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Showing posts from 2009

Getting Spoiled . . . Again

For several years my wonderful Mom has visited us here in Iloilo, timing her visits on or very near Christmas. This year she and my brother, Rey, both came to Iloilo to enjoy Y.A.F.C. (Yet Another Filipino Christmas), . . . and we are getting spoiled again.

Christmas at the Sonshine Center

Christmas at the Sonshine Center is a week long celebration made up of parties for the preschool kids, the youth and the Mom's Club Bible Study, a clothing giveaway, and then finally a big Jollibee Christmas party on Saturday for over 200 kids. At the end of the week our street kids came home with armfuls of gifts and bags of groceries for their families. It is amazing to see these kids who have so little being blessed so much. Truly it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Not Future Missionaries

This week we celebrated Christmas in grand style at the Sonshine Center. I truly enjoy spending Christmas here in the Philippines, mostly because our family learns in a very real way that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. Here are our kids ministering to our street children and their families at the Sonshine Center. Danny prays for the kids during a ministry time. Danny prays for the kids during a ministry time. Preparing the gifts. Passing out the gifts. Preparing the gifts. They are not FUTURE missionaries.

Leave a Legacy

A few years ago at Walt Disney World EPCOT center I saw an exhibit called Leave a Legacy . Park visitors could purchase a two inch square commemorative plaque that would become part of their "Leave a Legacy" garden. I hope the legacy I leave behind after I leave this earth is more than just a two inch plaque at some theme park in Florida. The legacy of Oral Roberts is certainly more than just that. Myself along with tens of thousands of ORU alumni are a part of Oral's (as ORU students we felt like we could call him by his first name) legacy. I am proud and honored to say that I am a product of Oral Roberts University. I am what I am today in large part because of my time at ORU. Being a student at ORU changed my life. I went on my first ever missions trip while a student at ORU. I got my first experience doing ministry as a wing chaplain at ORU. I even spent my last semester of my senior year at ORU here in the Philippines as a missionary intern. As an ORU student I lear

Someone Has Been Praying

Today Chris went to Manila for a pregnancy checkup. You may remember from our original announcement that this pregnancy is high risk, so we have been receiving care at a more advanced hospital in Manila, and eventually this child will be born in the States. Someone has been praying (was it YOU?), we have received some amazing news. Chris had some tests run today and in spite of the potential risks with this pregnancy, our fourth child continues to develop normally. This is miraculous and amazing news. Truly this is a miracle and is a result of people like yourself who have been praying. Your prayers are powerful and effective, don't stop. On a related note, today we found out that we are having a girl. Here are some pictures of our beautiful baby girl:

500 Pastors

Every two years Calvary International along with Global Advance holds a pastor's conference in Davao, Philippines for pastors and church leaders from the tribal peoples of Mindanao. You may recall I was a part of the Calvary team in 2007 . This year we held yet another incredible conference for pastors and church leaders. Calvary missionaries Ken and Cris Sandberg have an ongoing Bible school specifically for the peoples of the tribes of Mindanao. This year there were over 500 tribal, church leaders in attendance. As with the conference in 2007, the Calvary team was made up of pastors and church leaders from the United States as well as the Calvary International President Jerry Williamson. It was an incredible time of equipping, encouraging, and ministering to these church leaders. After the conference Jerry Williamson and the pastor team traveled to Iloilo to visit our ministry at the Sonshine Center and in Iloilo.

A Presidential Proclamation

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:" NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous t

Compliments of the Season

Christmas season starts at our house.

Something is Missing

Tonight I was watching on my Powerbook one of my favorite movies, The Paper , a great movie about a newspaper set in New York City. The movie came out in 1994--I did a screen grab from one of the scenes from the movie: It always strikes me when I see pre 9/11 movies set in New York, and when they pan to the famous Twin Towers. Whenever I see scenes like this in films I can't help but feel a mixture of deep sadness and also some rage over what those terrorists did not that long ago. And now we are treating those scumbags like common criminals rather than enemy combatants, giving them Constitutional rights in our legal system. This is a war. They did not commit conspiracy to commit murder, they committed an act of war. They don't deserve their day in civilian court, especially in New York City. Indeed something is missing.

