Like everyone else, we have been experiencing a busy November and December. I just wanted to catch all our family and friends up on some of the latest.
On November 30, our son Christian had his 14th birthday. He had several of his friends over to celebrate (he wanted to have more over, but unfortunately our budget, van, and house could only handles so many). They started the celebration by going straight from school to an out-door paintball field, where they proceeded to pulverize each other as 5-year old Tyler watched from a distance.
I did my best to take pictures without getting shot up myself. Overall, the damages were little and most came out unscathed.
After the war games we went back to our place and had dinner, cake and ice cream, followed by a night of watching movies and playing playstation. The following day all the boys went to their school (Faith Academy) and hung out at the school bazaar (like a mini carnival).
All of our classes at the Expositor's Academy went on break after December 11 and we had a class party at our home with our students from the Manila area.
It was a joy to share a great time of food, fellowship and worship of God together outside of the classroom. I can say from experience that pastor's really know how to party.
The party ended with the giving of gifts. We gave each student a copy of an MP3 with selected sessions from past Shepherd's Conferences at Grace Community Church, and for our students who just completed the class on Bible study methods and rules of interpretation, we gave a copy of the MacArthur Study Bible (provided by gracious supporters from Grace Church).
Another significant event that we experienced was just a few days before Christmas. We had a nice visit from a small team from Grace Community Church. Pastor Rodney Anderson and his wife Glenna, Pastor Kelly Wright with his wife Vanessa along with Larry and Lauren Brown spent about four days with us.
In addition to great fellowship, we had the joy of sharing about our training ministry with them and our ministry among our friends living under Manalo Bridge. We started off by going to a local grocery store where we bought enough food to feed about 25 families for several days and a small toy for all the kids (about 40 of them).
From the market we proceeded to the bridge where we followed up the weekly teaching of the Word of God with showing them the love of Christ by meeting some of the physical needs.
I was blessed to see the team's eagerness to not only see our ministry, but also how they served with joy and without hesitation.
We thank the Lord for another satisfying month in which we could serve Him by enjoying Him through making Him known to others. We were also reminded again of God's grace of sending His Son into the World to save us by taking our penalty for sin by dying on the cross in our place and the place of everyone who surrenders their lives to Him.