I left off on the last blog when we put Matthew on the plane to return home. The girls and I spent that whole day working at the condo on materials for the Missing Link Kits. Let me explain a little here. In order for us to cut every corner and stretch our funds as much as possible, we do most all of the “labor” on the kits ourselves. In one of the rooms at the condo, we have it set up as our office. We are equipped with 3 computers, 3 printers, 2 book binders and one laminate machine.We make all the booklets for the kits as well as the teacher’s materials. At the present time, we purchase the curriculum books from a local publisher. Lord willing, I would love for us to be able to publish our own curriculum books for this ministry so that we can incorporate Bible and character values in them as well. If anyone has any input about this possibility, please contact me. We also print and assemble the Bible story coloring books at the condo for each Kit. We have designed ABC wall charts for each kit that includes one memory verse for each letter. The children work on these verses all year, then at the end of the year at graduation, they are able to quote 26 Bible verses that coincide with the alphabet.
We have made our own logo for the tutorials and have that logo printed on t-shirts for the uniforms as well as the little back-pack that we have made for each child. We have the pieces for the cabinets pre-cut so that they are easily transported to each congregation and then one of the members there can assemble them. We order the tables and chairs, purchase the TVs and DVD players, all teaching materials, charts, flash cards, crayons, pens, pencils, markers, tape, staplers, etc. that will be used during the course of the year.
The girls prepared a 5-day VBS curriculum for the Kits. The churches are able to use the VBS as a means for “advertisement” for the upcoming Children’s Tutorial soon to begin.
We also prepare a booklet of Bible lessons to be used by the local preachers with the parents of the students during the school year. We call this “friendship evangelism”. The parents are befriended by the teachers and Christians, then they begin to be interested in what we have to say about the Bible.
So, the bulk of our trip this year was spent in visiting 17 of the 20 established tutorials. We wanted to see them in progress, interact with the children and meet the parents. Of course, we wanted to be able to encourage the teachers and preachers as well. During the days that we were not at a tutorial or traveling to get to one, we were at the condo preparing materials for the 7 new “Missing Link” congregations for the 2013-2014 school year.
During our visits at the tutorials, Hope and Kelsey would share a story, teach some songs, and do a craft with the children. Amelia (my 4-year old granddaughter) also had her “responsibilities” to do at each stop along the way. She passed out all of the supplies for the craft time, helped in teaching the new songs; and even quoted one of her memory verses. Then she gave out the little gifts we had brought for each student. She took her work so seriously and we were so proud to see her desire to interact with the Filipino people grow throughout the weeks activities.
Hope, Amelia and I did work in time for dental appointments. I had chipped a tooth back in Nov. and just prayed that it could wait until January to be worked on. So God answered that prayer in a positive way and I am so grateful.
A note to share: In the Philippines because you depend on public transportation, you only purchase what you can carry on any one given day. So when we would go to get things for the kits, we could only buy what any of us could carry. That meant that we would have to go back on numerous trips to get the balance what was needed. We would go up and down the stairs, in and out of jeepneys, taxis, the LRT and MRT trains….all the while standing in lines for tickets, changing money, or simply waiting our turn amongst the masses of people. We would get tickled at Kelsey and her responses to “the system”…but I must say that I am so proud of her and what a great trooper she has been through it all. Most everywhere we went we would carry the umbrella stroller…most people thought it was for Amelia…but the truth of the matter was that it was for all of our “stuff”!!! Thank God for small blessings.