Barefoot 1

Monday, July 18, 2016

Home Sweet Home

We have made it home. We arrived Saturday just before 7PM. We were all tired when we arrived, which made for a good night's sleep on Saturday night, but Jeff and I both slept terribly Sunday night. I felt like I was awake between 1 & 2:30, but I kept having the same "Dream" that I couldn't get out of Japan. I also kept singing the words to "Revive Us Again" and was hoping I would go back to sleep, but it felt like sleep didn't come and I was singing it over and over. There were a few things that I didn't get to before we left, so I thought I would give updates.

I went on Monday to see a 3 year old boy who had surgery 12 days before, but had caught a fever, despite antibiotics. The next day he ended up having surgery because he had an abscess in his head. On Wednesday, there was concern because the hospital wanted KIM to pay for 3 days use of the ventilator ahead of time. Thankfully, he was not on the ventilator when Aileen saw him on Thursday, but was sleeping most of the time still. Today I found out that his stitches have become infected. KIM has been giving him medical attention since he was 5 months old. Please pray for healing and for comfort for his mom.

There was a girl (Merry (or Mary) Joy) in labor on Tuesday, but her labor stalled and they sent her home. She is 16 and when we left, the midwives hadn't heard from her. It is common for first time moms to deliver in the hospital because they haven't given birth before. It is also common for them to call a less qualified midwife to come to their small shack-like homes and give birth in filth. This usually causes the babies to become sick at birth. Please pray that she went to the hospital or came back to the clinic in labor after I left the country to give her baby the best chance.

Jonathan came back safely just before lunch on Friday. He told us all about his experiences and it seems things worked out for our group just as God intended. I love that we can look back on how the whole planning process and see how God orchestrated everything so that He would get the glory.

Jonathan experienced a lot of things, including eating the delicacy Balut. He toured the Chiquita plantation, looked at some different planting options on Mindanao, and talked about some different crops that could be planted to give better nutrition to the people of the Philippines. They eat rice at every meal, but there is very little nutrition in the rice they eat. They also have many dental problems, but they frequently don't repair cavities, they pull teeth. Some of this problem is lack of essential vitamins in the food they eat, including calcium, other causes would be eating lots of sugar because the Sari Sari stores mostly sell junk food. There were several times where we would see some kids opting out of eating the food we were providing at the feeding in lieu of eating a packet of candy from the Sari Sari nearby.

One of the concerns that was presented to us was whether the gospel is being shared in this ministry or if it's just a care ministry. Our concerns were quickly abated when Jeff discovered that the pastor that works with KIM walked away from the feeding area to do a Bible study with the people of that neighborhood. They also do devotions with the children's home each evening, the pregnancy clinic also leads devotions each morning, and the school teaches from a Christian perspective and has chapel each morning.

At KIM, one of the perks of coming to serve is that there is are opportunities to get a massage and a pedicure. We refer to it as "feeding a family". Jeff Long's, the founder of KIM, oldest daughter came back to the Philippines after attending cosmetology school and felt led to teach women how to do hair, pedicures, and to become trained in massage therapy as a way to feed their families. There are people at KIM who also train men. They have taught them to repair washers and dryers, to do construction, and repair vehicles. The minimum wage for the Philippines is 300 pesos per day, but the average worker only makes 150 pesos per day. At KIM, their construction crew works Monday-Friday for 500 pesos per day, but can work on Saturday for overtime pay.

In 11 years of KIM's existence, they have not bought a building unless they could pay it in full, they do not take out loans for anything. Their school serves about 600 children in grades Pre-K through 10th grade. They are hoping to add 11th and 12th grades, but they need more space. They are saving up money to purchase land across the street from the ministry center that sits between their Children's Home and the market. It is about 1 1/2 acres and the seller is asking $260,000 American dollars. They are hoping to add the classrooms for the older kids and a gym for sports activities instead of playing outside on concrete.

