Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Thanks so much for your prayers over the past weeks. Since arriving back in the U.S. on October 31st, I have been steadily improving, and it seems the flare up has resolved. Presently, I am able to maintain a fairly normal schedule, just requiring more rest than usual as I continue to regain strength.

With the wonders of modern technology, I have been able to work long distance on some projects for the Philippine ministry, continuing work that I had begun while I was there. I am also helping out some in the GFA home office, as I have done in the past.

This past weekend, I had the privilege of traveling to Georgia with a couple of friends to put on a short Christmas program for a church there. The church is quite small, without any musicians (even a pianist), and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy our small effort.

Please continue to pray for a return to full strength and the Lord's clear direction for the future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Made It!

After twenty hours of travel, I arrived safely in the U.S. last evening. The Lord answered prayer by giving strength for the trip and other small blessings as well. For instance, we were given bulkhead seats for the twelve hour flight. These seats have a little more leg room and made the long flight easier and less painful. All the flights were on time or early, and there were no difficulties with immigration or customs in either country. It was wonderful to arrive in Greenville, SC and be met by my dad and brother. I appreciate so much your prayers and concern. Please continue to pray in the days ahead as I work to recover and make decisions for the future.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home Again

Thank you so much for everyone that has prayed and expressed concern regarding my recent lupus flare up. After being sick for more than six weeks with no significant improvement, the decision has been made once again that I should return to the U.S. to recover. Lord willing, I will leave here on October 31st (Sunday evening U.S. time) and arrive in Greenville, SC on Monday evening. In God's providence, one of the short term missionaries here was already scheduled to leave and can serve as my travel companion.

I must admit that I am surprised by this turn of events. These circumstances were certainly not in my plan or expectations when I came to the Philippines. However, I am confident that the Lord has a perfect plan and that He will make it clear in the days ahead.

Please pray for strength for the 20+ hour trip and for wisdom for the days ahead.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Thank you so much for your prayers over the last few days. I am definitely improving -- not as quickly as I would like but better nonetheless. I still wear out quickly but the pain has decreased and the energy is better. I have been able to decrease my medicine and am hoping to venture out of the apartment tomorrow. I so appreciate everyone's prayers, messages, texts, and posts. It means a lot!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Prayer Request

As most of you know, I have a chronic disease called lupus that reveals itself in sporadic flare ups of incredible fatigue, joint pain, and generally difficulty functioning. The flare ups are rather unpredictable both in when they come and in how long they last. I have not had a major flare up since the one that forced me to leave Papua New Guinea last September, at least until now.

I have been struggling with a flare for the last few days. I have started medication and see some small improvement, but very slow. I would appreciate your prayers that this would resolve quickly and that I would get back to full strength again soon.

Thankfully, unlike in Papua New Guinea, I am in a more urban setting where I can get the rest that I need. Also, much of my work can be done from my bed, so I am still able to fulfill most of my responsibilities. Thankful to know that "His way is perfect" no matter what the circumstances!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Singles Fellowship

Yet another major event is successfully concluded. Saturday was our first Interchurch Singles Fellowship (but hopefully not the last). We had a good turnout with 85 singles from ten different churches. The folks from my church (pictured here) put a lot of work into it, and it seemed to go well. The theme was Glorifying God in Whatever State You Are. We had three sessions -- the first on Contentment, the second on Living Life to the Fullest, and the third was a divided session on Preparing for a Life's Mate. It was fun and I think we all learned something. Thanks for your prayers!

Also this past week, I had the opportunity to speak to the BJMBC music students about using music in missions. I dressed in traditional Papua New Guinea dress, showed them powerpoint pictures, and shared stories about the ministry. Perhaps the Lord will call one (or more) of them to join that work. I am definitely praying to that end.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quieter Week

The last week has been a little less busy than the preceding ones -- nice for a change. I've been catching up on various projects and responsibilities that were neglected in the push to get the music completed for the concert.

