Capital Life in the Philippines

Never Under Estimate The Power….
May 6, 2011, 1:50 pm
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People often ask Tim and me (Marilyn) how well the kids travel.  Taking four children age eight and under halfway around the world must seem daunting to some, however we have a secret weapon–the lollipop.  When they start to whine we pull out the lollis, and pop them in their mouths giving just enough distraction and sugar to make it through the next leg of the journey.

Unexpectedly, I’ve found myself playing nurse to the multiple scrapes and bruises the campers inevitably get along the way.  After doctoring the wound, I give them a hug and a lollipop which calms the tears.  Never underestimate the power of a lollipop.

Last Friday,  I shared a message on John 11 with a moms’ (and a few dads) Bible study group at the Sonshine Center.  The story of Lazarus wouldn’t have been my first choice, but that’s the text they asked me to use.  A dozen people received the Lord.  Over half a dozen came forward to be set free.  Never underestimate the power of the Word.

Sunday afternoon,  Tim noticed a woman with a crick in her neck.  Analina had fallen off a water buffalo as a child, and lived with misalignment and pain for years.  We layed hands on her neck, prayed, and physically felt her body realign.  Never underestimate the power of prayer.

Never underestimate the Power.


Check out our Twitter stream
May 4, 2011, 12:19 pm
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We just added a link to our we twitter page. Check out the left side of the page under links.  Even if you’re not a twitter follower you can check out the page and see snippets of what we’ve been up to. We’re better at updating in 140 characters or less!

Also on Twitter
May 3, 2011, 1:34 pm
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Great post by Erin!  This trip has been different than our 2009 trip but clearly God’s hand has been in it and we’ve seen so many children being reached.

Just wanted to mention that we’re also on Twitter and have been posting pretty regularly using the twitter mobile app so you can catch up with what we’ve been up to.  You don’t need a twitter account to read it.  The link is on the left side of this page conveniently under the “Links” section.

Enjoy and thanks for staying tuned.  We appreciate your prayers and support.

What is it to serve?
May 3, 2011, 10:56 am
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What is it to serve? I (Erin) have been thinking a lot about this question in the last few days. I’ve been temporarily sidelined with a reoccurance of some blistering on my feet that happened during our 2009 trip.  (Don’t worry Mom I’m taking care of them).  Anyway, I’m heeding Jude’s (she’s a nurse) advice and taking time during the day to elevate my foot and stay off it so it can heal.  What this means however is a lot of time I wanted to be doing something and I can’t.   So I’ve been thinking of all the things we’ve been doing. We’ve helped lead assembly. Led game show and performed a skit on hygiene.  We’ve helped with crafts and memory verse. We’ve thrown balls and played tag.  We’ve helped counselors with “crowd control”.  We’ve washed hands and feet. We’ve shared messages from the Word. We’ve laid hands and prayed.
And God is showing me that if we are submitted to Him, it’s all serving Him. And now that I’m restricted in my doing, it leaves me with a lot of time to pray.  But I’m restless. Why would God bring me to the other side of the world to just sit? Why can’t I just do? A little voice in my head says, couldn’t you have just prayed from home? It’s then I realized, sure I could pray at home but I wouldn’t.  Not like I can here, at home I have a 1000 things to do. Here I can look into the faces of these precious children and pray.  Pray that they would know their heavenly Father who loves them so much. Pray that they recognize that they are unique creations, individually and specifically created for a plan and a purpose. Pray that their hearts and minds might be freed from past hurts and that they would embrace the never ending supply of love from their heavenly Father.
So join us as we serve the children here in the Philippines, because no matter what side of the world your on. We can all pray.

