This morning was intense... Walked into Lola Filipa's small little home. She was still in bed and as I knelt beside her she barely had the energy to open her eyes. The children with me quietly sang Scripture's to her and the final song was... "I've got a home in Heaven... Lola whispered the words as we sang them. A few minutes later and about half a mile away, I walked into the upstairs room where another friend lay waiting to go from this planet to a much better place. June opened his eyes and moved his hand a couple inches to grip mine. He drifted in and out of consciousness more 'out' than in. He was alone, so I stayed longer just to spend time with him. He has found Peace. His time here is almost over. Downstairs his former room is now occupied by new tenants, a baby girl and her family. Life goes through its cycle. We all have an appointment to meet our creator. When we see Him face to face there will no longer be any atheists. It's way better to get to know Him now than later.
Phil 3:8 "I consider everything a loss compared to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord
This morning I was sipping a cup of hot chocolate from a mug created by my brother Mike. I was thinking about the impact he and others have had on my life. Mike's prayers brought my two sisters and myself into his family (through adoption). His love for Jesus and his gifted music also inspired me to praise our Creator. He has gone from making music on this planet to enjoying it in heaven. The coffee mug has the name of his singing group, 'Frontline Ministries...' In his words... "The Frontline... Where every Christian ought be.
John 8:12 "Jesus said, I am the Light of the world
I Cor 15:33 Do not be fooled bad company corrupts good character... Teaching values to kids..
These kids are great!! So much fun!
What we learn as a child may never be forgotten... For good or bad... Foundations are being laid for a strong future... "Unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God." John 3:3
Cool... Kids learning Scriptures... On the street a little friend sings, "While we were yet sinner's Christ died for us..." Romans 5:8
This morning my friend June had his window open and he was alone (except for a large rat that hid under the cabinet when I looked in). June is dying. Whispering his name he turned in pain and looked over at me. I asked him if I could come in and he said, 'Yes.' We spent time talking and then he asked me to pray as he pulled out a plastic religious item. I told him, "You don't need that. Jesus is more than enough." Then we began to pray, but first he called out for his daughter to come join us from her home upstairs. She came downstairs but wasn't willing to come in & went back home. June and I prayed and he listed many things he regretted doing, including wrongs to his family, children, illegal activities etc. He asked forgiveness, and placed his hand over his heart & prayed for mercy as he invited Jesus to come into his sinful heart. Together we sang (in Cebuano his language) a chorus he had learned as a child, "I've got a home in heaven..." My heart aches for him and his family... So much pain from years of wrong choices, yet he's finding his way back... Home
She's like the Energizer Bunny... Rarely ever slows down. Here she is working in the Rice Shack distributing meals to the families.
June's family brought him back to his little one-room home. He's almost done with this life and he knows he's dying. He greeted me, & in our short soft conversation, he said he hurts all over. After a short prayer, and a "Thank you Jesus," he turned on his side... His little energy exhausted. He has thankfully found a Friend who is willing to give him a New Home. I think back to the past year as we became friends & we'd meet for a few minutes each morning & we'd pray. We need to remember... We may be the only Jesus some people will see... This side of eternity.
Being PREPARED has NOTHING to do with LUCK & EVERYTHING to do with being PREPARED. Being in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time, READY to help means we PREPARE for the emergencies BEFORE they happen and have a HEART & TEAM READY to respond. That's motivation for us to get one of these Portable Solar Generators. Disasters are a part of life living out here on an island... PS If we received a second generator it would also be great! We've gone through two Super storms in two years... disasters happen.
Our second grandson Kenny hears & feels the music... Takes after his grandma Sandy Crogh Blatchley.
At Family Circus in Davao with Darrell Blatchley. Over 1600 in attendance on Saturday. Great ministry. Feeding kids, cutting hair, dentist and doctors on sight to care for the kids and most of all the good news is communicated. I was excited because of all the scriptures the kids would sing.
Walking with Darrell Blatchley and Darrell Beebe and the Superintendent from Southern Idaho Dist. Doyle Fulkes from McDonalds to Family Circus in Davao. Everyone knows Darrell.
After an incredible meeting we had 1,600 children, we had dozens of salvations, about 1,600 packages with 6 meals each (9,600) and a hot meal for each person. Over 30 volunteers, medical al service to over 200 kids and haircuts to many other hundred, and so much more! wow, eternity was affected for the glory of God. And tomorrow we will do it again to other several hundreds of kids on Davao City.
Southern Idaho District is blessed to have Darrell and Sandi Blatchley.
Call me crazy if you wish... I chose to be thankful & happy... Every day no matter wether rain or shine...
