Barner Christian Academy

The Latest News

5/24/2018

USA Memorial Day 5/28

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month.

Please pray for those in the radio audience who were listening recently as many of the early-elementary students from Faith International Academy quoted Bible verses over the air at Mango Radio, a Christian radio station in Davao City.

Please pray for our retired visitor from Mexico, who for two weeks is seeking more homeless children whom we can shelter at the Father’s House orphanage.

Praise God that Abby scored forty points higher this month on her Scholastic Aptitude Test the second time she took the exam.

Praise God that PJ’s directing skills were reflected this past week for two consecutive nights as his drama troupe (including his sister Abigail) displayed the comedy presentation, “But Why Bump Off Barnaby?”

Praise God also that Elvie’s older brother “Boy” won the election for his local village’s (Subasta) “Kagawad” political incumbent position.

Praise God too that I baptized eight new believers in the Pacific Ocean this past Saturday. Each gave their personal testimonies of faith in Jesus Christ. Many had accepted Christ during VBS or BCA discipleship meetings. Some are members of the youth group in which Abby is the president.

Praise God that this past Sunday, while I was preaching about David & Goliath at our jungle church, the two dogs who wandered down the aisle fighting, were broken up by a church deacon before anyone could get hurt, & so that the animals would not eat the bread & juice on the communion table. Before the service two small beggar children almost made off with the prepared communion elements as well.

“Forty cents a day is not a job. It’s SLAVERY!” We own an orphanage. Recently two of our teenage boys were approached with a job offer, to feed & care for fighting roosters for gambling. Elvie & I convinced the kids that not only is gambling a sin, but gamblers often bring other sins like drinking, smoking, profanity, lying, etc.

Our twelve orphans were brought to our church baptism this past Saturday. They watched as eight candidates followed the Lord in this step of obedience in the Pacific Ocean. After testimonies of faith & songs of victory, we had our Fathers’ House meeting along the shore, under the shade of a low, spreading tree.

“I have an idea,” I began. How about you kids each adopt one of the animals on our farm, & whatever food you sell, will go into a bank account. No need to find a buyer, as BCA will buy the food to feed its hungry students. We’ll also help you built a tree house & buy a computer for the orphanage to help your studies & hire you at BCA as staff when you graduate. The kids were thrilled & forgot all about helping gamblers.

Some of those being baptized had attended the Vacation Bible School classes we operated over the past five weeks in 25 different locations. Over a thousand children attended these special salvation-focused events, within a fifty-mile radius of the BCA school. The kids were so excited dancing & singing Gospel songs that they’d go on & on, often hours overtime.

Near the end of VBS, the church youth group hosted a Youth Jam Fellowship, with dozens of teens from three of our church plants, attending. The singing, games, cheer-competition, noodle-dinner & prayer was meant to only last three hours, but an important Guest showed up…the Holy Spirit… & He brought with Him in incredible revival through conviction & repentance of sin.

Richard is One of our church elders, & his message focused on believers desiring a deeper commitment & walk with Jesus. At the altar call, many teens responded. Some prayed for salvation while others for assurance of salvation, rededicating their lives to Christ. Healing of hurts, both emotional & physical, brought glory to God. Elvie challenged the kids, “Your walk with Jesus…do you really know Him? Have you spoken with Him today? Are you obeying what He has told you in His Word, the Bible?”

And the gates of Hell could not prevail against the prayers of these young & energetic believers, deeply-renewed in their faith.

Next time Satan offers to sell us off cheap, like making slaves of our orphan chidlren, we must focus on Jesus, who ALWAYS has a “better offer!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

May 24 (Thursday) Dean Tinney visit from Mexico visits our Father’s House kids/ BCA teachers & staff return from 4-day teachers’ retreat/ Paul teaches 6th & 7th Grade Old Testament Kings at FIA Middle School (last day of class) / PJ teaches “Improv” class at FIA/ PJ directs practices for Church musical, “My Deliverer”

May 25 (Friday) Abby’s last day of final exams. Paul, PJ & Abby attend FIA graduation exercises.

May 26 (Saturday) Barners attend Thanksgiving ceremony of fellow missionaries
from California, the Taylors. Also attend “debut” party for Darrell, a girl turning 18. Abby attends despidita (going away party) for her friend Nicole, who is returning permanently to Washington State.

May 27 (Sunday) Church

May 28 (Monday) Grades due at Middle School for report cards.

May 29 (Tuesday) Office work

May 30 (Wednesday) Prayer Meeting

6/2 Elvie attends National Christian Missions board meeting in Manila.

6/3-5 3-day outing with Father’s House orphans, 6/6 classes begin at BCA for school year 2018-19,

6/13 Barners fly to New York, USA for 6-week & 6-state speaking tour.

6/28 Trish returns from Arizona to continue work with BCA orphans.

9/18 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao.
BCA has 435 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:

Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years

Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.

Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $8,650 Remaining: $16,350.

Present need: $6,600 for eighteen new computers and one printer in BCA‘s computer laboratory, required by the Philippine Department of Education before we open sixth grade this coming June.

2018 Missions Team Visitors:

Now, through June NY- PJ
May MX- Dean
[Barners on 5,000 mile, 6-week USA Speaking Tour in 9 states June 13-July 29]
June CO- Dave
September through May ’19 AZ- Trish, Tom & Vangie
October AZ- Frank & team
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo

Tentative plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (6/13-7/30): NY-PA-OH-IN-IL-AR-MO-IA-MI-NY (estimated 5,000 miles).

OUR ACTIVE MINISTRIES: Abby- Youth Group President, PJ- Easter Musical Director/Teaching Improv class @ FIA, Directing FIA Play, Assist Paul in teaching at Middle School and College/ PJ & Abby- Church Music team/ Elvie- National Board of Trustees for CAMACOP, Principal at BCA, Sunday School teacher/ Paul- Senior Pastor at FAF church, Board Member & Professor at FIA Middle School, Spiritual Aims Chairman at Kiwanis Club, Vice President at DCL Prayer Foundation, President at BCA, Honorary Member- PI Eagles FOE, President of PMBMI, Half-Ironman Triathlete/ Paul & Elvie- Founders & Directors of 25 churches & FHF orphanage, Kiwanis members, DCLFI Community Prayer team members & vice president, Professors at DABC College, Board members at FAF church.

 

Rev. Paul, Elvie, PJ and Abigail Barner
Philippine Missionary Church Planters
Barner Christian Academy of Davao City, Inc.
PO Box 82,224
8000 Davao City, Philippines 011-63

Philippine cell phones: Elvie: (63) (946) 258-4259; (63) (926) 939-4357 
Paul: (63) (947) 955-4541
Abigail: (63) (926) 939-4289
Barner Christian Academy Landline: (63) (82) 234-4000
PJ’s USA cell phone #(845) 587 7344
Magic Jack Computer phone: (518) 772-2359 (presently works to receive messages, but not to send them)
Barner Family’s new Philippine home landline phone# 63 (82) 287-3806

Paul M Barner Ministries 501(c)(3) address: Ginger Bruce, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144 [(518) 434-6216].

For online giving: www.christianaid.org CODE: 801-BLC

PLEASE NOTE: OUR PJLILTIM@SKYINET.NET ADDRESS IS DISCONTINUED. PLEASE INSTEAD USE BLCKIDS@YAHOO.COM THANKS!

5/17/2018

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month.

Please pray for the Arizona missions team arriving in October. They may even raise funds for our orphanage to purchase a cement mixer. The five main projects this year may be 1) build a second boys’ cottage, 2) build a second girls’ cottage, 3) replace the packed-dirt basketball court with a cement one, 4) repair BCA’s seven 20-year-old buses, 5) play with the kids. The ten short-term missionaries include 4 married couples as well as a father/ teenage son team. Everyone coming is very physically able to do the work that's needed to get done, including a mechanic who is VERY handy in all aspects of building & labor & also a nurse.

Praise God that I have been re-elected for another term as board member in Faith International Academy, this year as governing board secretary.

Praise God as well that, in a recent teacher evaluation form by the students at the middle school where PJ & I teach, many of the students responded with, “Thanks for binging DJ PJ!”

“With great power comes great responsibility.” Many of BCA’s preschool teachers passed their licensure exams last year & now are certified to teach elementary grades.

During Sumer School, classes are often combined when a teacher has a family event which requires they be absent for a few days. BCA’s Teacher Jean was one who had her new license &now taught first grade. But when Juvy had to be absent & the two classes (Grades 1 & 2) were combined, it seemed a bit much.

“Ooh, it is so hard to focus on my lesson now,” thought Teacher Jean. “But I know I can do it. I will take the initiative, giving them seatwork which will challenge their formative minds.”

Meanwhile I (Paul) was teaching my eighteen 6th & 7th Grade Bible class students in another school across town. “Class, I am scheduled to give the Bible message in chapel tomorrow. I have an idea. Would you like to help me?” The students in this international school, representing five different countries, perked up.

Since PJ’s forte is drama, he trained the students in a portrayal of David & Goliath. Six of the students were sheep, others were David’s brothers. And of course, there were the main characters, Saul, David & the giant. Oh, & the narrators too. My message was titled, “The SWORD or the LORD?”

