All posts by connieloua

Typhoon season is upon us…life as usual!


Storms world wide on 8/2/2014
Storms world wide on 8/2/2014

This is the time of year that storms build across the world! With the sophisticated weather tracking software available, you can look online and see the different storms and their intensity. This can either be a comfort or a concern, depending on your location or the location of your loved ones to those storm cells.

Typhoon Ramassan hit us here in Manila as a Category 3, which means that it had winds 111–129 mph and was considered a major typhoon. The local name for Ramassan was Glenda, and she came in like a lion but she left like a lamb!

Trees flattened by the wind and rain of Typhoon Glenda
Trees flattened by the wind and rain of Typhoon Glenda
Todd unclogging the drains out on the ledge to keep the house from flooding
Todd unclogging the drains out on the ledge to keep the house from flooding

 

A typhoon is a storm that has a circular pattern with the winds blowing counterclockwise (here north of the equator). As the storm comes across a point, the first half of the storm the winds will be blowing from one side, but as the eye of the storm passes over, the winds then change direction and come from the other side. Confusing I know, but that is just how it works….typically.

Glenda came in hard blowing rain and debris all over, but as the eye of the storm came over us, the winds died down and rain stopped, which is typical. But they never picked back up again! In like a lion, out like a lamb! And let me tell you I was so very thankful! Todd and I had spent hours out in the wind and rain trying to keep the drains from backing up and flooding out our house! We may be living in the tropics, but with wind that strong and rain pelting you, it is cold! I was miserable! But I was so thankful that I had a house to come into that only flooded from our roof and blowing rain, but never from rising water (we are on a hill). I cannot say that was the case everywhere! There was a lot of flooding and many homes were destroyed.

Water and relief supplies being packed in rice sacks to be trucked to areas hardest hit
Water and relief supplies being packed in rice sacks to be trucked to areas hardest hit

 

In comes Nazarene Disaster Response! The Philippine Field Office is really efficient at getting relief supplies together, bagged up, and shipped out to the areas hardest hit. There was a whole team of young folks and older ones alike that came together to make a difference in the lives of those impacted, by supplying the basic needs in the midst of yet another disaster. Some of those that came to help were some great folks from Rancho Cucamonga, California that had come a few weeks earlier (Work and Witness Team) to help rebuilding in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda.  Then, courtesy of typhoon Glenda, they missed their connection and had to spend a couple extra days with us! I am so thankful to be part of a church that cares about the whole person and lends a hand in times of need.

As I write this, we have yet another typhoon sitting out to the east of the Philippines. As I said this is the time of year…. This one is named Halong or Jose. They do not expect it to hit us, but as is the way of storms, it will pull in moisture from all around that will drop buckets of rain on the Philippines and cause wide spread flooding and the need for relief supplies will most likely continue.

Dr. Radcliffe home after heart surgery
Dr. Radcliffe home after heart surgery

In the midst of the storms of life, we have much to praise The Lord for! One of those big praises is that Dr. Radcliffe, surgeon at our Kujip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been released from the hospital and is doing well! We are so thankful to all of you who lifted he and his family in prayer through this difficult time. The Lord continued to show His love and care and brought doctors and staff into their path that they had a connection with and they were comforted knowing that their doctors knew The Lord personally!

Regardless of the location of the storm, they are always an opportunity to let our testimony of the hope found in Christ shine!  We are so thankful that God has provided the opportunity for us to serve here in Asia.  We are also, so very thankful to each and every one of you who are also faithful in prayers and financial partnership.  Together many lives are being touched for the kingdom!  Thank You!!

Many Blessings,

Connie & Todd

The Whirlwind trip from Manila to the U.S. and back…thanks for “praying” the way!


What a whirlwind trip we have had since we left the Philippines on May 8th, landing in Los Angeles, California, with a lot of luggage, to meet with our LINKS District Churches. We were blessed by their kindness, friendship and love for us and our ministry!

Action Packers in L.A.
Luggage on the carts at LAX waiting for Todd to return with a rental car.

Then it was off to West Texas for two weeks of Deputation touring, getting acquainted with new friends and with family. Wide open spaces and warm friendly folks made this a very enjoyable time indeed!