"If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you'll end up doing nothing for nobody." ~ Malcom Bane
As unattractive as the picture of the restroom (aka CR) is, standing next to it is worse. Looking at the picture you don't see the fullness of the little toilet, nor the smell... or the waste water flooding the floor but... That's all they had until today when our friends Doyle Fulkes, & Daniel Isaac Tellez on their visit to Family Circus committed to help us "do something for somebody" named Grandma Dorothea (aka Ruth) and her little family of many grandchildren. A home with no wage earner. That little home will now have a new CR with a new toilet, double chamber septic tank, additional roofing and will be a wonderful place to visit for those in need...
Saw my little friend, 'Jun Lee' age 10 siting outside McDo. He's still about 1 meter (3 feet) tall. My memories took me back to when he was about 9 and he ask us to help him go to school for the first time, (1st grade) which we did. During the following months he learned to read and write. The excitement of going to school and living the disciplined life of a student wore off and he chose to revert to his former lifestyle; living on the street.
As I walked back home almost a kilometer to Family Circus Jun Lee shadowed me every step of the way. Friends who live along the road would call out a greeting to me, then in surprise they would notice the little boy following me and asked, "Who's he? Your bodyguard? I chuckled and replied, "My shadow." I asked June Lee, "Do you remember your mama's name?" She was our friend and died of cancer when he was 4 or 5 years old. He replied softly, "Vilma." What memories this boy carries with him every day as he lives alone, by choice on the streets of our town. As we approached Family Circus I asked for him to show me his hand. It is as you see, very dirty due to the nature of the life he has chosen to live. A few hours later after visiting the doctor and discovering the deep cough I've had for the past two - three weeks is pneumonia, I again passed by June Lee on the street and saw him eating a delicious meal due to the kindness of people who see this child and treat him with compassion..
Success doesn't come from a diploma... Try honesty, integrity & hard work... Great answers Mike.
Someone who chose to go unnamed found out that it was very difficult to get Shasta Black Cherry on our island and that I like it as a special rare treat. We unpacked the container of food and when I opened the styrofoam cooler it brought a BIG smile. (I did share)...
Distractions - Of the thousands that attend Family Circus - yesterday there was one that stuck out like a sore thumb. He sat on one of our few padded benches, reserved primarily for pregnant/nursing mothers and or the elderly or handicapped. True he qualified as a senior citizen... Note: Our message was on "Choices & being Thankful." This guy just didn't get it! The picture perfect image of the Grinch that stole Christmas. He had no patience with the little children & mamas he shared the bench with and admitted that the only reason he comes is for the benefits... Free food and access to the Dr. & dentist that donate their services to those who need... And to top it off he is a pastor of another church... Seems to me Jesus had some of those kinds of religious people around him as He too ministered to the poor & hurting and 'yes' Jesus loved providing free food & medical care.
(If there is a next time, if he acts that way, we will likely ask him to leave since in his words, "He knows Jesus." Our priority is introducing the kids to our best Friend... & we don't need the distraction.)
It makes us smile when we help kids to be a winner! Being a winner is not only fun, it means there’s a prize. In the big circus tent thousands of kids learn what it means to be a winner. Learning to respect authority, the importance of work and discipline and much more. We dramatize the lessons and use music to teach them the Truth. Sometimes they find their connection with Jesus when we meet them where they live, or during their play time on the path in front of their home. This past week a group of kids playing on the sidewalk were singing these Bible verses and as I walked up they joined together for a prayer. Afterwards they sang some me some of the songs and I gave them prizes for singing (the prizes were toys and even some hand tools donated by friends). Sixty plus important Bible verses the kids learn at Family Circus, including, John 3:3 "Unless we are born again we cannot see the Kingdom or God." Another verse is, "Oh Lord you are the Father, and we are the clay and you are the potter we are all the works of your hands." Isaiah 64:8
It’s fun being a winner. Everyone enjoys having fun. Giving a prize is a way to reward the kids for memorizing the Bible verses which God tells us is very important. We hide God’s word in our heart which gives us a solid foundation and helps us to not sin against God… The best prize a person can win is being connected to Jesus and winning a place in Heaven. Sad to say not everyone will be a winner. But those who choose Him cannot lose young or old
Grandma Dorothy's birthday is Feb. 6, (1957). As a widow she carries a big load with five or six of her grandchildren living in her small broken down house. We had fun this week continuing the project started last week (*See earlier post). Carried in gravel to help her path be less muddy. Today we raised the broken living room flooring that had collapsed back up about 1 foot. Hopefully it will no longer be flooded every time the tide comes in. Our guys enjoyed working & being a part of that blessing. Grandma Dorothy is thankful for the repairs which add safety to her home for her & her little grandkids. Nope we didn't solve all their problems, yet their smiles show their gratefulness and together we say, "Thanks!"
