Journal Notes - 2013 - Page 3
Will they forget that night?
She will never forget that night... When I hear the words, "They will never forget this night... I wonder how TRUE it is. Or what eternal and good value will be the reward of the memory?"
My mind goes over previous memory making nights that will never be forgotten... Those nights rarely include personal gratification. For Sandy Crogh Blatchley it is not difficult for me to believe one of those memory making nights would be not so long ago when she stepped carefully down the dark muddy dangerous path to carry groceries to a family that had just buried one of their two daughters.
Sandy would be the first to tell you that she was not feeling so brave but that she knew God wanted her to do this even though it was late and the area was not considered safe... When she entered the small wooden home (maybe 12' square) it was about 9 PM. The mother, father and remaining daughter were sitting on the floor about to eat dinner (no furniture). Sitting in front of them was their dinner one small bowl of hot water with a few leaves harvested off a tree that they were going to share.
When Sandy called a greeting to them they turned to see her with arms full of groceries. In tears the mother asked... "How did you know we had no food?" Sandy replied, "God told me..."
When you consider the value of the groceries perhaps many would say, "Oh they were not expensive... and you might pay the same amount for a meal in a restaurant." But... we must consider the value not in terms of money spent... But in the fact that they were without food and hungry. What made the difference was not the cost of the food but the obedience of the one who gathered from what she had to give to someone who had none, though in quantity I think they were able to create meals for several weeks. When Sandy returned home it wasn't only the mother who had tears in her eyes, Sandy had her own share... She will never forget that night, and neither will they. What is the value of the memories you are making. Do they only impact yourself or...
Big, BIG hearts, that humbles me when I see people respond to the needs of poor children that they've never seen. Vision, love and trust in God has provided us with the fuel to help so many kids (young and old) over the past 28 years, especially those who CAN NOT help themselves...
I'm speaking of children. The needs/wants of adults is often a different story. We do not seek to create artificial dependency (as some have accused us), yet for the child at risk, not having adequate nutrition, including dental care, and a lack of knowledge of God and His love can hurt them for life. We are so thankful for the scores of volunteer dentists that have have generously helped thousands of children at FC over many years. Family Circus is not a 2 person ministry. It takes a team of people both from here in the country and from around the world to do a task of this proportion.
FACT: Is is not unusual for a child to come to us in tears, holding the side of their jaw while the tooth shoots daggers of pain into them and they ask us, "Is the Dentist at Family Circus today?" We are so happy 'when' we can say, "Yes the dentist is here!"
We need to equip Family Circus with proper dental tools. We've a standing request from the dentist that we get several sets of basic dental tools at Family Circus so that the volunteer dentists would not have to carry their tools back and forth from their work sites to FC. We prayed and are so thankful for the vision of friends like Rachel Maxwell who located some 2nd hand dental tools They were in storage and not being used... The owner was willing to donate them. They will be arriving soon. We rejoice and thank God for people that have big, BIG hearts.
-That leads me to another prayer request - Vision testing lenses, even the old style in the suitcase type... We have a multitude of donated glasses (Primarily for adults - we'd love to get donated kids glasses... New or 2nd hand.) You can imagine how hard it is on a child who can not see what the other children see and there are no family resources to meet the need...
The Man from the street with the nice smile . . .
Wait till LATER to speak... NOT! Please humor me on this... I feel it is very important. I live with someone who walks to the beat of a different drummer. - I observe she often does not think 1st of her own needs but instead feels the pain of the hurting, and loves those who are unlovely, and by her walk demonstrates that God loves everyone (though often God like most fathers, may be saddened by his children's actions).
This week as she walked down the sidewalk in Chiang Mai Thailand she saw a man crippled from birth and stopped to talk and get to know him. The majority of the large number of people passing by only see a cripple and if touched by pity or guilt might put a coin in his cup. I saw her sitting with him and talking. Later she told me his name and that he is one of ten children... five of which are physically challenged like him and his own father who is also physically challenged. Some people would automatically think, how sad his parents should have practiced birth control... But looking at this man we don't see someone to pity, instead we see someone who has a life and knows how to love even with the disabilities which due to his circumstances he 'uses' to provide for his family...
He is very polite, does not raise his voice, he simply sits on the sidewalk, out of the way and if someone wants to share from the abundance of what they have he is very thankful and expresses it. He does not ask for pity and does not complain about any of his problems.
