Thursday, November 29, 2012

Church Plant in Surigao

Dear Family and Friends, Howdy! We have just planted the 28th church in the city of Surigao, the capital of Surigao del Norte. the last week of October. This church planting was sponsored by the Sugar Grove Church of Christ in Meadows Place, Texas. Surigao City is located down on the southern island of Mindanao. We spent a whole week knocking doors trying not "to leave any stone left unturned" covering every street and home. The first morning was fine and sunny, but suddenly in the afternoon very heavy rains started to pour. Then we found out from folks with televisions that the meteorolgist have forecasted that a signal number 2 typhoon is about to hit land. There were more than 60 MOSES workers and no one is prepared with rain coats, except that a few of the ladies had umbrellas. But then the strong winds made those umbrellas useless. As we assembled that afternoon before hitting the streets again, everyone were looking at me (though no one ever said a word), but their eyes were looking at me saying, "What are we going to do?" Then I broke the silence and said, "There's only one thing to do- to go out and continue the work! Many of us may never be in this place again, this is the only time we have. Move on army! Let's turn this adversity into opportunity! " Then everyone marched out onto the streets with bibles and flyers (wrapped with plastic bags) in their hands. I'm not a slave driver, but rather I'm humbled to witness the boldness and convictions of this "army of God" with the good news in their hands trying to persuade folks in Surigao to hear the gospel and come to the gospel meeting at night time. Though it was flooding and raining people still came to the gospel meeting at the spacious and air conditioned cultural center that we rented. It's the most popular place in the city for large gatherings. We have contacted so many people and conducted bible studies in their home too. In the middle of a typhoon is a great time to go door knocking- everyone is in their homes. As a result, we have baptized 15 souls who fellowshipped with us during the first Sunday.It's so amazing to see the fruits of our labors that God have blessed tremendously! No words can express my gratitude to all the workers who braved the storm because they love the Lord first and they love to seek out the lost. Most of them are just ordinary men and women who are committed to the great commission. There is just so much to do and works in every hand, we'll just pray that He will send more laborers in His harvest. In Him, Richard