I was finally able to go through the pictures from the Palawan trip and put together a short video report. I'm attaching it to this blog post. If you are unable to view it for some reason, you can also visit the following weblink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lcsf4QeJhw

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Busy Week

After my return from the wonderful trip to Palawan, I had a lot of work to do to get ready for the concert on Friday night. By God's grace alone, all 14 compositions were completed and edited in time for me to input them into the computer. The last pieces went to the printer on Thursday morning and were ready for sale after the concert on Friday evening. Praise the Lord for a great concert! There were around 400 people in attendance, and all the participants did a great job. Although I could not understand all the words of the songs (since they were in Tagalog and Cebuano), those who do speak those languages said that the message was clearly communicated and was a great blessing. Many folks purchased music so the impact of those compositions will continue to spread.

Since that event is over, it's time to get refocused on other projects that have been pushed aside for a time. My church is planning an interchurch singles fellowship next month, so there is much preparation to do for that. I am also working on finalizing the layout of the first book of the violin curriculum. In addition, the main secretary of BJMBC is out on maternity leave, so I have increased responsibilities there as well. Praise the Lord for the strength He has given in the busy days recently and continue to pray for wisdom in the days ahead.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Medical Mission

Praise the Lord for a safe and profitable trip! I just returned from the medical mission trip to the Philippine island of Palawan, and it was an incredibly enjoyable and exciting experience. I will try to give you at least a brief survey.

We (Dr. Ina Bunyi and I) left Manila early on Friday morning. We landed in Puerta Princessa, the capital of Palawan, had lunch, then rode about 4 hours to the town of Brooke's Point. A former classmate of Dr. Ina's has a clinic so she had a cardiac patient that she wanted Dr. Ina to see (since she is a pediatric cardiologist). That entailed a trip to the provincial hospital where Dr. Ina did an echocardiogram using the ultrasound machine usually used for assessing abdomens and pregnant women.

The next morning we were up quite early and set off about 6:30 for our trip up the mountain. The church in Brooke's Point has a number of outreaches/church plants, one of which is in Tatandayan. It was about a two hour hike up to this village. Once there we had a church service and then had a medical clinic with the help of some of the believers from the church in Brooke's Point. We saw about 39 patients. After enjoying food with the believers there (including fresh coconut milk), we headed back down to the mountain. When we reached the van, we loaded up and headed to the site of another outreach. There we saw 65 patients while the gospel was preached to those assembled. After that it was time to head to the church for choir practice for Sunday. We were able to hep out both by singing in the choir and accompanying on the piano.

Sunday was the start of a week long missions conference at the church. In Sunday school, one of the men in the church gave a presentation about the unreached tribes in Palawan with many sobering statistics. I was surprised to discover how "primitive" many of these villages still are. Then the Sunday school kids came in dressed in the attire of the tribes -- quite a special sight.
Dr. Ina and I were able to share our testimonies as well. We continued to minister through music in the morning service.

The afternoon service was at 2:30pm and included the ordination of the church leaders at Tatandayan, the village we had visited the day before. It was a real blessing to see these mountain people take the first step toward having an indigenous church. After the service we saw about 50 more patients from the various outreaches that had attended the service.

Today we went to the market in Brooke's Point, then boarded the van for the trip back to Puerto Princesa. It was an incredibly fast and packed trip, but the Lord blessed with much strength and wisdom.

Now that I'm back in Manila (feeling as though I was visiting a completely different country), I will be busy this week in preparing the music for the sacred concert this Friday. Please pray that the Lord will bring all the details together to make this concert a blessing to those who attend, and that the music will be able to be used in churches throughout the Philippines.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


It seems as though most of the week was spent in making preparations for one event or another. I think I have shared about the upcoming concert on August 19, which will be of all newly written and arranged music in the languages of the Philippines. Since we want the music to be a help to church throughout the Philippines, it needs to be published and available at the concert. So I have been and will be busy laying out the music in the computer and making the changes as each piece goes through the editing process.

At odd moments, my doctor friend and I have been meeting to make plans for our medical mission trip. We have made a list of medicines to purchase, found out what is available on the island where we are headed, and made plans to go out and purchase the remainder this week.