When Sandy asked, she found all of his siblings suffer from, diabetes. We prayed with him and rejoice that after he went to see the Doctor his high blood sugar level has gone down significantly. We all have an appointment one day to die... and then we'll meet our Maker. I don't want to be guilty of waiting till LATER to speak of my admiration for the way my sweetheart really loves like Jesus loves. (That is if I were to outlive her.)
Aunty Sandy in Thailand
Medical checkup for Sandy came back with a clean bill of health.
We're in Bangkok Thailand headed up to Chiang Mai for a rare Regional meeting.
Family Circus Truck
Love fishing and am just as hooked on it as the kids who find their way to a place where they learn that though the world is a dangerous place they can have a Friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Services (and a meal) for over 5,000 children per week.
The worlds worst missionary...
Sometimes people don't like preachers, missionaries, policemen, etc. Perhaps they have been overwhelmed by the smell of manure so they want to clean it out of the barn and in the process they get rid of all the horses and cows. Successful, they forget if it weren't for the critters that expel the manure the work would not be accomplished.
Trust me Christians including missionaries expel plenty of it and yet God designed the program in which we are an essential ingredient. For some who don't like us (yes including some who don't like me) it seems they have left the smell of the barn behind and continue to react to the smell of manure while back at home watching their favorite programs, etc.
Meanwhile the stinkers are at least out there hopefully trying to do what needs to be done... (Let's leave the judging to the Judge... (that's what He asks of us.) No denying we can be stinkers, but let's not make 'criticism' our priority instead let's keep focused on the goal "That none be lost".
I've been up rescuing lives in the wee hours of the morning this past week and almost up to my knees in flooded sewer muddy places and I confess my attitude sometimes slipped a bit but hey It comes with the territory. I was made out of the dirt, my heart is in transformation. This was generated by a post a friend of mine read and passed on to be asking for my feedback... So (abbreviated) here it is. Smile
Stock of Shoes
Yesterday a long time friend who is also a pastor came over to visit us at Family Circus. I took him on a tour of the fish pond and garden and shared what the Lord is doing. I also took him to the shoe rack and knelt down and checked to see what size shoe would fit him.
When I went to put the shoe on his foot he said, "No, I'll do it myself." I pretended to not hear and chose to ignore his words as I helped him to put on a new pair of shoes. It was my privilege to serve him...
Wise words written a couple thousand years ago, "How lovely are the feet of them who bring Good News." I am privileged to be His servant.
This week a friend asked me... "Why a 'Circus' and 'Circus tent'???"[I ask your forgiveness & patience, the answer which you may find interesting is a bit long... (The guy bit by the 11' snake in one of our FC outreaches survived with minor injuries. See story excerpt included below)]
Background: In 1985 Sandy and I with our 3 young sons (ages 3 months - 4 years) moved from the USA to Thailand. During the first 8 years in Thailand we studied the Thai language, and worked extensively with refugees, the national churches, and prison ministry. To understate it, ("We loved the Thai people and what God called us to do.")
In 1993 - 1994 Another change occurred... God directed us to shift our missions emphasis from Refugees to prioritizing the needs of 'Children'. It was then we started Family Circus as a mobile platform teaching 40,000+ children in schools, hospitals, shopping centers etc using clowns, puppets, illusion, music, mascots, and drama... The children were very open to the creative teaching methods and to the Lord.
1995 To our surprise and sadness (as we love the Thai people and had become fluent in their language) the Lord told us in a vision that we were going to move from Thailand to Mindanao island in the S Pacific. I argued with Him and he reminded me "He was the Commander and if I didn't obey I'd be left behind. But if we obeyed he would bless us." End of story... "He won the argument." Then he made the arrangements for it to happen. (He later turned the sadness to joy and gave us a deep love for the Filippino children and their families.)
The vision where God informed us of our transfer came to both Sandy & I. We continue to minister in the Philippines to this day. Why a Circus: I've heard kids say, "I don't want to go to church! It's so boring!.." "I've never heard a child say, "I don't want to go to church it's so interesting!"
[Personal background] As a child and youth I had the typical ADHD symptoms. Non diagnosed and not medicated. Slowness in maturing (Still accurate?) easily distracted, etc. As a result I know first hand what being bored is like. I don't like being bored and put much of my energies into making sure the children we teach don't have to worry about being it when they come to FC church. I still think I'm ADHD, some people disagree but nonetheless, I don't like being BORED. Sitting in a lecture situation puts me into sleep mode and then it's a challenge and uncomfortable to fight to stay awake.
