Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pray

Pray for Nek-nek (not his real name), one of the preschool scholarship kids. This kid has just completed his first year of preschool. This is the very first time he has ever gone to any kind of school. He has been going to Center for several years. Nek-nek has always been a very wild and rebellious kid, acting out, not listening, etc. Then he started preschool and immediately he started to change. The structure of a classroom, with schedules, procedures, and rules was exactly what Nek-nek needed. He is still fun-loving and playful, but so much more respectful and mature. He has grown so much from being in a structured school environment.

Unfortunately his guardian (I think he lives with his grandmother) wants to take him out of the Sonshine Center preschool and scholarship program. She wants to enroll him into another program where the families receive the money for schooling directly, rather than through our scholarship program. Under the program Chris directs, when parents receive the money for their students, they are expected to purchase things for their kid's schooling. They are then expected to submit a receipt for each purchase. The new program Nek-nek's guardian is considering just gives the money up front with very little oversight.

The reason why she just wants the money is so that she can use that money to support her bad habits, and not for Nek-nek's schooling. We have been told that she is into drugs and she also has a gambling problem. She will also not even send Nek-nek to school. She wants him begging on the street all day, and even late at night, for more money, also to support her bad habits. Nek-nek is only five years old.

We honestly don't know what to do. Chris will try and talk to Nek-nek's guardian, basically shaming her into realizing that she is bankrupting this child's future so she can get her cheap thrills. Please pray for Nek-nek and his grandmother. Pray that she would see the light, and that Nek-nek would stay in school. Pray also that his grandmother would have victory over these addictions.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Core Values

We just got back from the Camp Sonshine Center staff retreat. Our guests this year were none other then the founder of Camp Sonshine, Maryland, Pastor David Black, and his brother-in-law, Kurt Andre. Kurt is a consultant who works with organizations in strategic planning. We were blessed with his wisdom in helping the Sonshine Center ministry to set goals and plan for growth by setting forth a strategic plan.

I have known David since 1991. It was great to see my friend again, and his son Josiah also came on the trip.

The biggest thing I take from this time away is the importance of knowing and then staying true to your core values. Chris and I have been challenged to formulate our own core values for our family and our ministry.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Much Prayer, Much Power

We want to thank the many of you who are holding our family in your prayers. Several of you asked us what are some specific prayer needs for our kids. We mentioned over and over again, our kids need friends here in Iloilo. Eric and Faith have become each other's best friends, but we also know they need the interaction and fun of having neighborhood friends.

The Lord has answered your prayers in this area. My cousin and his family now live in our community, and they have several kids including a young boy between Eric's and Faithy's age. They play together almost everyday, living just two minutes away. This is a huge answer to prayer.

I heard this preached while I was a student at Oral Roberts University:

"No prayer, no power; little prayer, little power; much prayer, much power."

Thanks to many of you for your faithfulness in prayer. Don't stop.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Back Home

Day five in-country was spent doing one more day of teaching, last minute shopping, and spending some time with friends and other "family members" before I had to leave.

It is so good to be back home in a land that is relatively free. It is great to be able to speak freely about Jesus, God, and church. I want to thank you all for your prayers and faithfulness during my trip. It is so good to be back with my family. I know that leaving them from time to time is a part of what I do, when I go to places and teach in Bible schools. However, it is always hard to be away from my favorite people, my family.

Thursday, March 01, 2007