Then, at my church this weekend, I was involved in the planning meeting for an inter-church singles fellowship scheduled for early September. (I am in charge of registration for that event.)

In between, all the preparations was midterm exams for the BJMBC students. Despite a day of cancelled classes because of rain and flooding (our 5th major storm in a month when normal is usually 2), all the exams were finally administered. Now I have a huge pile of grading to do, as I help several of the teachers with their grading.

Please continue to pray for the medical mission trip to Palawan. We leave Friday morning (Thursday night in the States) and will return Monday night. Pray for safety, for wisdom in treating patients, and most of all for us to be a blessing to the church there and a tool for evangelism in their outreaches.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mission Trip

I am excited to share with you an opportunity the Lord opened up just this past week. Since I have been in the Philippines, several people have told me about the island of Palawan. It is an area to the southwest of the island on which Manila is located, and is apparently mountainous and resembles Papua New Guinea in many ways. I am told there are number of tribes living there that have not yet been reached with the gospel.

I have a Filipino doctor friend (a pediatric cardiologist) who has been burdened with the needs of this area for some time. She is friends with a national family that have a solid church ministry on that island. Last week, we were talking with a member of this family, Jethro Malacao. He is leaving for the States at the end of August to work on his doctorate at BJU, but he invited my doctor friend and I to come to Palawan early in August to do a medical mission trip.

So our plan is to leave to fly there on Friday, August 12th, do medical ministry in 1-2 locations on Saturday, participate in the church mission conference on Sunday (including assisting as needed with the medical needs of the attendees), and return to Manila on Monday. There is also some talk of assisting some national nurses in the church with the training and guidelines needed to set up a regular clinic ministry.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in medical ministry again and to see this area that I have heard so much about. One concern I had when I heard about the opportunity was where the money would come from to buy medicines (as most of my money has been going toward setting up housekeeping here). But the very night that I heard about the opportunity, I received my monthly GFA financial report and discovered that one of my supporting churches had given an additional large gift that will more than cover the cost of any medicines we will purchase. Praise the Lord for His provision!

Please pray for us now as we prepare, drawing up treatment protocols and procuring medicines. Also please pray for a number of pressing projects at New Song Ministries that I need to complete before leaving.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This week I just wanted to praise the Lord for the church He has led me to attend. (The picture is me with some of my church mates.) I really enjoy the people there and feel like they have welcomed me as part of the group, despite my different appearance and the language barriers.

I continue to assist in the music ministry, accompanying the congregational singing on either flute or piano, accompanying for choir and special music, and playing offertories. I also have enjoyed attending the ladies Bible study each Sunday afternoon and getting to know the ladies and their needs better.

I will be leading the Bible study next Sunday afternoon, so I would appreciate your prayers for that. Also please pray that the Lord will give direction as to other ministries in which He would have me be involved.

Since it takes about two hours to commute to this church, I do not go there on Wednesday nights. However, the Lord has given me the opportunity to work with the children in the church close to where I live. Please do pray for these children as well. Although most, if not all, of them are from Christian homes and/or attend Christian school, the majority are either unsure of their salvation or have never even made a profession. They know the truth, but have not applied it personally. Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom as we lead the program and that the Holy Spirit will be at work to illumine their minds to the truth of the gospel.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Speaking and Music

The Lord continues to open doors for ministry, often unexpected ones. On Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to about 25 BJMBC female students in Ladies Forum. They had submitted a list of topics that they wanted to cover during the year and a frequent request concerned knowing the will of God -- how do I know if God is calling me into ministry, how do I know if I'm called to be a pastor's wife, etc. I was asked to address this topic with them. I enjoyed giving them biblical principles to guide their decision making and several requested me to email them my speaking notes.

Then on Saturday, the church I attended when I was here previously hosted a ladies meeting with a health focus. They had a number of speakers on different aspects of health but asked me to give the devotional (because of my nursing background). I enjoyed sharing about "The Disease of the Soul," and pray that the Lord will continue to use the truth of His Word in the hearts of those who heard.