The kids were a hit! I was so very proud of their talent & skill. Fifty other teachers & students watched the drama unfold. An eraser played the part of the stone that eliminated Goliath. Moral of the story: beware of 6th graders with erasers!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

May 17 (Thursday) BCA Summer School & VBS / Paul teaches 6th & 7th Grade Old Testament Kings at FIA Middle School/ PJ teaches “Improv” class at FIA/ PJ directs practices for Church musical, “My Deliverer”

May 18 (Friday) BCA Summer School & VBS / PJ teaches Paul’s 6th & 7th Grade Old Testament Kings class at FIA Middle School/ Paul attends Community prayer mtg/ 5/18-19 Overnight baptismal retreat for our church plant in Communal. Paul is the speaker.

May 19 (Saturday) PJ directs practices for Church musical, “My Deliverer”/ 2nd
Day of Communal Baptismal retreat with final instructions for 6 baptized.

May 20 (Sunday) Church: Elvie & Paul speak at three churches/ Dean Arrives from Mexico for three-week work with street kids, at 5:50 AM/ 5/20-25 BCA Tchr Retreat & FIA exams week. “Grandma Trish” flies to USA for 2 months, to return this Fall to continue working with our orphans.

May 21 (Monday) BCA Tchr Retreat/ Paul teaches 6th & 7th Grade Old Testament Kings at FIA Middle School/ PJ teaches “Improv” class at FIA

May 22 (Tuesday) BCA Tchr Retreat/ Paul teaches 6th & 7th Grade Old Testament
Kings at FIA Middle School/ 5/22-25 Abby takes her final exams.

May 23 (Wednesday) BCA Tchr Retreat/ Paul teaches 6th & 7th Grade Old
Testament Kings at FIA Middle School. Prayer Meeting

5/22-25 Abby takes her final exams.

5/25 FIA Graduation.

5/26 Double celebration of friends for Thanksgiving & “debut”.

6/2 Elvie attends National Christian Missions board meeting in Manila.

6/13 Barners fly to New York, USA for 6-week & 6-state speaking tour.

9/18 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao.

BCA has 432 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:

Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.

Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.

Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $8,600 Remaining: $16,400.

Present need: $151 for added expenses during the Closing ceremonies of VBS in Samal & also PJ’s musical presentation, as well as the barge across the Pakiputan channel & also the added electrical wiring & batteries for the microphones.

5/11/2018

Happy Mothers’ Day (5/13)

Please pray for the upcoming series of practices for the 3rd performance of PJ’s incredibly inspiring musical, “My Deliverer”.

Also please pray for the closing exercises of BCA’s 3rd series of Summer School/VBSes at our church plants. Since we have planted 25 churches, we divided them up into three groups, with three 2-week sessions (clusters) in individual churches, back-to-back. That way no child has to travel very far to get to VBS. BCA’s teachers are being assisted in separate churches by our church youth group, to provide a bit of summer income for the teenagers. Summer will end in a few weeks, and the last week before it ends, the teachers will leave for a week-long retreat about 100 miles away, with Elvie leading the seminars on “Classroom Leadership & Dispcipleship”.

Praise God that a dear retired couple has been sponsoring a BCA child for over a decade. They actually sponsor two children, but recently sent me an email stating, “due to our need to bring our spending in line with our fixed income, we need to reduce our extra giving by dropping one of our children after years of support. We continue to pray for their families.” Just a few emails later, I received a message from a childhood friend whom I hadn’t heard from in decades. He stated, “For a long time I have been considering sponsoring a child at BCA and will be sending a check for $30 soon. Please send me a picture of my new sponsored child.” Praise God that He knew the one sponsor would drop & sent a replacement sponsor right away!

“If any one has aught against this union. Speak now or forever hold your peace.” Although these words are rarely used in wedding ceremonies nowadays, the idea is still prevalent upon people’s minds.

I was chosen to give the Bible message for Eric & Dimple’s wedding, as well as be a godparent and give the consecration prayer.

All went well, until it was time for the bride & groom to kneel at the altar & sign their wedding certificates. I noticed the best man pull out the chair as the bride was standing up, & thought, “Oh no! He is playing a practical joke! She is going to fall down & get hurt!”

So, in that quiet & solemn moment, as all eyes were on the couple, I cried out from my front-row seat, “No! No!”

The bride suddenly looked around at me, & in that glance, I understood why the chair was moved.

“Oops!” I squeaked, “Sorry, I thought you were falling…” She grinned with a chuckle & continued with the ceremony…whew!

Wisdom at a moment’s notice is often hard to come by. Previously, during a faculty training seminar at the middle school where I volunteer-teach, the ACSI guidance video asked, “What is philosophy?”

If “philo-” is “love of” & “sophia” is “knowledge”, then philosophy entails “love of knowledge.” Our task as teachers is not just to transmit information into the minds of our students, but to do so in such a way that they enjoy it, & truly love learning.

That is not all we love. Our theme at church this month of May is “Family”. A few hours after preaching the morning message at our main church, I presented the same Bible passage (Deut. 6- Training our Kids in Bible Truths) at Communal, our newest church plant. Each of our church plants are free to decorate their places of worship along the month’s chosen theme.

Communal had a colorful construction-paper outline of a house on the wall behind the podium, & inside the paper house, in bold print was the acrostic, “FAMILY: Father And Mother, I Love You”.

The love of knowledge comes, as does the love of family, often through the fine example set by those we look up to…even when, like at Dimple’s wedding, we make mistakes & are gracefully pulling our foot out of our mouth!



Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

5/3/2018 Happy Mothers’ Day (5/13), National (USA) Day of Prayer (5/3)

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month.

Please pray: (as you stay on your knees, we’ll stay on our feet!)

Please pray for Dean, a senior citizen who is coming to Davao & other Philippine cities next week to rescue more street children for our Father’s House orphanage.

Praise God that Anita, an American woman residing in Mexico, just arrived safely back in Latin America after spending a week in ministry here in Mindanao.

“God commanded all believers to spread the Gospel!” Elvie inspired hundreds of delegates as master of ceremonies (emcee) at the Dadiangas National Christian School Convention. She had driven the four-hour trip alone the day after she was released from the Davao hospital.

Just a few days previous, she had traveled to the same city (Dadiangas) with 16 ladies from our church for the annual national women’s convention, along with nearly 4,000 other women. But something in the T’boli food there caused 20% of the delegates to have indigestion. The hospital’s ultrasound for Elvie’s pains revealed that she had kidney stones. After being given pain killers, she was sent back to Davao’s hospital. Then after recovery, she headed back out again for another set of meetings.

As Elvie attended meetings in Dadiangas, I cooked meals for PJ & Abby back home. Yet over the weekend when Abby was at a High School banquet, PJ became my cheerleader & photographer as I competed in Davao’s annual 4-hour-long Durianman triathlon. My second-place trophy (for my 55-59 age group) was difficult to attain, as the mile-long swim was through choppy 4-foot high waves against an extremely strong current. Many dropped out of the race, since they could not make headway against the waves.

Two days later I challenged my Middle School Bible students from Hebrews 12:1, “We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, so let us run the race well!” The bright yellow & green armbands from both races (Ironman & Durianman) could be seen on my wrist as I shared, “PJ & other friends were cheering me on along the sidelines as I bicycled & ran 50 kilometers after a very, very draining swim!” But when you hear the cheers of friends, you forget the pain!

Meanwhile on the other side of the planet, a little homeschooled boy who had heard us speak at his AWANA club ten years ago was inspired to give a gift for BCA’s new campus’ library. Back in 2007 we had shared, “I would swim across the ocean for a single convert!” The little 6-yr-old was now an eagle scout & his family celebrated the event by providing the construction gift. Over the years he also had raised funds for a sidewalk & picnic table at a local Children’s home.

This race which we call life is filled with struggles. But as God directs Christians to come alongside of us to cheer us on, hospitals, currents & debts are overcome for the glory of God.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
4/26/2018 Philippine Labor Day (5/1) Flores de Mayo (5/5) Earth Day (4/22)

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month.

Please pray: (as you stay on your knees, we’ll stay on our feet!)

Please pray for my middle-school Bible students. One of them wrote me a note, “Your class is crazy hard, but I learn so much!” Another quipped, “Yours is now my favorite class in the whole school day!”

Also, please pray for a single missionary who is going on furlough. She has an extra empty bag which she will be bringing back to the USA & will fill it with our letters to mail. She will also affix the postage stamps once she arrives stateside!

Please pray too for the safety of the dozens of parents who are cleaning up the school while their kids are in Vacation Bible School. Since water rust stains have streaked the sides of the white school building, bamboo scaffolding has been erected to hold-up those who are scraping & scrubbing & painting the white building’s exterior walls.

Praise God that when PJ was the guest speaker in Middle School/High School chapel this past week, his message was well received by the students, as he also shared about being a Christian college student & a drama teacher.

Praise God also that the series of PowerPoint presentations that PJ made for the FIA Teachers’ Appreciation Luncheon was very well received. He had personally contacted global alumni (of all ages) from the school who had sent him videos (via Facebook) which he edited to fit the luncheon’s brief time frame.

Praise God too for the family in Florida who gave $100 to help with replacement of the destroyed engine from our orphanage’s school bus.

“3 flat tires!” While on an early-morning 56-mile bicycle run, I brought along a spare tube & 2 patch kits. But at the turnaround, my tire went flat. This was a problem, since I was to be back by 9:30am to bring Abby to choir practice. That afternoon would be their interschool competition. I HAD to get back in time.

I’d pinched the new tube (on the rim) while installing it, so it too went flat. Neither patch kit worked, as the glue in one had leaked out & the other was self-adhesive, which was not sturdy enough for racing tires. So, after sitting on the side of the road dripping with sweat in the hot sun for an hour & a half attempting to fix the flat, I sat & prayed. Opening my eyes, I was surrounded by 17 bicyclists who gave me a brand-new tube & installed it in under 8 minutes!

