Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happy Birthday to Faithy


My favorite little girl is not so little, today is her birthday, today she is seven. We enjoyed cake at the Center with the staff, then we went to SM City and rode rides all afternoon, and then we went out to dinner at her favorite place, Bigby’s in Smallville, followed by dessert at Blue Jay’s.

Faithy is a wonderful child of God. She has a heart to share with others, and also a heart of true compassion. Also she is our own cartoon character, always joking and trying to make people laugh.

More photos from this special day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sorrow

from Chris
This is the second blog entry that I have written, and I wish that I were not writing this at all because the circumstances are truly sad.

Last week one of our very own Scholarship students passed away due to medical complications with his kidney. Jhannell was such a quiet and sweet boy. He graduated from the Sonshine Learning Center preschool in March and had started first grade in June. He was seven years old.

We mourn with his family, but we can rejoice for him because now he is in a place where God “will wipe away every tear from his eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)

From one of the songs we often sing at the Sonshine Center:

“Come and go with me to My Father’s house
Come and go with my to my Father’s house
There’s a big, big house with lots and lots of room,
There’s a big, big table with lots and lots of food,
There’s a big, big yard where we can play football,
There’s a big, big house, it’s my Father’s house.”

He is no longer singing about this, Jhannell is now experiencing it firsthand.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guam, USA

We had one of the most enjoyable and relaxing family vacations ever in Guam, USA. It was so cool to be in the United States of America, we were in our home country. There is something about being on your native soil, seeing the Stars and Strips flying overhead, hearing English (or rather American) being spoken. I love America, and I appreciate my country even more now living overseas.

Guam is a tiny island in the middle of the big Pacific Ocean. The beaches on the island are beautiful, with white sand and clear, blue water. We all enjoyed the sand and surf.
For this expatriate, Guam was a breath of fresh air for so many reasons. It was nice to be in a clean, first world place. Guam was so familiar, from the street signs to the stores, it was a little slice of America. While I am getting more and more accustomed to my Filipino home, I am still an American. It was wonderful to be in a first world country where the streets are clean, where it is safe to drink the water from the tap, and where the restrooms have toilet paper. Being among these familiar things has truly recharged my batteries.

For this family vacation, we considered going to Beijing or Shanghai, or perhaps back to Hong Kong. I am glad we went instead to a place that had things like fun beaches, and familiar things like Circle K convenience stores and good American food. Four days in Guam was exactly what our family needed. We will be back.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

First we had the Danny's Big One, and today we had the big Thirty-seven. Today is my birthday, and I am thirty-seven years old. My wife, Chris, keeps reminding me that the big FOUR-OH is approaching. Actually I still feel pretty young. Having three kids, and the fun they bring, definitely makes me feel younger.

Jason Branch is my oldest friend. Not in the sense that I do not have any friends that are older in age than him, but in the sense that we have known each other so long. There is no one else, besides family, that I have known longer. We met when we were just six years old.

He and his family made their second trip to the other side of the world. Last year they came around this time, working with the Sonshine Center, blessing the street kids, and this year they have returned. This was a great birthday gift, a visit from my oldest friend. They will be here until the 11th of August, working at the Sonshine Center, specifically in the area of the feeding program. I know they will be a blessing, and I know they will be blessed.