Because of the work KIM has done in the community, the mayor has come and paved some roads and put in nice ditches for water to run down, and put in a preschool building. Their neighborhood looks much nicer now than it did 4 years ago, because KIM is giving the community the chance to take ownership of their home by earning it the right way. As the members of the community gain ownership of the land, KIM has helped them build a permanent structure on that land and build the first floor for them. It takes about $3,000 and 10 business days to complete a home. As the homeowners save up, they have built on a 2nd or 3rd story and are renting out a story to provide income for their family.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Part 4

It has been 2 days and still no word of a baby from the mom who was in labor on Tuesday. I woke up at 5:00am praying for her and anxious to hear if she had gotten rest, if the baby came, or anything on how she was doing. I spent most of Wednesday at the Pregnancy Clinic and we saw about 25 ladies. They are starting to use some more family planning methods, but sometimes have some push back because many of them are Catholic, despite the fact that they are not married and having babies.

Jeff drove on Tuesday to the basketball clinic and it took them 2 HOURS to go 8 miles and they were an hour late. He is having a good time playing lots of basketball and getting to coach. He also drove to the feeding Wednesday morning. I'm not sure if he drove to the feeding this morning or not. We have enjoyed this trip and learning about what we might like to do.

On Tuesday I wrote about the boy I went to see in the hospital. He had a fever and there was concern about having another surgery if the fever didn't improve. He had surgery on Tuesday around noon, and we found out Wednesday morning that he was still on a ventilator because they have to pay for medical expenses ahead of time. He was only breathing on his own about 50% of the time, and there is concern that he won't be coming off of the ventilator. The child was really upset by the ventilator tube, and mom is upset because her child is hurting. Everyone is concerned that he won't recover from this surgery. Please pray for them.

I went to the afternoon feeding yesterday and there were many flies around. More than I had seen at any other site. The hardest part about yesterday's feeding was that it was near where we are and we had to drive through a fancy neighborhood to get there. It was nice neighborhoods all the way down the hill, but we parked and walked across and near the creek where there were many homes made of metal, wood, and fabric tarp.

We look forward to hearing Jonathan's report. He is safely in Tacloban learning about that area and their agricultural needs.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Part 3

Yesterday Jeff went into Manila to CCF (Christ's Commission Fellowship) to do a basketball camp with Kirk Long (Son of Jeff long and former professional basketball player in the Philippines). He also led the devotional time last night (Monday) at the children's home. Today he went to another feeding before lunch and then went to basketball.

The fun part about today for Jeff was that he drove there himself!!! Sadly, there was really bad traffic and it took 2 hours instead of 1 so they were late, but I just think it's great that he got to drive.

While he was out and about, I went to the Hope Alive Pregnancy clinic and helped measure bellies and find fetal heart rates. It was a lot of fun, but before the fun could begin, we had 2 moms in labor and no midwife available. We eventually got a midwife, but one of the moms we transferred to the hospital after the clinic was over, and the other one has been laboring all day. They sent her home at 6pm and was told to call if things moved along more.

Please be in prayer for Mary Joy (16) that she would be able to deliver a healthy baby boy and be able to get some rest because she didn't sleep well. We are also anticipating being called back in the middle of the night, so pray for rest and that we will actually get to be there to help. I will go back again in the morning, as they have clinic hours every Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday and see about 20 patients each day. There are several mom's within 2 weeks of their due date, so I might get to see/help with more births.

Also, please be in prayer for our friend Jonathan, who will be flying again tomorrow (Wednesday) to Tacloban, to see some of the devastation still left by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and assess what kind of vegetation can grow now. We look forward to hearing about his trip soon. I am also hoping to post a few pictures of the new baby soon.

Until tomorrow...or at least our tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Philippines Part 2

We sent our friend Jonathan Herb off Sunday morning around 2:00AM for a flight to Mindanao. By the time we left for church, he had arrived and was headed into the mountains for research and learning.