Rushing to get back in time to get Abby to her practice, I got caught in traffic. Following the motorcyclists, we weaved in & out between cars, but then a huge boulder on the side of the road stopped even the motorcycles. I got off my bike & carried it over the boulder, chanting, “I must get to Abby, I must get to Abby…”

Arriving home, I replaced my helmet with a baseball cap & drove Abby half an hour away to school. She got there just in time…to see the choir leaving their finished practice! But still that evening they won first place in the competition! Half a dozen kids from the church youth group that Abby is president of, were among the hundreds who cheered her on.

The next day, after church, we drove our cars & school buses onto the barge to nearby Samal Island. The vice mayor agreed to allow the VBS closing ceremony of our ten “Island Churches” to take place in the island’s main community gymnasium. The vice mayor also arrived to give a welcome address, before my Bible message. Then the hundreds of VBS graduates of all ages enjoyed PJ’s directing fifty actors & actresses in his new musical, “My Deliverer”.

The Vice Mayor was thrilled with both performances, from the kids & from the musicians. Further, he did not charge us for usage of the gym, since we provide training for free to the community children. During my Bible message on the theme, “Do not Fear, but Shine with the light of Jesus” (Isaiah 41:10) I shared how God provided for me through the cyclists who rescued me on Saturday morning.

“They wouldn’t accept any payment for the new tube, but only asked that they keep my old tube. Isn’t that like Jesus? He gives us a brand-new life, & only asks for one thing in return…that we give him freely the old life that needed fixing!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
4/19/2018 Please pray for the family of a dear friend, Pastor Ferd Gavina (in Indiana, USA). He was a Filipino college schoolmate of mine 35 years ago & a very dear friend. He died of a stroke a few days ago.

Please also pray for this Sunday evening‘s performance of PJ’s original Easter Musical, “My Deliverer” in Penaplata, Samal Island. Also PJ is directing a play in May at Faith International Academy, and also teaching an “Improv” class . One of the parents approached me & glowingly exclaimed, “Every day when my daughter comes home from PJ’s class, she is so very excited about the fun time she had in her acting class!”

Praise God that all of BCA’s teachers were assigned to different churches on nearby Samal Island. The ten churches we have planted there cover over four hours of travel-time between them, & by dropping-off BCA faculty & also the church youth group (as assistants) for them to camp-out, hundreds of students enjoyed the twelve full ten-hour days of VBS/Summer school!

Praise God also that when I spoke at our jungle church plant this past Sunday, the men in the church convinced a neighbor who has electricity to string up a wire through the mango tree so I could use my PowerPoint projector & also have lights & fans, even though it was raining outside.

“God is incredibly good to us!” Faith is one of BCA’s secretaries & it was her turn to give the staff’s weekly morning Bible challenge.

Teacher Neil decided to “borrow” this idea of God’s goodness as he was leading one of BCA’s ten 2018 VBS “stations”. It was the second week of classes, & all the teachers were coming back from their respective Sunday church ministries.

As each ministry team was dropped off at their VBS locations, dozens of children were already seated in plastic chairs in the respective sanctuaries, some areas larger & others quite tiny. One of Teacher Neil’s younger students was so energetic in expectation, that he could not sit still. His toes wiggled in his flip-flops & his knees jittered from his ratty shorts.

After singing “I’m Inright, outright, upright, downright, happy all the time” (along with body motions), followed by other intro-songs & prayer, Neil’s little guy was calmed down a tad. Now it was time for the lesson. Inculcating Secretary Faith’s lesson in with his own, Teacher Neil made eye contact with little Oscar, the “jitterer’.

“God is incredibly good to us!” Neil said. “Let’s role-play this lesson.” Everybod counted off, & ended at sixty-five. “Perfect,” interjected Teacher Neil. “Who is good at math? What is 65 divided by five?” The “jitterer” was first with his hand up “Thirteen, my favorite number!” So they divided into 5 groups of 13 each.

An hour later each group performed an enactment of how Jesus’ goodness is seen in our daily lives. Jittery Oscar helped name his group the ‘Goliaths”. Five of their 13 acted-out a family riding in a car. Four others were the wheels of the car. The others were those the family encountered while traveling, & how Christ’s love was shown through the actions of His followers.

“See kids, when we notice right away the opportunities God gives, we don’t regret later for missing its meaning!”

A few months ago, a civic club on nearby Samal Island visited our “Father’s House” Samal orphanage. The mayor & vice mayor are members of the club. “Let me know if you need anything!” offered the vice mayor. Well, this week PJ carried a latter to the mayor, asking to use the main auditorium in the capitol city (Penaplata) of the 100,000 island residents for his original musical, “My Deliverer”. The request was approved…for free! So, this Sunday (4/22) our fifty actors, singers & actresses will be presenting the story of Jesus’ life & salvation in the capitol city of Samal, along with our orphans, performing as well! The mayor will even open the evening’s ceremony with a “Welcome Address!” Yay, God! See, God’s opportunities are right there, as long as we are willing to find them.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
4/12/2018 Happy Araw Ng Kagitingan (4/9)

Please pray for our church Youth Group, which will be dividing their energies by travelling (with BCA’s teachers) to all 25 of our churches to help lead the VBA and Summer School.

Praise God that Elvie’s very brief, over-&-back flight to New York was successful in renewing her almost-expired USA Permanent Residency Card, for another ten years. She even experienced snow!

Praise God also for Abby’s participation in the annual FIA sports Awards night (volleyball & basketball).

Also praise God for a distant cousin who paid off the remainder of the backpacks from Christmas ($940!) & also $60 for the Xerox copier fund. Still needed: $3,461.

“Oh too bad that Olean will miss Vacation Bible School!” BCA’s Graduation was a week ago, so after a week’s break, Elvie drove the teachers to nearby Samal Island to host ten VBSes out there. Each of our Island churches will host a Vacation Bible School, & our BCA teachers are supervising them. Our church youth group members are camping out with the teachers for the week, as assistants. Many of these churches are so very rural that the kids walk to church for these special classes.

But not Olean. Since Filipinos often exchange their P’s & F’s, her teacher (Juvy) claimed Olean has “Chicken Fox”. So, while the kids were doing their seatwork (paper collages), Olean was home, conquering the “fox”.

Elvie had just returned from a whirlwind flight back & forth to New York, for a surprise emergency requirement for her ten-year visa update. On the way back, her flight landed in Chicago just less than an hour before the next one was to leave for Japan. She knew she would not make it. Running down the halls of O’Hare airport, she finally got to the gate, but everyone was gone. Heading up to the counter, she asked if the plane had left yet. “No Ma’m. It doesn’t leave for another hour and a half!” Oh yeah, the time difference! Chicago’s time is an hour earlier than New York, & Elvie never changed her watch! Anyway, better early than late!

While Elvie was out of the country for a week, I prepared meals for the kids. One day I decided to multi-task. While heating spinach in the microwave, I also washed dishes & baked cookies. On the stovetop I decided to make something (I forget what) & since the oven was turned on anyway, I threw in some bacon.

Halfway through the meal, I remembered the bacon. It was very burned & inedible. In fact, it was unrecognizable. No, worse than that, an entire pound of bacon was just a grease spot on the pan. One pig sacrificed as a burnt offering! A few days later I popped into the grocery store to pick up a few items & couldn’t resist a small bottle of ice cold Mountain Dew. When I got to the car to put the groceries in the back seat, I pulled out the “Dew” & tossed it over into the front seat. Down the road, I was waiting at a red light & opened to “Dew” cap. Splfttt! Like a fountain it spurted all over me. I’d forgotten that by tossing it over the seat, it had shaken up the bottle & became a fizz machine!

Well, it is great to have Elvie back. Her sister Anilyn even came along down from the mountains to help us cook the bacon…& also to welcome Elvie back from her round-the-world flight!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
4/5/2018 Reminder: each decade, BCA increases its commitment for student sponsorship by $5, to keep up with inflation. That time has come. [April, 1998: $20/ April, 2008: $25/ April, 2018: $30]. Thank you for adjusting your payments accordingly.

Please pray for the planning of additional performances of PJ’s Easter musical, “My Deliverer.” After their first performance, they are taking a week off & then resuming practice to perform at 3 or 4 other churches, many of which were started by us.

Please also pray for Elvie’s quick-trip to the USA this week. She has American visa requirements that must be accomplished this Friday in New York.

Praise God that seven short-term missionaries in Arizona have committed themselves to help our ministry this coming September. One of the couples will actually be getting married that weekend before, & using the outreach for their honeymoon, since they originally met on a missions trip!

“X marks the spot…” As Pancho, the 3rd-Grade BCA student, sat playing in the sand, ocean water lapped up along the beach. Pancho’s papa overlooked his son’s handiwork. “What does the X stand for, son?” To which Pancho declared matter- of-factly, “Why, every pirate knows that the X is where the treasure is!”

School vacation had begun a few days earlier after BCA’s moving-up ceremonies. Just prior to graduation, Pancho’s Teacher Dianne had her students memorize the verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go, & when he is old he will not turn from it.” She had just received good reviews from the last grading period, based upon oral recitations, quizzes & board activity in Math.

