March 2024

A whirlwind of activity and a good soak

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Sunday morning we met with the Philippine church that meets in the “upper room” here. While the group was small—less than 50 people including our group, the singing was enthusiastic and the welcome warm.
Monday was a day off school, so after demolition and house construction by some of our crew, we went on a special paraw sailing excursion. The Philippines sailboat with netted outriggers for hapless tourists to sit on, features a Baptist experience: almost full immersion as the waves hit!  

Our first day of VBS in the afternoon was attended by about 50 children and featured the usual activities—singing, Bible stories, games and a craft, but just a little more than the usual chaos than we might experience at home. While the older schoolchildren tend to towards English fluency, it is more challenging to communicate with the younger ones. One of the local girls, Shiena, has helped with this by acting as interpreter, especially during storytime.
In the evening, Linda and I led an adult choir practice, while Emily accompanied us on the guitar. Though the people love to sing, most would not have had opportunity for choral singing or learning harmony, so we began with a few rounds and other choruses we thought might lend themselves well to improving their musical skills. The acoustics of the room lent itself well to this and we were pleased at the initial session.
Pray for attentiveness to the gospel message in the VBS Bible stories and that as we serve, people would make the connection that it is about Jesus’ love. Pray that our team would be able to complete building the house in the time left. Construction with coconut wood presents special challenges as parts are very hard to put screws in while other segments are soft. Pray for good health for our team.

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