It's Not That Complicated

I saw  this article  with the headline "Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound." I wrote about this earlier, how most Americans are pro-life rather than pro-choice.  On a related note, a few weeks ago Chris and I got to see our newest child via ultrasound. Even though the child was just a few weeks in the womb, we saw the beating heart, we saw our baby moving. It was beautiful. I wept.

Two Weeks, Lasting Impact

For the past two weeks we have been ministering with a short term missions team from Capital Life Church (located in the Washington D.C. area). This church is blessed to have Bill Shuler as the senior pastor. I grew up under Pastor Bill's ministry as a student at Oral Roberts University.  During my studies there he was our campus pastor. Indeed, myself along with thousands of other ORU students are a part of Pastor Bill's growing legacy. I am a product of ORU, and much of the spiritual impact I received as a student there was a direct result of his ministry. For several years our family has been blessed to share at their church in Northern Virginia. The last time we were there they expressed an interest in sending a team to minister with us in the Philippines. So this is what we have been up to these last two weeks. We have been doing day camps throughout the Visayas, first in Guimaras and then in Roxas. Through these camps, partnering with area churches, we have been able to

Sunday After Church

Sunday after church, the Anasco boys getting a trim--then it's lunch at McDo, then home for a sleepy afternoon of naps, a movie (Ice Age 3), and games.

Typhoon Aftermath

Many people have contacted us asking about the recent typhoons that have hit this part of the world. We appreciate all the concern. Fortunately for us the typhoons have avoided our area. We get rain and winds, but nothing major, nor flooding, etc. Unfortunately our missionary family in Manila has not been so fortunate.  A few days ago a typhoon slammed into Manila dumping a month's worth of rain in less than six hours. Many of our fellow Calvary International missionaries live in one of the hardest hit areas. The rains caused severe flooding, several feet deep. For many the entire first floor of their homes was destroyed. Many of these missionaries saw their possessions, appliances, household goods, and even vehicles, swept away, ruined by the waters. One of our pastors had to spend the night on the roof of his home. Fellow Calvary missionary, Mike Kelly, and I spent several days in Manila to help with the cleanup. We had also raised a significant amount of cash donations to give t

5 + 1 = 6

Five Anascos plus one more equals SIX! We are going to have another baby, due date is mid May, 2010. This is such a huge blessing. We are so very happy. We are very excited. For several complicated reasons, this will be a high risk pregnancy.  So we are asking all of you prayer warriors to get on your knees and pray for the baby and for Chris. While our third child, Danny, was born here in Iloilo, we may have to have this child in the U.S. While there are concerns, we know that God is much bigger than all of this. He gave us this child for a reason. He has a purpose and a plan for this new life. He is more than able to see us through whatever challenges we have ahead. So we rejoice in this new life. We rejoice in another Kingdom builder, history maker, world changer. We are so blessed that God would consider us worthy to raise a fourth child. Join us in rejoicing over this incredible news, and also join us in prayer for complete health for mother and child.

Five Years

This was the scene five years ago today, a very young Eric and Faith were watching a Veggie Tales DVD on my Powerbook while sitting in LAX, waiting for our flight to Asia. We had reduced all our belongings to eight suitcases and a few backpacks, we were leaving our American life and about to embark on our new missionary life in the Philippines. So much has happened over these five years, but the biggest thing that we have seen and heard is God's faithfulness. God has proven over and over that He is more than faithful to meet all our needs, and to take good care of His people. This has been an incredible adventure, and honestly, we feel we are just getting started. Another big lesson learned is obedience. We are nothing special, if our family can do this, ANYBODY can do this. Obedience is the key, that is all God is looking for. We rejoice with the Lord over what He has done in us and through us these five wonderful years on the mission field, and we look forward to what He has

