I like this, the challenge is not to find fault but to find a solution... What can be done to enable others to be a part of their own blessing. "NO" is too easy, helping find the "YES!" is the challenge.
Deeply moving... those society often write off as little or no value are so often gems in disguise... Beauty pouring from her heart, and yes... from her fingertips.
Sharing the knowledge of growing a raised garden and Aquaponics with friends who are also interested in creating food & helping children. Enjoyed the visit!
What is her name? (I don't know.) Should I care? (I do.)
2nd morning in a row I see her sitting on the sidewalk asking for help.
Gave her another cup of coffee and she was thankful.
I ask myself, what does my responsibility as a neighbor lead me to do.
Keeping our balance... What does that mean? How do we do it?
Not claiming to have all the answers but I'm listening to my heart.
Living the great adventure and want to take as many with me as I can...
the adventure never ends...
Lola Felipa's SMILE... She's a gem. Glad to see her up & SMILING. Good to see her almost every morning as I walk through the neighborhood.
This morning nearly to McDo, walked by another little grandmother sitting on the sidewalk, she's blind & it appeared her daughter was helping her get set up for her daily begging routine. After breakfast at McDo the daughter was gone, as grandma heard the sound of my steps approaching she began tapping her metal cup used for begging, asking without words, for assistance. In response I offered her a cup of coffee. Her response? A quick setting down of her begging cup and a SMILE as she reached out with her leprosy eaten fingers (Stubs remaining) to receive a welcome treat. As I walked on, part of my heart stayed with her as I marveled at how she was thankful for little things when most of us would feel overwhelmed by the life she is living... (No picture). I wonder what her name is...? My Best Friend knows...
Feeding the hungry... It is easy to identify when someone does not have enough food. The symptoms are written so that all can see. Jun age 53 his ribs are showing, and his clothes do not fit. Daily headaches from hunger... after three days of the vitamin loaded Manna Pack Meals the first sign of recovery from malnutrition is evident... His 'SMILE.' The same is true of Art... (69 years old) 3 - 4 days of good nutritious food, the same result. A SMILE... Grandma Filipa (74) for days had not had enough energy to get out of bed, was on her feet this morning with a SMILE and Grandma Ida (56) also showing signs of malnutrition was exercising in the park. The same sign of recovery from malnutrition is true with children 'SMILE'S.' Provide them with food and they begin to SMILE. Thank you to groups like 'Convoy of Hope' that ship us the food from "Feed My Starving Children" that creates the meals with a vast number of volunteer packers, and all the other friends like "Asia's Little Ones" & BGMC, and other individuals that know that food for the hungry is very important. Our priority is children and our feeding program providing daily meals for many children & pregnant mothers. We are thankful to be able to help children from conception to age 5 during the time where the brain is growing. Shortage of vitamins and food during those first critical years from conception to age 5 can stunt their mental growth for life. When we see the SMILES of those who have been hungry being satisfied it brings a SMILE to our faces as well.
It is not our desire to see just a FULL stomach and a SMILE. We want to see a SMILE and a FULL heart. A life that has a Destination and Purpose that is worth SMILING about!
Why do I walk ten blocks each morning to eat breakfast at McDonald's? It's not because my sweetheart is not willing to prepare me breakfast. She's a great cook - McDo is not competition for her! Nor is it because I love the exercise. Nor do I walk it because I like to stop and smell the roses along the path. Reality is, there is a sewer which parallels much the path which has a really powerful odor.
The reason I really like walking those 10 blocks is because of the wonderful people I meet along the path that have become friends, and for some I've been able to influence them to trust in my Best Friend, and by taking the walk their lives have been changed 'prayerfully' forever.
People like 7 year old Chrisaly, who's bout with Cancer is hopefully over & now her hair is returning, to her delight. The encounters on the morning walk don't always bring smiles. Art is 69 and as I talked to him about his life & put my arm around his shoulder & began to pray for him he burst into tears... Life and problems have become overwhelming for him and words of encouragement and praying with him this morning seemed to lighten his load.
Then there was Grandma Filipa who is 74 she was in the process of dying. She wasn't eating or speaking when I arrived back from the states. After stopping to check on her, the next day she was back to eating, walking and smiling. Extra food provided by Convoy of Hope, with the assistance of Asia's Little Ones, and others is making a difference for her. Also Grandma Ida, so small and frail, wishing she could come to Family Circus but her strength is not adequate to walk the two blocks. Yet again we will see if three nutritious meals a day, again provided by Convoy of Hope and others will make a difference. Plus another little BIG thing that makes life difficult, like the reason she won't smile, because the dog chewed up her false teeth. Hey! That's a BIG problem when you have no income. And yes we are going to see what we can do to remedy that. Remember the instruction manual? It says, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." That's not rocket science... We can all figure out how to live like that.
