Journal Notes - 2013 - Page 2
Mylene and Aunty Sandy
Sandy's touch... so creative, and she loves to share with others. "Oh, Did I mention that she has a very creative touch?" Today is Myeline's birthday. We celebrated it at our house yesterday afternoon with a few other friends. It was a surprise party, and she had difficulty believing it was just for her.
Perhaps it was her 1st ever birthday party. As she grew up her family rarely ever had any extra money for luxuries like a birthday party. Simply having enough food was a challenge. She ask in disbelief, "Isn't a birthday party just for children."
Sandy was happy to tell her that we all have birthdays and the birthday gives us a reason or opportunity to celebrate. Every gift she received, she expressed thankfulness even though most of them were small and inexpensive.
She received a purse with a couple compartments, she commented, "I'm so thankful, mine was stolen a couple weeks ago and I needed another one."
The hair clip, "That's wonderful I can be cooler with my hair pinned up." The pillows, "Oh this is good, it is often difficult to find a good sleeping position being pregnant..."
May we all keep a thankful spirit... There are so many things to be thankful for...
Mylene and the heart
Michael in his red jacket
Michael doesn't have a cell phone and if his parents are alive I don't think he knows where they are. His only caregiver other than himself is his elderly (dying) grandmother.
He was hoping that I would go to McDonald's this morning. He knows that he's welcome to eat with me. He was already standing by the McDonalds front door trying to blend in and be invisible to the guard who might have made him leave, since he's not a paying customer.
Without saying a word he followed me inside and stood in line with me as I ordered our breakfast. Neither of us did any talking. Eating breakfast for someone who is really 'hungry' is serious business. Only after he ate did we spend some time sharing what is happening in our world. He's come a long way in the past few years. Pretty much raising himself and trying to survive. We remain thankful for those of you who have added him to your prayer list...
For those who read the prior post, please use it as a reminder to pray for us and those who may be targets of acts of terrorism especially during this next holiday week, their annual Kadayawan Holiday with parades, exhibits and colorful native dancing, etc.
We've already canceled Family Circus on the holiday NOT due to the threat but due to not wanting to lose any children distracted by the fun holiday activities in and around Davao City especially with the parade. We encourage the kids and parents to have fun with their families. Prayerfully there will be no acts of violence and it will be a fun weekend with great family memories being made.
*"Hate"... is a 'Power' word. *(If i use the word 'Hate' it is with care, I don't use it recklessly.) It is a driving (often demonic) force in the world that causes so much destruction. The past week our island has been rocked by multiple bomb blasts killing many and nearly 100+- injured. All are deliberate attacks impacting Muslims and Christians alike though the ones taking credit for it are supposedly of the former religious persuasion.
Davao City has been planning (for this next week) their annual Kadayawan Holiday with parades, exhibits and colorful native dancing, etc. After the multiple bombing's across the island, Davao City has also received threats that they are the next target...
The mayor is seriously thinking about canceling the celebrations, yet if they decide to hold them the people will be restricted from carrying bags into the celebration areas. The police will be out in full force and the military snipers will be watching the crowds from the rooftops for acts of terrorism and looking for any perpetrators through the scopes of their rifles. Meanwhile we will be here praying and ministering to those that have found a place of refuge, where unitedly we learn about the love of God ... A place where thankfully hate for others is left behind and love for people is embraced. We are ALL sinners in need of God's love and forgiveness...
This is what it takes to be able to become friends to those who are different from us... Different yes, but still special people capable of becoming our friends. Someone has to take the first step and reach out to touch the other... If we don't do it... Will they?
Let's not wait to find out. Someone needs to take the first step. The lady in the 2nd picture hadn't seen us in 20+ years but last month she was talking to her family and said, "I wonder where the white family is who had the three little boys? I haven't seen them in so long..."
She was referring to our family who she first met almost 30 years ago... Mid July we flew back to Thailand and found her a few days after she had ask that question, in Northern Thailand (While at a retreat), and we enjoyed her delicious Rotee (Delicious Muslim desert) and renewed our friendship... It's not fake friendship... It's simply sharing the True love of God who created us...
We've had their leaders tell us, "We value your friendship, we see you love for the children and the poor, and we want to have better relationships between you and us...
We are thankful...
Aunty Sandy and her Muslim friend
Progress Report on Rhea.
Two year old Rhea is still alive and is approaching her 3rd birthday... Thanks to God and Family Circus friends, she will prayerfully live to celebrate that birthday and hopefully even her 30th.
Many of you may remember that it was last Christmas that her family noticed her eye beginning to protrude and unknown to them it was the sign of a fast growing tumor in her head. They had no idea what was happening until about March 2014 when she was diagnosed with cancer and due the generosity of the doctors who donated the chemo she began treatments.
However the expense of medicines and occasional blood transfusions which cost about $80 a month were beyond their means and until now we have been able to cover all those expenses because of your gifts...
The family is so thankful and so are we. Two weeks ago she had another treatment and was in the Circus tent the following Sunday. She wasn't feeling good and was a bit teary eyed when Kent Sullivan and I prayed for her.
This past Sunday she was feeling better, here's her picture.
Richard with the Big fish
Great fishing... Today we are harvesting and transferring some of the fish as we continue to improve our Aquaponics fish ponds and growing system.