THEY said, "GO AWAY... Find somewhere else to sleep & beg... HE said, "GO out and INVITE THEM to come IN." Conflicting messages.
How many even SEE the small child sleeping on the sidewalk? The same conflicting forces that HE resisted are still at work today... 2,000 years later
Saying goodbye is rarely fun... I say, "See you again Cording..." This year has already separated us from several of our precious friends. Yesterday 'Concordio' aka Cording (age 53), was laid to rest by his family & friends. His wife & six children stood by the casket as the last goodbye's were shared.
Last Sunday PM, shortly after he breathed his last I wrapped my arms around their grieving family & reminded them of the Scriptures that tell us that 'death' for those who trust & live for their Creator is a 'doorway' to a beautiful life with Him that will never-end. Because of His love & forgiveness we do not mourn the same as those who have no-hope - in the One who holds our future.
Yesterday after the graveside message, his casket was lifted up and placed inside the 4th floor cemetery apartment. His earthly body rests there but no one is home. Cording's already absent from his body & present with his Lord. Looking back at his resting place I see there are many rows of casket size spaces still available. The unspoken reminder is that we ALL have an appointment to one day meet our Creator. I personally don't like funerals and have told some of my friends, "I will be at my own funeral, (I would like it to be a celebration) BECAUSE I HAVE to BE at MY OWN FUNERAL but as my dad would say, "I'll likely be late..." The job we are involved in is BIG and I don't volunteer for premature retirement. I know that Heaven is real and better than we can even imagine. Yet we are still needed here, so until He says, "Come Home..." I will stay and work to help as many kids and others to get ready to go... through that doorway into THE REST OF OUR LIFE.
Precious treasures... Friends... Grandma quietly shared her need & we responded, just like many of of our friends do when they see a need. Grandmas house was damaged by time and the elements. The side of the living room where they were sitting on the floor had collapsed & when it rains especially during high tide it is often flooded almost a foot deep. Her six grandkids (ages 2 - 12) live with her and those of school age walk out the door onto the muddy pathway to go to school.
Every task starts with a 1st step. In this case Jeomear Arroza started by shoveling rocks into bags and put them in Delio's brown Multicab to transport them the short distance to grandma's home to help make Grandma's path less muddy. That simple sharing of rocks from what we had, was enough to bring smiles to Grandma and her family...
1st steps make it possible for the 2nd step... in time repairing the floorboards, raising it back up high enough to keep them out of the waters that frequently flood their living room. Then we will keep walking down life's path, sharing blessings supplied by our Creator who loves seeing His children help others in need.
Things that make me smile Chrioni... makes me smile.
At my sister Patti Blatchley Yarbrough Grimbly house with her three grandchildren. Teaching them Uncles simple one handed tune... Which in turn I learned when about thier age...
Some things just make me smile... Like the 40' container of food that we received from Convoy of Hope. What a great blessing it is to share food with the hungry. Someone knows I like McDo & surprised me, look who was a stowaway... 'Ronald!'
I'm thankful my girlfriend Sandy chose to walk with me through these many years and miles... She remains my girlfriend... and wife
1st time in months to see my friend Jhun out walking. He's about 4 years my junior. I'm concerned his choices will cut his life short... Alcohol does not provide proper nutrition.
I saw her a couple days ago... One of God's lonely & overlooked treasures. Don't know her name (yet) but she lives on the route I walk each morning. I happened to have a stuffed animal in my backpack, (thanks to an anonymous donor). Seeing her standing on the other side of the canal wistfully watching the other children play... She now has the toy and it brought a smile... Sometimes the only 'Jesus' they see is when someone stops long enough to show He cares...
Starting a new year with very little cash... My Boss whispered a great suggestion. Take some of that little cash and share it with someone who has even less. So with the help of several hard working guys we went to widow Ida's house that had a muddy dangerous path to the outside CR; aka known in the USA as an 'Outhouse,' and we paved her a sidewalk and steps. She's thankful and it was fun to be a blessing... Note: The path over the canal is a dangerous affair. Only two of the boards still are sturdy. A better bridge over the canal; aka sewer will hopefully be another days project.
It's been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it. Loving, laughing & living life in the service of the King...
Let's drink to that! Time to CELEBRATE!! One Year Cancer Free!! After Chemo & the removal of one kidney our friend Crisaly, eight years old, is the picture of great health.