Texas
West Texas landscape – a different kind of beauty!

And finally to Idaho just in time for our niece’s (Connie’s brother’s) wedding, followed with the marathon scramble to get ready for our daughter’s wedding the very next weekend!  But we did it!

???
Our niece, Dani Lou, and her new husband Shad.

Communication responsibilities do not stop while we are stateside.  Keeping up with what was happening on our region while in the US was challenging, but we are so thankful that the Lord worked through the details to allow us to continue our ministry responsibilities while on the road.

Recording
Recording greetings for World Mission Broadcast wherever we happened to be when we received a request.  Here it was a motel in Wellington, Texas.

Many of you have been praying for my  (Connie’s) older brother Curtis as he has been battling cancer.  We were so pleased to see him looking great and feeling great at his daughter’s wedding! What a huge blessing from the Lord!  He continues to struggle with treatments, drug reactions, and the like, but his faith remains strong!  Your continued prayers for wisdom and healing are much appreciated.

Curt and Dani
Connie’s brother Curt, dancing with his daughter Danielle at her wedding reception.

Our daughter’s wedding was nearly perfect!  What a beautiful bride she was! We were so pleased on Father’s Day to welcome a new member to our family, Landen Ray Kelly, our daughter Courtney Jade’s new husband!

CJ and Landen

From ordering the linens, to prepping the food for the reception dinner, to folding napkins, and cleaning up, so many details to be covered in one short week, but with God’s help, and the help of friends and family, we pulled it off, and it was beautiful!

Reception

Once the kids were off on their honeymoon, we went to work returning the rented items and prepping for our own departure back to Manila.  We purchased a few items we cannot get here and packed the action packers, our preferred luggage for overseas travel.

Connie Lou and Action Packers
Connie Lou and the Action Packers

Being financially conscious, Todd found us tickets from Manila to Los Angeles at a greatly reduced rate.  We later realized that the reason for these significantly reduced tickets was that it was the long way around the world!  Instead of going East from Manila to L.A. we went West, passing through Dubai.  Although the Dubai airport is very beautiful, I do not recommend this route as it was quite a trip! Knowing what we were in for on the way home didn’t necessarily make it any easier!

The route we took from Los Angeles, California, to Dubai, passing close to the North Pole.
The route we took from Los Angeles, California, to Dubai, passing close to the North Pole.

We arrived in Manila to a tropical depression, which had significant rain that caused the drains in the terrace to back up, flooding our 2nd story living area.  The young man staying in our house for us had done a great job of mopping up most of the water before we arrived home, but the three of us ended up spending a couple more hours moving beds and furniture to reach the water that had puddled underneath them.  Thank goodness we have all tile floors with just a few small rugs at entrances.  Sorry, no pictures, we were too busy mopping!

We are glad to be home in Manila, fulfilling our calling to go and make Christlike disciples in the nations.  But that does not make it any easier to be away from our loved ones in the states.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we seek where God is working here in this region and we follow Him in every area of our ministry and personal lives.

Yours and His for the harvest,

Connie Lou and Todd Too!

God can do all things through me!


It is amazing how when we are at a point where we physically have nothing left to give, God steps in and uses us in ways we didn’t think were possible to accomplish His will not only in our lives, but to bless others through us.

Awards
Passing out Awards at the Kids International Learning Academy (KILA) Moving Up Ceremony before I spoke
This had been a tough week in so many ways, with Todd traveling yet again and the responsibilities we have on the region with the website and getting the news out with all the different deadlines and then there is the whole computer / internet to deal with that never seems to want to cooperate.
Interruptions in my day are innumerable, and yet each one is an important task or question, but takes my focus off of what I was trying to accomplish.
This is nothing new to any of you reading this. You are all as busy or busier than I am, but I wanted to share how God blessed me in the midst of my business, when I had nothing left to give, and showed me once again that He is in control and I really can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