Today (Sunday) gave opportunities for musical ministry at church as I played my flute for congregational singing, accompanied the church choir in the morning service, and sang in a trio for the evening service.

Next week, we are looking forward to having two young ladies from the U.S. visiting with us. They are here to work with National Hoops (a basketball tournament outreach for young people), but came early to get a chance to see ministry in the Philippines. One of them will be staying in my apartment, so I have been busily trying to finish getting it furnished. I finally have a table and chairs, and got a bed for the second bedroom and hung the curtains.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for the ministry here. May God be glorified in everything we do -- from the public ministries to the private ones.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


The Lord provided several ministry opportunities this week. First, when I was at the grocery on Monday, I had a good opportunity to talk to the young man who was helping me with my bags. He wanted to know why I was so happy and why I would leave America to come to the Philippines when so many Filipinos want to get to the U.S. His English wasn't good enough for a deep conversation, but I was able to explain briefly and give him a tract in Tagalog. Then the girl working the elevator wanted to see the tract and took it out of his hand to look at it, so I gave her one too:-) Pray for this young man. I forget his name, but the Lord will know who you mean.

Then Monday evening, we had a party for about 20 BJMBC girl students who are living near the school rather than commuting in each day. We had a good time of fun and food, but I also enjoyed getting to share the devotional -- thoughts that the Lord has taught me on Psalm 73. Please do pray for these girls. Many of them are a long way from home for the first time, and they are at varying levels of spiritual maturity. They range in age from 16 to early 30s. It is a blessing to have them and we pray that the Lord will do a real work in their lives during their time here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rain and Floods

The streets of Manila are slowly drying out after the onslaughts of Tropical Storm Falcon over the past week. We had several days of torrential rains, 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours! There was much flooding causing school to be cancelled all over the city. It may seem unusual to Americans to cancel school for rain, but its not the rain so much as the accumulation of rain and the resulting flooding. (Just as we cancel school not so much because of falling snow, but because of the accumulation of snow that impedes travel.) Many areas of Manila were underwater and without power and folks were stranded at their schools and workplaces all over they city.

Because of the flooding, I did not attempt to commute to my church on Saturday. However, I was still able to go on Sunday by riding with another family from my area that goes each week. I continue to enjoy the church and helping with the ministries there. The people are incredibly appreciative for the small things that I can do.

This evening we are having a get together for the 20+ BJMBC girls that live in 2 apartments near the school. I have been asked to share the devotional and would appreciate your prayers for that ministry.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I am safely home again after commuting to my new church for the first time. I drafted a Filipino student from BJMBC to accompany me this first time, so that she could speak Tagalog and ask directions if we got lost (which we did once:-) In addition, another BJMBC student will be accompanying me each week, but she is from Vietnam and doesn't speak any more Tagalog than I do.

Anyway, it took about 2.5 hours to get there yesterday. First we walked a few blocks and caught a jeepney (sort of a short, squatty bus with the two long bench seats facing the middle of the vehicle), then we got on the MRT (like an elevated train), then a bus. We apparently missed our stop on the bus, so we had to walk a little ways to get to where we should have been. Then we got on another jeepney, then got a tricycle (a motorcycle with a covered sidecar) to the church.

Coming home, we followed a slightly different route that included tricycle, jeepney, bus, and jeepney. That only took about 1.5 hours. We stayed with Gary and Edie Jones, the missionaries that lead the church. They have been in the Philippines 30+ years.

I was able to help out with the choir and piano and am excited to see what ministry opportunities the Lord will open there. It is a smaller church than the one I attended when I was here before. They have a Tagalog service of about 30 people, then Sunday School, then an English service of around 60.

I am also safely moved into my apartment. I moved early (about 6:30am) on Wednesday morning, before it got too hot. It's rather bare at the moment -- just a refrigerator, a stove, and a bed.:-) Little by little!