“Pancho, please come up to the blackboard & write the following...” Pancho felt a thrill well up inside that he, among all his fellow classmates, was chosen. “Four…” Pancho carefully formed the letter “4” on the blackboard, followed by his teacher’s guidance of “+1=X”. Dianne commented, “Thank you, Pancho.”

Pancho was curious about what he had just written. He did not return to his seat. “Teacher Dianne, this is not correct. Four plus one is five, not X.”

“Oh, you are so right, Pancho. The only time that four plus one can equal X is if X is just another way of writing FIVE.”

“So, you can find what is missing if you look for the X, right, Teacher Diane?” Dianne nodded in the affirmative & smiled as Pancho dutifully sauntered back to his seat.

As Good Friday arrived at church, seven guest speakers each preached 5 minutes on one of the seven last phrases of Jesus when He was dying on the cross. 2 speakers were visiting missionaries, 2 were church leaders & the other 3 were church elders. “All throughout history,” the explanation was given, regarding the fourth phrase, “mankind can see the cross-roads of the universe. Even if an alien came to the planet, he could trace history to the most important event, for like an X which marks the spot, the cross of Jesus marks the crux of history. Even the calendar itself moves back to, & back from, that incredible event.”

Friday morning BCA’s bus driver Manong Boy had driven Doris to our house to help cook bnignit, a sweet Filipino porridge traditionally reserved for Easter week. While waiting for Doris to cook, Elvie requested Manong to plant a few flowers outside. “Oh no, Madam Elvie. If I plant them today, they will not grow. Today is the day Jesus died!” I overheard his & responded, “Yes, but He rose again 3 days later! That would be very fast for these seeds to grow!”

That afternoon during the Good Friday worship service, the speaker continued, “The center phrase of Jesus on that fateful day on the cross, was an ancient code, in an ancient language, Aramaic. Eloi, Eloi Lama Sabacthani…My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” The punishment of Jesus was to pay for our sins. Jesus took our place. Jesus can be found…in the furnace, in the whale & in the lion’s den. Moses saw Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Isaiah as the Suffering Servant. Peter as his Rescuer when doubt resulted in near-drowning. John as the Coming King in all His glory! “X marks the spot where you can find the answer to anything you are going through. Your Deliverer has come!”

Then on Easter Sunday evening, twelve hours after the Sunrise Service, PJ directed his Easter musical, “My Deliverer”. It began with Mary & Joseph & the baby Jesus, escaping to Egypt. A dozen children hauntingly sang in a circle, “My Deliverer is coming…” They were joined in by the youth choir & the event continued until the saga unfolded through the Lords’ Supper, the crucifixion & finally the resurrection.

Before the curtain call two hours later, on & in front of the stage, fifty singers & actors: children, adults, youths & orphan children sang & danced, “I know my Redeemer lives!” & “Because He Lives”.

Those in the audience remembered the words of the morning message. “The three nails in Jesus’ feet & hands declared I-Love-You. The 39 lashes on his back repeated 13 times, I-Love-You.”

As with little Pancho, in front of the 3rd-grade blackboard, we declare with chalk in-hand, “Yes, the X in history is where we find the answer.”

That X is the cross which carried our Deliverer.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
3/29/2018

Good Friday (3/29) Resurrection Sunday (Easter)

Please pray for the many Ironman competitors in my race who had to drop out due to heat exhaustion &/or accidents: that they will recuperate & be able to come back again next year, to try again for that incredibly beautiful, (incredibly heavy) hand-carved solid-brass T’boli finisher’s medal!

Praise God that, after crossing the finish line in this week’s Ironman (70.3 mile) triathlon, I was heavily sunburned (110 degrees F) yet able to finalize my college students’ grades & then purchase Elvie’s flight ticket to New York (for visa purposes), making it a very long 26-hour day for me! PJ called me the Energizer bunny at 3:30am…& then we were up 3 hours later for the 2 graduation ceremonies at BCA, in which I was the speaker at both events, & PJ sang a solo at both too.

Praise God also that I was able to file & mail-in both PJ’s & my 2017 taxes.

Praise God as well that a friend in Pennsylvania, after reading that one of my students attends a church plant with an offering of only $16 per year, sent ten times that amount ($160) for us to give to that pastor to encourage him! Elvie will be visiting the rural tribal church in two months & will at that time give him the funds. The funds were given due to the student’s faithful prayers that God would provide a 100% increase in giving…that is one-tenth of the way there!

Praise God also that a friend in North Carolina whom I had lost contact with for over a decade, received my Christmas card in February, due to delayed overseas mail. It was just a few days after her mom’s funeral, & it brightened her day so much that she gave $25 for BCA’s new Jeepney (school bus) fund. That brings us up to $5,595 already! Only $4,405 left to go…

“For believers in Jesus, your greatest dreams can come true!” As BCA’s school secretary Faith led BCA’s weekly staff Bible-devotional, Substitute-Teacher Sheena grinned.

At the beginning of the school year Sheena had fallen in-love with teaching BCA’s first-grade class, as their regular teacher (Rose) was planning her wedding. Now, at the end of the school year, Teacher Sheena once again got to teach spelling, writing, etc. to the first graders, as Rose was out having a baby!

Then this week both Rose & Sheena were present at the BCA graduation ceremonies. As Rose handed over her well-wrapped newborn infant for Sheena to embrace, Sheena put her lips close to tiny Ezekiel’s ear & whispered, “Thanks so much, little guy, for coming when you did!”

During the graduates’ picture-taking ceremonies, I was in my doctoral gown, minus the cap. It was propped on little Ezekiel’s head…the very youngest graduate ever (only kidding) at BCA!

Since 2018 marks the fortieth anniversary of the 70.3-mile Half-Ironman (swimming, bicycling & running) triathlon event, they added Davao City as their newest venue! This is my tenth time to join the race, & the words of BCA’s secretary Faith rang true: “For believers in Jesus, your greatest dreams can come true!”

My loving family was cheering boisterously as, after over eight hours (113 kilometers) of competing, I finally sprinted to use up my last ounce of adrenaline, the final half- kilometer toward the finish line. The announcer, among thousands of spectators, soldiers, scuba divers & policemen who had lined the entire route, had watched hundreds of totally-drained athletes trudge across the finish line ahead of me (official rules say we can run, walk or crawl), burst out with loud acclaim as he shouted into the microphone, “Looks like another Usain Bolt…only he is white!” (Bolt, who carries the 100-meter sprinting world record is from Jamaica).

Before the race, at 2:30am, our family prayed together & I asked them each for a verse to spur me on. Another friend had told me that there is one Biblical proverb she always thinks of when she sees racers go by: “The wicked run when nobody is chasing them…”

Yet a couple days later, Elvie & I were once again in our black gowns, watching our college students: some to receive their diplomas, & others to receive their pastoral church-intern assignments. I was thrilled that all in my class earned over 90% on their final grades! They also had come, all thirteen of them, to two of our church plants, to sing & give their personal testimonies of faith in Jesus. For these believers, some of “their greatest dreams have come true!” Abby also had sung an incredibly-inspiring rendition of “The Via Dolorosa”. To celebrate their good grades, Elvie, PJ, Abby & I treated the whole class to a scrumptious meal at our favorite barbecue (open-air) restaurant.

On his way to his music lessons, PJ noticed a very small, old, green, rusted Volkswagen beetle. It must have had tiny tires too, as it was incredibly dwarfed by the cars around it in the parking lot. “Hate to see that one when it hits a speed bump” quipped PJ. To which I responded, “That car IS a speed bump!” A few hours later we noticed a perfect replica of “Herbie the Love Bug” driving down the street. “See,” I mentioned to PJ, “That is the green speed bump’s grandbaby!”

During BCA’s graduation ceremonies, I challenged the graduates with 2 Timothy 4:7-8: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness… “Though sometimes life seems like we couldn’t even make it over a speed bump, we can just hold on until we catch that second-wind & make it to the finish line with flying colors!”

Exiting the race expo, where 1800 competitors from 39 countries had raced, a professional athlete from Italy was sitting on the curb & noticed me limping by. “That was an incredible finish,” he said. Wow. A compliment from a pro. Nothing is impossible for those who love the Lord.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

3/22/2018

St Patrick’s Day (Mar 17); First Day of Spring (Mar 21)

Please pray for Elvie’s ten-year American Residency Permit (green card) renewal. Although it does not expire until next February, I applied for the renewal early, in hopes that the “biometrics” (fingerprinting, etc.) would be scheduled for the time we are “stateside” in mid-June & July. Praise God that my own ten-year passport renewal just arrived a few days ago!
Praise God that a cheerful senior citizen in Nevada who has been sponsoring a BCA student for the past six years, just decided to sponsor a second child!

“How much is it worth?” While riding my bicycle 5 hours (98 kilometers) last week in preparation for next week’s Ironman triathlon, I went over a bump & one of my three water bottles burst open when it hit the pavement. Another cyclist picked it up for me, but an hour later I was parched with thirst.

So, I popped into a corner pharmacy to buy a refill. When I started pulling my bike into the store, the security guard quipped, “You can’t bring your dirty bike into our store!” I assured him I had to, as I did not want it to get stolen. He responded with, “Oh, nobody will steal your bike in this town.” Then he erased the assurance that he was trying to give me by inquiring, “By the way, how much is your bike worth?” Needless to say, I keep peeping my head around the corner to see if my bike was still there as I paid for my water!

The previous day at BCA, Teacher Hazel was also assuring her fourth-graders with, “It is a brand-new day. Another day to rejoice & praise God for His goodness.” However, the students were kind of sad. The school year will end in 2 weeks, & some of their classmates are transferring out of BCA due to job opportunities for their parents elsewhere.