working on ATR
Working on the Around The Region (ATR) eNewsletter
After a very long work week with Todd out-of-town for most of it, I was working on the ATR. It typically takes me a good part of the day to get all the stories in there and all the links checked and ready to release. Well, Friday morning, I only had two stories, and a poor internet connection to get the additional needed stories from Todd who was in Myanmar. I was hoping to finish early as I was supposed to speak for the Kids International Learning Academy Moving Up Day Celebration the next day and since I am not a speaker, I wanted to have lots of time to practice. Needless to say, I did not finish early; in fact it was a 14 hour day in the office. I went home and tried to sleep a few hours, but had many interruptions to my sleep with other things that were equally important. I got up early and had my morning Bible reading and devotion time. I did not feel well prepared! I wrote out what I would say one more time, to help it stick in my brain and headed out the door.
 I was on my feet in high heels for almost 2 hours, on the stage helping pass out certificates and awards. God blessed and I made the speech. About ½ way through it, I looked up at a theater full of people of every different faith, and I was telling stories about Joseph and his dreams and his choices to do his best and then about my daughter with her surgery and the sign on her wall “Don’t tell God how big your Storm is, Tell your Storm how big your God is!” Stormand I took my eyes off of Jesus for a split second and thought –“what in the world am I doing here?” and I started to sink! And then I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me – to keep my eyes on Jesus, as it wasn’t me speaking – but Jesus through me! I finished and sat down. It wasn’t a great speech, I know that. But I do believe it was what someone in that audience needed to hear!
Later that evening, I was exhausted and was eating some dinner, by myself, as Todd was still gone. I received a text asking me to prepare a song for the following day. I replied and said “sorry, I am physically and emotionally exhausted and I can’t.” Immediately I was convicted. I felt the Lord say – “That is right – you can’t, but my Grace is sufficient for you – and through me – you can.” So I sent another text and said I would do it. I also had the song It is well with my soul running through my head, so told him I would be singing that song. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to release that and recognize that I can’t do anything – but God can do all things through me!

Singing
Singing at Antipolo First Church of the Nazarene (AFCN)
 It doesn’t matter what happened in my week, the stressful hours, the tiring hours, the feelings of inadequacy, and the feelings of being overwhelmed. I choose to keep my eyes on Him and It Is Well with My Soul! I will continue on in the strength of the Lord! I will continue to step out of the boat, keeping my eyes on Jesus, knowing I will drown if I take my eyes off of him for even a second! I will have peace, because He promised His peace, not as the world understands, but a pure abiding peace!

Trekking


Trekking = A trek is a long, adventurous journey undertaken on foot in areas where common means of transport are generally not available.

Todd pngWhile Todd was trekking through the highlands and valleys of Papua New Guinea, I was trekking through the Bible in the Philippines.  We each were having our own adventures, which opened our eyes to many new and wonderful things.

landrover in mudTodd has been traveling since the end of January through Papua New Guinea to see the work, film some stories and recruit writers for the Asia-Pacific Website.  He is now in Australia, and is touring the work there in several locations, doing much of the same thing.  He is getting to know the people, hear their heart for spreading the gospel and hopefully catching some of that on film!

???I attended a 4 day workshop held here on the APNTS campus with Ray Neu, Bible Trekking, and Woodie Stephens, Director SDMI.

With a great percentage of the population of our world not able to read for themselves, telling the stories of Jesus is the only way they will hear of Him.  The training was to help us not only tell the stories from the Bible in an interesting way, but to then facilitating the discussion to help the listener glean the truths from the story for themselves which will help them remember those truths they found and be able to tell the story to others.

???Our Media team here filmed the training for Ray and Woodie to use in helping train others.  Not only were those of us attending the training being blessed by what we were discovering in the stories, but the media team was also!   And they were putting the training they received while behind the cameras into action that week!

Lord Willing, I will see him tonight!


????????Lord Willing, I will see you in a few days…….  My grandmother used to tag that “Lord Willing” on to things she said quite often.  I never really understood it fully until now.  I knew about God’s will for our lives and The Lord’s Prayer…. Thy Will be done….. but it never really hit home until recently. 

Todd and I have been missionaries for a good part of our 25 year of marriage.  We have been through hemorrhagic Dengue Fever outbreaks in the Islands of the Pacific, civil wars in Africa, and all sorts of experiences that have given me a deeper understanding of the Will of God.  But this time is different.