Thanks so much for your continued prayers. It's exciting to be right in the place where God wants you to be and know it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The Lord's provision has been so evident this week, that I want to share it with you. First off, I have an apartment! I met with the apartment manager on Friday, and after looking at two different apartments, I signed a contract on one. That's exciting because I had no guarantee there would one be open so quickly after I returned. It is in the same building that I have been staying in and is only a few doors down from the building where New Song and BJMBC are.

Yesterday (Sunday), I had the opportunity to visit a church on the other side of Manila. I had been praying about finding a church where I could be involved in the ministry, and it seems that the Lord has answered. It is a smaller church, pastored by another GFA missionary, and they have many areas where I can be of help.

I'm pretty much over jet lag -- actually slept from 10:30 to 6:30 last night, instead of waking up at 5am:-) It's been good to be back and reconnect with friends.

I'd appreciate your prayers as I furnish my apartment and figure out how to negotiate the public transportation to make the trip to my new church. Pray also for opportunities to build spiritually edifying relationships with girls at BJMBC and at church.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


After 24+ hours of travel, I am safely back in the Philippines. All the flights were without incident, and my luggage arrived when I did. Thanks so much for your prayers!

I am eager to jump back into the ministry here. Now if I could only figure out what time zone I'm in:-)

Monday, June 6, 2011


The nearly two months of stateside ministry as come to a close and I am busily preparing to leave once again for the Philippines. I have enjoyed the time to connect with some of you, see family, and fellowship with other missionaries. On the other hand, I am excited to be returning to the field and the ministry the Lord has given me there.

I fly out of Greenville, SC Tuesday morning (June 7th) for a trip lasting just over 24 hours. If all goes as scheduled, I will arrive in Manila at 11am EST on Wednesday, June 8th. I would appreciate your prayers for a safe and uneventful trip, for my luggage to arrive without incident, and for a quick transition into the Philippines ministry.

What a blessing to know that the Lord is not confined by geographical boundaries and, as He promised, He will be with us wherever we go. And yet another blessing is knowing that neither are your prayers limited by distance but through them, you can impact a ministry that you may never see. Thanks so much for your partnership in this endeavor.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Events and Projects

It's always a little harder to find things to write about when I'm home in the States, since I'm not busy in a foreign country with things that will sound different and unusual when I share them with you. That's not to say that I've not been busy though. I've had several projects going on that have kept me out of trouble.:-)

First, a week after I arrived I travelled to another state to help a friend prepare for her wedding. That was a fun time of reconnecting as well as a little hectic in dealing with all the last minute details. At the last minute, she didn't have a videographer, so I ended up doing my amateur best (thanks to the experience gained in the Philippines videoing events at BJMBC). Then, since I had all the footage from two cameras, I spent a good bit of time editing and splicing to create a complete wedding video as well as a combination video/picture slideshow to be shown at a later reception. A lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.

I also have been working at the local office of Gospel Fellowship Association, my mission agency. They recently had a major computer software change that left behind a lot of hiccups to be worked out, so I have been helping to resolve a few of those.

In addition, the wonders of modern technology means that I have been able to continue doing some work for the Philippines ministry from across the globe. I am continuing to lay out music for an upcoming concert, send electronic newsletters, and other projects for New Song Ministries.

In the meantime, my nephew graduated from high school May 5th. (Can't believe he's eighteen already! Where does the time go?)

With those things behind me, I am concentrating on preparing to return to the Philippines in a couple of weeks. On May 25, I am speaking at a church here in Greenville, SC. Then the next week is GFA's annual conference. The following Tuesday, June 7, I fly out.

I'm excited to see the time approaching. There is still much to be done before I leave, for which I would appreciate your prayers, but I'm ready to be back.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I am now back in the United States after spending three very enjoyable months ministering in the Philippines. I know that I have not been very faithful in posting reports of my activities, and for that I apologize. The Lord has been work changing my plans once again, and I was not free to share all the details along the way. If you receive my prayer letter, then you may already have heard all this, but for those of you who only follow me electronically, I wanted to keep you informed as well. Therefore, I am pasting below the text of my most recent prayer letter. Praise the Lord for His perfect plan!

