through the winding mountain roads. Wilmark could not even see out of the Jeepney. Jim Jem had to wipe an area in front of Wilmark’s face so he could see out of the driver side windshield. We had no windshield wipers and no air conditioning but had all the flaps down on the Jeepney due to rain so the windshield was all fogged. As Katrina and I prayed for safety and sang songs about Jesus, Ticong slept peacefully in the back while his head bobbed like a bobble doll. It was a drive I will never forget! Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe!

We also want Wilmark to get Katrina and I a puppy. We want to name it Whitrina and have Wilmark keep it for us with his wife so when we come back to the Philippines we have a dog. 🙂 The Filipino pastors are absolutely incredible! We have so much fun with them. Katrina and I made a few fun videos as well with them today… including one about the C.R. (Filipino bathrooms).

Sharing the gospel at a school in the mountains and one little boy was representing Florida!

Sharing the gospel at a school in the mountains and one little boy was representing Florida!

*After today, I personally have shared the gospel with 8,085 filipinos and 7,967 of them prayed to accept Christ for the first time!! And our team has shared with over 50,000 people in the last two weeks! As Pastor Charlie would say, Aaaaaaamen!

Diary: Gospel in the clouds & Boiling eggs in hot springs

Journal Entry: July 7, 2011

In the clouds with students who had never seen a white person

Went up the mountain today with Jim Jem. A local pastor from the area saw us hiking up the road and gave us a ride to the elementary school. The kids once again, like yesterday, had never seen a white person before. When we got to the school, the principal rang a huge cow bell that called in all the parents and the neighbor filipinos on the mountain to come in and meet Jim Jem and I. I couldn’t get pics with the students until after I shared the gospel. Again, they would run and scream, standing 15 yards back watching me. I had a chance to meet a woman who was considered head of their what would be our PTA, she was really nice, working the veggie gardens at the school and the families and students arrived for the day. We were so high up that I was literally sharing the gospel with clouds rolling by all around us. Another amazing experience provided by God! 

boiling eggs in volcanic hot springs

Later that afternoon we went with Lolo Bato (aka Papa Stone, aka Pastor Charles Stone) to a hot spring and boiled eggs. I have never done anything like that, it was so much fun! I seriously feel so blessed, God keeps giving me these incredible experiences that will stay with me my whole life.

Pastor Stone, Pastor Morris, me, Carolina and Pastor Charlie at the hot springs

Diary: The 1st time seeing a person with white skin…

Journal Entry: July 6, 2011

crossing the bridge to the rice fields

the narrow paths in the woods

Today has been one of the best days of my life. I was put in a group with Dana and Pastor Phil. I started at a school by myself with Pastor Arnold sharing the gospel with 1500+ high schoolers. Then we traveled up the mountain where I at some ‘mystery meat’ before giving what was left to the roaming dogs. I had no idea God was preparing something so special for us after lunch. The clouds got dark and started to swell with rain as we made our way to this awesome bridge. We left our jeepney and started to cross the bridge in the rain. As we crossed the river I truly knew I was experiencing a gift from God. After crossing we walked trails that reminded me of hiking the Appalachian Trail… we took narrow winding paths through trees right on the edge of the cliff.

hoping the fence to enter the rice fields

caraboa working in the rice fields in the rain

After the woods it opened up to a huge and beautiful rice field. We had to hop fences and walk through a huge rice field filled with pigs, caraboa, goats and chickens. It was amazing and I could experience God everywhere around me as it rained on us. The caraboa was plowing through the rice fields with a filipino man in a raincoat, the pigs and piglets were running around us hoping to get food, some pigs were hiding under roofs to try to beat the rain along with goats, chickens and roosters.

Forty-five minutes later we finally made it to the school. When I walked in, the children all screamed and ran away from me. I had no idea what was going on or what I did that scared them. Then their teacher laughed and said that her students had never seen a person with white skin before. The children literally ran, hiding in corners, left the classroom and were watching me from outside the windows. One brave boy finally decided he would accept my offer of a high-five. He slowly walked toward me, slapped my hand and ran away as quick as possible while the other students screamed and laughed. It was amazing to see how after sharing the gospel and the love of Jesus the children were not scared anymore. They knew we came to spread love, hope, mercy and grace. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. I will be forever blessed to our Lord for using me to be a part of the children’s journey to know Him. 

the children running away from me because they had never seen a person with white skin before

the children running away from me because they had never seen a person with white skin before

mama and baby pigs begging for food

mama and baby pigs begging for food

Diary: A gift from Lae Mae

Journal Entry: July 5, 2011

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Mountain side basketball

Sitting at my first school for the day… about to share the gospel at a flag ceremony with 690+ students. I have so much to share though in a short amount of time. Our jeepney broke down yesterday at a school and we were stranded for about an hour. It turned out to be a blessing because it gave us an opportunity for Carolina and I to play basketball with the kids on the side of the mountain. We were able to talk a lot more with the children about our faith and what Jesus has done for us and before we left a young girl named Lea Mae walked up to me and gave me a note, she then took of her heart necklace from around her neck and gave it to me. The note was so sweet, she thanked me for visiting her school and she wanted me to know she had accepted Christ that day. She was so appreciative she wanted to give me her necklace. I kept asking if she was sure she wanted me to have it and she insisted. I was hesitant to take it because I know it was the nicest thing she probably had. I was not wearing any jewelry but I was wearing one of my favorite headbands, so I took it off and gave it to her. Another little girl had been making me a bracelet while we waited for our jeepney to be fixed. She couldn’t speak english but it was so sweet when she stretched out her little hand to hand me a beaded bracelet she had strung. It meant so much to me. And I will treasure these gifts more than gold for the rest of my life.

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Lae Mae after giving me her sweet note and necklace.

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Being silly with the children while waiting for our jeepney to be fixed. 

Last night, Pastor Stone also gave me a salvation bracelet he had made in Baguio City. The beads tell the story of Christ and I cant wait to get home and to have people compliment me or ask about my bracelet so I can use it as an opportunity to share the gospel!!

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…