For Christmas Sandy & I plan to go with Crisaly, to the hospital to encourage other children who are fighting the same battle with the BIG 'C'.
The 4 Tea-cup's of orange-juice hit the spot.
What a wonderful time to celebrate... Crisaly knows the REASON for the SEASON!
Merry Christmas to one and all!
Food for thought... This is simply me thinking out loud...
Once upon a time... A young man visited Chinatown and saw an elderly tattoo artist at work with his little stand on the sidewalk. He asked the tattoo artist what the artist could tattoo and the artist replied, "I can tattoo, words or pictures, almost anything you can imagine." The young man wanted one and payed for the elderly man to perform his art on his skin. He had the tattoo permanently placed on his forehead. It was one word "STUPID." A tourist observing the transaction afterwards, privately asked the elderly Chinese man, "Why do people get tattoos?" The elderly man taps on his own head and answered, "First it is inside." Then they pay me so that it becomes visible on the outside."
What is BURIED in our heart WILL be revealed in our ACTIONS... This is not GENDER or AGE related. We all will reveal what is hidden in our hearts by the way we walk... It GRIEVES me to see young & OLD children fixated on things that will; given time - DESTROY them... UNLESS... something or some "ONE" changes them inside...
*A few days ago I saw this artwork on my friend JR... His smile imply's innocence... The tattoo??
I was informed earlier this year the LEADER of a gang of young kids/children, had the gang hold down the hand of one of the younger boys while he proceeded to take a stone and crush one of the LITTLER child's knuckles... Simply to show that HE was boss and HE could do what HE wanted to do...
We take our job seriously... Training YOUNG children how they should LIVE so that when they are OLD they will... LIVE.
My friend Jhun... Each morning as I walk by his small home, we pray together. This morning he was preparing Moringa leaves off a small tree growing near his home. This plant is very nutritious. You may want to Google it if you are interested. We also supplement his diet and that of his family with Manna pack nutritious meals. The picture alone shows how much this brother needs help...
Last Friday night we unloaded about 20,000 lbs of supplies donated by many friends. The short list includes school supplies, First Aid, disaster response gear, tools, pregnancy kits, toys, and an abundant supply of blessings for a large number of needy kids and their families that we work with each week here in the Philippines. We are so blessed to be a blessing...
During the days, weeks & months ahead we will be able to match the gifts with those in need... Thanks to our friends Mike & Del (in Oregon) for purchasing the container. After it was unloaded the forklift driver raised it to the second floor. A very useful addition...
Tonight we prepare to receive one more container... Loaded with thousands of nutritious Manna Pack meals for the malnourished children, widows and those with special needs. Thanks to all who partnered to help make this happen... Convoy of Hope, BGMC, Asia's Little Ones, and others.
Lonely & sad... That's what I think when I see an person (young or old) sleeping & living on the street. They soak up friendship when it's offered, desperate for relationships, vulnerable to the predators. They are so thankful when someone treats them like a friend or family.
An encouraging word can being sunshine to their day... Is it not true for most all of us?
While on my morning walk I was told emphatically by a grandmother, that she doesn't like people who drink, or smoke... Turning around I see Jun, he's an alcoholic standing there with a cigarette in his hands. No question he heard what the grandma said, He simply and softly asked me to pray for him, which I do while placing my arm over his shoulder, and he responds. "Thanks!" WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?)
There is a major storm headed our way. If it stays on its present course it will hit our region on Sunday, Dec. 6. This is the same path Super Storm Yolanda took a year ago. Thousands died last year. Another storm of this magnitude will devastate an already devastated area.
Please ask your friends to pray the storm changes course and stays out
in the Pacific Ocean or subsides in strength.
There's an old story of a SELFISH rich man who BUILT new barns to store more grain and that night AFTER attracting his Creator's attention, he ended up LETTING GO of it all... NO choice! For the SELFISH man it was too late - HE DIED... When we die the time for deciding is over, we take nothing with us to the grave or heaven... The things we treasure here suddenly become the (temporary) possession of the survivors...
*Only ONE EXCEPTION:
We are blessed & working to double our food storage capacity. NOT so we can HOARD it, but so we can SHARE it with those in need. BLESSED to be a blessing. The ONLY way for us to take something with with us to the other-side of the GRAVE is by GIVING it away BEFORE we DIE.
We are thankful for so MANY who are sharing in the opportunity to FEED the HUNGRY, the donors who supply the nutritious ingredients, the volunteers who work-without-pay to pack the "Manna Pack's" with vitamin fortified meals. Also to Convoy of Hope for shipping them, and BGMC & the children who donate the money to help feed the hungry, and Asia's Little Ones for assisting to cover the customs & other expenses. PLUS many other unsung heroes who faithfully provide funds to help us to be a blessing.