On April 1st, I attended the commencement exercises for Bob Jones Memorial Bible College in the Philippines. As I listened to the testimonies of the graduates, I was struck by the privilege of being involved in this ministry. These students represent an incredible potential to impact the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia. Ministries that require a missionary to spend years learning the culture and language can be quickly begun and continued under the leadership of well-trained nationals such as these. I listened to their testimonies of how they had grown in their spiritual walk and biblical knowledge, and was amazed that I was even there at all.

As you know, I spent the last two years in Papua New Guinea. Last fall, health problems forced me to leave the country, and visa problems closed the door for a speedy return. Thus, in January of this year, I went to the Philippines intending to stay for three months while I waited for my PNG visa. I have greatly enjoyed being a part of the ministries in the Philippines, as I worked both in New Song Ministries (seeking to make available affordable, God-honoring sacred music) and Bob Jones Memorial Bible College (training nationals for ministry).

My health problems seemed to stay under better control in the new setting, and I found myself able to use my abilities in computers and technology – abilities that had been of little help in the primitive culture of Papua New Guinea. Due to these factors, I was asked to pray about the possibility of remaining in the Philippines, at least for a couple of years. After talking with my father and pastor, we all recognized the Lord’s leading in the change of direction. Both I and Gospel Fellowship Association, my mission agency, sent out letters informing my financial supporters of the change, and I now want to share with you, my praying friends, as well.

I am excited about the opportunities for service in the Philippines. I will be spending most of my time in New Song and the rest working at BJMBC. There are also plans to use my medical skills in mission trips to the rural areas outside Manila. It is a little scary to start all over learning a new culture and language, but I am confident of the Lord’s direction and leading in this decision.

Since I had planned only to stay in the Philippines for three months, I had purchased a round-trip plane ticket and was not prepared to stay for the long term. Thus, by the time you read this, I will be back in the States for a brief stay. I plan to return to the Philippines on June 7th.

Thanks so much for your prayers during this time of transition.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This past week has been busy with various concerts as we near the end of the school year. Thursday was the faculty recital where each of the eight music faculty members performed a number of classical and sacred pieces. Friday was the BJMBC final orchestra and choir concert. It was especially exciting as a number of the pieces were written or arranged by BJMBC students. One of the main goals of the music ministry here is to encourage Filipino musicians to write and arrange their own sacred music so that they are not depend on "imported" music, so it was neat to see progress toward that end.

Then Sunday was the annual BJMBC choir tour. We packed up the entire choir along with a 5 instruments and music stands into a total of 4 vehicles. They gave a sacred concert at two different churches -- one in an another area of Manila and one outside Manila in the province. A BJMBC grad student came along to preach following each concert. The churches used the concerts as a tool to invite visitors to those church services.

Before you ask, no, I wasn't participating in all of these concerts (although I did play a flute obligato with one of the choir numbers). My musical knowledge is nowhere near the caliber of the faculty here. I did however get to video record all of these events, which is much more up my alley:-)

I would appreciate your prayers as I make a short trip to Papua New Guinea this week. I have some business that needs to be dealt with there. I will be leaving the Philippines March 8th and returning to the Philippines March 15th. Please pray for a smooth and profitable trip, especially with the travel connections and visa details.

Please also continue to pray for my computer. It will be a fairly pricey repair, but the part has to come for Singapore. I was told last week that it would take 2 weeks to get the part and make the repair. But then today I found out that their supplier fell through, so it will be another 7 days before they even get the part. Not having my computer really handicaps my usefulness here, so please pray that it will be fixed soon, ideally by when I get back to the Philippines next week.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blessed Week

This last week has been incredibly busy, but also a real blessing. All the services of the conference were well attended, probably around 400 people each evening. The preaching was excellent and many public decisions were made. I was able to help with the kids' ministry on the first night of the conference and then joined in the music ministry the other evenings through flute and choir.