Back to the Circus: The 'Circus' theme with all its creativity we exported with us from Thailand to the Philippines and it has continued to be a great attractor for kids. There is so much we can do with a circus theme. We've used live animals in the sermons, from 11' snakes to crocodiles... Ok "I can't say that no one got bit..." but the sermon was unforgettable... and the scream (by Noel my translator) "It bit me!..." could be heard about three blocks away (we were outside).
Every sermon we create is fully dramatized, and the children and sometimes parents help us to teach the lessons. We have six FC teaching manuals with 13 lessons each (self published) available inexpensively at FC or on our website for international sales. (www.familycircus.org) We created the name 'Family' Circus as we realize a healthy child needs a 'family' and to let families know they are also welcome. In addition children grow up and start their own families. Also the wisdom from using that name rather than a church name so it does not put a stumbling block in the way of a multitude of people who are interested in coming and learning even if they are from a 'different' or 'non' religious background, and making it easier for parents to allow their children and families to come since it wasn't 'just' a church. In 2001 we started FC as a church in a rented building and starting the first week with 161 in attendance within 4 years we grew in that small building until it was packed out up to 7 times each week with a high attendance of 4,100 people with an average of 650 - 1,100 people per service.
In 2004 - we purchased property and the donated Circus tent was an answer to prayer allowing us to grow with limited resources providing a quick temp solution so that rain or shine many people could meet together and the tent is an attractive appearance especially for the kids... In the future we have additional dreams of a Disney style castle, a gym and etc... Anyway that's part of the answer as to why "A circus theme..." The bottom line... That all may know Him and his love... For more information check out our Facebook Timeline and www.familycircus.org
Personal philosophy on praise
If or when we do good and people get angry at us...and yes it does happen... We don't get depressed... or at least try not to. (Smile). Instead we continue to do good. When we do good as a normal result of our Fathers influence and transformation in our lives and people see Him through our love in action...
If they say good things about us "then we simply pass the flowers/praise on to Who they really belong... Our Father." (Learned this years ago from Corrie Ten Boom).To take the time and energy to try to set people straight on not saying good things about us, when it's really what God is doing through us is about as futile as trying to stop people from getting angry at us when we are following Him.
What is important is simply 'doing' our Fathers work. If we get puffed up over the praise of people when it's really God working through us would be stealing from Him. And to get depressed over being verbally battered when we are in His service is equally pointless. He said about the latter, "Count it all joy..." In the event we act like a jerk because our human nature takes over we deserve the negative feedback, i just need to use it as a reminder to live and learn... And I try not to make the same mistake twice.
Mama and the baby
[Please read this with compassion - I understand some of you may feel this may be too much but we live and love these special and sometimes very hurting, neglected people...]Esther was arguing with her neighbor... I can't afford to go to church with you... That's what she replied when she was invited by her neighbor to go to FC for the 1st time. Her neighbor answered, "Family Circus will” pay for you and your family to go there every week on the Jeepney (public transportation in the Philippines). We hire about 60 Jeepney's to drive specific routes on the weekend to bring children and their families to FC. (This depends on the donated resources available. For the past year we have had to cut back and now only average enough funds to pay for transportation 3 - 4 weeks out of every month.
During the week of the month if we don't have services we still distribute daily food for the malnourished children, widows and pregnant mothers. (Again depending on the food supplies available). Thankfully for the past year we have not had to cut out any meals for the malnourished children.(Doesn't a fisherman who uses a boat pay money to put in fuel to transport the fish and himself? We are His fishermen.) Esther wasn't done arguing... she said, "I can't even take my son to the market, people drive us away... And we can't leave my son behind, no one will care for him if I leave him at home to go to church..."
Home was a shack with a dirt floor and 3 walls covered with a leaky GI roof, no CR (bathroom) and the only water was drawn in a bucket from a shallow well which gave filthy water, all of this in the middle of a cow pasture where they lived as squatters. Her neighbor replied, "Bring your son... They will love him like you do..." So they came with fear of rejection to FC a church that was said to be different from all the other churches they had ever gone to.