Hopefully you'll understand this is not a story about 'ME' this is a testimony to all those who help us to be a blessing. Being a missionary is not... "A Mom & Pop's" program. There are a multitude of friends that make it possible for us to be a blessing to many... Thanks one and all. Your prayers, and everything you do to help provide us with resources is, Oh so much a blessing to us. The breakfast at McDonald's where I can share the time with others young and old, is simply going at a pace, slower than a car where people can approach and say, Hello and if needed they can be heard to say, "Help me please!" That quiet plea or the tears might never be seen if I didn't slow down and walk at the pace my Creator walked when he was here 2,000 years ago. Sitting in service on Sunday, seeing a 13 year old preparing to take communion, made me so thankful for that 10 block walk for that's where I first met her where she slept on the sidewalk. And now she too shares the love of my Best Friend.
Home sweet home. Traveling since Monday 8:AM. Arrived Davao City Friday about 12:30 PM. Now it's 7:30 PM and jet lag is kicking in. Wow am I tired!
At the Boise airport heading home to Davao City Philippines. My mind replays the past 14 weeks and the amazing friends new & old & family that has blessed us with an outpouring of love & kindness. These are the real treasures of life.
We've travelled far, from Alaska to Florida, New England to California. The memories are also treasures.
Tons of blessings - 27,620 lbs to be exact. The empty 40' High Cube container arrived Monday 7 AM. By 4 PM it was loaded with the assistance of a wonderful team of rotating volunteers. The rain and cool weather didn't dampen the spirits. When the doors closed there wasn't even an inch of space left between the door and the last two pallets. There was packing above, below, and between the pallets. Packed lots of blessings & very little air. Kayla our youngest volunteer that day enjoyed packing in the tight spaces where some of us bigger people would have had more difficulty. I think Fred the truck driver thought we should have won the best packing award. He often chuckled as he saw us filling every inch possible. Next step of the containers journey it will be loaded on a boat and in a couple months we'll be unloading those blessings in the Philippines.
Additional Great News! For those wanting to help & volunteer your assistance to load & ship tons of blessings to the Philippines: Just received word from the Shippers that they have a High Cube Shipping container and it is scheduled to arrive Monday morning 9 AM. Payette Idaho. With plenty of volunteers we should be done within about 4 hours. (If you don't know the location please message me.) Thanks!!
Not yet... Timing is important... One day one of these will come our way... Perhaps we can buy it over there... If He wants us to have the tool it will happen BUT I don't think you will find me using this technique to park it.
This sounds like a God shaped/made shoe... Thinking about what He did to the clothes and shoes of the Israelites during their 40 year trek - they never wore out...
Maybe we can find a way to get them for our kids in the Philippines.
Help! It's packing time again... A couple years ago many friends came and made light work of a major job of packing a 40' container to ship to the Philippines to bless a lot of special kids and their families. We're doing it again this Wednesday Sept 24th we'll be gathering together Wednesday morning to begin preparing for the semi that is scheduled to get the donations. The address 1007 1st Avenue South, Payette Idaho. We'll need some strong determined workers young and old to help fill in the empty spaces above, between and below the crates, and around various items. All donations will have to be there. We will likely be announcing the exact time Tuesday or possibly Wednesday morning. For those who want to come for breakfast, some will likely join us up at the Hideaway about 7:30 or 8 AM for hotcakes and hot beverage. The rough plan is to be on site for preparation starting at 9 AM and expect 4 - 6 hours to complete the task. We'll need a forklift or two so let us know if you've one available. Blessings on all who assist... consider bringing a friend. Prayers for safety and strength. Last time my dad enjoyed overseeing the packing, this time he'll likely be cheering us on from his from row seat in heaven... (We miss him)
Just had series of phone conversations with a young pastor for more than half an hour, answering his questions & describing our mission work where we prioritize helping children in the Philippines, (while not neglecting the adults) feeding 6,000 malnourished children, pregnant mothers and widows, giving medical & dental assistance, and introducing them to their Creator.
