Friday, July 29, 2011

matigsalug dedication

Last week we had the amazing opportunity to attend 
the Matigsalug New Testament Dedication ceremony
in Sinuda, a village about two hours from Davao.

Matigsalug men lead the parade into the village

"Matigsalug" is a term which means "people along the Salug River"

Our family joins the parade to the ceremony

 These two men (above and below) and their families
lived with and worked with the Matigsalug tribe
since the '80s, learning their language
and translating the Word of God 
into the language of their heart.

I became a minister according to the stewardship from God 
that was given to me for you, 
to make the word of God fully known;
Colossians 1:25

a dance performed in celebration of the received Word of God!
This week, for the first time in history,
the Matigsalug people now hold this Book in their hands.

truly a reason to celebrate!

  we were welcomed as honored guests

they had prepared beaded necklaces as gifts for all the visitors

The villagers took great delight in all the countries represented that day,
people from all around the world came to their village to celebrate with them.

New Zealand
United States

giving fervent thanks to God for His Word in Matigsalug

heads bowed in a prayer of thanksgiving
It was a day of honor for the old (even the illiterate old)
It is a mark of distinction 
to have a book printed in your own language

and a day of hope for the young.
You are my refuge and my shield; 
I have put my hope in Your word.
Psalm 119:114

A day of joy for individuals,
Your words became to me a joy 
and the delight of my heart, 
for I am called by Your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16

and a day of blessing for families.
Whoever gives thought to the word
will discover good, 
and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
Proverbs 16:20

This is a treasure beyond the wealth of the most distinguished

Your laws are my treasure; 
they are my heart's delight.
Psalm 119:111 

yet a treasure available to the most poor.

 I rejoice in Your word 
like one who discovers a great treasure.
Psalm 119:162

Matigsalug children

joyful celebration

translator's daughter

It was a day to remember...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

meet your greens

that's one hungry man.

Monday, July 25, 2011

glimmer of hope

Back in May I wrote about my friend, Ate "B" 
who is working to bless the children of this neighborhood.  
You can find something of her story here 

Recently she shared some photos with me 
of the children receiving their school supplies. 

notebooks for each subject are required materials for school

It has been so exciting to see these children out on the street now, 
clean and uniformed for school,
carrying their backpacks and proudly displaying their student ID cards. 

backpacks filled with treasured essentials

I can see a difference already in the children of this neighborhood.  
Thank you, Ate "B" for your work of love in their lives!

One activity they did together was to make soap to sell.

We were able to print up labels for them to use
and they took the soaps to neighbors and teachers to sell
to raise funds for more projects.

Ate "B" is giving them a model of micro economics;
ideas and tools to use on their own.

For children who smoke banana leaves
and sniff glue to assuage their hunger,
this is a glimmer of hope for the future.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit 
you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Friday, July 22, 2011

summer sport

The weeks of summer have flown by,
and school will begin again two weeks from today!
How can it be?

Amy and Elise have enjoyed the challenge of sports camps in the mornings...
last week was basketball,
this week is soccer, 

Elise in a drill

Elise takes the ball, with Amy covering from the back

and next week will be volleyball.

 A big 
to all the volunteer coaches who make this happen.
We are blessed by you!

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
1 Thess. 3:9

Michael's missing his sisters every morning from 8-noon, 
but then he has the privilege of sleeping in...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Before heading home we took a few days to explore
the beauties of this region of the world.

 An early departure on Amy & Elise's 15th Birthday

We rented some bicycles and rode through countryside

stopping by the side of the road for a Coke break and a visit

so thankful for Mark's expertise - those old bikes needed help!

Pausing to admire the rice terraces
We visited a monkey preserve where the monkeys roam free.  
It was amazing to see them so close up!

Our very own Michael monkey...

Mark's expression when a guide tells us that the monkeys DO bite...eeek.
 No, they didn't bite Mark.
But we kept more distance after we heard that.

And then it happened.
One of those monkeys spotted the bottle of water Amy was carrying.
He started after her,
and with great wisdom, 
Amy threw the bottle to him.

one thirsty monkey
It took that monkey all of 3 seconds to whip the cap off the bottle.
He was obviously experienced.
Then he tipped it over to let the water pour out, and lapped it up.
He even pounced on the bottle a little to get more water out.
And when he gave it up in disgust, 
a younger, less aggressive monkey moved it to get the last few drops.

We also went to the beach...

Amy's finds

where for about $10 Michael got a 2-hour surfing lesson

this was such a fun surprise experience for him

a glorious sunrise

from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations  Malachi 1:11

We also did some hiking
around a tiny island.
It was hot, and tiring,
but the setting was intriguing

not your average city street

approaching women on their way to the temple
laden with offerings

down a steep hillside
gathered at the temple for a wedding
 This island produces seaweed for commercial use.
The smell was strong,
but the views we had of the process 
as we walked through the area were amazing.

harvesting the seaweed

The farmed seaweed is used in a wide variety of common items:
textile printing

drying the seaweed

 Then it was time to board one more of our 8 flights on this trip 
and head back home.

In the pocket of the seat back was this invocation card:

It included prayers for every imaginable religion
and reminds us again of the need for all the World to hear
what God's Word says is true...

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all, 
who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:5&6

 Thanks for spending time with us here at earthen vessels
exploring these nearby S.E. Asian islands!

This past Sunday marked our 2-year anniversary of arriving here in Davao.
Thanks to all of you who have joined us on this journey, 
reading about our experiences,
praying for us,
and encouraging us in so many ways.
We give thanks to God for you!