April 24, 2011, 1:20 am
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As our plane arrived late Easter Saturday in Manila and we headed to our hotel (by then being early Easter morning), our van came to a stoplight where I was struck by potential–potential peering in our van windows in the eyes of a young boy not too much older than Samuel. Filipino children often times are involved in child labor, and this boy had tried to wash our window hoping to gain some Filipino pesos (42.7 per US dollar) to keep him going another day. Whenever these children get waived off as our driver did, they will often just move to the window and stare inside at the passengers with the saddest look they can muster hoping for a handout of any sort. It is difficult because Manila lights are about as long as some of the ones in DC, so the gazes are protracted and penetrating. Of course, we’re told to save our pesos and instead direct them to ministries that help kids like him–which is probably wise but does nothing to quench the desire to help every window washing child staring at you.
I kept thinking of what this boy could become and all the potential he has. I mean at a minimum he has some motivation, initiative and perseverance (and hunger) that drives him to try again no matter how many stoplights change without him getting one peso.
Why can’t he be one of the kids at the camps we will minister at? I know our team can’t touch every hurting and impoverished Filipino child. Frankly, it’s physically impossible. All we can hope to do is to give our best to those children at the camps He will put in our path over the next 11 days……..and pray those whose path it is to minister to this window washer do their best too.

Who has He put on your path to reach?

Here we go again!
April 22, 2011, 5:02 pm
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It’s been about a year and a half since we got home from our first trip to Iloilo.  Today a few of us from the first team are headed back to the other side of the world.  Believe it or not this trip the team consists of the T-bono family and me, Erin.  The family with four kids and me on my only 2nd trip out of the country.   We’re going to give this blog thing a shot without our professional blogger Anna.  So for now they are calling our plane here at JFK and we’re on our way!

And now, this
November 10, 2009, 2:24 pm
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When I was in high-school or college, I read a book or article called something like “And now, this.” (you can tell I have an excellent memory) It was about how television journalism uses that phrase to quickly move us from one story to the next. We go instantly from a story on crime or corruption to the weather or sports, like the information we receive is nothing we really need to do anything about. Just tell us what’s next and we can remain feeling good about being informed, with no real connection to the possible serious implications the previous story could mean for us. {I can’t find the book or article despite a lengthy google search, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it.}

Anyway, that phrase has been rattling around in my head since we left the Philippines. It just so happens that there’s a Winston Churchill quote that also uses the phrase and helps me express what I want to in this blog.

He said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

For our team, the trip to the Philippines was just the beginning, and though we are home, getting back to our lives, the work is just starting.

Yes, we had an amazing time, we were part of a great team and even accomplished some tasks that will have eternal impact. But if we leave it at that, we have only done part of what we’re called to and do a disservice to those we served with.

I asked Nate Shuck, one of the American staffers at the Sonshine Center who has been there for 7 years, what we could do as a team to give the SC team the biggest bang for their buck. What would be the best way to leave things after our two weeks there? What would be the biggest payout on the investment of their time and energy into us?

His answer was — the maintaining of relationships. Yes, we were going to go home and get back to the lives we lead here. Yes, we’ll post our pictures and tell our stories and soon be thinking about the holidays and our plans for 2010. But the challenge to us, one we have accepted, was to not let the relationships we formed get swept into the memory folder.

The internet, especially Facebook, helps immensely with this, making it easy to stay in touch. But we must also purpose to continue praying, giving and going. Maybe we’ll never go back to the Philippines, though most of us want to, but maybe we’ll influence others to go or give or pray and then we become what the military calls “force multipliers.”

So what will become of this blog? Well, I plan to keep linked into what the Sonshine Center is doing and provide the readers here with updates on projects such as the feeding project at the dump, and other community development projects the Center  is working on. One of the staffers, Rodney, is starting a Bible school at the Center next year, so I expect to be able to let you know about that and how to be involved.

The posts won’t be as frequent as they were during our trip, but will you accept part of our challenge and stay tuned in? Consider enlarging your investment of reading the blog and praying for us to connecting with the staff at the Sonshine Center and praying for and supporting them.

Let’s not move on so quickly to the traffic or entertainment news this time. Let’s expand what 13 people did and saw in two weeks to a lifetime of relationship and community that doesn’t stop here.

Are you in?