Only 24 Pounds

This precious little girl is five years old and weighs only twenty four pounds. She lives in the Calajunan city dump area. My youngest son, Danny, is two years younger than her, and yet he weighs more. The fact of the matter is, most pets in the United States are better fed and have better health care than most of the children we work with. We are trying to change that. Working with a local church near the city dump site, the Sonshine Center is expanding its ministry presence in the Calajunan area. We still bring the kids to Saturday Kids Club, but it has been on our hearts to do more for the poorest of the poor. Calvary missionaries Nate and Abegail Shuck and Mike and Jude Kelly, along with Rodney McDonald have started a major community development project in this area. A survey of the families and the homes has been conducted, the kids were weighed, needs were assessed, and goals were set. A regular feeding program has also been started. Abegail told me how the kids were so excited a

From Chris, . . . going back to Egypt

Dave and I see miracles often--lives being radically changed, broken families coming together; but sometimes we see lives being broken with pain. We usually share about the positive and encouraging stories, preferring to focus on the blessings and the amazing ways that God is moving here in Asia. Sometimes there are pains that touch so deeply, we can’t help but reflect upon them. Two of the street kids that we work with recently decided to “go back to Egypt.” They were given a place to live, food everyday, discipleship, education, love, and a place to be at peace. They were given abundance, but they were also given boundaries for their protection. They had come from a dark place of sin, pain, hunger, homelessness, anger and rejection; but it was a place with no rules, seemingly free. We have all known that place--sometimes we frequent it still. For these boys the temptation for “freedom” was too great, the pain was familiar and so welcome; the abundance and acceptance too good to be tr

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15

"Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." John 13:3-5 Following Christ's example we held a lice and hygiene clinic for our street kids at the Sonshine Center. We shampooed and combed the lice out of hair, clipped toe and finger nails, and, of course, we washed our kids' feet. We were also blessed by visiting friends from Immanuel's Church of Maryland, Paul and Maria Lewis.  

Just Go

Most of you know that my recent post ( Stay Home ) was a bit of tongue in cheek. Here is how I really feel, or The Top Ten Reasons Why YOU Should Go on a Short Term Missions Trip: 10. It will get you out of your comfort zone. There is a time to move from the comfort zone into the courage zone. 9. Your heart will break. When you see poverty and dire need with your own eyes (watching it on TV does not count), your heart will be radically different, your compassion will increase. 8. Your faith will be stretched. Raising finances and then doing ministry in another country is not easy, it requires faith. Faith is like a muscle, the more you use it the bigger it gets. 7. Jesus told you to go, read Mark 16:15. 6. You are already qualified. Christ only needs you to say "YES" He will take care of the rest. 5. You will build relationships that will last a lifetime. When you do ministry side by side with other missionaries and national believers, you will share a bond that

Happy Birthday to Me

In Asia it is customary for the birthday celebrant to pay for the birthday dinner, rather than the other way around in the States, where a bunch of friends and family take the birthday boy or girl out, and then chip into pay for the his or her meal. So if I am paying, and if it's for my birthday, then I will go with my favorite, pizza, and also my favorite pizza in Iloilo, Dos Marias. Do not adjust your computer, the pizzas you see in the picture above are really that big, almost spilling over my dining room table. This is the famous thirty two inch pizza from Dos Marias, my favorite pizza pie in Iloilo, with great, thin crust, and a yummy, sweet sauce. Chris also gave me a birthday treat of her famous carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  We invited friends and missionary "family" over for the party. There were no leftovers of the pizza, but there was cake leftover so I could enjoy it for breakfast the next day.

Danny is Three!!!

It is hard to believe that three years ago Danny was born. We celebrated his third birthday with gifts, cake, ice cream, good friends and family, and swimming at our pool. 

Jack is Back!

Jack is back! I have known Jason Branch (I call him Jack) since we were six years old. He and his family arrived this morning for their THIRD missions trip here! Not wasting any time we got right to work doing ministry at the Sonshine Center. It is always a blessing to have people come and visit, especially if they are some of our best of friends.

He Loves this Stuff

This kind of reminds me of movie Ice Age where the little squirrel is in heaven with the world's biggest acorn.  Yakult , Danny and the kids love this stuff. Chris and Danny saw this today while shopping at the Atrium.

