“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perserverance. Let perserverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1:2-3 (NIV)
Busy, Busy, Busy!
Kelsey here. Apologies for the lack of updates the past few weeks; we’ve been quite busy!
On January 27th, Matt Sellers arrived. While he was here, we took a trip to Divasoria for more tutorial supplies. A day after Matt had been here in Manila, we flew to Davao City on the island of Mindanao to visit and encourage old friends/current tutorial teachers, make new friends, and install 2 new tutorials. We had originally planned to only install 1 tutorial in Davao this year, but last minute we were notified that another church had been begging for one and was ready for the responsibility of implementing and supporting it for future years.
More supplies meant more weight, which left us trying to figure out where to put it all. Just imagine, Prissy, Hope, Matt, Amelia & myself (Kelsey) standing at the check-in counter and scrambling to move things from this box, to that box, to carry-on bookbags so that we wouldn’t have to pay for extra weight. Sadly, it was to no avail. However, even though we ended up paying a little extra for our heavy bags, we were excited to be installing another tutorial at a church eager to branch into their community.
While we were in Davao, we held a teacher’s appreciation dinner for the local tutorial teachers, Matt spoke at the Mintal congregation (hosted in one of the member’s home and located in a very good community for evangelizing) and we fellowshipped with the members there. It’s always very encouraging to me to see how passionate and on fire these people are for God, yet they have very little (for American standards). It’s a good reminder to all of us to devote your life to God no matter your circumstances. We also held a meeting for the teacher’s workshop we’re planning to implement next year when the entire Sellers’ family is able to come.
After almost a week, we returned to Manila and started back up our work here. Late on February 7th, Sean arrived here for a week to help with the mission and to visit me, as he will deploy for 2 1/2 months starting at the end of February. While he was here, we took another trip to Divasoria, Sean spoke at the Sta. Lucia church of Christ, Matt song led, we helped facilitate a feeding program for children in 2 squatter areas (a lot of the same children I taught 2 years ago), attended a “grill party” for the Twinville congregation in celebration of the many blessings that have been given to them, and went to our “bag man” to order the children’s backpacks for the 5 new tutorials we’re installing this year.
Now that Sean & Matt are gone, we are busy at work printing pages upon pages upon pages of make & take activities and teaching strategies for the current tutorial teachers. Every year, we strive to do something for the teachers, whether it be an appreciation dinner, a teacher’s seminar, or a teacher’s workshop, but this will be the second year in a row for the workshop, because of the huge response from teachers telling us they loved it and how beneficial it has been for their students and the tutorials. Below is the flyer for the event that Hope created.
After the workshop, we will be traveling to Boracay & Aklan to visit tutorials with our good friend, Jun Patricio, aka the Paul of the Philippines.
To close, I have a story for you all. The day Sean left, we planned to go to a resort owned by one of the tutorial parents’ relatives to have a Family Day and encourage the parents and students. A few days before that, we had a Bible study with the parents of the one of the tutorial students. At the end of the study, the husband was ready, but the wife wasn’t sure, so he decided they would go home and talk about it together, and then would see us in a few days at the Family Day.
The morning of this event, we were supposed to be picked up by transportation that had been set up days prior. That morning, however, we were notified that that transportation could no longer pick us up because of coding.
For all you Americans, in the Philippines they have something called coding, which is designed to make sure that there aren’t too many vehicles on the streets on any given day. Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) like Jeepneys, Tricicads and Taxis all have a certain kind of coding that determines what days they can drive and what days they can’t. Apparently our driver hadn’t paid attention when confirming our pick up, thus resulting in him not being able to pick us up because it was the day he wasn’t supposed to drive.
We were frustrated, but with nothing else to do, we walked to the street and hailed a taxi. After waving our arms for a good 20 minutes, we finally grabbed a taxi and were on our way. The rest of the day played out very well, and the 2 tutorial parents we had the Bible study with previously in the week had decided to get baptized.
We all realized Satan really didn’t want us to make it to that event, otherwise 2 souls would not be saved today! We’re all so glad we pushed through that day, and I hope we gained some endurance, as the Bible tells us that we should
Thank you all for your prayers. We are all so grateful for your support, and it gives us strength to power through each day, eager to share the Word with as many as we can.
P.S. – I will be posting pictures from the events listed above on our pictures page, so please visit it to see our work!