Today (Feb 27) is the 31st anniversary of the church here. The church was planted by a GFA missionary, Dennis Potts, and is now under the leadership of a national pastor. We had a great morning service, a time of fellowship and food afterwards, and then the actual annIversary service at 2pm. At least 5-6 other churches attended, many contributing special music. It was neat to see how the training at Bob Jones Memorial Bible College is bearing fruit through the work of its graduates as pastors and music leaders in churches throughout the area.

Thank you so much for your prayers for these special services. I know they were a blessing to my own heart, and I'm sure they will continue to bear fruit in the lives of those who attended.

On a different note, I have a rather unusual request. Please pray for my computer. It completely quit working early this week. Since most of my work here is computer-based, it is a rather urgent need. It is presently in the repair shop. Please pray that it can be fixed, or at the least, that the data can be recovered from it. (I backed it up before coming to the Philippines, but have not backed up the work I've done while I've been here.) What a blessing to know that the Lord is in control, even of technology:-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Special Conference

Things continue to move along on a fairly normal cycle here. Work is progressing well on the various projects in which I am involved. The first three books of the violin curriculum are entered into Finale (the music writing program) and the data from nearly 700 survey respondents has been entered into the database that I created. I have shooting a good bit of video of footage and taking a lot of pictures of the ministries here. I just completed an updated DVD presentation for Jolea Jensen, a missionary here who will be returning to the States in April to hopefully quickly complete her deputation. This week, I plan to start working on another DVD for a missionary family that will be returning to the States soon for furlough. It has been neat to see the Lord put my computer skills to good use.

This week promises to be a busy one at church. Wednesday through Friday, my church here is hosting a special conference on holiness. Churches from a wide area have been invited. There will be two services each night with a lot of special music. Dr. Bob Jones III is the keynote speaker and so will be preaching each evening. Then Sunday is our church anniversary, so there will be special services that day as well. Please pray for much spiritual fruit to be produced in the hearts of all those that attend, as well as strength and wisdom for all those involved, especially Dr. Bob.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers and interest in the ministry here.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I must apologize for my sporadic blog posting. I have the best of intentions, but they don't always translate into reality:-)

So at any rate, to bring you up to date with recent events. I am still in the Philippines (in case you were wondering), and enjoying very much the variety of ministries here. I spend most of my days working on my computer, which I really enjoy. We are in the process of developing a curriculum for teaching a number of musical instruments. The curriculum is in a form at present that is usable for the faculty at BJMBC (the Bible college here), but it needs to be laid out professionally in such a way that teachers throughout the Philippines can use it to train their students for musical ministry in their teachers. I am tasked with laying out the musical pieces in a computer program called Finale. So far I have completed the first three books of the Violin curriculum. I am working on the 4th book, then will move on to the Viola curriculum, and perhaps even the Piano curriculum if time allows.

Last weekend, I had the privilege of joining the other single girls on a weekend getaway. They had been planning for some time to visit another island south of us and enjoy a couple days of relaxation. And I got to tag along:-) The U.S. dollar is very strong here, so the cost of the weekend was incredibly reasonable. I had the experience of snorkeling for the first time and absolutely loved it. I had no idea what an amazing world exists right under those waves. The trip seemed to me to be a special gift from the Lord, as I had originally planned to make a similar trip in Papua New Guinea but lost the opportunity when I had to leave in September. Isn't God good to give us things that we never even thought of asking for???

The most recent word from Papua New Guinea is that my work permit has been approved, and my visa application has been submitted. So that's one hurdle down and several to go. Please continue to pray for the granting of my paperwork in the Lord's timing and also for His direction for the future. It seems that I will likely not be headed back to Kiari (the village where I had been ministering), but it is not entirely clear what new ministry the Lord has in store. But isn't it great to know that "His way is perfect," and He never makes mistakes. I recently saw a post from a friend where she quoted the Bible verse "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord", and said "Notice that it says his steps not just his ways." What an encouragement!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This week has been a study in contrasts. I spent most of the time working on my assigned projects -- inputting the violin curriculum into Finale, organizing the data from a survey on cross-cultural evaluations of various kinds of music, and assisting in the college office. That has been mostly a 9-5 kind of job. I've also had fun getting to know some of the Filipino girls and learning a bit of their language.