We now live on the outskirts of Manila in the Philippines.  Not the place I chose to live, but God had this all planned out.  Shortly after we arrived, the disasters started.  Well, I should say that this area has always had Typhoons and such, but the disasters that have happened since we arrived have been on a much grander scale than in the recent past. 

2013-11-25 16.46.09With that, Todd has been down in the heart of the disasters on more than one occasion, “getting the story” as he is now the Communications Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region for the Church of the Nazarene.  But if you know Todd, you will know that he does more than just “get the story.”  He is the kind of guy that lends a hand, no matter if it is in the office, or out in the midst of the devastation.  I often wonder when he comes home why there are so few photos on the camera he carries around.  Then I see photos that others have taken and there is Todd, in the middle of it all, with a shovel, a helping hand, or a listening ear.

With the Super Typhoon that recently ravaged the central area of the Philippines, he has been going back and forth “getting the story” and being an integral part of the strategic planning sessions and partnerships with other organizations.  A typical week in this month has been Todd flying down to Cebu and attending a meeting with a return ticket for two days later.  Then I get a phone call asking me to see if we can bump his ticket back another day or two.  Something has come up and he needs to go help. 

I understand this need to help and I am fine with him staying the extra time.  But it has gotten me thinking as I spend countless hours in prayer for him and the team.  We are here because God called us here to this place at this time and I believe for this purpose!  Those phone calls and texts that say he’ll see me tomorrow, or in a few days, doesn’t mean that I will see him tomorrow, or in a few days.  As I spend time in prayer, seeking what God has for me and us and our lives.  I have started saying “Lord Willing” as I close our conversations, say good-bye, and see you tomorrow. 

We will do what the Lord wants us to.  That is why we are here!  And if He wants Todd to stay a few extra days to help out, that is OK with me!  I am learning that His timing is much better than mine.  That He will help me get all of the tasks accomplished that need to be done with Todd gone.  I am continually amazed at what God can do with my time, when I consciously follow His plan and will for my day. 

Lord Willing, Todd will be home tonight, but if I get that phone call or text….I know it will work out just fine!

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of GMA Church


1404511_10151757025308460_1532330954_o
Our special friends the Tia family

Today we had the privilege of celebrating the 30th Anniversary of GMA Church with our special friends the Tias.  As we drove to the church this morning, we realized very quickly that we were going to be delayed as the Barangay elections were in full swing and we encountered several marches with people walking, motor cycles, candidates on the front of Jeepneys with microphones doing last minute statements and even a marching band!

While it was very interesting to watch all of this, we had a schedule to keep!  NOT!  When you are stuck in traffic on a narrow road with parades and all, you just ease along with the traffic and hope you make it to your destination before the closing prayer!

1294415_10151757030398460_170010557_o
Communion with fellow believers
IMAG3369
Strategy Meeting after the service

We did make it in time for most of the sermon, as the DS who was speaking that day was coming from the same place we were, but luckily he had left before us.  We enjoyed the sermon and were blessed with partaking in communion with this wonderful group.  After the service, lunch was served and we enjoyed visiting with many people while we ate and we even fit in a quick meeting with the Field Strategy Coordinator before we left to head back home.  Luckily going home only took about an hour as apposed to the two hours it took to get there!

We didn’t make it to the house yet, we stopped at the office to take care of some last minute details for the conference that is starting tomorrow and found more details that needed to be taken care of, so we are doing what we do best!  Helping, communicating, and filling in the gaps.

Please pray for the leaders here and all those attending the conference from Korea.  Our prayer is that this conference would build unity among God’s people and that we would be sensitive to what God would say to each of us, as we meet together.

Please pray for our team here at WMC as we are trying to assist in whatever way we can to help them feel welcome and also are providing audio and video coverage along with anything that we find that needs to be done.

1403523_10151757028098460_1800298371_o
A gift that each one received in celebration of the 30th Anniversary

Your thoughts and prayers throughout the day and night are what keeps us going.  Our favourite saying in the office is that we know we are over the target (meaning we know we are doing what God wants us to) because we are catching flack (the devil is working hard to make trouble for us.)