Stay Home

Top Ten Reasons You Should NOT go on a Short Term Missions Trip: 10. It will make you uncomfortable. The other side of the world is a weird place, different languages, different smells (some of them really bad). 9. There will be sorrow. When you see true poverty and dire need with your own eyes, it can be radically depressing. 8. This will not be a vacation. You have precious few vacation days at your job. Why spend them going to some poor, third world country? 7. It's not your calling, when Jesus gave the Great Commission He was not talking about you. 6. The food is weird--and you are a meat and potatoes guy. 5. Two words, JET LAG. 4. You might be moved by what you see so much so that you will want to start giving to missions and missionaries, and with the current economy can you really afford that? 3. You will be used. No one likes to be used. 2. You will probably want to do it again, and if you keep making these kinds of trips, it might

Amazing Hong Kong

Over the weekend we took a family vacation to the amazing island city of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is just a two hour flight from Manila. It is hard to describe this incredible city without the use of superlatives. We stayed at the YMCA Salisbury hotel and we were blessed with a free room upgrade. Our room was huge, Danny enjoys the view from our Harbour Suite: We also spent the day at Ocean Park, a great family destination with theme park rides, dolphin shows, and other great attractions. There was a three story coral reef aquarium with amazing sea life. This guy looks familiar: My favorite part of Ocean Park was the panda exhibit. They had red pandas and two giant pandas. The trip paid for itself in that when we returned we all received a free one year visa. I mentioned earlier in this blog, we usually have to renew our visas every two months (and this is not cheap). When we returned to the Philippines the Lord gave us incredible favor and we were all blessed with what they call the Bali

Dare You to Move

I found some interesting statistics here on short term missions trips. Who takes short term mission trips? 9% of American adults (only 3.5% of American adults went in the last 5 years) 11% of churchgoers 23% of evangelical Christians 12% of people ages 18-24 9% of people ages 25-43 7% of people ages 44-62 9% of people aged 63+ How do short-term mission trips affect those who go? 75% say the experience changed their life in some way 25% say it helped them become more aware of other people’s struggles 16% say it taught them more about poverty, justice, or the world 11% say it increased their compassion 9% say it enriched their faith 9% say it broadened their spiritual understanding 5% say it boosted their financial generosity In Matthew chapter 14 we read that Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them. There is something to be said about seeing things with your own two eyes. A person can read about missions in a newsletter (or a blog like this), or you can view a visiting missionar

Father's Day in the Philippines

Father's Day is a relatively new holiday in the Philippines. We enjoyed church service at Victory Christian Fellowship, then we played games in the afternoon, and then we ate at my favorite pizza place, Dos Marias, home of their famous thirty-two inch pizza. Even though there are just five of us in our family, we got the big one. We brought half of it home because as most of you will agree, cold pizza is a great midnight snack and even better for breakfast.

First Day of School

Here is Eric and Faith outside of their new school on a very windy first day of classes. The morning was a little rough for Faithy, she found it hard to adjust from home school to school outside the home, but the day got better for her. They both made friends, and Eric was even elected to be on of the class officers. It will be weird to have them out of the house during the week days. This new school looks promising. Today was also the first day of classes for the Sonshine Learning Center. It is hard to believe that we are starting our fifth year of preschool at the Sonshine Center.

One More Camp

If you have been following my posts on Facebook you probably figured out that we went to the nearby island of Guimaras. We went with the YFN-IAM team to have some downtime and also do to one more camp, a day camp with around 300 kids.

YFN-IAM, We Have Just Begun

Personally I am not a fan of big evanglistic events, unless they are done in partnership with local churches. What is the point of hundreds of youth getting charged up or of dozens of new believers being welcomed into God's kingdom unless those being ministered to can get plugged into a good local church for continued discipleship? It's great that we can have an incredible week long youth event, but there are still fifty-one more weeks in the year. That is why for this year's YFN-IAM event we started meeting with local churches and their pastors months and months before the event. Through the leadership of Calvary missionary Nate Shuck and Sonshine Center director, Pastor Chris Patricio, we approached local churches, offering the YFN-IAM event as a catalyst for growth for their churches and youth ministries. Our desire was to partner with churches in Iloilo so that these new believers and energized youth could maintain their commitments through the ministry of a local churc

YFN-IAM, Another Update

Last night the power of God continued to move, even though we had a brownout (power outage). Twenty one new believers were added into the family of God. Tonight is our final night and we are expecting Christ to punctuate this incredible week with a huge exclamation point. Pastor Chris shares the Good News of Christ with the hundreds who are hungry for Christ.