After the service as Esther and her husband came through the prayer line they stopped for prayer for their son who was tenderly cradled in Esther's arms... His head was completely covered with a blanket... I asked for him to be uncovered and they did. My heart was ripped and torn for them and the child and tears were not far away...
Their baby was nearly a year old and had what the local Doctors call a "Rich man's disease." Hydrocephalus or commonly known as 'Water on the Brain.' The disease had not been treated, they did not have the money. He was nearly a year old and was already blind, his survival rate to live for one more year was virtually zero. I understand the picture of Esther and her son will bother most people. It should! And also it needs to challenge us to care for the unlovely not simply turn away and deny them the right of being loved.
That's all Ester and her son had experienced with their baby until they came to us. We prayed many times for the young boy and his family (about 6 brothers and sisters). I remember the last week we prayed and asked the Lord to either heal the young child or for God to quickly take him home to heaven where he would be immediately given a new body... We felt in our heart that God would answer that very specific prayer. Esther's son went to heaven a few hours after that prayer. Sandy especially ministered to the family the next few days in their home as they embalmed and then buried their son... This happened in the last part of 2005. Since then we've continued to see a parade of young children and their families coming to be loved on by a God and his people who truly care... for the least of these...
When a child likes going somewhere they know how to communicate it. It's not a secret to their parent(s). When going to church (even though it's called a Circus) is the funnest place for a young man to go it says a lot... AJ's mom said, "My son never wants to miss Family Circus. It is his favorite place to be..." That humbles me to think that God would use us to create (Yes a church) a place of learning, safety and joy that would be so special to kids that they would really, really never want to be absent...
It's been 20 years since we started Family Circus... Many times we've heard similar testimonies of kids who for some reason (Example: An out of town family vacation or trip.) they were not able to come to Family Circus and the parent would come later to tell us that their child was in tears because they had to be absent!! I remember one child who's parents kept their daughter home on a Sunday morning rather than letting her go to FC.
Later that evening we got together and the young lady came and asked what we had done that morning at FC. I mentioned a few things and that Leo d' Lion had been there... A few minutes later (unknown to me) she had returned to her mother and burying her face in her moms lap sobbed and said, "It's not right... You didn't let me go to Family Circus this morning and Leo d' Lion was there..." Her mom came to me afterwards and informed me that she had 'set her child straight'
Ajay had told her we didn't go to church to have fun... We go there to learn about God and to worship Him..." I remember nodding my head and agreeing with the mother and telling her, "Yes, that's what most people think. But when the angels came to announce the birth of baby Jesus the angels said, "We come to bring you Good News of Great Joy that will be for all the people...
When church is only about learning about God and there is no Joy or Fun then all church has become is religion. And that's not Jesus..."
The mom looked at me seriously and apologized recognizing the truth of God's word... When the response of a child going to church to learn about Jesus is Joyful and fun... It is a wonderful testimony to the Reason... for all we do.
Religion is boring... Jesus came to bring us great joy/fun! When we know Him life can really be fun! Here Richard Lim and I celebrate a victory Coke after a Foosball game...
Church without Joy/fun in my understanding is a church lacking Jesus... It's not about Religion it's about a relationship with our Creator... (If this offends someone... my apologies and my prayers that you get to know He who was born to bring Great Joy for all people (big & small)).
Sandy Blatchley as I often explain, is my girlfriend and sweetheart. She was when I married her 35 years ago and it was my choice to keep her in my heart as my girlfriend, even though to many she is known as my wife, to me she remains... my sweetheart, and yes the mother to our 3 sons and my companion in ministry.
It is my desire to grow old together with her...
Julieann another wonderful friend is accompanying us in the picture from this past weekend.
with Grandma Nina
Wow! This next Monday Sandy & I celebrate our 35th anniversary - July 1. Thirty of those years we've spent in missionary service.
This is a picture from last weekend where she gives one of Gods gems a warm embrace
Went fishing... Going again...
Caught some to! [Note: We live on an island in the South Pacific.] Some other Fishermen have accused us of cheating but we don't think chumming the water is cheating when we are fishing... It simply helps the fish to get into our nets. (Chumming means throwing bait or extra food on the water to attract fish.)
I learned fishing this way. If I go fishing and cast my line out... if I get a nibble, I need to be smart enough to be patient. If I start jerking on the line too soon I just pull the bait out without the fish... Be patient with me a moment...
