Friday, January 4, 2013

Mission within a Mission

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  Our mission to the Philippines has been very busy so far. When we arrived in Philippines we had expected to be working with the Alvarez family and the Romero family, but two days before leaving the US Sammy Romero informed us that they were returning home about two weeks after we would arrive. This changed all of our ideas about what we would be doing and who we would be working with.Oregon to first week in the Philippines 104 We soon found ourselves saying that we would continue the ministries that the Romero family had been doing.
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Here is Evie’s Birthday Party at the weekly Isla community Bible study.

     Ellie, Maddie, Mia are teaching the kids some games 

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This is the Zone center at Isla where we have some of our ministries, like the Children’s Catechism,                 Men’s Bible study.

      The Alvarez family, who arrived a month earlier, were expecting their 7th child anytime and needed time to settle in, prepare for and recover from the newest addition to their wonderful family. It was a whirlwind those last two weeks, trying to learn everything we could from the Romero’s about people, personalities, stores, ministries, how to do basic things like pay the water, electrical, internet. where to get purified water. All this really gave us a jump start on beginning our ministries here in the Philippines.romeros saying goodbye 027
        this is the last children’s Catechism that the Romero’s held before leaving
    One of the reasons for coming to the Philippines a month after the Alvarez family arrived was so Lora could assist at the birth of their 7th child. Lora has a great desire to become a midwife, as does Abigail. The Lord seems to be blessing this desire as we,were able to assist at two births in two weeks. The birth of the Alvarez baby, Josephine, went really well. Here we are using the only scale we could find to weigh the living w-alvarez and new baby 044new w-alvarez and new baby 042

Here is Lora at the first birth we attended. This is Ramon’s sister Flora and her new baby.Oregon to first week in the Philippines 125
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   Before the Romero’s left we moved in with the Alvarez family, who have been allowed to stay in house owned by Tito Vic Barretto, who is a member of the ABP community the Mr. Frank and Mrs. Genie helped to start. It is a nice 4 bedroom house with 3 living w-alvarez and new baby 002showers and 3 toilets. Only one of each functioning when we moved in and only 2 toilets functioning, but 3 showers working. This allowed us to be there for Stacie’s labor and delivery. Which happened the day the Romeros left. So as Stacie is in labor we are able to move into the Romero’s house and bring the Alvarez kids over, allowing for a quieter house to labor in.
The intention to tell of our time in Camigun in this post and write about a “Mission in a Mission” but it ended up being an intro to our ministries here…..So here is an intro for the Camigun Blog post coming:

Fr. Joe, a priest with all the energy that the Holy Spirit and unlimited Coke will give. Fr. Joe had an experience of putting off administering the Anointing of the sick for a day, saying something like, I will go in the morning. The person passed away….so Fr. Joe rarely says no. IMG_3377He goes non-stop, well not quite. He says that he gets about 3hrs of sleep. He is always ready to say mass administer sacraments, find water for a Chicken Farm or a small mountain village. Here he is leading us to a mountain chapel where we are able to share with the villagers. He is always planning ways to help people to get on their feet. The water in the mountain village is part of his plan to help them raise fish. Right now they have pretty much one source of income for the families that live up there. It is a fruit called lancones. Fr. Joe is helping them to protect some cocoa trees from worms that ruin the whole crop by simply stapling newspaper around the fruit. Fr. Joe says he likes to get people started and motivated, helping them to learn to walk on their own. “When someone falls we help them up and help them to walk, but I cannot carry them” This “Not afraid to try or to get something started” attitude  has allowed his ministries to be full and fruitful and they keep him on the run!

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