His summary of our conversation was; He wouldn't have us at his church because he didn't feel like we spoke enough on sin, and that he couldn't see friendship & evangelism as a biblical form of leading someone to God. I feel seriously sorry for him, perhaps similar to how Jesus must have felt when the rich young man came asking what he must do to be saved & Jesus simply relied, "Go and sell all you have and give it to the poor." The young man went away and kept all his stuff because he was wealthy and unwilling to part with it, though he practiced religiously keeping God's commandments he wouldn't/couldn't obey Jesus. The sad words of Jesus, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven... But with God all things are possible."
Often the most important things in life are the littlest things... A smile, a word, or our name... spoken in love & thankfulness. How they made the ad is not as important to me as the message it spoke to my heart...
Hesitated to share this video because it speaks so deep to our heart's that it brings pain. About 20 years ago we helped a 3 year old (abandoned girl) living in a hospital in Thailand who was born with no arms, to be adopted in the USA. Little Abbie thought of us as her hero, but there was a misunderstanding between her adoptive family & us and we were cut out of their lives. We have missed their friendship and communication for years. She would be in her 20's now. Maybe... one day we will hear from her again. Little Abbie knew how to take on the challenges of life & succeed... She could snow ski, ride a bike, swim, cook, paint, write a letter & the list of what she can't do because of her lack of arms is a much shorter list. Maybe one day... Reminds me of my BF, He'll never abandon or ignore me He's a gentleman and if I chose not to talk to him and tell him to leave me alone then I will likely live in silence separated from the sound of his voice. Yet He yearns for my presence as I yearn for his. His name is Jesus...
Life here is too short to not take time and enjoy Gods gift's. It's one way of saying, "Thanks" and letting Him know we are grateful. I may be wrong but it makes me think of how wonderful heaven will smell... So familiar a fragrance, we will know we finally arrived home when we enter 'That Doorway' and experience the overwhelming fragrance of a heavenly world prepared for them who followed & loved the Creator who loves.
Totally agree! May we not just treat this as a temporary challenge but as a lifetime adjustment to treat our friends with any disabilities with the compassion & love they deserve. A good article -
Really had fun at CFC in Nampa Idaho last night... Fun kids & they passed along a blessing of Backpacks filled with school supplies for the kids in the Philippines.
So many wonderful blessings, Yet there is also SACRIFICE... Sandy Crogh Blatchley & I consider one of the BIGGEST sacrifices of being a missionary is to not see many of our family & friends for years at a time. This includes our 3rd grandson, age 1 1/2 who I was able to meet for the first time yesterday. We hit it off well, and I'm enjoying our BRIEF time together.
Monday he will be flying with his mom Chanelle Shelton Blatchley & Aunt 'Shell' to Omaha Nebraska while our son David & I drive 3,500+ miles (6.000 kilometers) in the large UHaul van through Canada with their belongings.
The trip will be a journey of adventure & fellowship for 'father & son' as we rarely get this kind of one-on-one time.
Next Sunday AM for those who are within driving distance in the Challis Idaho area, I'd love to see you at the Assembly of God church... as I share the missions stories of the miracles God does while He directs us to help thousands of malnourished children and their families in the Philippines. It is a GREAT ADVENTURE!
I was in tears... RIP... Rebecca Pittz Finicum's relative went into eternity leaving behind... Tons of stuff including hundreds of pairs of small lady, 'like-new' shoes. Plus sewing material, and much, much more. Many items now being packed up to be a blessing to the hundreds of mothers and thousands of children that attend Family Circus in the Philippines. Carrying the shoes downstairs I gave Emily Boyd (9) a free ride. Lol
Later that evening... the reason I was in TEARS is while building the crates and packing them a wooden splinter got into my eye. 3 hours later in the hospital emergency room they numbed my eye and removed the splinter. The pain & swelling going down & no more TEARS! Now packing to fly to Anchorage Alaska this evening. Sandy Crogh Blatchley flew to Boston yesterday and will be sharing the wonderful missions stories with friends there.
Mixed in these past two weeks has been fishing, walks in the woods, Kids Camp, Men's Retreat, Camp Fires, & getting to know many new friends including Tanner (the dog) who was very friendly but he thinks 'MY' plate has 'HIS' food on it or that I should at least share with him. So we kept our eyes on each other... Lol
This week Sandy & I have been holding Family Circus VBS (Vacation Bible School) in Idaho City, ID. Today in the tent we were teaching the kids about needing to be changed FIRST before being able to go through Heaven's Doorway... Using drama we explained we can't take anything with us... As you can see from the pictures some tried taking stuff through...