We needed more shoes for the kids. We've given away almost ALL the kid sized shoes that were donated to us from Tom's Shoes (a couple thousand+). Now that's the bad news. The good news is they want to give us more kids shoes but we have to distribute ALL the shoes they gave us. We still have a few hundred adult size shoes left so... inspiration struck.... "Chum the waters!"
Last Thursday our team hit the streets, including the alleys and little tiny homes that pack this densely populated neighborhood. We had made up 300 coupons. "Free Adult Shoes!" Within a short time the coupons were distributed and hundreds were invited to come to Family Circus. Then Saturday and Sunday I was on my knees with some volunteers for more than an hour putting on scores and scores of new shoes on feet that had never come to Family Circus before.
When people received a new pair of shoes they were smiling. When they return there is a good chance that they will return with a smile. Simple math; "If they never come the first time, it is impossible for them to return."
Our goal is to be a blessing and to do good to as many people as we can. That includes introducing them to our Best Friend, and for them to experience His genuine love. For many we may be the only Jesus they ever see... Chumming the waters... Why would they call it cheating?... They said the same of Jesus... Religious leaders in His day said the only reason the crowds followed him was because He fed them... It still works... Acts of love attract... He called us to be fishermen... Is it time to practice 'chumming?'
Let's go fishing...
JunLee and his ID
We enrolled JuneLee in the first grade at his teachers recommendation. We bought his school uniform and supplies. This included underwear, socks, and a visit to the Mall. I understand those last three were 1st time things in his life.
Seeing people go up stairs that moved with out the people climbing (escalators). We had an extra backpack for him here at Family Circus and a new pair of donated Tom's shoes so didn't need to buy them. As it was, the total came to $30.
Yes we deal with thousands of kids every week and many if not most are lacking these very expensive essentials. And again, 'Yes' we were unable to help all of them like we did for JuneLee, but we do what we can and for JuneLee it wouldn't have happened if we didn't do it.
Miracles can still happen and his is just starting... Life can get complicated. I think all kids are great investments. One of those "God things!" At the age of 8 he's almost 3' tall. Looking down at him in the crowded Mall, he was just a small guy, invisible to most of the crowd but God saw him.
. . .
New information on 8 year old JuneLee. I understand the 1st grade teacher is doesn't want to accept him as a student. Reason: He has never been in Kindergarten and doesn't know his ABC's. (They even want the 1st graders to be able to read.) Kindergarten; that's workable. Today we are preparing to enroll him and get his school supplies. If we don't... nobody will.
. . .
8 years old Dion Lee (Nickname JuneLee) is about to enter school for the first time in his life. Excited? Oh yes!!
Today we'll be taking him in to get his school uniform, and school supplies. Imagining what a happy little guy he's going to¬ be. To join other kids with a chance to improve his future. Thanks Scott and so many who have prayed for this young man. Some day, we also pray that we'll be able to get a back brace to help straighten his from the injury from when when he was dropped a few years ago...
PS I'm not sure we convinced his father that his son has the ability to learn nor changed his mind to thing that his son is worth the investment. But that's OK. If his father never believes in his sons worth, or in his ability to learn I'm convinced that helping JuneLee have a chance and letting him know Jesus loves and wants the best for him is reason enough...
Lady in the Mcdo
Stiffed necked people... I won't label who I'm thinking about but it could be me if numbers were my motive. Some do what they do and brag on the numbers and back it up with pictures and PR.
We've got a lot of numbers; Example: More than half a million meals we distributed to malnourished kids, widows & pregnant mothers last year. Yet that's such a small part of the bigger picture... Responsible parents worldwide feed their children every day. Yet what is the benefit of being a parent to a physically healthy child if that child grows up a selfish, depraved lover of themselves, without a knowledge of God, without knowing what it means to be kind and generous to others less fortunate.
Of the thousands of kids we help with food, medical, dental, etc. our bottom line and concern is not just for physical health. It also includes teaching for their mental and spiritual health as well. It delights us when we see young people like Ann that we taught when she was a child and now 10 - 15 years later she's becoming a happy productive adult. By the way she works at McDonald's where I often see her when I'm ordering breakfast...
The stiff necked condition that I referred to means someone who does something of value but is unwilling to look back and see if there is any lasting result for their labor. Farmers plant seeds and if they never were to harvest from the seeds they planted they would not be happy nor prosperous farmers. We plant seeds of kindness and love in these kids and we hope to see a result... and we do.
