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!