2018…A new year stands before us. We don’t know what this year will bring, but with the sound of fire crackers lighting up the Filipino sky, we smile at the future, confident in the One who holds the future.
We never imagined living in the Philippines, but we have lived in this country now for 10 of our 33 years of marriage. Sometimes life here has a surreal sense because we have become accustomed to scenes uncommon in our home country. A few weeks ago, I was with my good friend and colleague Teacher Dicky from Cuatro Christian School, scouting for items for our annual Family Day event at an outdoor open market. Shortly after driving my van into the area, I began to have an uneasy feeling that this was a bad idea. Each turn led me deeper into a maze of narrow lanes lined with vendors and filled with Christmas shoppers. Soon the van was fenced in with shoppers, and I wondered if we would even be able to get out. As we slowly inched our way through (we had to push in the side mirrors so as not to wack someone in the head), the crowd simply pressed themselves to the side to make way for us to pass. (That is so like Filipinos—amazingly patient and polite.) At one point it looked like a dead end, but thankfully the fruit vendor had wheels on his cart and was able to push it aside for us to pass. Teacher Dicky later told me that someone said in Tagalog, “What are they doing driving in here?” The other said, “Well, she sure must be a good driver!” I had a good laugh at that, thinking my siblings from my teen years would not have agreed with that! Well, as Filipinos like to say, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”
Frank and I just attended the wedding of one of the teachers at Cuatro Christian School. We were privileged to be a part of this happy union of Ahya and Theo. Our clothing is the traditional barong for men and the baro’t saya for women (made from pineapple fiber). It was a joyous time—full of love and hope for the future.
From time to time opportunities to help someone are brought to our attention. We learned that Jovy, who works for Frank in the cafeteria at Faith Academy, had three daughters living with relatives in the province. Jovy, whose husband had left her, was sending funds to support her daughters, with hopes of someday having them come to Manila. Last May Frank and I were able to help her three daughters move from the province to come live with her. They had been praying for the last five years to be together, and their dream was finally realized. It is exciting to see them thriving as a family and enjoying going to school at CCS.
· Later in January CCS will be having a TrueLoveWaits seminar for our high school students. Pray for God's message to impact our students' lives.
· Kaye is needing to begin training someone to help with the financial responsibilities for CCS. Pray for God's timing and the right person to help.
· Frank continues to work with both Faith Academy and KIDS International Ministries. Pray for guidance in his multiple roles.
Whatever adventures God has in store for you in 2018, whatever your hopes and dreams, God is daily in the business of blessing lives as we draw near to Him. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
One of the themes our CCS high school students have is “Faith over Fear.” Faith in God’s promises conquers our fears of the unknown. It’s an exciting and reassuring way to live! Happy 2018!