In the past two months I've watched my friend Rudy (age 62) turn into what now resembles a walking skeleton. He avoids Doctors, and uses herbs (of which he has an extensive knowledge) for his medication. We mostly meet at McDo when I'm eating breakfast and will share things from his life.
This week I asked, "Are you better or worse?" His serious response hit my heart, "I'm not worse... I'm dying..." He gave me a wry smile and with difficulty said, "That's life."
A couple months ago he dug a piece of infected material out of his back (perhaps a sharp slice of bamboo). He took it to the doctor and ask him to examine it. The doctor discovered it was laced with mercury. Rudy said seriously, "I've been deliberately poisoned, Nobody can help me.
“Only God.” I responded, "Then let's talk to God."
Rudy has lived a life, often as a soldier. Now he is realizing he has an appointment to meet his Maker and it may be sooner than he thought. We all have the same appointment whether we believe in a Maker or not... Rudy and I did talk to God there in McDo. If I never see him again in McDonald's I hope to see him on the other side... Rudy has not lived like a saint, but that's a description of most all of us... Jesus came to help all us sinners to go be with Him if only we will receive His gift of forgiveness and turn around and walk toward Him.
Laughter.... This week we just assembled one of two Foosball tables which we shipped from the states.
I'd wanted Foosball tables out here for about ten years. Already the guys are enjoying it, and I might remain champion for a month (smile).
Note: The shortest verse in the Bible is "Jesus wept." I think joy and laughter was such a norm for Jesus that when the disciples saw him weeping, they were moved to record it. I hope that when I've finished the race that what people remember most about my having been here will be the joy and laughter we shared...
Aunty Sandy in the mascot
My wife wears puppy dog paws...
It's a wonderful life!
This is a recent photo from a Family Circus service.
Kids in white background
Everyone has a story... When I see kids sleeping on the street/sidewalk, they are like a book. You can read the cover but unless we take time to really know them we have no real clue as to their personal story.
Some are there by choice, rebellion, anger, drugs, abandonment and or some other circumstance beyond their control...
Most of them are gems and treasures needing discovered and some work... or lots of work...
Michael and Hot Cakes
On Monday Michael was sitting near McDo McDonald's). He's 16 years old and continues to live with his grandmother and siblings without his parents. Life has been rough for him during the past 10+ years that we've known each other. He's not always been approachable. I invited him inside and we sat together enjoying Hot Cakes with peanut butter topped with chocolate chips and syrup.
After breakfast I asked him about his plans for the future and we had a good discussion... Part of being a friend to someone who is raising himself mainly on the street is a willingness to invest ones time and interest in them.
We all have a story... We have to earn a place in their heart. For some that includes investing in a meal... giving them time even if that means eating breakfast regularly at McDonald's.
Rhea is gaining weight and will turn 3 August 11th. Praying that by that time she will be cancer free.
Her family is very thankful for our friends that have been praying and helping to cover all Rhea's bills for medicine.
Kid lying in the street
This morning wrapping up breakfast at McDonald's saw another child still asleep from a nights rest on the other side of the road...
5,000 kids reported to live on the streets here. Still bothers me after living here almost 19 years.
Last year we distributed about 600,000 meals and we keep adding to our garden... Feeding the hungry... So thankful for all the help!
Big Smile Big Cucumber
Growing vegetables for the hungry is a privilege... Yesterday we harvested 25 lbs of vegetables. I'm not really sure of the name of the gourd, it smells and tastes like a cucumber & two of them weighed 11.5 kilos.
Yesterday we also planted, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, squash, peas, beans, etc.
Aquaponics grow well. Cucumber in a 12" bed of rocks.
Providing a healthy filter for a pond of 150 catfish.
Uncle Darrell with Veggy Petsay
We grow healthy food, minimal or no insecticides and a ecosystem cycling the water through a 45" sq. rock bed 12" deep 3/4" gravel filter grow bed.
The 10 dump truck load of gravel weigh about 31 tons.
It follows the Creators process of cleaning the water at Family Circus, Davao City, Philippine
Dad's Hat Found
My son Ken gave his Grandpa Dean a special hat last year. A few weeks later Grandpa Dean went to heaven and Ken asked the family, "Where's the hat I gave to Grandpa? I'd like for dad to have it."