This morning I left with a Filipino lady that works here at KIM (Kids International Ministries) to go see a patient at the hospital. She goes down every other day to bring water, formula, food, and buy any medicines the boy needs. It was quite an adventure. I even took a camera with me, but was unable to take pictures. There are a few of me with the family. Okay, so here goes:

We left the YMC (ministry center) on a Tricycle (Motorcycle with a side car) with at least 5 passengers on it and drove to the end of the street and caught a Jeepney and rode it to the train station. At the train station we got in one of many lines to buy a ticket. We rode that train all the way to the end of the line. We then walked up and over the tracks, downs the stairs and along a long walkway to the next line of trains, bought a ticket. The train was so full we didn't fit on the next 2 trains. On the third train, we walked on and as I was getting on to the full train, the door started beeping indicating it was going to close. It was so close to me that my pants and the back of my shirt got caught in the door. I guess the train knew I was putting too much pressure on the door, so it opened again, and my new friend Aileen (i-leen) pulled me further into the train. There were people touching us all around us. We drove past the Central Bureau of Investigation (Filipino FBI), Manila City Hall, the National Museum, a very pretty children's park, and the Supreme Court building. When we got to the hospital, we had to please the security because it wasn't visiting hours, and went into the "Room" where the patient was. There are over 30 beds in 1 room/wing and what seemed like very little A/C. We brought them some necessities and then went with the mom to buy his medicine, some water, food for her and her husband, and said good bye for the day. Oh, and did I mention Teresa (the mom) thinks her sister has a picture of me with her at home. They live in Tent City, which we visited when we came in 2012. She is very sweet and loving.

The trip home was much less eventful, but we did have to wait for the car to fill up outside of the train station before they would leave, which took 15-20 minutes. When we got back to our road, it started raining, and we caught another tricycle back to the YMC. I'm sure Jeff will have some stories of his own to tell, but I need to see where I'm needed, so that will have to wait for another day.


Philippines Part 1

Where to begin?

Last time we came to Manila, we missed our first flight completely and had to come back the next day and arrived 2 days later than expected. We were bound and determined to not miss the flight this time.


We had no problems on the first flight, but Jeff and I were a bit dizzy, so we took some Dramamine in hopes of it helping on our 2nd flight to Tokyo. When we got on the plane, we both fell asleep. Upon waking up we were both wondering why we weren't in the air. We taxied around the airport for about an hour because some of our fuel injectors weren't working. When we got back to the gate to wait for them to be repaired, the A/C went out in the cabin and the temperature got up to 95 degrees. We had been on the ground so long that our flight crew timed out and a new one had to be called in. We were 5 hours late leaving San Fransisco, so we missed our connecting flight to Manila. We had booked a flight for the following morning and were hoping to get a hotel voucher for the night and stayed awake much of the 10 hour flight. When we got to Tokyo we found out that we needed to go through customs, get our bags, take a bus to another airport, check in again, and board a plane for a 1:30 AM flight to Manila that got in at 4:50 AM. We were unable to sleep much of the flight and arrived tired, but attended feedings, went to Devotion, played basketball, took measurements of the children's home kids, and did everything possible to stay awake until 8:00 so we could sleep.


We didn't do much on Saturday. We had our orientation with Jeff Long (the guy who started KIM) and when he found out about Jonathan's passion, he called his people on another island and said he was getting on a plane Sunday morning and we booked him tickets to Mindanao, Tacloban, and a return flight here. One of the girls from the Children's Home was leaving to go back to her mom after 11 years in the care of the Children's Home. We walked around the neighborhood and played with some of the kids and talked with the locals.


We attended church where our Missionary Friend, Vince Burke, has been heavily involved for a while with a group from Adventures in Missions. After church we went to Chili's and went shopping at the market/mall. That was an interesting adventure. In the area where we are, most people barely have money to live, but where the mall is, we encountered many people who were wearing head coverings and many people who were either women trying to look like men, or men trying to look like women. We finally went swimming and I (Teri) jumped off of their 4 meter platform into the pool! It was more scary than I expected. We also have been doing the evening devotional time at the children's home.