Thank You Lord for moments of inspiration during the struggles of life


View from the new office space
View from the new office space

There are so many great things going on not only in my life, but in this Seminary, with the World Mission Communication team etc… that the devil doesn’t like and is trying everything he can to frustrate us.  But in a moment of frustration, as I sat at my computer that was having trouble getting an internet connection and I looked out the window and saw a strikingly white bird fly across the lush green of the tropical campus,  I was reminded of my Bible reading this week where Jesus came to John the Baptist to be Baptized and the heavens opened and the Spirit of God came down like a dove and rested on Him. I felt like God was telling me that His Spirit is here!  Thank you Lord, for moments of inspiration and renewal in the simple sighting of a bird.

That was my post just before I found out that my laptop may be the cause of the problems with the Asia-Pacific Website and to help make sure we don’t have further problems, they are going to reformat my laptop. 😦

I know that God is in control and that this is just another attempt to frustrate me.  I have been listening to my Gaither music on my earphones and I will NOT stop praising my Lord in the midst of this storm!

New Experiences; exciting, fun, challenging, necessary!


1st Tricycle Ride

My most memorable and most intimidating experience recently was to take a Tricycle (motorcycle with a side car) that stopped to pick up two other women from close to our house to the main road and then catch a loaded Jeepney from there to the office.  JeepneyIt wouldn’t be such a big deal except that I had to do it alone, as Todd was working with a medical team that came over and I also had to do it in a dress carrying my computer bag and purse and a jacket I would need in the WMC air-conditioned office!  I chose my wardrobe carefully, opting for the long flowing “broomstick” skirt that my Father-in-law calls my “missionary skirt” so that I would be well covered all the time.  I didn’t think about the fact that I would trip over it getting in and out as it was so long!  I had texted Grace in the office and she wrote back the Tagalog words that I would need and told me to have the exact amount ready so that I didn’t have to worry about getting change from them.   I made it to the office and was feeling quite proud of myself……so the devil frustrated me on the way home and I ended up walking the couple of Kilometers and caught a Tricycle up the main big hill in the subdivision and paid a lot for it!  What is that verse…..pride goeth before a fall…… you would think I would learn!

The reason I had to have the above new experience, is because the car we purchased broke down after we had the new experience of driving through a flooded area.  FloodingThe rain stared while we were out running an errand on Sunday late afternoon  and by the time we returned on the road we had started out on approximately 30-45 minutes later, the road was flooded, up to the bottom of the doors of our little Honda CRV. Getting an inch or two of rain in a 30 minute period is common here. There was no choice but to go with the flow of traffic through the flood water, other cars smaller than ours were going through.  We made it just fine (I took a video of it) and made it home praising the Lord the whole way!  The next morning when I went to drive Todd to the main road to meet up with the Medical Team at 5am, the car wouldn’t go into gear.  I got out and switched places with Todd, he thought I was just not doing it right – and still, it wouldn’t go into gear.   We have a mechanic coming to look at it Thursday morning.  Hopefully he will show up and we are praying he will be able to fix it quickly without costing too much.  I have been wishing I had that big ugly 4 wheel drive “Mystery Machine” Van we had in Africa! J That would have sailed right over the water – never even getting close to the underside of the vehicle!

Todd helping Medical Work and Witness TeamAnother new experiences was that Todd was able to go and help out with a medical team that was here.  They put him on triage and they saw 400-500 patients per clinic day!  That is a lot of sick/hurting people.  They had 3 docs with them from the Ukraine and Paramedics from the US.  They helped many patients, but there were some patients that the only help they could give was prayer, as they knew that the limited medicine they could give would not be enough to cure, only the Great Physician can help them and heal them. The prayers for them continued through the night and today each time they come to mind.  One does not experience that type of hurting without it having an impact on them.