During the morning chapel hour, the Bible message challenged the students to be “Instruments of God” to bless other people’s lives. After memorizing Romans 6:23, the students competed against other grades in a relay race where they raced to “bring the Gospel to foreign lands”. Then in their classrooms they challenged each other with heart-touching messages in how they can share Jesus wherever they live.

Hazel took pictures of the students to put on Facebook so that wherever they are, they can be remined that their 4th-grade buddies are still praying for them. As the kids held up their letters, Hazel was pleased to see that some had even included some of the lessons she had taught many months ago toward the beginning of the semester, even including the exact words she had said during that discussion! They hadn’t forgotten!

On Friday I had to be in three places at once, & thus was deeply dependent upon Elvie & PJ. The final exam for my college Economics class was scheduled by the administration for the very same hour as my Middle School Bible Class’s Weekly test & lesson. While Elvie took over to proctor the final, PJ assisted me during the 6th-graders’ test. That way I was able to leave early to catch-up the Middle School’s board meeting, in which I was tasked to chair the corporate Membership committee.

In fact, just less than a week earlier I also had a scheduling conflict, as I was to preach in two of our churches, back-to-back (with lunch & travel in-between) & also attend the college’s “Senior Formal Banquet” afterward. I preached on Sin & Sanctification, & the one decorating the church stage had creatively taken the letters “S-I-N” from the letters of “S-anctic-I-ficatio-N” This greatly assisted in focusing on how the one doctrine overcomes the other.

I was finishing-up the first of three points in my second message when my cell phone rang. I passed it to Elvie (who was faithfully in the front row) & she snuck out to answer the call. She returned a few minutes later to whisper to me the bad news: the banquet time was miss-scheduled & would be starting in an hour! And I still had two points left to go!

Well, I gave the entire message, still including the prayer of repentance, & we zipped out to change into our formal attire for the next occasion (I tied my tie at a red light in traffic). Since Filipino events rarely begin on time, we got there just in time for the faculty processional!

Encouraging others is a major part of being a Jesus-follower. PJ realizes this as he & Abby have been training the church kids for the upcoming Easter Musical which PJ wrote. Sunday morning after church he had asked the wife of the teacher for Young Kids’ Sunday School if she could ask him to train the church kids to perform a background number as part of the Easter performance. PJ suggested, “Richard could show the kids proper choreography in dancing the hymn!” Richard’s wife suddenly burst out laughing. “Richard dance? He couldn’t possibly do that! He has no rhythm!” Her husband, just behind her, smiled & aggressively nodded his head in agreement.

PJ & Abby however were able to reflect on their God-given gifts when Abby suggested that the four of us go to the park for a family picnic. We played games for a few hours & then before heading home after dark, stood in the spotlight before many parkgoers & sang an operatic Italian/English duet of “The Prayer”.

May we always be an encouragement to others. In this world of lost souls, who better to shine the light of Hope than followers of Jesus?

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

March 22 (Thursday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)

March 23 (Friday) PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class while Paul attends Community
Prayer Meeting (DCL)/ 3/23 Middle School Parent-teacher conferences

March 24 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting/ PJ directs Easter Musical Practice

March 25 (Sunday) Church/ 3/25: Paul competes in Davao’s 7-hour annual Ironman Triathlon

March 26 (Monday) Substitute teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class (Paul & PJ at BCA
graduation ceremonies)

March 27 (Tuesday) Substitute teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class (Paul & PJ at DABC
college baccalaureate/rehearsal/Bayanihan exercises)

March 28 (Wednesday) Substitute teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class (Paul & PJ at DABC
college graduation exercises)/ PrayerMeeting/ PJ directs Easter Musical Practice

4/1: 3am: Paul preaches Easter Message/ 5pm: PJ directs Easter Sunday Musical performance

4/2-27: My Middle School class temporarily divided to squeeze-in (for 6th graders) additional scholastic requirements

4/2-6 Vacation Bible School

4/10-5/25 BCA Summer School

4/20 Cousin Darling’s wedding in tribal mountain area.

4/29 Paul competes in the cross-channel swim in the 4-hour-long annual Durianman Triathlon

BCA has 420 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:

Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $7,250 Remaining: $17,750.

Present need: $940. For the past eight months, BCA has been receiving donations for all 600 BCA students to receive specially-made BCA backpacks filled with clothes, food, school supplies & toys. Each one cost $15. The total amount needed was $9,000. Many generously gave, & we received, altogether, $5,045. Praise God that recently, the combined total of new gifts from South Carolina & Pennsylvania brought that total to $8,060! Although all the expenses for this “BFF” project have been paid, lacking funds ($940) came from undesignated funds, which could be used for other purposes in the school (such as the food or bus program).

2018 Missions Team Visitors:

Now, through April NY- Tom & Vangie
Now, through May AZ- Trish/CO- Dave
Now, through June NY- PJ
April MX-Dean & team
May MX- Anita
May CA- Linda & team
September through May ’19 AZ- Trish
October AZ- Frank & team
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo

3/15/2018

Davao City Anniversary (3/16)

Please pray for Elvie to have no difficulty with her ten-year green card renewal, due this year.
Please also pray that the thief who stole 3 grown turkeys form our orphanage will bring them back. Also, that we will be able to find a dozen hearty rabbits to fill the five new pens which were built when Abby’s classmates visited.
Pray too for a church in Indiana which is considering having us visit to share a missions challenge with them after we send them information on our school/church/orphanage ministry.
Praise God that the two large boxes filled with an Encyclopedia Britannica set which was donated during our trip to Guam in January, just arrived!

Praise God also that for the past week after over 60 high schoolers came from Abby’s school to plant thousands of vegetables & papaya trees at our orphanage, it has rained nearly every day!

Praise God that I was able to file for my passport renewal when the Manila Embassy recently visited Davao. Now please pray that the new passport will arrive before our departure for the USA in mid-June.

Praise God also that a church in New York state sent a check for $545 to replace BCA’s 10-yr-old copier machine which had started putting obnoxious lines across the face of all our students’ exams.

“Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way…” PJ & Abby sang during the closing finale of the NCEMR CAMACOP 3-day annual regional pastor’s convention in Davao. 945 registered delegates, plus many of their family members, coming from dozens of Mindanao villages within a 500-mile radius, made up an audience of over a thousand religious leaders, blessed by our kids’ operatic rendition of The Prayer.

The invitation meant that Abby had to miss half a day of school, but when we explained the purpose for her absence, all her teachers were thrilled & agreed that she could participate.

I also am teaching a class at her school. My eighteen Bible Class students are presently memorizing the kings of the Old Testament. This week was one boy’s oral report of Israel’s King Pekah. “You have to be careful of who you trust,” he opinionated, “or they might stab you in the back, like Pekah’s officer Hoshea did!”

Meanwhile, the twelve students I teach at a local Bible College were preparing for their final exams. Since each student had given an oral presentation of his or her research paper, I included in the test some snippets from each of their term papers. “Suppose you were a pastor in the 50-member rural Bayugan church,” I challenged in the last page of the exam, “Develop a SWOT Analysis of the church’s financial status [Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats]”.

Even as PJ & Abby had challenged the 1000+ delegates to trust in God when things do not make sense, my students n both classes also were being taught to trust is God’s direction as we plan out how best to serve Him.

Then early on Saturday morning an hour before the sun was up, I prepared my bicycle for a forty-mile trek. Wouldn’t you know it, my tire was flat. So I prepared to pump it up, but to no avail. The pump didn’t work! So I put my bike away and accompanied my pillow for a few more hours.

When daylight arrived, I checked the pump and realized there was a tiny little button on the side of the pump’s nozzle which would switch it to my bike tube’s valve size. Oops! In the darkness, things may not be all so clear, but when we trust in God, who dwells in the light, He will, in the words of PJ & Abby’s song, “Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace, to a place where we’ll be safe!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

3/8/2018

Please pray for an end to the frequent military clashes with ISIS gunmen who are seeking a new Philippine base. Gunmen who escaped during the early days of the operation to recapture the Mindanao City of Marawi have led a series of fresh skirmishes with the security forces in Mindanao. They are now trying to set up a Southeast Asian caliphate in the same region, with a force of about 200. They consider our island of Mindanao as very fertile ground. Uprisings and massacres have recently flared up in Piagapo, Pantar & Pagayawan.
Praise God for PJ’s presence here in Davao for a half-year, to produce & direct musicals/plays in BCA & Faith International Academy. Since he has been teaching my classes during my absences, I have been freed-up to attend community prayer gatherings, Missionary societies’ board meetings, & even been able to train more for my upcoming Ironman triathlon to be held here in Davao later this month. Sometimes he even exercises with me during my practices!

“This was our attempt at getting extra credit for Bible class!” I was out for a week of teaching, since 60 high schoolers from Abby’s missionary school had taken the week off to present Bible clubs for 240 children in our ten churches on nearby Samal Island, and also to help in planting, painting, building & playing with the kids at our orphanage.

While I was away on the Island, PJ taught my class. I planned that my 6th and 7th grade students would watch movies (about the Old Testament kings) all week long. After class one day, a student asked PJ, “Can we make a movie for extra credit?” PJ assured them it would be fine. So half a dozen boys produced, overnight, an incredible movie (complete with orchestration) as a silent picture, based on the lives of Kings Omri, Elah & Zimri.