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Emperado Newsletter 6/12

Dear Family and Friends, Howdy! It has been a while since our last report after the Summer Meeting we helped host in early April. We have had many things going on! Richard traveling a lot. The kids and I traveling back and forth to Cebu for orthodontists appointments. Sporadic internet connections in Negros and Cebu have made it hard to make reports. Right now, the kids and I are in Cebu. We are staying at Barry & Shari's house. Grant had to have his wisdom teeth on the left side cut out last Thur. Jennylou got her braces on last Thur. & Fri. too. Richard was here Thur. & Fri. to help get Lou to her appointments while I took care of Grant. Grant gets his stitches out Thur., and we will head home then. I am glad we are done with this part of the dental work for both. We will come back in July for Grant to get his braces on & Lou's to be adjusted...then we will just have monthly visits and stay two or three days. We are so thankful that we have been able to stay with the Murrells! We love getting to be with our Cebu family--it is what we miss the most about living in Negros! We do hit Krispy Kreme and our version of Costco on the way out of town...load up the car with Dr Pepper and a cooler with American goodies like corn dogs, lunch meat, chicken, and beef. It is about a 7 hour drive home (about 180 miles) with one ferry crossing. After the Summer Meeting, where we had 560 people attend the 4 day camp at our place, and had 14 baptisms, we had a few days to rest and get ready for the Seyer Training Center graduation that following Sat., April 14. We had 5 young men graduate from the basic training program and 5 graduates from the advance program. The graduation was an all-day affair. The student's parents and siblings came. They demonstrated all the different things they had learned...from installing electric lights, taking engines apart, and they even demonstrated their welding skills by making a pot stand to use over an open fire (which is how most people cook here) and raffled it off to those in attendance. They got all the engine parts back in the blue jeepney and had it running good. Richard had promised the students if they did, Danny would teach them how to drive. They took turns driving their families around the property—their families were so surprised. The young men had spent the last couple of months spending their weekends working with the Matauta Church of Christ. We had many members come to the graduation and even had the leader speak to the parents about what a blessing the young men had been and how they had helped the church grow. We had butchered a pig...Grant's special pig, Charlotte, for the graduation lunch. A feast was prepared and special deserts were made...a great day was had by all! There were so many young people baptized at the Summer Meeting and at the MOSES classes the month before that Richard and the Seyer guys decided to have a "New Members Follow Up Seminar" at our place. We still had some tents up at our place and had meat from Charlotte. The seminar ran from Sun., April 15- Wed., April 18. The Seyer Training Center guys were the teachers and facilitators of the daily activities. We had about 30 young people attend...those that had been baptized brought some of their siblings and friends. We were blessed with 8 more baptisms from this seminar. The guys did a great job teaching and leading group activities. May 5-9, Richard & Danny made a trip to Leyte and Mindanao to drop off Seyer students that had graduated in places where they would be assisting the local churches. J.R., an advanced student, is now working with the Bato church in Leyte. Anden is working in Malaybalay in Mindanao. We had hope to have a church planting in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, down in Mindanao during May, but because of the earthquake relief work that needed to be done, we have postponed those plans until Oct., when it is the semester break for classes. The Sugar Grove Church of Christ will be helping sponsor the church plant in Surigao. Richard decided to go ahead and take Julito, a MOSES worker, and Ron Ron, a Seyer student down there and let them begin making contacts and studies. He helped them locate a boarding house to rent a room in and a place to have bible studies and church services. We also have Seyer students in Negros who will continue to work with different churches while they are doing their training. Junmar (beginner) & Junmark (advance student) are helping start a new church on the outskirts of Bais, a town about 40 minutes away from our place. Danjun will continue to work with Matauta church. Robert will work with the Tambo church in the mountains. We help them with their fare each week to be able to travel. As new students come in this week, they will be divided and sent to work in other congregations too. The Seyer Training Center classes have formally started this week. We will have 5 students in the basic course on practical electricity for a month, and then the automotive classes will start the end of July. We will have 5 students in the advance classes and they will be learning at the machine shop and continue with their automotive training. We have been renovating the downstairs portion of the Girls' Cottage to use for the Sewing Center, since all of our belongings and furniture is being stored in the original sewing center. We have found a great teacher for the Sewing Center. She is the sister-in-law of Brother Satur. She is retired. She was the master sewer for a large Italian dress company here in Cebu. Richard is coming tomorrow with the dump truck, because she wants to bring two of her commercial sized sewing machines to Calag Calag, to help with the training. We are trying to raise $150 a month to cover the teacher's salary, and $100 a month to help cover the cost of food for the 10 ladies who will be enrolled in the sewing class. If you would like to help with this project, please earmark the funds- "Vera Sewing Wing". Please send funds to our sponsoring church: Austin Avenue Church of Christ 1020 Austin Avenue Brownwood, TX 76801 Phone Number: (325) 646-0865 Email address: churchofchrist@austinavenue,org While we were in Cebu last month having Grant's wisdom teeth cut out on the right side, and Lou having her two lower wisdom teeth pulled, Richard got a call from Moses Gonzales, the preacher for the church in Lipa up in Luzon. He had sad news to share--that the owner of the land where 11 families of the church and the church chapel are located where being evicted and their homes & chapel demolished. There are many families living on this land, when the owner wanted to take back his land, many families wanted to fight. The Christians living there did not, they wanted to leave peacefully. Moses quickly went searching for another piece of land where the Christians could relocate and rebuild their homes and chapel. Richard got the call late Fri. night. He decided he wanted to fly up there early Sun. morning on May 26, and see what he could do to help and encourage the brethren there. He took a 4:30 flight, and then a bus out to Lipa. He made it there before their last church service in the chapel. He was very discouraged to see the situation that they are all struggling in. The land where they are relocating is even more remote, has no running water or electricity hook up. Those that were relocated include the widow woman with 6 kids that North Garland helps and 11 other children that North Garland helps go to school (8 are in elementary and 3 in high school). The new school year started here June 4. Thru all their hardships, the parents are still so thankful and grateful that their children will be able to go to school, even though they will have to walk farther to get to school and it is the start of the raining season. We hope to be able to buy them raincoats, rain boots, and umbrellas soon so the rain won't hinder them being able to get to school. Please be praying for the Christians in Lipa as they struggle to once again start over, and rebuild their little houses. Please pray for us & Moses as we try and find ways to help them. May their peaceful exit be a shining example of God’s love to their neighbors. From Manila, Richard flew back to Negros on Monday, to Dumaguete. Danny picked him