Tuesday, January 31, 2012

filled with thankfulness and overflowing joy

I have had the greatest week. The girls discipleship group on Saturday was wonderful. It was an answer to prayer without a doubt. Thank you for joining me in praying.

I am just overwhelmed with joy from our sweet Savior. He desires to have His Kingdom come down to this earth. I see His work here in Manila. I am reading some awesome scripture in my Bible reading, and have been so encouraged this week. Psalm 18 might be my new favorite psalm.

And, I got an awesome package from my cousin. I am seriously so blessed. Sometimes I can't believe His blessing on my life. I have incredible family and friends.

A package from my sweet cousin, Miranda!

Stationary!! My favorite!

Awesome! Cereal Bars, Oatmeal, Nuts, and Crystal light!

Incredible new shirts!


I love mail from Teeny!! Second week in a row!

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…He drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy… He rescued me because he delighted in me… With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. For you save a humble people… For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness… This God- His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him… He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights…You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip… For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name.” Excerpts from Psalm 18. (Psalm 18:1-3,16-17, 19, 25-28, 30, 33, 35-36, 49)

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

“The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:9-11

“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” Luke 9:23

Friday, January 27, 2012

drug test at school

Just imagine. Green skirts, white blouses, black shoes, and a cup to pee in. We were all waiting on our turn to take the drug test. It was an unexpected, yet mandatory, part of our school day yesterday. Ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. As I was pondering my circumstances and looking around the crowded room, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself.

It was so funny. We were in the middle of a presentation in class, and a lady came in to announce that a drug test was beginning. I have never seen anyone so happy as my teacher. She said loudly, “Yay! No class for me!” She even lifted her hands into the air… maybe the equivalent to a fist pump in this culture? I spent the next three hours waiting in line after line. As I was being called to the last desk, I made my way up to the front to deliver the goods (a nice photo, fingerprints, and the paper that had my urine sample number on it). As soon as I got ready to take the photo… the lady tells me that the system is frozen. She needed to restart it all. I literally couldn’t help but laughing. It was humorous. After waiting for such a long time, the whole computer stops working just in time for my photo. Priceless.

All of this would be really funny, except for the fact that it all happened during the time I had planned for a new group on campus to start. I studied so hard the night before to have everything prepared in Tagalog… and then everything was changed at the drop of a hat when the students were called into take a drug test. Please begin to lift up the groups for next week. Ask Him for “immeasurably more than we can ask or think.” He is capable. 

Also this week, I met eight girls from Myanmar. We will all be performing a traditional Myanmar dance for Teachers’ Day in February. We will be dancing with candles in our hands! This is a great opportunity to share with them, since our dance is a traditional dance used as an offering to their gods. We are planning to cook food from Myanmar together soon. Props to the Foreign Students Club for the introduction. 

This week has had its disappointments, but I’m celebrating the small victories daily. Laughing at every opportunity that presents itself. Keeping in mind that we come from Victory. Keeping in mind that He is worth it all. 

"Ako nga ang puno ng ubas at kayo ang mga sanga. Ang nananatili sa akin, at ako sa kanya, ang siyang nagbubunga nang sagana, sapagkat wala kayong magagawa kung kayo'y hiwaay sa akin." John 15:5 in Tagalog

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

chinese new year

Happy Chinese New Year! It was a national holiday in the Philippines. 

I had a few folks over to celebrate. Here’s a brief description:  party hats, four nationalities, pizza hut pizza, catch phrase, brownies, story sharing time, and the question book. Props to my mom for sending the question book in my box! 

One way to make brownies without heating up the whole house. Put the toaster in with the laundry.

Kor with our party hats!

Roel loving some catch phrase! sayang talaga, deba?   :)

The Question book Rocks. Here's one reason. Question: What's your favorite word? ...When there are so many languages represented in the room, it begins a great conversation. 10 languages represented on the paper. Pretty legit.

“Thus says God, the Lord who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: ‘I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other.” Isaiah 42: 5-8
“Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men.” Psalm 9:19-20

Saturday, January 21, 2012

immigration ink, new groups, and a balikbayan box

I went to immigration yesterday. Let me just say that the building is not big enough for all of the people crammed inside. But, I generally feel that way about everything here. Asia has opened my mind to a new definition of “a lot of people.” After I filled out some paper work for my I-Card, it was time for me to do fingerprinting. As I walked over to the counter, there was a man snoozing in a chair next to the counter. He had a big necklace on with “Immigration” printed on the ID badge. I tried to get his attention… “Kuya… Kuya…” As soon as He realized that I needed fingerprinting done, he quickly got up and squirted out a blob of paint onto the counter. He smeared it out a bit and –without warning- grabbed my whole hand and dipped it into the paint. I was so shocked that I just started laughing out loud. I don’t think he knew what to do… It was so thick and he didn’t have anything to wipe my hand off with. After he was finished, He tried to hand me the paper to take back to the original counter… obviously my hands were completely covered in black thick paint, so I got him to place the paper between my wrists. It was a sight to see dodging people trying to get back to the original counter… without getting black paint on me or them. 