Currently our supply of food is nearly depleted, within the next week or two we will be receiving another container of food! YES! We don't take it for granted! We are SO VERY GRATEFUL! So are the widows, needy families and hungry malnourished children who receive daily meals.
*THE ONE EXCEPTION: Is what we give away in His name; those blessings will live after us. What we do for our Lord and others is the EXCEPTION. No we don't do it for the purpose of building a nicer place in heaven... We do it because we LOVE... Remember you can GIVE without LOVE. But you can't LOVE without GIVING...
Hundred's of kids & parents are looking with hopefulness, at the bicycles we put in the circus tent... Soon we will be giving them away... Not in a lottery nor in a raffle drawing... They will be given to those who have worked hard and the contestants will be rewarded for their efforts... More than 60 Scripture verses are memorized by those attending Family Circus. On the weekend we give the bikes away they will go to the winners who enter the contest and have spent time memorizing the verses... "Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You! Psalms 119:11 Thanks to many friends who have made the annual contests possible. All ages compete... What fun!
In everything give thanks... A view from the island we live on...
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away... [Our grandson Ken taking a ride with his grandma looking out the window, at his grandpa & a cloudy sky..
1st-Aid... We practice BEING prepared & provide it especially for children.
This 3 year old boy bumped his head. His grandpa applied the small bandaid & he felt much better. Five days later my grandson Ken was still wearing the bandaid. He protected it from water every time he took his bath. That bandaid to him was, "Love in action..." There never was a visible wound and yet the bandaid meant so much to him, he didn't want to take it off. Maybe today you will meet someone needing a touch of love... Let's all practice being PREPARED...
To See & to UNDERSTAND: The trip (Thank you David Hill) to Disney World to visit the Land Pavilion and to take their "Behind the Seeds Tour" was more than JUST a visit as a spectator. Many people go and SEE, yet the question is, "Did they LEARN and do they understand what they saw?" Learning should NOT end upon graduation, it needs to continue all our life. The tourists in the boat saw the 'Land Pavilion.' What I experienced was a lesson in how to be a better gardener, and how to be more efficient in creating additional food utilizing the limited space available. Also it gave fuel to my imagination...
Notes: So practical to grow in containers. Using vertical grow space, minimizes the pests which could destroy the crop. Imagine using grow lights and doing similar projects in or around the house... The plants were also pruned to grow where they wanted them to go... Those tomatoes were nearly a year old and still healthy & productive... Fun... Fun... Many children don't know where food comes from (other than from the market or store). It's good to teach them the healthy basics which will help them have a better life...
Dragon Fruit - which grows on a tropical cactus. We started growing them from seed several years ago. Finally harvesting the first fruit... Reportedly the yellow Dragon Fruit is the most delicious of the Dragon Fruit family, yet likely the least known of the variety, due to it's smaller size & thorns which need removed prior to eating. Reminds me of a long list of other special things our Creator made which also require our participation & work to enjoy... Relationships, gardening, good health, etc...
Counting my blessings... My sweetheart... & my wife... One and both the same.
Headline News! Our son recently wrote an article which made the front page in the local newspaper. Good News is our passion, written in the way we speak and in how we live out our lives. There's a lot of BAD news out there yet, there is always something that can be found to give us a reason to be thankful. A wise man once said, "In everything give "Thanks..." We may not make it into the headlines of the local newspaper yet, our lives are a like a newspaper being read by those who live around us. Are we living a story worth reading?
Living on an island... We took some rare family time a few days ago to chill. What beauty to refresh & relax in...
Treated like a weed sometimes even growing unnoticed by the sidewalk, canal, or in odd places; it grows on almost every continent. If it is included in a salad it can add great nutrition. Our garden grows many of the traditional vegetables which become a part of our feeding program. I'm looking forward to adding Purslane to our garden... Note, not all those weeds we walk on are edible! It's fun when I receive tips on how to make our garden more nutritious.
'Purslane' that's the plant that looks and grows like a weed, containing vitamin A & C, & a variety of minerals, it's also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. See the plant in my hand...
No mercy... Big Game Hunter's on duty... (That's a medium size rat.) Feeding the hungry and caring for the children requires keeping our eyes open, constantly on-guard to protect from predators. This includes the garden & fish pond where at times a pellet gun is the solution.
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.
Click HERE for Journal 2013 - Page 2 Entries . . .
Click HERE for Hournal 2013 - Page 3 Entries . . .