up there, and they went to buy more supplies for the churches & members' homes that we are helping to rebuild from the earthquake. That work has been ongoing in April, May, and June. We have been helping with materials- like hollow blocks that we make, GI sheets for roofing, bags of cement, steel rods, funds to pay carpenters, and a chainsaw to help members cut down trees they have that they can use to rebuild. We have been working with the Bago & Tambo church up in the mountains. We have also given funds to the Ayungon church, the Tayasan church, and Matauta church. The Bago church donated land to help build a widow woman & her paralyzed son a new house near the church building. Another member in Bago- Gerongio's house was greatly damaged by the earthquake. We have been helping them with funds and materials to rebuild, as well as several other members who needed help. Richard was up in Bago Mon. & Tues. of this week with the dump truck delivering more materials. So many of you blessed us with funds to be able to help those in need from the earthquake, and we are so thankful for all of your sacrifices. Much good is being done, lives are being blessed, and God's love is shining brightly thru it all! June 8-10, the MOSES classes were held in Tambo. They had about 30 in attendance...numbers were smaller since school classes had started that week. The classes had to be postponed in May due to funerals that were held for members in the churches. Last week we received a report from Brother Rolando Entese, the MOSES worker in Malaybalay. He had three baptisms that week. The church is growing stronger. Rolando's wife, Andrea got very ill last week. She found out she had gallstones. We sent funds for them to be able to fly to Manila, where they had children living who wanted to help them with the surgery. They missed the flight, and had to take the 30 hour boat ride to Manila Sunday a week ago. I don't know how she managed with her pain...doctors here do not prescribe very strong pain medicines. Her children were able to help her have a free surgery, and we are thankful that some sweet folks from Brownwood sent funds to help them with medicines. The surgery went very well. I am not sure how long they will have to stay in Manila before she is well enough to travel back to Mindanao. Please keep the Entese family in your prayers. They are such hard workers for the Lord. We would like to thank the Life Groups at North Garland church that help the 11 children in Lipa go to school, and help the widow woman and her children have food each month. Your help is such a blessing to them right now. Hedinell, Moses Gonzales' son who has autism, who was top of his class last year at his special school, was so happy to be able to enroll for another year. His family knows what a sacrifice it is for all of you to help Hedinell go to a special school. Richard said Hedinell was so excited to see him and tell him about his classes starting that week! Richard said his smile was from ear to ear! We would also like to thank the Loomis family and the Bible classes at Sugar Grove that help the Dolino orphans go to school and help them with their basic needs. Three of the Dolino children are in elementary school, and four of them are in high school. They love living in the house you all helped build next to the Tambo church building. This past summer (April and May here), we had Ryan our agriculturalist help them with planting projects, so they could work at gardening and growing vegetables for their consumption. We also had an extra small refrigerator we donated to them. They all came down and stayed a couple of days with us the end of May. Richard loaded them and a few others into the dump truck and they went to Bais school shopping for new shoes, uniforms, and school supplies. We would also like to thank the Regas family that helps Jean Rose, Danny's daughter go to college. She is a third year nursing student. She was president of her class last year and this year! She is doing really well. She goes to college in Dumaguete, which is about 2 1/2 hours away from us by bus. She comes home on the weekends when she can. We have also been blessed with funds from members of the church in Brownwood, and have been able to expand those that we help go to school in Negros this June. We now are able to help 5 more children go to elementary school, 4 more go to high school, and 5 go to college. Those five going to college are studying at the little college in Ayungon, all are education majors. We will have three of the girls living with us at the sewing center, and one of the boys living with the Seyer guys. Our place is only about 2-3 miles from the college. It is much easier & cheaper to travel from our place. We have been able help a total of 34 kids, most of them members of the church. We have 17 in elementary school, 11 in high school, and 6 in college. It is hard to express in words how happy this ministry makes us! It is such a blessing to be able to help those who cannot help see the hope & happiness you give a child when they can study and learn. We know there are so many who need help, and we wish we could help more, but we are all so blessed to be able to help these children right now. Thank you, thank you for the sacrifices you make to help share the love of learning with these children! Richard started a bible class Tues. night, using materials from the Bible Study Center with those that are studying and living at our place. He started with the "Jesus: the Man of the Bible" course. He hopes to be able to teach many other courses as well. We are thankful for Barry and Sara's help in sharing the materials and making the courses available for us to use. We hope to be able to start an English class for all of our students living at our place in July- it will also help them in their school studies and training at our place. Please be praying for all the kids and their studies! We are excited that we will have visitors coming from Sugar Grove church in Sugar Land the end of July. Sherry Seyer, Nelda Gay, Scott Hendrick, Annette & Wendell Woodward will be arriving that last weekend in July. We plan to show them all the ends and out at the Seyer Training Center & Vera Sewing Wing. Sunday we will worship with the brethren in Matauta and see where the Seyer guys have been working and how the rebuilding of their building is going. Monday we will travel to Tambo and the ladies will be conducting a special ladies class for about 150 ladies from the area churches. The Tambo church will be the host. We will butcher a pig to prepare for the lunch meal. We will also visit with the Dolino children when they get out of school that afternoon. Tambo is only about 10 miles from our house, but it will take over an hour to get there! It is a fun ride! We hope it won't be raining! We are still working out the plans for the rest of their trip. They will be coming back to Cebu to visit with Doug and Lisa and the work they do with Lilia's Place for the rest of the week. I know the Simpsons have a full calendar of events planned for them to help with. I have been working on this report for a couple of hours, and now the internet is acting all squirrely on me! It will not send or save! I am afraid to try and spell check...might lose all the work. So please overlook any spelling errors...I am trying to hurry and finish so we can go over to the Simpson's house tonight for dinner! I am going to say a prayer and try and send this again! If you receive this...please know that I am over here doing the happy dance! WE love you guys! We are so thankful for all the partnerships, love, and support you give us to be able to do His great work here! We have a rooms ready at the beach house if you every want to come visit and work! We can kick the kids out to tents in a heartbeat! ha! Hope you all are having a great summer! Love, Becky, Richard, and kiddos P.S. I am very thankful that my dear Brother Barry came home and helped me save my letter…Yahoo would not let me send it, and I was ready to cry! I have some pictures and a video of the Seyer graduation that I had planned to attach, but just now realized those are on Richard’s computer in Negros and not mine! I will try and send those tomorrow when he comes! Hope everybody has a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Summer Camp Results

