Monday, January 31, 2005

The young girl who engages in prostitution has been coming to Center. I look at how young she is, she cannot be more than thirteen years old. She especially looks childlike when she is playing games or doing other activities at the Center. When I think about the men who take advantage of her, a part of me wants to find them and beat the living 5h!t out of them.

Chris reminded me that we do not war against flesh and blood. Indeed in this and with many other situations, we war against principalities and powers, and strongholds of darkness. Also, our weapons are not earthly, or man made, they are mighty for the pulling down of these strongholds.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Happy 7th Birthday Eric!
Today is my son's 7th birthday. I do not feel old enough to have a seven year old child. He is such a blessing. Seven fun years of t-ball and football games, watching him learn how to read and do math, going to Orioles games, going camping, now going all over the world. Today we will go to his choice of restaurant, go spend some of his birthday money, and watch Star Wars (his first time). Usually we would take him to Famous Dave's, for the passed few birthdays he had requested ribs for this birthday dinner treat, no equivalent of Famous Dave's here, but we will find something he likes.
I am the richest man in the world.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

We spent the weekend on the island of Guimaras having two days of children ministry with the kids there. A short-term missions team from Indiana came, and this was the main thrust of their trip. We held "mini" camps with the kids on the island, getting them ready for this summer when we will have a week-long camp there. I will be posting an update with pictures and stories on the website soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

This week we found out that some of the Sonshine Center girls are no longer coming to Center, the reason being they have sold themselves into prostitution. Their family situation has become so desperate, their needs so great, they have sold their bodies to make money for their families. These girls are just kids, barely twelve or thirteen. I am filled with a righteous rage that men would take advantage of young girls in this way. My heart is broken that their families, often with their parent's consent, have taken this very desperate measure to make money.

What can be done for the poor? Are we really accomplishing anything? My faith is encouraged by the story of Nomil. Nomil is currently studying in the States at Christ for the Nations Institute (CFNI). He came to Camp Sonshine Philippines many years ago, first as a camper, then volunteering as an assistant counselor. As he got older he was offered a job to work at the Sonshine Center as a paid employee. He is now studying at CFNI for a year on a full scholarship, tuition, room, board, everything. Here is a young man who came to Camp Sonshine as a young boy who is now growing into godly adulthood, and studying at one of the premier Bible schools in the United States. His was life was transformed by the ministry of Camp Sonshine. Now Christ has blessed him with an opportunity to study in America.

Are we really accomplishing anything? For Nomil, the answer is definitely "yes."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I am sitting here in language school with one of my students, Sebastian. Some of you may remember that I teach English to Korean students. I volunteer at this school, in exchange I get Ilonggo language instruction. We are enjoying the new wireless network here at the school. Sebastian has helped us several times at the Center, and is wanting to come again to help minister to the kids. I never expected to come to the Philippines and minister at the Center with Koreans. They are such a blessing, it is great to have their help.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

On the way to church there was a funeral procession. The person who passed away was not very rich since there was no car or hearse carrying the coffin. The simple wooden coffin was being carried by the mourners, being followed by some carrying flowers. What is striking about this is that the coffin was very small. A child had passed away. The most striking thing about this funeral procession, however, was that children were carrying the coffin. Children were carrying the flowers. The mourners were all children, no adults. No mother or father to grieve this child's passing. Not even an uncle or Auntie to assist in the burial. Just children.

In a country were over half of the population is under the age of 18, there are so many who are fatherless and motherless. One such child was buried last Sunday.