We moved into our new house and are getting things worked out with the water tank on the roof that has to be monitored while filling between 9pm and 11pm each night.  To leaks in the pipes somewhere between the 3rd floor roof and the ground level.  When you pay dearly for every drop of water that is pumped in at that hour, you don’t want the water to just disappear.  Todd was able to work with the owners and they got a plumber in and thankfully found the main leak! That is after they tore up the tile in one of the bathrooms thinking the leak was there and not finding it and then starting to dig outside where they finally found a substantial leak and fixed it.Todd speaking at Bowling Tournament

One of the more fun new experiences was that Todd was asked to speak at the Annual Metro-Manila District Bowling Tournament.  He gave a 15 minute devotional with a challenge and then the fun began!  We didn’t bowl, we just visited with the people and enjoyed ourselves.  They had some serious bowlers and some very high scores!  There was a lot of laughter and great fellowship.  We were thankful to be a part of the event.

Communication


MX MESSIAH MINISTRIES!
MX MESSIAH MINISTRIES!

From extreme sports to church anniversaries – we cover it all!

Church in Australia
Church in Australia

Writing, editing, scheduling, overseeing, mentoring, encouraging and the list never stops.  The past two weeks have seen us learning more about the duties and responsibilities we have here on the region, and trying to tie it all together with good communication for all parties. We have implemented a weekly news release that highlights the different stories from across this region and helps keep everyone informed about the activities  and the prayer items and praises.

There is so much to do here, so many “good” things, so many needs, so many opportunities; we have to keep reminding ourselves that we need to do the best, things, the things that will have an eternal impact and not just get worn out with all of the good things we could get involved with.

Little girl from Rowenas
Little girl from Rowenas
World Mission Communication Team
World Mission Communication Team

Living here is exciting!  The team we are working with at World Mission Communication is incredibly talented and they have such a heart for touching lives and having an eternal impact.  We are amazed at their dedication and commitment to their work and to help those around them.

Praying for Pastor Ricky
Praying for Pastor Ricky

Visiting the area churches is one of the things we are enjoying.  I am amazed at how many churches there are locally, but I guess when the number of people in the city you live in is over a few million, there needs to be several churches!  This past Sunday found Todd with some other missionaries at a special anointing and prayer service for a young pastor who is fighting bilateral kidney failure at age 28.  Please keep Pastor Ricky in your prayers, such a young life, dedicated to God to preach the Word, holding to his faith and trust in God for whatever the outcome.

We thank you for your continued prayers for us and for the ministry here.  We truly couldn’t do what needs to be done without that prayer support.  Your words of encouragement via messages, email and such are a huge blessing to us as we endeavor to do our part to reach the lost with the Good News of Jesus and His Love!

Working together, using all means available, through all circumstances to glorify our God


Connie shines when she gets to serve...especially food!  She misses not having a work team here this week!
Connie shines when she gets to serve…especially food! She misses not having a work team here this week!

Manila, Philippines:  (Connie writing – Todd adding photos – team effort 🙂 ) This week we have had many new experiences.  From the monsoon rains the first part of the week, dropping an inch of rain per hour over a 24 hour time period, to helping pack items to bring food and clean water to many families hit hard by the severe flooding and to top it off, a Jesus Film showing to keep the focus on Jesus and what He suffered for each one of us.

When it rains an inch of rain an hour, most everything stops.  This is similar to a severe snow storm that many in the US and other areas of the world face from time to time.  The government gave the mandate that everyone should stay home unless you were an emergency responder or disaster relief worker.  In words that most Northern American kids would understand – a “snow day.”  For those not affected so severely, it is a day to stay home and get things done, but if you happen to live along a river or creek, or in a low lying area, you hope and pray that you have a home left at the end of the day.

The monsoon type rains persisted for 3 days and nights, I was beginning to have thoughts about Noah and his family with the constant pounding rain on the roof!  I don’t know if I could have handled 40 days and nights of it!  The quiet when the rains let up some on Wednesday was like a breath of fresh air. Todd and I worked in the office and at the apartment, wherever we could find a good internet connection as most of our work is done online.  Some days saw us going between the two several times.  Cables and flooding don’t make for great internet connections, and with 60% of the city flooded there are multiple areas where the cables pass that were affected.

Packing relief supplies with field office staff and work and witness team members.
Packing relief supplies with field office staff and work and witness team members.