The church here is fairly large -- about 300 on a Sunday morning -- and is under the leadership of a national pastor. The Filipinos themselves are filling most ministry roles, but I've been able to help with the children's class on Wednesday nights and join the choir and orchestra.

This weekend, some of us missionaries along with about 22 music students from BJMBC attended a concert by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. The traffic on the way there was distinctly Filipino. The congestion on the streets here can only be described as organized chaos. A mixture of cars, motorcycles, tricycles (a motorcycle or large bicycle with a side car for carrying passengers), jeepneys (short in height buses for carrying passengers), and even semis fight their way down the streets, changing lanes with only inches of clearance and basically each a law unto himself. But, after our arrival, we entered a very nice auditorium and had a very classical experience (for the reasonable price of ~$2.50 for second balcony seats). After negotiating the traffic to return home, three of us single girls took a tricycle to McDonald's for a late dinner. As I said, a study in contrasts.

Ruth Potter, one of the short termers, has her parents visiting for the next couple of weeks. They are Baptist World missionaries to Hungary, and her dad is teaching an extension class for national pastors while they are here. We took advantage of their presence for a sightseeing trip on Saturday. We went first to the American cemetery here in Manila. It is the burial site of many American and Filipino military who were killed during World War II. It is quite beautiful, similar to Arlington in the U.S. After that, we went to one of the many malls here and got lunch, did some window shopping, and got doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. Yet another study in contrasts.

I am definitely enjoying my time here and glad that I can be a help to the ministry for a short period. Please pray for our national pastor, Gilbert Castillo (pronounced Castilio). His father passed away last Wednesday and will be buried on Tuesday in the village where he lived. Pray for the strengthening of the family, safety in traveling, and an effective Gospel witness in the funeral.

Friday, January 7, 2011

In the Philippines

I have now officially arrived in the Philippines. I touched down in the Manila airport just before midnight on Sunday, January 2nd, after a 25 hour trip. I have spent the week getting settled in and discovering the similarities and differences between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

I am staying with another single girl in a 4th floor apartment in Metro Manila -- quite a change from the rural mountainscape of PNG. Just down the street is the building that houses Gospel Light Baptist Church, Bob Jones Memorial Bible College, Gospel Light Christian Academy, and New Song Ministries. So that is where I spend most of my time during the day.

I am working on a variety of projects for both New Song Ministries (a ministry that publishes and distributes sacred music throughout the Philippines) and BJMBC (a Bible college for Bible and music students to prepare them for ministry throughout Southeast Asia).

The Filipino people have been friendly and welcoming. Most speak English, although they generally prefer to speak their own language of Tagalog. Classes at BJMBC are mostly in English with a smattering of Tagalog, but the Wednesday church service at Gospel Light was more Tagalog than English. I studied Tagalog some before I arrived and am continuing to study since I have arrived. It is more difficult than Pidgin was in PNG, so I am making some progress but doubt I'll be fluent before I leave:-)

Due to the size and number of the ministries, there is a rather large missionary team here. It includes four career missionary families -- the Kamibiyashiyamas, the Bachoriks, and the Berreys teach at BJMBC; and the Potts led Gospel Light Baptist Church (although it is now under the leadership of a Filipino pastor). Then there is one career single girl, Jolea Jensen, who is my apartment mate. And last, but definitely not least, are the short term girls who teach at BJMBC -- Rachel Dahlhausen, Ruth Potter, and Bethany and Rachel Uhler. It's a fun group and they've all been very kind and welcoming.

Please pray that I would be a significant help to the ministry here, despite the short length of my stay (until April 10). I'll try to get regular about posting again and keep you up to date on the ministry here and the fun things I discover about living in the Philippines.