Sunday, January 10, 2010

Annual Conference 2010

Conference was a busy time for us because Heidi was in charge of the nursery up to age 3 program and Jonathan was involved in meeting with ministry teams. The toddler program is a challenge because many of these children live in villages with their families and are not used to being dropped off for play time. Heidi works very hard to transfer a bare room into a happy place with fun toys and nice decorations. You should have seen how much stuff we packed in the van!

Katrina, our visitor from Florida, was a big help. She even got a free ear check from Dr. Neo.

Jonathan came in once a day to do the Bible story time.

It's always nice to have a captivated audience.

This year Thomas asked to be baptized to show that he trusts that Jesus death on the cross paid for his sins and that he desires that the Holy Spirit be in control of his life.

We are thankful for the spiritual growth we see in Thomas's life.
The kids also enjoyed some soccer game, but I'll post those photos on Facebook.

New Year's Eve

The day after the wedding we drove a few hours down to the ferry dock and caught a boat going over the Mindoro Island. The trip was delayed and we ended up landing in a different port after dark and taking two motorcycles with side cars to get to our hotel.

Since we only had one full day at the beach we decided to do as much as possible. The first item was snorkeling. We took a small boat out to the coral reef.

James and Jonathan

Heidi and Thomas

Katrina and Carrie

It was a beautiful trip and the snorkeling was nice too.

After lunch we took a hike up to a waterfall. Along the way we saw some interesting flowers and enjoyed walking through the jungle.

At the waterfall we enjoyed drinking and eating some young coconuts which the locals were selling.

On the way back we stopped at a ministry center that some friends of ours have set up to help the folks living in that area. In the evening we hiked down the beach to an Italian restaurant and ate our pizza while watching people lite fireworks on the beach.... and at the table next to ours. This made for a bit of excitement because some of the fireworks malfunctioned and blew up or went off the wrong way.

New Years Day we ate breakfast on the beach. Heidi and the kids surprised me with some birthday gifts and then we headed for home to prepare for our annual conference.

Wedding on the beach

A few days after Christmas, Katrina Abbott arrived from Florida to help Heidi with childcare at our annual NTM conference. Before we went to the conference we had several days of activities.

The first activity was to attend a wedding at the beach. The children of some of our fellow NTM missionaries were being married and we were invited to attend. It was a beautiful afternoon for a wedding.

The father of the bride is one of the teachers at the school our children attend and the father of the groom is a supply buyer for some of our missionaries down south.

The dress code tended to be a bit casual. (Thomas and James)

After the wedding those who had dressed up changed and enjoyed visiting on the beach. Heidi with Carrie and some of Carrie's good friends.

James enjoyed a bit of Frisbee...

and won the sand sculpture contest. This was the first wedding I have attended that included a sand sculpture contest not to mention the "unity sand."

It was a beautiful event and we were blessed to have been invited
to enjoy it.

It's Christmas Time In The City!

Christmas time in the Philippines means Christmas carol time for the children.

Singing Christmas carols is not really the focus. It is much more like trick or treating than caroling except that it goes on for several weeks. The kids start banging on the door in November and we have to tell them it isn't time to start "caroling" yet.

In December we relent and from then until after Christmas the evenings are spent standing at the door handing out candy. The kids usually yell, "Mamasko" or sing a little song in Tagalog which says that Christmas is near and that mom and dad are getting ready for Christmas and it is time for Christmas treats.
For the most part we do enjoy seeing all the kids and having a chance to show them some kindness. We gave away around 1,500 pieces of candy.