The hat was nowhere to be found we looked everywhere he had been those last few days from Idaho to Kansas. A few months later in the Philippines, while unloading a container of donated items in for the kids, we discovered a box that Grandpa Dean had packed without telling anyone. His hat was inside.
Now when I wear his hat or even see it I smile remembering... dad
(Some may know my sisters and I were adopted when I was about 5 years old).
In the last few months before dad passed away, while we were in the USA our adoptive parents and dad and I had a wonderful time of fellowship.
How rare it is for someone to be blessed by God and to have a great relationship with two sets of parents... and to love them both.
Second hand store
In Boise at a 2nd hand store I found a beautiful little antique shoe horn. It's sterling, the date stamped on it is Oct 29, 1901. No it's not going in a china cabinet. It's handy to use to slip on the new shoes when putting them on the littlest kids. The King said, "Whatever we do for the least of these we do as unto him." What a privilege to serve the King and to help the poorest and littlest.
Someone asked me recently, "Do you wash my hands after putting on those shoes?" I responded, "Yes, I do wash my hands, and I do know where those little feet have been." I'm not paranoid about it. My imagination is as good as the next guys.
I know most of those little kids have no CR's (Bathrooms) in their home they've told me so, and I've seen it for myself. It's reported that 5,000 of these kids in our town have no home, they live on the street.
We welcome them every week to come an have a hot meal, including a free smiles, hugs, prayer, and provide first aid and extra food as needed. The children bring in all kinds of things, head lice (hair covered with the little lice eggs), diseases like leprosy, TB, pink eye, the flu, common cold etc. I think we've developed a fairly strong immune system. Fortunately we serve the Great Physician.
Then there's the clothing so many friends have donated for them, and the toys. After the last service gave away another Barbie doll from the US, the young lady about 11 years old waited and hoped for many years dreaming of the day... Thanks to Kayla and some of her friends those toys are finding new homes.
Thank you for fixing my house
Each week we have a line up in the circus tent for testimony time. Normally they are quite short, simple one-liners with the kids saying things like, Thank God for good health, food, or that their mama is PG (1st announcements may be embarrassing).
When the adults get into the line we often feel like holding our breath or are tempted to step up and whisper to the adult, "Please don't tell everyone." So many times they will be saying things like, Thank God, Aunt Sandy was there to help pay the hospital bill... "Or the grandma says, "Thank you for fixing my house that was destroyed in the storm."
We minister to the poor and our budget is continually being stretched to the limit, we try to avoid at least from the platform making those kinds of announcements.
We love rebuilding broken homes, and touching the lives of the thousands that God loves so much, yet we have to pace ourselves to the budget God provides.
I've learned that running ahead is stressful and not as much fun as holding His hand and walking with Him..
We Hurt if
If you ever were to ask, "How does it feel to be called Uncle Darrell and Aunt Sandy to thousands of children?"
On days like today, I'd have to swallow the tears and say, "It hurt's." We love them and when they hurt we hurt.
Tom shoes Malagos
Tom's 6 - 7 year old vision is impacting our kids here in the Philippines. Imagine Tom as a young man 6 years ago sitting at home figuring out how to make a comfortable shoe. And then setting a goal in his heart to give away one pair of shoes for every pair he sells.
It's his promise to himself and his customers. This year he's given thousands of shoes away. Many of them here in the Philippines.
We participated in one shoe distribution at the Malagos School. Thanks to partners like Convoy of Hope and Shawn A. that helped make it possible. Tom's stated goal, "Shoe's for poor kids for life." Then back at Family Circus this past weekend we put shoes on many kids. What smiles!
This morning Rhea's tears pierced my heart. She's two years old. This past Dec her eye started to swell, now many test later the DMC Hospital says she has cancer and will take a biopsy in tomorrow...
Can at least 10 of us join together to pray for her? His servant for the kids, Darrell
Mentoring Jomar and Richard
Mentoring young men... Investment in the future. Teaching them the discipline of using and caring for tools. As it progresses they then will be building their skills and their own tool kits... Thanks to many friends who are helping to make this possible. The 40' container makes a great shop. I'm thinking Niko is in need of a mentor... We'll see if we can make it happen
Click HERE to return to the HOME Page.
Click HERE to go to the Journel - Page 2.