Dear Family and Friends,

Howdy! Thank you, thank you for all your prayers for the Summer Meeting! We had an incredible turnout. Considering that many of the churches and Christians were still struggling from the earthquake that happened in our neck of the woods the first of Feb., we were not sure who would be able to attend. The Ayungon Church of Christ, in the town next to Calag Calag, where our place is located, was hosting for the very first time. Richard had offered our place as the venue. We have close to 2.5 acres on the beach. This was the 26th Summer Meeting, it was held April 5-8. We had 480 adults and 80 children register. People came from seven differnet islands: Negros, Cebu, Leyte, Bohol, Masbate, Siquijor, and Mindanao. We think the folks present represented 40 different congregations. We were blessed with no rain during the days, and only light rain 2 nights. The turnout was amazing. I never thought I would see close to 600 people singing, praying, fellowshipping, playing and eating inside our property. The whole Summer Meeting is run by donations, there is no registration fee to attend. Members of the host church, and surrounding churches in Negros plan all year long what they will donate to help make it a success--rather it be cash gifts from individuals or churches, 100 lbs. bags of rice, pigs, goats, vegetables, tarps to make tents, firewood, and many other things. The theme this year was "Unity in the Church of Christ", and to me, the cooperation that the churches share in making the Summer Meeting a reality each year-- is a true example of unity in action!

