Thursday, July 24, 2008

Busy Times

Well July has come upon us with a blurry of activity and a few unexpected events down here in Mindanao! For a start our home has shrunk considerably! We had a set of four siblings (Diana, BonBon, Jessabel and John Lloyd) who for some time we had been waiting for them to go back to their family, one Tuesday morning suddenly were gone. It was a sad and hard farewell, we had been caring for them for over 2 months and some very strong attachments were made, naturally. It was hard but they are with family who love them so we can thank God for that and the time we had with them.

Then only a few days later we got some more very surprising news, two more of our kids would be leaving us. Angel and Jaypee, who had been with us 8 months. The grandfather had planned to come in 2 more weeks but suddenly had a change of heart and gave us two days warning of his arrival. It was devastating news to some of us. These two beautiful kids had become so much a part of our home, our hearts and our lives. Angel had started school for the first time and was doing great, and Jaypee was developing in leaps and bounds. The Day arrived quickly and there was much crying from all the kids and staff as well. Letting go can be so hard! The grandfather we trust is a good man and will continue to provide for their needs, they have left a big hole in our family though and are still greatly missed. So now, in the space of a week, our family of kids was down to 7!

Things continued to keep rolling along however. We had the joy of hosting a youth group from Hong Kong for about 6 days. They came ready to serve in anything, and though they were young they got stuck into some hard work out at the construction site of the new children's home! Moving dirt, building a wall, shoveling gravel, pouring cement, whatever was needed! Then in the afternoons they had fun spending time with the kids at the home. Learning the kids favourite game - kick ball, taking them swimming down at the river, and even giving the staff an afternoon off, while they helped the kids make thank-you cards for those who help look after them. The kids loved it and were very sad when it was time for them to say goodbye and head home!

During that time we also had a team of 13 Australians from Perth arrive!! They overlapped about 4 days, so it was a busy time feeding all these hungry hard workers and getting everyone from A to B, but God provided and we truly thank God for the amazing weather he gave us! It is supposed to be wet season right now, which means rain most afternoons for the whole afternoon. But the week that the Aussies were here working and preparing the second level of the children's home for the pouring of that slab, barely any rain fell!

Then on Friday the 11th we had a massive day! We were up at 5am ready to pour the whole slab for the second storey of the home. Preparation was done by 7:30am and the two cement mixers were started up. Fortunately we had a lot of help from the local Bible College and other Filipino workers, and we worked all day until 8pm when the slab was done! With a break for lunch and one due to rain, we spent the day shoveling cement, passing buckets of cement, pouring cement, shoveling gravel and sand or carrying sacks of it up the ramp or stairs to the mixers! There were many sore hands and legs and backs the next day, but a very big feeling of satisfaction and a rather large, finished slab. And amazingly the day after we finished the slab, the wet season weather returned. God is good, and certainly has his hand of blessing on this ministry in Mindanao!

Then on the Sunday we got a whole lot of second hand clothes, toys and a bunch of snack foods and headed up to one of the poorest communities in town with the Aussies. We attracted much attention, and a good crowd of the community, mostly kids came out to get the gifts we had bought. Once we had a good group, Ollie, the pastor of my church back home shared his testimony with the crowd, which Larry our houseparent translated for the crowd. It was very well received and only the Lord knows what seeds were planted, but it was a great opportunity to share Gods love with this very poor and highly Muslim community! The Aussies have headed home and we are now just back to us. What e blessed and busy these first few weeks of July have been!!

Felicity Taylor
Malaybalay Children's Home Manager

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