Meanwhile out on the Island, four of our BCA buses were working fine, however the one that we’d rented from a friend kept overheating on the hours-long ride. Since Abby was on that one, she informed us later of the heroic actions of their driver, Randy. When the bus overheated, Randy pulled to the side of the road to refill the radiator from jugs of water he’d prepared for ahead of time. Then, on their way down a mountain he had to stop when the front door fell off its hinges onto the highway! After that, the bus had only about 100 yards left to go, & they all had to get out & walk. What an adventure!

Meanwhile at BCA, Teacher Juvy had just returned to her second graders after being out sick with a cold. “Oh, let me be first!” cried out Krystl, as she poured out a flood of memories from the last three days of substitute teachers.

“I do not see Nichole,” interjected Teacher Juvy. “Is she still out sick?”

This time it was Nichole’s seatmate Erzy who responded. “Oh she is very sick with UTI [Urinary Tract Infection]. She was taken to the hospital this morning by her family. Will she die?”

Teaher Juvy assured her students that rarely does a person die from UTI. “But we should pray for her to get well, though, kids.”

This was a prompt, & Juvy was cheered when they took the bait. “Oh then,” replied Tristan, “Why not pray right now?” Of course this was just what Juvy wanted to hear, and she was overjoyed when every single hand in the room (except hers, of course) shot up to the sky, accompanied by, “Oh me, me, please, can I pray?” Juvy then had them all, one at a time, pray for their dear sick classmate Nichole. Then she taught them the parable of Jesus about the lost sheep.

At the end of the day, after so much excitement in teaching Math, English, Filipino, & also praying for others, Juvy noticed that her own sniffles had disappeared…

Since the school year for the Philippines is different from the USA, Abby’s school continues for a few months beyond BCA & DABC (the college where Elvie & I volunteer-teach). The students in my economics class at the Bile college were quite faithful. However, their term papers were all to be submitted and presented orally on the same day, and the next class will be their final exams. Could they get their papers done on time?
This past Friday I arrived to class after attending a community prayer meeting, & the students, one-by-one, presented before their classmates their PowerPoint presentations about the financial status of their churches & “Dream Churches”. One real rural church (in Baguio, Davao) had an annual income of only $16 for the entire year! Yet the dream church of the student had an income of one hundred times that much.
I was proud of my students yet concerned for their futures. Thus, on the final exam next week, I will place short-answer questions alongside the multiple-choice ones. These questions will be based on the findings of many of their classmates, with suggestions on how they can attain the goals they have set, through careful (corporate & personal) budgeting & also occupational improvement opportunities for the church members.
In the words of my sixth graders, the “extra credit” that my collegian grads will attain are healthy churches which can effectively serve the Lord!
Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

March 8 (Thursday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)/ Paul gives final
exam for college class.

March 9 (Friday) After Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists) Paul
attends Missionary School’s 4-hour board meeting.

March 10 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting/ Easter Musical Practice/ PJ directs Easter
Musical Practice

March 11 (Sunday) Church

March 12 (Monday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)

March 13 (Tuesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)/ 3/14-15: BCA
Achievement Testing

March 14 (Wednesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)/ Prayer
Meeting/ PJ directs Easter Musical Practice

3/17-18: BCA Graduation Ceremonies/ 3/23 Middle School Parent-teacher conferences/ 3/25: Paul competes in Davao’s 7-hour Ironman Triathlon/ 4/1: Easter Sunday Musical performance/ 4/20 Cousin Darling’s wedding in tribal mountain area./ 4/29 Paul competes in the cross-channel swim in the 4-hour-long Durianman triathlon

BCA has 420 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $7,150 Remaining: $17,850.

Present need: $1,137 for BCA Bus “C”: $38 for alternator labor, $33 for drive belt kit due to rattle noise in front & rear, $725 for new alternator assembly, $35 for drive belt, $78 for pulley drive belt idler, $98 for pulley drive belt, $168 for tensioner drive belt.
Paul: (63) (947) 955-4541/Global Magicjack # (518) 772-2359
Philippine cell phones: Elvie: (63) (946) 258-4259; (63) (926) 939-4357
Barner Christian Academy Landline: (63) (82) 234-4000
Barner Family’s Philippine home landline phone# 63 (82) 287-3806

2018 Missions Team Visitors:

Now, through April NY- Tom & Vangie
Now, through May AZ- Trish/CO- Dave
Now, through June NY- PJ
April MX-Dean & team
May MX- Anita
May CA- Linda & team
September through May ’19 AZ- Trish
October AZ- Frank & team
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo


Tentative plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (6/13-7/30): NY-PA-OH-IN-IL-AR-MO-IA-MI-NY (estimated 5,000 miles).

TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2018-2019:
FIA has several opportunities for people to serve during the 2018-2019 school year. Faith International Academy primarily serves families in ministry. For that reason, all of our teachers at Faith are full-time missionaries who are sent by a mission agency, and each one raises his/her own support. If you would like to learn more about our school (and to see a complete opportunities list), please check out our website at www.fia.edu.ph or email recruiting@fia.edu.ph. Some positions we are looking to fill for the 2018-2019 school year are: Secondary English Teachers (grades 6-12) Elementary Teachers Secondary Social Studies Teacher (grades 6-12; electives or AP) Secondary Bible Teacher (grades 6-12) Secondary World Languages Teacher (Spanish, French, German, etc; grades 9-12) PE Teacher ~~Miss Jenn Lindemuth, Principal

OUR ACTIVE MINISTRIES: Abby- Youth Group President, PJ- Easter Musical Director/Assist Paul in teaching at Middle School and College/ PJ & Abby- Church Music team/ Elvie- National Board of Trustees for CAMACOP, Principal at BCA, Sunday School teacher/ Paul- Senior Pastor at FAF church, Board Member & Professor at FIA Middle School, Spiritual Aims Chairman at Kiwanis Club, Vice President at DCL Prayer Foundation, President at BCA, Honorary Member- PI Eagles FOE, President of PMBMI, Half-Ironman Triathlete/ Paul & Elvie- Founders & Directors of 25 churches & FHF orphanage, Kiwanis members, DCLFI Community Prayer team members & vice president, Professors at DABC College, Board members at FAF church.

3/1/2018

Feast of Purim (2/28)

Please pray for the upcoming graduation exercises for our BCA kids. Commencement in March is immediately followed by Vacation Bible School & Summer School, both required for year-round BCA kids.

Please also pray for many of the BCA faculty & staff as they travel in the BCA bus three hours to the funeral of the 92-yr-old mom of one of the staff. They will also be performing the funeral, (singing, preaching, counselling) once they arrive.

Praise God for Abby’s 70 high school student schoolmates who have selflessly given their time & energy to help out with work at the orphanage this week.

As the world mourns the loss of 99-yr-old Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, may we pray that God sends a great leader such as he was to focus humanity on their need for salvation through Jesus Christ.

"Looks like a rodent problem to me…” Being Chinese New Year, many Filipino stores had dancers come in dressed as dragons or giant dogs, dropping shiny coins, throwing candy & banging unseen drums up & down the aisles. To me the huge creatures looked like radiative stretched-out rats, but…

Kids, shoppers & store clerks stopped stocking shelves, bagging groceries & poring over their goods long enough to watch the festivities pass by.

Then on Friday PJ taught my middle school Bible class while I attended a community Bible study. The passage was Revelation 14. “Two questions,” I interjected. “First, what happened to the Tribe of Dan in the list of 144,000? Second, it says there was a sealing of these souls. But in heaven there is no rain or sun, so why do they need a ceiling?” To which the reply was, “No sun nor rain, but it is where the Son reigns!”

On Saturday 70 from Abby’s high school came out to help our orphanage for a week. On Sunday the students split up in our BCA buses & performed in ten of the 25 churches we have planted. We combined a couple of the island churches so that there could be a workable number of students to perform dramas, teach crafts, preach, give testimonies & in many other ways run the one-time Bible clubs for these hundreds of children.

Zipping out to the orphanage, I piled our 14 kids & staff into the pickup truck along with their ukuleles to entertain the high schoolers. My Bible message was from Philippians 2:3-4 how, even as Jesus was self-less when he died for our sins, they likewise are acting self-lessly in helping others this week.

Each day the teams divided up, cleaning the shoreline of trash & also rebuilding & cleaning homes destroyed by the recent Davao floods. All eight teams alternating in coming out to the orphanage each day to plant papaya trees, dig through solid rock for our fish pond, plant the vegetable gardens, paint the kids’ cottages and bunk beds, and build rabbit pens.

“I am so sorry, Pastor Paul!” One of the taller students approached me from the “Papaya team”. They had been plating around the perimeter of the 5-acre orphanage property, but hit a snag. “I think I hit your water main!” Sure enough, walking across the property to their last hole dug, a puddle of water had already gathered. Fortunately, the house parent for our boys is a handyman & was able to splice the plastic connection until a more permanent fix could be performed.

God has provided just what we needed, as always. Whether fighting giant rodent-dragons in the shopping malls, or tackling thousands of man-hours lacking for labor at our orphanage, God has always provided self-less brother & sisters in Christ to take up the slack.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

March 1 (Thursday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)

March 2 (Friday) PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class while Paul is at
Community Prayer Meeting (DCL)/ Paul teaches College class (PJ
assists)

March 3 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting/ Easter Musical Practice/ PJ directs Easter
Musical Practice

March 4 (Sunday) Church/ College Senior class welcoming (Formal)

March 5 (Monday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)/Elvie teaches
college class

March 6 (Tuesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)

March 7 (Wednesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)/ Prayer
Meeting/ PJ directs Easter Musical Practice

3/14-15: BCA Achievement Testing/ 3/17-18: BCA Graduation Ceremonies/ 3/25: Paul competes in Davao’s 7-hour Ironman Triathlon/ 4/1: Easter Sunday Musical performance/ Paul competes in the cross-channel swim

BCA has 420 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $7,100 Remaining: $17,900.