The long one is a catfish and the heavy fat one is a Paco... Both make for great eating.
For every kilo of fish we grow our target is to grow 7 kilos (15 lbs) of vegetables. The vegetables are great eating and we use them to feed the hungry and the plants help to keep our water clean and the PH balanced.
Remember God put our ancient ancestor's Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them instructions to take care of it.
We've made a mess of our world but if we try we can leave it a better place than when we arrived.
Pako the Giant Fish
This past week we harvested about 180 lbs of Tilapia from our Aquaponics fish pond and distributed them to families at Family Circus on Saturday and Sunday.
Very delicious and well received. Thank you Kent Sullivan and the team from Idaho for their help and demonstrating a servant's heart.
35 years ago I married my sweetheart. Today i took this picture of her. She may be my wife but she never changed from being my sweetheart. Sandy Crogh Blatchley my special friend...
Why do we do what we do?
It's not rocket science. When you feed the hungry, you are doing that which is close to God's heart. Loving Him is what motivates us to do what we do. Then we get a group of like minded people led by two fantastic leaders, Kent Sullivan & Matt Malinowski and they are willing to sweat like crazy on a hot tropical isle, shoveling dirt to help make a bigger garden to feed more malnourished kids, widows, etc...
Cool how can it get any funnier than that... Interspersed with a Foosball game or two...
Teaching about the Urban Garden
The government officials said, "We've never seen anything like this before! Will you teach us how to do what you are doing?"
This is the response from a good size group of leaders from various areas across the island who met for a meeting at Family Circus this past week.
We took them on a tour to see our Urban farm and the raised garden beds where we grow many kinds of vegetables in rich soil bed's 4 feet wide and 6 inches deep.
It's all organic and fertilized by the water from the Aquaponics fish pond with about 15,000 catfish and tilapia.
The group stood surrounded by a virtual jungle of rich vegetables on top of the 72,000 gallon fish pond paying close attention to the description of how we are able to grow vegetables in water or growing them in the rocks without soil, which in turn helped to clean the water creating a healthy ecosystem using the Aquaponics system
Arjoe Jamaica and friend
Jamaica standing on the right side of Sandy says, "I want to be a nurse!" Dreams... It's so important to invest in children and to encourage them in helping to build a strong future for themselves and others. When looking at the thousands of children who come to FC Sandy will often say, "She sees future congressmen, policemen, nurses, doctors, teachers, perhaps a president, and even a missionary or a pastor..."
Today Terence came to Family Circus and reminded me that years ago as a child growing up he attended FC. Now he is a young man with a business to make Tents. He also expressed interest in how he and his business partners could help us help more kids... Roxanne has attended FC for 10+ years and recently graduated from college and is a teacher, again helping kids...
How do we change and make the world a better place to live... One of the most important investments we can ever make will not be listed on 'Wall Street' but it's listed in Matthew 18 at the top of God's priorities, 'Reach out and invest in the children.'
We invite pregnant mothers to FC so we can help them as we have the resources with a meal every day, vitamins, prayer and encouragement so that she may prayerfully have a healthy, happy child. [The first 1,000 days of a child's life as soon as they are conceived are some of the most critical.]
We have the hope that the child and mother will be our friends forever... That's what happens when we are a part Gods Family and when we invite others to come into His family.
I ate breakfast this morning at McDonald's with an older friend named George, he does not know God as his personal friend/Savior. His heart is beginning to have problems this past week he's been in and out of the hospital. This morning he told me, "Death lasts a long time..." That is so true... especially for those who don't know the Life Giver. George is my friend but if he is not open to Him I won't know him for very long. PS Would you please pray for George... Thanks
I'm not embarrassed . . .
No I'm not embarrassed when people cry in church... Yes this young mother was wiping tears from her eyes as she stood and quoted the final Scripture verse that qualified her to be one of the ten to win a new bicycle in our Scripture verse contest this past weekend.
About 3,000 hopeful contestants had 63 key verses to memorize. They were randomly selected and the competition was intense.
This Muslim Mama Won the Memory Verse Bicycle Contest
AIM Team at the Beach
What fun, the team from S Idaho came to this tropical island, and brought their servant hearts, doing whatever is needed. They have already moved 3+ dump truck loads of dirt as we prepare a new section of garden for feeding the kids.
This past Saturday they served scores of people by putting on new Tom's shoes. Karlie was cutting children's hair during the service. Joe, Raymond, Matt, Misty and all are serving. We are thankful for their family and friends that helped make this time of blessing possible.
8 years old Dion Lee (Nickname JuneLee) is about to enter school for the first time in his life. Excited? Oh yes!!
Today we'll be taking him in to get his school uniform, and school supplies. Imagining what a happy little guy he's going to¬ be. To join other kids with a chance to improve his future. Thanks Scott and so many who have prayed for this young man. Some day, we also pray that we'll be able to get a back brace to help straighten his from the injury from when when he was dropped a few years ago...
PS I'm not sure we convinced his father that his son has the ability to learn nor changed his mind to thing that his son is worth the investment. But that's OK. If his father never believes in his sons worth, or in his ability to learn I'm convinced that helping JuneLee have a chance and letting him know Jesus loves and wants the best for him is reason enough...
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