YFN-IAM Update

First of all what is YFN-IAM? It stands for Youth for the Nations-Ignite A Movement. The desire for this event and ministry is to ignite a movement among the youth here in the Philippines and eventually around the world. The YFN-IAM team is made up of graduates of Christ for the Nations Institute, a Bible school in Dallas, TX. The main thrust for the event this year has been the to partner with local churches and their youth pastors. Months before the event we started meeting with local churches and their youth ministers. It is our desire that the youth who come to this week's event, have a radical experience with a life changing God, and then these youth get plugged into a local church. Tonight was the second night of the event. The first night we had around 300 in attendance. Tonight we had 400-450. The first night twelve came forward to receive Christ. During this the second night, one of those new believers, Jason, came forward and gave his testimony. He then said a prayer for

YFN-IAM, D-Day Minus One

More preparation and perspiration. It all begins tomorrow night. Please pray.

YFN-IAM, Getting Ready

The next big event here in Iloilo is YFN-IAM (Youth For the Nations-Ignite A Movement). This will be a major youth event to be held next week. This is the third year in a row that this team has come to conduct this youth event. It gets bigger every year. Scenes from setting up for the event--here missionary Matt Barr takes one for the team with his high wire act. We are expecting hundreds, and perhaps up to a thousand youth to come, to be blessed, and to have an encounter with Christ.


Christine and I are 100%, unapologetically pro-life. I make this assertion, I firmly believe that life begins at conception--and this is not above my pay grade. Before we were missionaries, our family worked with the Gabriel Network , an organization that assists women who are in crisis pregnancy (good article on the Gabriel Network here ). I find this recent report from Gallup polling organization interesting: The related article for this chart can be found here . I seriously doubt that you will find this information mentioned in the popular news media, so doing my part I mention this on our blog.

Days Until . . .

as of this date: 11 days until the Ignite a Movement youth event here in Iloilo, we have a team coming from the States to conduct a major youth event, and the Calvary missionaries and Sonshine Center staff are hosting this team. 30 days until my cousin Kay and Jesse and their girls arrive for a visit and to help celebrate ten years of Camp Sonshine in the Philippines. 39 days until Eric and Faith start going to school for the first time ever. They have been homeschooled for all their schooling, this will be the first time they will be going to a school. 57 days until our family vacation to Hong Kong, looking forward to actually visiting and not just flying through one of my favorite cities in the world. We are planning to spend one day at Ocean Park . 165 days until the Calvary International-Asia Pacific Annual Meeting, this year to be held in Davao, Philippines. 209 days until I return to Davao to help with a tribal pastors conference. I served at this event in 2007, that's whe

Another Week, Another Camp

Another week, another city at another camp, this time Bacolod on a nearby island. Our family loves this camp because our kids get to be campers and they always have a great time. Also for some reason Bacolod, and not the larger city of Iloilo, has a Starbucks. So we made a trip one night to enjoy some lattes and frapuccinos.

Next Camp, Antique

This week we did Summer camp with Good News Church in San Jose in the nearby province of Antique. We traveled by bus for about two hours, and had to cross over a small mountain range. We had about 100 kids at this camp. Here at Antique I realized once again that when you are a blessing, you are even more blessed in return. We think that we are the ones being a blessing, sharing games, skits, songs, crafts, etc. with these kids, when actually we are the ones being blessed also. San Jose is a pretty small town, and it makes Iloilo looks like a big metropolis. Also our conditions were a little bit rough--taking bucket baths and sleeping on the cement floor. Our hosts were more than gracious, making us feel welcome and feeding us way too much--we ate rice and fish each day, very good.  Eric and I joined the Camp Sonshine team for this camp. He always says he is not a future missionary, he is a missionary now. He helped out the activity counselors with their games. He told me he really enjo

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was celebrated in the usual way here at our house in Iloilo. We started the morning with an Easter egg hunt, the kids also got gifts, and then we went to church. Afterward Lola took us out to Sbarro's for lunch.