We have helped this week with putting together bags of food in conjunction with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and Nazarene Disaster Response.  The first packing session was completed and a team including Todd took all of the supplies to the area to distribute them along with a group that helped the community not only with food and water but emotional and spiritual needs as well.  Treating the whole person, not just the immediate need for food and water – but the bigger need of Jesus!   When Todd got home he talked about the counseling and support that was provided to the little children.  They were given papers and guided in expressing their emotions through coloring and telling their story.

Children were encouraged to share their story through coloring
Children were encouraged to share their story through coloring
Washing the mud off the feet of the children whose homes were flooded was a tender moment.
Washing the mud off the feet of the children whose homes were flooded was a tender moment.

The next packing session had more volunteer packers and they called in the district leaders to help transport the supplies.  This was an education for me!  I didn’t know you could fit that many bags of rice and food on a motorcycle or what we call a tri-cycle, which is basically a motorcycle with a side car.

Tri-cycle delivers rice to be packed into smaller bags for families.
Tri-cycle delivers rice to be packed into smaller bags for families.

They loaded them up with smiles on their faces, knowing what a difference the supplies were going to make for the people of their districts and communities. What a joy to be a part of something like this.

I was able to get to know one of the volunteer boys as we visited throughout the hours we were packing.  He lives in the Barangay (smallest administrative district of a town, similar to a suburb or inner city neighborhood)  next to the Seminary.  I recognized him as being in the worship team at the dedication of the community center expansion and health clinic / pharmacy that we attended a few weeks before.  He was telling me that they had installed railings along the paths by the creek to keep from falling into the rushing water.  I was very happy to hear that.

Child along pathway in Rowenas Barangay.
Child along pathway in Rowenas Barangay.

He told me that the water had come up to about a foot from the path, but that they were all safe and it was going down by then. I really enjoyed the interaction with him and hearing his dream to be a pastor and that he is in his second year of college in Theological Studies.  He is 17 years old!

Rural area on southern edge of Main Island, Luzon, in Philippines.
Rural area on southern edge of Main Island, Luzon, in Philippines.
Once again - another food distribution to families who had been hard hit and were struggling.
Once again – another food distribution to families who had been hard hit and were struggling.

Last Friday night Todd was privileged to go with a team to an area several hours south of Manila, to assist a couple from Michigan who had come to the Philippine on a work and witness team from the Eastern Michigan District (Church of the Nazarene) and stayed a couple extra weeks.   The wife is a Filapina (born in the Philippines).  They had a vision to stay to help the people of her home community with food,  the Jesus Film and discipleship follow-up.  While visiting with them, and hearing their story about how the trip came together and how they felt impressed upon to show the Jesus Film when they came, even though they had heard that it had been shown in that area before with very little response, I could sense that God had a plan.

Over 150 came forward to make a decision for Christ.
Over 150 came forward to make a decision for Christ.

Prior to the showing of the Jesus Film, food was prepared for approximately 200 people, and when they had finished serving the meal, they realized they had fed well over 400!

More than 400 were fed a simple dinner of bread and traditional soup.
More than 400 were fed a simple dinner of bread and traditional soup.

I love how the Lord multiplied the bread and the soup!  Families in the area had been pre-identified and more than 200 relief bags were prepared for those specific families.  200 Bibles were also distributed.  More than 150 people came forward at the end of the night to express a desire to make a decision to follow Christ.  The couple, John and Lilia, are staying in the area for another week to help with followup.  Local pastors have developed a plan for additional followup with the hope of planting a church in this area.

Over 200 Bibles were distributed along with the food.
Over 200 Bibles were distributed along with the food.

We continue to update, review, modify and publish new communications in various forms.  From E-Newsletters that go out, to Website development, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter.  We do our best to keep everyone informed in a timely manner.  This does take hours and hours as we are learning new media and dealing with an unreliable internet connection.  Your feedback is always welcome, as are personal emails filling us in on your lives and ministries.

The Asia-Pacific “Around the Region News” a weekly electronic newsletter is a ministry of the Asia-Pacific World Mission Communications office, of which Todd serves as the coordinator.   You can see this news at: http://www.asiapacificnazarene.org

Thank you so much for your continued prayers, partnership, and encouragement!

Yours and His,

Connie and Todd