Present need: $1,588 for BCA’s Bus “M”- $33 for 2 Tail Lights, $710 for 4 Tires 700y15lug Tungal, $143 for N150l Battery, $350 for 2 more Batteries N70l350mf, $5 for 1 Quart Brake Fluid, $2 for Rubber Cup, $13 for Clutch Lining, $33 for Replace Clutch Plate, $60 for Overhaul Radiator, Hackery & Flat Bar For Brackett, $96 for Bus Registration Renewal, $75 for Clutch Disc (4bc2), $45 for 2 Gallons Oil, $23 for Oil Filter.

2/22/2018

Happy Chinese New Year (2/16), Philippine “People Power” Day 2/25

NOTE: 2017 Tax deductible receipts are in the mail. If you need yours sooner, please email me regarding your need & I will send your copy to the address from which you have instructed. Thanks!

Please pray: (as you stay on your knees, we’ll stay on our feet!)

Please pray for PJ this next week. As I am away seven days on nearby Samal Island supervising the work teams volunteering at our orphanage, PJ will be back on the mainland teaching my class by showing movies about the Old Testament kings. Also, please pray for the work teams as they evangelize 240 kids in Samal communities with Bible Clubs.

Praise God that the parents of one of PJ’s former high school classmates donated to him a beautiful mandolin (which he has been constantly playing, along with his sister playing ukulele, ever since…he catches on fast).

"Kiddos, raise your hand if you are awake.”

All hands shot up in Teacher Rea’s Kindergarten class, except one. “Elinor, you did not raise your hand. Are you sleeping?” To which Elinor’s cherubic smile reflected her response, “Nope, just daydreaming.”

This was just the response that their instructress was waiting for. “So, it is possible to dream without sleeping. Yet when does dreaming usually occur?”

There was no need for raising of hands. Collectively the class responded, “Nighttime!”

The students’’ next assignment, after crayons were distributed with papers, was to draw the moon & the stars in the sky to represent nighttime & the sun for the daytime. Kids love to draw so she let them draw things that they can see in day & nighttime.

A few days later, after training in numbers 1-100 & capital letters A-Z, Teacher Rea leaped back to their previous study, to check on her students’ retention. “Kiddos, when do we parilla?” Knowing that this is the word for “grill,” Elinor raised her hand. Teacher Rea, we grill & cook in the daytime!”

Rea was elated & distributed a worksheet for them to bring home as homework to study for their upcoming test, stating, “Awesome work, Elinor. So, I guess you were not really sleeping during your daydream after all!”

My students at the middle school also were wide awake, during my Bible class on Valentine’s Day. “What did the prophet Elijah wear when Queen Jezebel was seeking him out to kill him?” The little guy in back called out, “Gucci underwear!” Well, no. It was a garment of hair with a leather belt. I’d next planned to finish our lesson 20 minutes early to have a fun activity.

Distributing sweet Mento candies, envelopes & blank papers, I had the students each choose a king to make a valentine for his wife. Girls could also make them from queens to kings, & a selected student was Cupid, the Mailman.

After he distributed the valentines to other recipients around the room, each read his/her card. One from King Solomon stated, “Dear wife #362, I do not know your name, but please be blessed by knowing that you are married to the most handsome man in the kingdom!”

A front-row student was anything but sleeping as she laughed so hard that she sat on the floor for the next minute until she got the giggles out of her system!

A few days previous, as I spoke in chapel, a black-haired first grader came in on the praise song a tad earlier than everyone else, ending up with a mini-solo. She covered her face & giggled for the next five minutes.

So Teacher Rea, if you had been there at both meetings, you’d likely have told your kindergarteners, “I guess you can tell if a person is awake or asleep if he or she stops laughing!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

February 22 (Thursday)PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class/ Paul helps at Samal orphanage

2/21-23: BCA 4th Periodical exams

February 23 (Friday) PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class/ Paul helps at
Samal orphanage

February 24 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting/ Easter Musical Practice

February 25 (Sunday) Church/ Paul & Elvie preach & teach at three different churches

February 26 (Monday) Paul & PJ attend staff “inservice” at Middle School/ Elvie teaches
college class

February 27 (Tuesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)

February 28 (Wednesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class (PJ assists)/ Prayer
Meeting/ PJ directs Easter Musical Practice

3/14-15: BCA Achievement Testing/

3/17-18: BCA Graduation Ceremonies/

3/25: Paul competes in Davao’s 7-hour Ironman Triathlon/

4/1: Easter Sunday Musical performance

BCA has 420 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $7,050 Remaining: $17,950.

Present need: $152 for BCA’s Bus “Fo”: $88 for hydrovac set with master, $22 for air cleaner assembly, $19 for spark plug set, $23 for 1 gallon engine oil.

2/15/2018

USA President’s Day (2/19)

NOTE: 2017 Tax deductible receipts are in the mail. If you need yours sooner, please email me regarding your need & I will send your copy to the address from which you have instructed. Thanks!

Please pray: (as you stay on your knees, we’ll stay on our feet!)

Please pray for safety in the next few days. President Duterte has cancelled school classes around the nation, due to Valentine’s Day “Typhoon Basyang”

Also, please pray for many unemployed OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers). After a Filipino maid was found dead and frozen in a Kuwait freezer, President Duterte demanded that all 10,000 Filipinos working in that country be returned to their homeland.

Praise God that the twelve residents in our orphanage were able to dry out 1400 papaya seeds for the upcoming work-week when the seeds will be planted (by a high school team) around the perimeter of the property.

Praise God as well that the church congregation (especially the youth group) are very excited about the upcoming Easter musical. PJ leads practices every Wednesday and Sat/Sunday. His energy, expertise and excitement are contagious!

Praise God for our son PJ who was our guest preacher during our combined worship service, celebrating the church’s 21-year anniversary. Being Valentine’s week, his topic was, “The Virtues of God’s Love.”

Praise God that last Saturday, during my 5-hour early morning bicycle trip, when a motorcycle cut across three lanes of traffic to cross right in front of my lane, we both swerved at the last minute & avoided a collision.

"Slob Gobbles!”

In my attempt to share the Good News with everyone possible, I often will thank those serving (with store cashiers, security guards, etc) with the Filipino “thank you” which is “Salamat,” followed by “God Bless!” The only challenge is, sometimes I am in such a hurry that the three words (Salamat, God bless) sound like “Slobgobbles!”

BCA’s Teacher Hazel was also training her 4th graders to express their thankfulness to others. “What are you thankful for?” she inquired. Followed by, “What would you be thankful to have, that you do not yet own?” The response then came fast & furious. “A cell phone! A bike to ride through the park! An encyclopedia set to learn more about Science!” She then had them write poems to express their desires.

A bike, a bike, a bike, a bike…
With family I could take a hike,
But with a bike we’d pass the dike,
With Mom & Dad & Mark & Mike,
What I’d like is to ride a bike!

Teacher Hazel was praying that the hot & humid weather would cool down, since she was covering two classes. The fifth-grade teacher had been sick & she had a very crowded, sweltering classroom with a hardly-functioning air conditioner. Then, just two days later, two of BCA’s handymen came in to remove the last tiny source of coolness that they had left.

“Be thankful, class, that when our ten-year-old air conditioner comes back from the shop, it may be working better thank it has in the past. But until then, get out your fans and start pumping!” Glancing up at the hole in the wall left behind by the now-removed unit, Hazel wondered how she could bear the wait. Then Junjun, one of the fifth graders gasped, “Teacher Hazel, look!” Sure enough, the workers carried in a large box, & when they unwrapped it, out came a brand-new replacement unit! “YES! Thank you, Jesus!” exclaimed Hazel. “You heard the prayers of your children! You saved our tears & felt out sweat as well! Our suffering has ended. Students, name a sentence that has both the soft and hard C sounds…” She then had them read the words as she jotted them on the chalkboard…”Celebrate COOL!”

On Thursday I was guest speaker at the elementary chapel of the school where I teach 6th & 7th graders. Speaking on Christ’s challenge to His disciples to trust in Him, we read how He instructed them to try again after fishing all night without any catch. “Be thankful even before God provides, knowing that He always will take care of us!”
Then, the next evening was the Valentine Banquet at the college where Elvie & I teach. I was also their guest speaker. During the events of the evening, a “fashion” competition hosted costumes worn by various tribes. I had to laugh however, as the title was “Missionary Attire” and was preceded by a large kettle being brought out with rice for the soon-to-follow dinner. “Guess we are the main course,” I chided PJ. “The kettle is our “missionary attire”!
Fortunately, the kettle was filled with rice. “Slobgobbles!”
Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

February 15 (Thursday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class

February 16 (Friday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class/ board mtg for local
Christian school/ Community Prayer Meeting (DCL)

February 17 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting/ Easter Musical Practice/ Paul leaves for a
week at BCA’s Samal Island Orphanage to help the High School work team

February 18 (Sunday) Church/ Paul helps at Samal orphanage

February 19 (Monday) PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class/ Elvie teaches college
class/ Paul helps at Samal orphanage

February 20 (Tuesday) PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class/ Paul helps at
Samal orphanage

February 21 (Wednesday) PJ teaches Paul’s middle school Bible class/ Paul helps at
Samal orphanage/ Prayer Meeting/ PJ directs Easter Musical Practice/

3/21-23: BCA 4th Periodical exams

3/14-15: BCA Achievement Testing/ 3/17-18: BCA Graduation Ceremonies/

3/25: Paul competes in Davao’s 7-hour Ironman Triathlon/

4/1: Easter Sunday Musical performance

BCA has 420 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $7,000 Remaining: $18,000.

