As busy as furlough has been, I have been feeling really blessed and refreshed. I admit I feel a lot of pressure as the clock ticks away, (we return to the Philippines July 8). It's kind of funny when people ask me if we are enjoying our time of rest. I am enjoying my time, but rest? I am busy trying to raise support, recruit more team members, speak at churches, visit friends and supports, take care of administrative responsibilities for the Master's Academy, write curriculum for upcoming classes in the Philippines, read a few thousand pages and write over a dozen papers for my doctrinal program at Talbot.
Let me update you on what has been happening in our lives and ministry. Our partners in the Philippines have been keeping the ministry humming along. Our friends at the Manalo Bridge are doing reasonably well. Pastor Richard has continued teaching Bible studies there and is keeping us posted on the progress of our disciples and of special needs. He also managed our Christmas outreach at the bridge. Lord willing, Chariel will have his first heart surgery next month. Obet has been faithful in going to the studies and Sunday Worship services. Pastor Mark has faithfully been teaching classes on how to study the Bible and Bible Survey classes for our training center.
The family and I have been sharing at churches, missions conferences, and small gathering of people who are interested in our ministry. Earlier this month I enjoyed going to the Shepherd's Conference. During that same week I made a presentation before the board of the Master's Academy. The board formally voted and accepted our training ministry in the Philippines as a TMAI school. As a result of that we were given many great resources for the school and doors have opened to us for more partnerships and support.
Kian, Christian, and Grace have all entered public school for the first time and our learning some good lessons outside of the missionary kid bubble of Faith Academy in the Philippines. Kian said that he didn't feel like a missionary in the Philippines being surrounded by hundreds of missionary kids, but he feels like a missionary here. He has already had the chance to lead to class mates to Christ and has been a consistent biblical counselor. I'm a little word about Christian who has been pretty quite about school and usually takes some coaxing to hear how things are going. He seems to be doing well grade wise, but I'm sure he looks forward to getting back to his friends in Manila. Grace likes her teacher and seems to be singing a new song every week. Tyler and Isabella have been enjoying the extra time with Grandma and Grandpa when they are in town. We recently had some time as a family to go to Disneyland.Pray for us as we continue to minister and labor to complete all the tasks that we have in our last 3 months here. Also ask God to move the hearts of those He has called to work with us and those He has called to come along side of us and support us and our ministry. Remember our friends at the bridge before the Lord and our students at the school. Finally, pray that I will do well in my continued education; that God will continue to grow and sharpen me so that i will be a better tool in His hand and a greater blessing to the ministers that I have the privilege to train in the Philippines.