There are several teams here with us:
Adventures in Missions has 18 people with them
There was a high school team from Hong Kong, but they left and a new team of 26 from Hong Kong arrived Sunday night.
A group of 4 from Wheaton is here for 7 weeks.
A family from California is here with 2 friends (5 people).
Some ministry partners are here with us, and 2 very sweet ladies from Australia are here individually.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The olden days

Do you know the phrase "They don't make things quite like they used to"? Well, I'm becoming more and more familiar with that phrase. Washers and dryers are only supposed to last about 10 years as opposed to the 20 they used to last. Vacuums used to last up to 20 years for the really good ones, but now they go out in 5-7 years, or 10 if you're lucky.

We will be looking for a new to us car in the next several months and as we've done some preliminary research, I have noticed you can get a fairly new car for around $7,000, but they seem to be very cheaply made and I am unsure of how long it would last. When we're talking about spending that kind of money, figuring out the pros and cons of getting an older, more reliable car with a few more miles on it versus a newer car being put up for sale already and makes you wonder what's wrong with it.

As I was getting ready for bed tonight I was deciding which pajama pants to wear. I was going through them and one has bad elastic, one is super soft (the waist is the smallest part of the pants, and I'm not small in the waist AT ALL), and the pair I chose is the best and I prayed that the elastic wasn't bad like one of my newest pairs. I'm super thankful that the elastic is fine.

I noticed, however, that the fabric on the waistband is coming breaking in places and the elastic was showing through. I'm ok that the fabric is worn, but I refuse to give them up. I have a few reasons, not the least of which is that these pants were my brother's when he was sick. He died in 2003, so that should tell you just how old these pants are. It would take a lot of wear for me to say goodbye to these pants. The other pair of pajama pants of his are entirely too big because the elasticity is almost completely gone, so I will have to throw those out soon. As fast as my newer pants have elastic that's breaking, I think I might have these pants until my kids are in high school!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Guilt and Conviction

Well, a lot has happened in our family since May, but unless you've been close to us, you wouldn't have noticed. We applied to go work for FamilyLife Ministries in Little Rock, but we are officially on hold with that until next year at the earliest.

During the process the staff at FamilyLife kept saying they appreciated our honesty and then said, most people would just sweep it under the rug. It bugs me to no end that someone seeking a ministry position would lie on an application, knowing that if they told the truth, they may not get the job. If the lie becomes apparent later, would they lose the job?

With all of the applications and conversations with those close to us, some interesting things have been brought to our attention and God has been working on our hearts in those areas. Granted, we have other areas in which we need to seek God about, but 1 thing at a time.

When having a conversation recently with a friend of mine who is in ministry with me, she mentioned this book by Jen Hatmaker called 7: an experimental mutiny against excess (found here). I went and found it, and boy is it convicting. I have enjoyed her candor and willingness to tell it like it is. Even when she says her heart wasn't completely in the right place, she still stuck with God's plan and responded to the nudging of the Holy Spirit.

There have been many times where I have felt that nudge of something I should do that requires me to get out of my comfort zone, but have ignored it because it seemed inconvenient. I use the same excuses for why I don't exercise. I feel like I should and my 2 oldest need to run more to be in shape for soccer season, but I have 2 other kids that I would have to push in the stroller and it would be hard for me to keep up with them, so why bother? Sound familiar?

FamilyLife is having a Oneness Prayer Challenge for the month of September. Jeff and I have decided to participate and on the first day, we prayed that we would make praying together a priority and wouldn't just forget about it. On day 2, we almost went to bed without praying together, but I said something to him and it turned into a long, almost heated discussion until after midnight. We were honest with each other and had a hard time praying about what we were supposed to pray about because we were having a discussion on our differences. We were supposed to be thankful about our differences and praise God for each other's strengths that make us a better team together. We did calm down, but we were up later than usual.

Stay tuned for more updates on how 7 is impacting me and how things go when a few of my friends and I embark on a 7 inspired journey, seeking God's will in what He wants to teach us.