Outside the trees are surrounded by smoke from the many forest fires that have been burning, turning the sky red and dropping ash down on us... We are safe and very thankful...
Had a wonderful birthday topped off with homemade carrot cake. Mmmgood. Been building crates and stuffing them with blessings for kids back in the Philippines. School supplies & a lot more. Don't want to pack any air, so working to stuff in all the little spaces. Kids clothes and small toys make great stuffers. Should arrive in time for Christmas! 58 years packed with adventures. No regrets. Figure to hopefully have many more years. Kids need godly grandparents...
Sometimes the reputation of being a missionary makes us feel uncomfortable... Some people put us TOO HIGH on a pedestal... We personally know our failures, our shortcomings, times when we are grouchy, perhaps even selfish, and certainly we don't have any angel wings...
To some people we are considered as professional BEGGARS who can't make it at a normal job & when they hear a missionary will be at their church they skip that service... Ah what SOME people think... IF the excitement or glamor of traveling and living in exotic places were the motivation for our becoming a missionary that would have worn off a LONG time ago... As we reenter the USA for a few weeks of furlough we've already had several send the message, 'Wishing us' "A wonderful vacation." Lol. This 14 week period is not a vacation.
Yes for a couple days we've had some wonderful rest time at 'Deb's' home in the mountains and we NEEDED it very desperately. "TIRED?" "YES!" and in need of the fresh air, the soothing SOUND of the wind whispering in the trees, and at other times simply impacted by the silence. I'm a country boy, & we've lived for 19 years in a city which reportedly now has over 2 million people. Silence there is rare, & NOISE is the NORM. No wonder I like to go scuba diving... No cell phones can reach me...
The peacefulness of the countryside here is almost overwhelming to us... Hard to describe how it impacts our heart... It's has just been a few days since leaving Davao City, Philippines our home and the people we love: Now we've come to another land, to people, family & friends whom we also love yet so rarely get to see.
Being a missionary... we are thankful for the privilege to be His servant...
We are currently in the mountains of Idaho with our son Ken Ken Blatchley & Elizabeth Blatchley. What a fun time as we build new memories and rejoice in sharing stories from the past. Tomorrow Sandy Crogh Blatchley & I celebrate our aniversary, and meanwhile on a tropical island our son Darrell Blatchley & Mary Blatchley celebrate their wedding anniversary. Thankful for every year we have had together.
2 years of practice and waiting to compete!!
Let's bare it all! This may offend you… If I'd taken a picture & posted it I'm pretty sure it would have! Recently after eating breakfast at McDo on a tropical isle (aka McDonalds) I was riding my motorcycle down the street and saw a young man (about 28 years old) out for a walk. I noticed he was not wearing a wristwatch but his suntan would have been the envy of any tanning salon. Noticing which direction he was walking I resisted the urge to get a picture of his suntan, and about a block down the road I spotted two traffic police I asked them, "Please keep you eyes open for the young man with the great suntan walking down the road… He has no wrist watch on… nor for that matter any shoes, nor any shirt or pants… Just a nice suntan…
He didn't appear to be embarrassed by his lack but seemed to be happy with his suntan. How many times do people look at what we do and think, "How foolish spending their lives helping the poor…" Being thought a fool is not a new thing… Just a block past the policemen was likely the young mans home - The mental asylum. Recently the men's section was burned and their sleeping quarters destroyed. Perhaps he slipped out while no one was watching and went for a walk, now he was returning home.
We are all guilty at times of not being aware of the time. I'm not a dooms sayer but I did read the end of the BOOK and it says, One Day the Creator will return, and when He does He will take an account of our relationship to Him & what we've done or not done. I hope none of us end up looking foolish... Just past the end of this life is our ETERNAL home. Let's make sure we are ready.
Since we are rarely in the US, yesterday I spent an hour or so going over a back log of mostly junk mail and bank records. In the process I found a bill my sister Patti Blatchley Yarbrough Grimbly had paid off last year about a year before the payoff was due... & I discovered that after she paid it off the Credit card kept charging us about $39 a month penalty fee since their records indicated we had about $2 of outstanding interest or unpaid penalty due to (unknown to her) the payment being credited after the billing date. The bill then grew to a couple hundred dollars and so I went in to contest it... though I figured it was a futile effort. Long story short... The credit card company discovered their error before I called and they not only had erased all the charges they also gave me a check for $242.97 just in time to purchase materials to start building crates to ship blessings back to the Philippines. It may not seem like a BIG thing to some people BUT I delight in Gods provision!
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