We have attached a short video that shares the good news about the Summer Meeting--that 14 young people made their choice to obey the Gospel and were baptized. The video was done quickly by Richard's brother, Orwen. His video says 12 were baptized, but he didn't know two more came to Richard that last night they were swimming in the ocean in the full moonlight, and asked to be baptized. Orwen will be making another video that shows more details of the camp, which are a sight to see. You might be wondering how did we feed close to 600 people 10 meals and 6 snacks? How many pigs and goats took their last walks when they entered our gates? Where did everybody sleep? How do you cook 100lbs of rice over an open fire? Orwen took a lot of great pictures...he and Richard will try and get the second video done this week.

Our Filipino brethren are just amazing when it comes to planning and handling crowds. The ladies would cook all day, and the men would work all night butchering and preparing the meat for the next day. It was something to see, sitting in class the second day, and see brothers arrive from the mountains walking their pigs or goats over to the kitchen area. To see men carry the largest trash can I ever seen-- and it be full of cooked rice, that they would refill again, and again each meal. The noise of 600 people standing patiently in three lines for food. 5:30am devotional each morning! People sitting 3 & 4 people deep on wooden plank benches we built outside the pavilion for lectures and classes. We had only 72 song books for the group to share, but that didn't slow them down...Filipinos love to sing. Friday and Sat. nights, after the preaching, different churches took turns getting up and singing to the group, or doing a skit, or reciting memory verses. Sat.night we had a big bonfire down on the beach after the baptisms--more than half of the group was young people- they sang, and recited ballads and poems until the wee hours. The only major problem we had, were bathroom problems! We had added 3 new bathrooms, and renovated 4--doubling the number of flushing toilets & showers on the place. We had to pray that the 3 septic tanks would not overflow.

We had lectures and group classes in the morning, and then the afternoons were free for recreation and sports. We had groups playing basketball on two courts, volleyball down by the beach, kids playing soccer & badminton. Older people playing chess and checkers. Poor Grant--he walked around trying to find someone to play football with him. He had a few takers. We also had lively hood classes in the afternoon. Richard and Ryan shared about making noodles they call miki here, they made about 30 lbs. in the class, which was used for breakfast the next morning. Also had brothers sharing about goat raising, and organic farming, and worm dirt. Never a dull moment! Activities going on all over the place.

I am glad we were able to help host the event. There were moments when I wasn't sure my Hollywood was going to survive me wanting to pinch him in a bad way! There was just so much to get done in a month's time since we got back, and on top of dealing with the after effects of the earthquake. We could not have gotten things ready without the help of the guys in the Seyer Training Center, Brother Satur, and Brother Danny. It really was a big team effort to get everything done. I am so thankful for Ryan & Jun Mark, who helped hunt for things I needed that was packed away in storage. Everyday, we were all looking for something. We have boxes, crates, and furniture stored all over the property. The guys have moved most of them at least twice since moving to Negros.

I have been writing this letter up in the food court here at the mall in Dumaguete while Richard and Danny have been out buying a chainsaw to help with earthquake relief-- too help members cut down trees to use in rebuilding. Finding the woods for rebuilding is the hardest part right now. Now that the Summer Meeting is over, we will focus on helping members and churches with materials to rebuild. We are also planning to host a small new members seminar for the young Christians that were baptized at the Summer Meeting next Monday. We are also having graduation from the Seyer Training Center this coming Sat. We butchered Grant's pig, Charlotte, for the graduation. Grant says he is going to eat a sandwich that day. Well, must stop for now, almost out of battery and want to get this sent while I have free Wi-fi. Please pray for the 14 new Christians. Please pray for young men graduating from the Seyer Training Center. Please pray for us, and we try our best to help our brethren and churches rebuild. Please pray for our three kids, as we struggle to get school finished with all the things going on around us. Thank you all for the part you play in partnering and helping us with the work God has given us to do here! We love and miss you all!