After being at immigration all morning, it was a hustle to make it back to campus by 1:30 for a group on campus.  The group was great. I think they’re really starting to get it and live it out. We had a great discussion from Luke. Please be lifting up my group that will be starting on Miriam’s campus this week; that people will come, that they will be ready to receive, and that the Word will speak clearly to their hearts.

After that, I went to the post office to pick up a package. Mail is one of my favorite things. Thanks for all of you who sent me Christmas cards! It really does brighten my day. 

I think they're trying to keep the animals out with all of the things propped up against the garage door to the right.

Medical Services at the Post Office? Anyone?

My parents ROCK!! Balikbayan box has arrived!!

Who knew that there could be so much love inside my vans?

Yippie! Favorite salad dressing!

Yes! Favorite Oatmeal!!

Saturday Morning Breakfast Memories! Yum! Love!

Love both of these things, and super excited to have a plastic cutting board!

This stuff ROCKS!

New kicks from my brothaasss.

Dri-Fit shirts are so legit. Especially when you live in a tropical climate.
“The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9

 “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7:17

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

increasing faith

I have been praying for increased faith lately. Do you know that verse in Ephesians where Paul talks about the Lord giving us “far more abundantly than all we ask or think?” Well… He’s done it again. It truly is incredible to see His work among the nations. I had the pleasure of sitting with a brother and hearing his story this past weekend. It is truly incredible to see how our sweet Father works. He is at work for His glory and our good.

As of late:
  • Midterms- Done. Here’s how it went down. I bought a little test booklet… maybe about the size of a Hallmark card. It had 8 lined pages inside. The teacher read off the questions. We answered inside the booklet. There was no test paper.
  • Language tutoring has reduced to only two times a week. It has been good to free up my morning schedule and allowed me to be on campus more often.
  • I rode in the front of a jeep for the first time. It’s pretty fun. I liken it to riding in a jeep wrangler with no doors or seat belt. It’s much better for me because I can actually see where we’re going and my head is not skimming the roof because of my height.
  • When I was out and about this weekend, eight Filipinos asked to take their picture with me. I know I look like a redheaded dinosaur here, so I gladly complied.
  • I went to a middle-eastern restaurant this weekend. I ate kabsa… one of my favorites that my friends in Auburn used to cook for me. It was great, and I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant.
  • At the park this weekend, people everywhere were selling these little quilt type things… something for you to use to sit on the ground … but, they were made out of shiny material that looked similar to aluminum foil. I’m not sure I understand why you would want to sit on something that’s going to stick to you.. but most of them were not wearing shorts, so maybe it works well. I can’t judge because I didn’t try it out… but it looked like an alien intervention. 
  • When we were watching the sunset on Manila Bay, they were playing this song. Check it out... the band is called "Hotdogs." Haha.

A guy in my apartment building... the biggest pizza I've ever seen!

Diva Child, HermFace, Herm... you made my day.

Love getting mail from this diva.

A glimpse of the post office. When I was there, I saw a mangy cat jump up onto the counter and go back into the room with the packages. Haha. It didn't seem to alarm anyone behind the counter. 


So typical... using umbrellas to shield us from the sun.

Sunset ... Manila Bay. Add it to your bucket list.

Sweet friends!

Kabsa!!  :)

We loved the middle eastern food.

Made me think of my friends in Auburn.

Sitting on the lap of some Mexican hero who has a statue in the Philippines.


 “For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord.” (Isaiah 30:9) … I love the Lord’s response to the rebellion in Egypt… drumroll please- “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will say to them, ‘Be gone.’ (Isaiah 30:18-22) … Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days in, in the day when the Lord binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflected by his blow. (Isaiah 30:26) … And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. (Isaiah 30:30) … “For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfer, kindles it.” (Isaiah 30:33). Excerpts from Isaiah 30.

“The steadfast of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion," says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

“For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:25-26

Pretty sunset on Manila Bay.