Thursday, August 7, 2014

Overview of the work in the Philippines

Howdy! Hope your week is going well. I am trying to type this on my iPad, our internet has been down today. I hope to send this from Dumaguete tomorrow. You have asked some really hard questions. It is very hard to put numbers to several works we do. That is not Richard's style to keep track of numbers, there is just too much going on. I will try my best here.... Churches planted 1997-2014 -- 28 in capital cities & large cities ( this does not include all the local churches that MOSES guys have started in their nearby areas in Negros- there are more than 20 planted in small barangays. Baptisms-- 2012-- 57 2013-- 97 2014-- 82 (Jan.-Aug. so far) This includes MOSES works, church planting, Seyer Training Center, & typhoon relief work in Leyte & Naval past 8 months. Since November 8, our focus has been on Leyte & Naval- helping those who survived Typhoon Yolando recover. We received around $75,000 in typhoon relief funds from our sponsoring & supporting churches, & many individuals. Trying to put a number on how many received packages of relief food- 1,000's- tons of rice, 1,000's of cans of sardines, 100's of toothbrushes, crackers, candies, powder milk, soap. We tried to keep track, but when you are packing non stop for days, & weeks- you lose track. We built 59 homes in Leyte & Naval; we helped rebuild 2 churches in Leyte & Naval; & built 4 boats in Leyte. Richard & the Seyer guys & MOSES guys conducted many livelihood projects over the last 8 months- like food processing for smoked fish; rice, vegetables, & corn productions; donut making; noodle making; electrician course training with Seyer teachers; & growing kalmansi (citrus) tree seedling- have over 10,000 seedlings growing there now from seeds from our trees in Negros to help brethren & victims of the typhoon. More livelihood projects are planned for when we come back in Dec. As of July, we are done with funds for rebuilding. We have brought our carpenter teams homes. 100's of bible studies are on going- we still have Seyer students & MOSES guys helping handle all the bible studies. Naval has has 98 baptisms after the typhoon & 6 baptisms in Dulag, Leyte (another place we helped build homes) & 4 baptisms in Tolosa, Leyte. We have had several medical outreach efforts to victims from the typhoon- from rabies shots from dog bites, people suffering heart attacks or high blood, people with wounds from the typhoon. We have several other on going medical benevolence works as well. We help take care of Habakukuk, who is a MOSES worker, who is 99 & helped us plant several churches in Leyte. We help a widow woman & her paralyzed son in Bago, Negros with funds for food & medicines. We helped to build them a safe home after the earthquake near the church building. Seyer students helped with all the wiring. We also another widow & her two orphan grandsons with funds for food & school. They live up in Bago too. We provide funds for foods & school for four orphan kids up in Lipa City, Batangas- near Metro Manila. They live with Moses Gonzales & his family. He is a preacher who works with MOSES when we are working in Luzon. We also help Moses' son, Hidenell, who is autistic, go to a special school. He is top of his class & thriving! We also have a family of seven orphans living with us here in Calag Calag, the Dolino family. We have been helping them since 2008. Bible classes at Sugar Grove have helped us provide food for them & a house before up in Tambo. They moved in with us in May 2012. They were a family of 10 siblings, 9 sisters & one brother. Two of the older sisters have left & gotten married. One sister dropped out of school, she was already 20,& took a job in Manila. We love having the 7 with us here. Riselle is 2nd year college. Roselle & Juneval are 1st year college students. They go to college in the town near our place. Rosbil & Jenly are in high school. Jessa & Charlamagne are still in elementary school. The girls live in the balcony above the sewing center. Rosbil stays in the boys cottage down by the beach. While working in Leyte the last 8 months, we have had to put Seyer Training Center classes on hold at our place. All of the men went to Leyte to help with the work there. They did have classes on electrical repairs & hookups after the power was restored to Leyte & Naval. The Seyer guys had great hands on training on many levels during the relief work- from learning new carpentry skills, food distribution, cooking for groups, evangelism, & teaching house to house. We have had smaller size sewing classes & summer sewing classes with the Dolinos & other young people from churches that Seyer students work in. When we have Seyer classes going on, the students are required to volunteer & help young churches in the surroundings towns on Sunday mornings. We started an English Sunday night service at our place to help the guys get practice is preaching in English. Also gives a Grant a chance to help preach & teach weekly. We use our collection to help give the Seyer students funds for their transportation to work with local churches, we have helped several young churches put tin roofs on their chapels, & do medical benevolence for Seyer students & members. We have helped babies be born, sick kids, folks with measles, teeth pulled, some suffering from dengue fever, bought antibiotics for many. We live by the motto Brother Wilkey instilled in us in SOWE 25 years ago- "Be Tough, Flexible, & Optimistic!" & never two days alike! ( I can't believe I have been here 25 years this past July!) We try our best to meet people where they are & share the love of Christ in as many ways as we can. It is not always easy, & the cost & pressure on the family is great, but it is all worth it, when you know you are making someone else's load lighter & they have a chance to know Jesus like you do. I hope this is what you needed & wanted. If not, let me know, and I will take another whack at it. Right now, we are a little more than a month from coming home. We have been on the field running hard since we landed March 2012 dealing with the earthquake relief in Negros, then hosting Summer Meeting for 500 at our place, setting up house in Negros, getting Seyer classes going again & starting the sewing center work, church planting, moving Dolinos in with us full time, hosting teams from Austin Avenue & folks from Sugar Grove, & typhoon relief work. It has been a time of many new experiences, challenges, & time of separation for our family. I am ready to come home. Please pray for us as we prepare to wind things down & come home. It is never easy & without great stress too. In Him, Becky & Richard Sent from my iPad