In Him,
Becky, Richard, and kids


Dear Family and Friends,

Howdy! We have been home almost 3 weeks today! We feel so blessed to be able to be home, to be with the brethren, to see their needs, to hear of their challenges and triumphs while gone. There is much to do...because of the earthquakes, churches are full of people, hurting and wanting some comfort and reassurance. We started with fixing up our house--the kids and Becky spent a week in Cebu, while I checked on things there and made sure the house was safe for all of us to stay in. We still have some minor repairs, that we are slowly working on while trying to get our place ready to help the Ayungnon Church host the Summer Meeting over Easter weekend. We have come up with a name for our place, " R & B Green Haven Retreat". We are expecting around 400 campers for the weekend. The theme is "Unity in the Body of Christ". Richard will be one of the speakers.

Last weekend, the MOSES classes where hosted by the Matauta Church of Christ. They had about 50 attend the classes, which were on "How to Study the Bible", and they had door to door evangelism. They had one baptism from the classes. They also spent time visiting church members, who haven't been coming. Their building was badly damaged by the earthquake. The MOSES classes were held under a tarp at the elementary school. The attached video is about last weekend. The Matauta church will be one of the churches that we are able to help them rebuild their building. We are so thankful for all the generous funds that have come in to help with the earthquake relief in Negros. We have already been able to assist several members with funds to repair their homes. We are working on buying cement, GI sheets, and procuring woods. We will use our dump truck to carry materials to remote places that need help. We will even buy a chainsaw to help members be able to cut down trees to use for rebuilding- finding the woods is the hardest part. I am in the process of hiring a team of carpenters to help. We will get started after Easter weekend and the Summer Meeting. Again, we are so thankful for all the help coming from our supporting churches--we are going to be able to help so many. The work is overwhelming, the needs are so great. It hurts to see so many brethren hurting and helpless--and yet it is so comforting and encouraging to know that because of your love and support, we, the MOSES team, and the Seyer guys will be able to be the hands of Christ- to love and comfort, and help ease burdens. The body here and abroad, is working together to help each other--may God be glorified much thru all our efforts. Please pray for healing and comfort to come to the Christians here...please pray for the success of the Summer Meeting--that it will help meet many of those needs. We love you all, and appreciate your sacrifices to help us help others!

In Him,

Emperado Update & Earthquake Needs

Dear Family and Friends,

Howdy! We know many of you have heard of the 6.9 earthquake that struck the Philippines last Monday, Feb. 6. The epicenter was just miles from our place in Calag Calag, on the island of Negros. Before we left on furlough in November, we had just finished moving from Cebu, to our place near the beach. We were wanting to relocate so that we could be nearer to the Seyer Training Center, that is located on our property, and the many works we have going on in Negros. The earthquake caused wide spread damage to the northern Negros Oriental section of the island, from the coast up into the mountains. There are many bridges destroyed, and parts of the main coastal highway are only passable by motorcycles, as well as mountain roads, where landslides occurred. We know of one preacher who was hurt severely, along with his daughter, and a child killed when a wall of the church fell while the preacher was conducting a funeral. We know of at least 8 churches so far, many of them churches that host our monthly MOSES classes, whose buildings were damaged or destroyed. There are also many Christians who have lost their homes. Aftershocks are continuing, so people are sleeping in tents and vehicles in open areas. We have been in daily contact, using Skype, with several of our MOSES workers. Food and water is becoming scarce, due to the impassable roads. The price of gas doubled overnight. Many homes were buried in landslides. The army has come in to help keep peace and order. There are many in the church who are suffering and need help. The immediate need is food, water, medicines, and tarps to use as tents. The churches will need help to rebuild, as well as many brethren. Richard's brother, Orwen, has been traveling around taking pictures, visiting churches, and members. Brother Steve Loomis, in Enid, Ok., took those pictures and put together a little 3 minute video. A picture tells a 1,000 words.

If you would like to help those hurt by the earthquake, funds can be sent to our new sponsoring church:

Austin Avenue Church of Christ
1020 Austin Avenue
Brownwood, TX 76801

Please earmark those funds "Earthquake Relief". We ask that you continue to pray for our family, loved ones, and coworkers as we try to minister to each other, and those in need.

Our family will be returning to the Philippines next month. We leave on March 1, and arrive in Cebu on March 3. We have seen some pictures of the damage to our house, and the Seyer Training Center, and other buildings on the property. We have so many rooms packed to the ceiling with boxes, crates, and furnitures, our guys can not get in to really check for structural damage. We are very fortunate, the damages could have been much worst. I sure do appreciate my brother-in-law sending us so many pictures.

We have enjoyed the last six weeks here in Brownwood. Austin Avenue Church of Christ took over our sponsorship Jan. 1, 2012. We have spent the last six weeks getting to know many members, having many meals in their homes, and sharing about our work & family. My family has all "cowboyed" up while being in the heart of Texas--cowboy boots and hats have become their new norm. I think Richard has enjoyed it the most. He even preached last Sunday night in his jeans, boots, and hat. He started with a big "Howdy!" Grant and Richard shared many new experiences while being here. They went fishing for three days with an elder. They caught 162 fish, over 300 lbs of fillet meat. The church had a big fish fry after Richard preached. They got to help a rancher move and feed cattle. Some other members took them out to a church member's ranch to fire guns at his range. Jennylou wants to be a veterinarian, and she was able to go visit and help out 2 members in their clinics. The girls and I have enjoyed being able to attend ladies bible classes. Richard was able to teach each Sunday in a different adult Bible class, and speak on Wed. to their Hope outreach class. I was the only one who had big struggles here--my allergies DO NOT like cedar! I sit here now, sniffling and coughing.

The last weekend in Jan., we drove over to Kingsland and visited the Highland Lakes Church of Christ. Highland Lakes has helped us for many years with funds for the MOSES classes and workers. Five members from Austin Avenue church, who are on the mission committee, and were in the Philippines last Aug. to help us plant the 27th church in Bato, Leyte, traveled with us. The men taught the Bible class and shared their experiences with the church and many were encouraged. Richard was thankful for the opportunity to preach and share more that morning.

Tomorrow will be our last day here. We will head out to Fredricksburg on Thur., the 16th. That is our anniversary. We are going to take the kids to the Nimitz Pacific War Museum. On Friday, we will go on to Boerne. We are looking forward to having a great weekend in Boerne visiting the church and sharing about the work. Richard will be preaching there on Sunday morning.

There will be a lot to do in the next two weeks. Many people to visit and see. A few trips to Chuy's and Chik-fila before we go. Shopping and packing! It will all be blur before we know it. We have had a good furlough. This is the first furlough since I lost both my parents in 2010, we really miss them. Last November, we had a good month visiting with our North Garland church family, in Enid, Ok. We got to see snow and celebrate Thanksgiving with them, and rejoice over so many things God has helped us do together over the years. We had a wonderful time with family in Sugar Land for the holidays.

We thought we had a set plan about what we would be doing this next month, when we first arrived back home. The earthquake has shaken all those plans up. We were supposed to be hosting the Summer Meeting at our place over Easter Weekend the first of April, with anywhere from 200-400 campers coming from Negros. Not sure if that will pan out. The Seyer Training Center classes had been ongoing while we were here. Not sure how many weeks it will take to get things back up and running. The monthly MOSES classes were being held in different churches. We are not sure about the status of the March or April classes. Electricity is still sporadic, well water is not potable. I know many of the young men have probably gone home by now to try and check on their families in the mountains. The Dolino orphans are doing well. Orwen has visited them twice since the earthquake. Their new house made it thru the earthquake with only a couple of small cracks in the floor. I don't think the house we had them living in last Jan, would still be standing after the earthquake. God provided what they needed when they needed it. We were making plans to have the 28th church planting in Surigao City, down in Mindanao in May. It is being sponsored by the Sugar Grove Church of Christ. That might have to be postponed for awhile. There are many unknowns, and those are hard to handle sometimes, but knowing that God is in control, and He will guide us and direct us in how best to share Jesus in these trying times.

Richard, Becky, and Kids