Present need: $292 for BCA’s Bus “L”: $2 for fixing flat tire, $75 for repairing & welding body, $58 for materials for repairing the seats, $98 for bus registration renewal, $9 for silicon, $3 for gasket cement, $20 for oil pan gasket #700, $7 for crank case gasket, $2 for fuses, $5 for brake fluid, $15 for machining of spindle arm.

2018 Missions Team Visitors:
Now, through March CO- Dave
Now, through April NY- Tom & Vangie
Now, through May AZ- Trish
Now, through June NY- PJ
March Davao- FIA students
May CA- Linda & team
October AZ- Frank & team

Mission Opportunity: Faith International Academy of Davao City (FIA) is seeking an energetic and dedicated head of school who desires to serve the Lord & missionary families in international, Christian education. The diverse FIA community includes families from over 15 countries serving in a variety of ministries & businesses. The head of school reports to the school board & is responsible to follow board policy. The head of school leads the entire staff, both expatriate & local, & is responsible for all operations & academics in collaboration with school leadership. The head of school should have the appropriate background in education & administration with an appreciation & understanding of cross-cultural ministry & Christian education. Please note: All FIA ex-patriate staff members are prayerfully & financially supported through various Christian mission agencies or are self-funded; they do not receive a stipend/salary. If you are interested in this position, please contact recruiting@fia.edu.ph

1/25/2018

Martin Luther King Day (USA) 1/15

Please pray for PJ as he builds excitement among the church congregation for our annual Easter Musical which he is directing. Dave, a missionary from Colorado, will assist him in laying-out the plans, set, lighting, music, etc.

Please also pray residents of Albay, Philippines (about 500 miles from us). The nearby Mayon Volcano spewed a 10km-high ash column into the sky, followed by molten lava cascading down the mountainside, swallowing all in its path. Over 27,000 people have already fled for evacuation. Christian disaster response teams have distributed 7,000 face masks & food packs in evacuation centers.

Praise God that members of the local Eagles Civic Club stopped by our orphanage to ask about helping teach our children how best to raise their animals.

Praise God that four large shipping boxes arrived from the USA this past week, replacing some of the 600 stuffed animals that we gave to needy children over the Christmas celebrations.

Praise God that I completed eleven of my fourteen goals from last year (78% C+) To see last year’s & this year’s goals, please scroll down to the end of this email (18 goals for 2018).
Praise God a swell that this past week strong twin goats, a male and a female, were born at our orphanage/farm.

Praise God also for the visit last year of friends from Massachusetts. While they were here in Davao, they were interviewed on television. Here is a link to that show:
http://cbnasia.org/mediacenter/2018/01/16/kilig-me-softly/ Bernice’s “spot” was about 24-26 minutes into the program. Also, they were interviewed for a magazine upon their return to the USA: http://www.cmalliance.org/news/2017/10/26/hope-and-healing-for-the-harvest-in-the-philippines/Cbn
"Hmm, I don’t remember anything soft and furry in my purse?” After Elvie reached to get her wallet at the grocery store, a mouse leaped out of her purse and skittered across the floor. A few days later when I preached at our jungle church with good friend Dr. Tom, I remembered Elvie’s ordeal & whispered, “Be careful where you place your bag, as critters might sneak into it!”

God has placed lots of surprises along our pathway in this life. As BCA’s Teacher Diana explained to her third graders, “Be Thankful to God in all that you do.” Just that morning her co-teacher Neil (5th grade) was on the schooled as Bible devotional speaker for staff chapel. “Problems are just species of life” Neil had said, “whether things go smoothly or rough, be thankful, for God is in control. Besides that, variety keeps life from being boring!”

Diana had the opportunity of practicing this thankfulness after lunch when the class was to count their savings (they were saving up from their spare centavos, to plan a party later in the year). But the can was empty! Somebody had stolen the class savings! “Class, I need to check all of your bags.” Still, nothing showed up. No money, no party. “What did we learn today? In everything, be what?” Pouting & moping with their heads held low, the class responded, “be thankful.”

Meanwhile I (Paul) was teaching my Bible class at the middle school downtown & I asked the students, “God had the soldiers dig ditches for Him to fill them up with water. But where did the army get the shovels? Why would King Joram’s soldiers have brought shovels into the battlefield?”

They came up with some good answers. “To dig foxholes to avoid flying arrows!” suggested one insightful boy. “To go to the bathroom” spouted another. Then, at the back of the class, an answer came which I hadn’t even considered, from a young female student. “They could use the shovels to hit the enemy with!” Yup, it makes sense. When things are not going well while you dig ditches, being thankful for the Lord’s provision, haul out that shovel & bop the enemy over the head!

I then rushed over to the Bible college to teach economics. Elvie & I both prepare a little something for the students, since college students are always hungry. I’d made triple chocolate & peanut brownies & even brought a few bottles of Coke to wash them down with. My “teacher’s table” is not very large, & when I shifted my laptop computer, the plastic bottles of Coke fell onto the floor & rolled around a bit.

At “halftime” in our 3-hour class, I asked two of the male students to open the Coke, forgetting that they had been thoroughly “shaken up”. Like champagne bottles, the Coke in both bottles spurted up & doused half of the class. “Oops, sorry. I forgot about my mini-earthquake earlier!”

Yet the fireworks had yet to strike, & waited until I got back home. Secure as a family, the four of us sat around the dinner table & I decided to add some after-Christmas spirit by plugging in the Christmas tree lights. I got more than I bargained on, for a mouse had chewed through half the cord. When I plugged in the lights, a loud “POP” shot sparks out from the wall. Yup, be thankful in everything, even when the furry little guys get hungry for plastic cords!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

January 25 (Thursday) Abby, Elvie & PJ in Manila at Abby’s ISAC basketball tournament/ Paul teaches middle school Bible class

January 26 (Friday) Abby, Elvie & PJ in Manila at Abby’s ISAC basketball tournament/ Paul teaches twice: middle school & college Bible classes

January 27 (Saturday) Abby, Elvie & PJ in Manila at Abby’s ISAC basketball tournament/ Kiwanis Club Meeting

January 28 (Sunday) PJ, Abby & Elvie return from Abby’s basketball tourney in Manila.

January 29 (Monday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class & Elvie teaches college class

January 30 (Tuesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class

January 31 (Wednesday) Paul teaches middle school Bible class/ Prayer Meeting

FebruarY: 2/1: Paul speaks at Eagles Club Anniversary/ 2/4: Church Board Meeting/ 2/8: Paul speaks at elementary school chapel/ 2/8: Midterm exams for Elvie & Paul’s college students/ 2/9: board mtg for local Christian school/ 2/9: Paul speaks for college’s evening chapel/ 2/11: PJ speaks at Combined Church Foundation Day/ 2/14: Valentine’s Day/BCA Tchr & Staff Appreciation Day/ 2/18-24: local Christian School sends 70 to Samal for One-day Bible clubs & a week of working at our orphanage/ 2/21-23: BCA 4th Periodical exams/ 3/14-15: BCA Achievement Testing/ 3/17-18: BCA Graduation Ceremonies

BCA has 426 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $6,850 Remaining: $18,150.

Present need: $1,186 for BCA’s Bus “C”: $480 for 2 two Yokohama 265/65-R17 tires, $84 to replace front shock absorbers, both sides, with shock mounts, shock lower bushings & seat spring isolator, $62 for 2 mount asm-frt s/absorber, $4 for 2 lower bushings, $96 for 2 spring seat isolators, $230 for absorber asm-frt shk, $230 for absorber asm-frt shk (incls black).

Missions Team Visitors:
Now, through March CO- Dave
Now, through April NY- Tom & Vangie
Now, through May AZ- Trish
Now, through June NY- PJ
March Davao- FIA students
May CA- Linda & team
October AZ- Frank & team

Paul’s Eighteen 2018 goals: 1: Complete Davao Ironman triathlon race (#10!), 2: Turn 57, 3: Make list of goals for 2018, 4: Develop BCA Tribal Foundation, 5: Read thru the Bible 3x cover-to-cover, 6: Help PJ prepare to direct Easter musical, 7: Teach courses at both DABC & FIA, 8: Reach 160 pounds (or lower), 9: Read 18 books in 2018 (at least), 10: Help open new Communal church plant, 11: Dig FHF fishpond to 3 feet (at least) through limestone and rock, 12: Pay-off pickup truck, 13: Swim at least 100 km, 14: Bike at least 2000 km, 15: Sleep at least 8 hours (per night) for ten days, 16: Share Gospel 50x, 17: Bring blood pressure lower than 130/90 at least once, 18: Recite 100 Bible verses in one sitting.

Paul’s Fourteen 2017 goals: (11 OF 14= 78% C+) 1. (YES) Turn 56, 2: (YES) Make list of 2017 goals, 3: (NO) Read Bible cover-to-cover 4x (Total 70 in lifetime), 4: (YES) JOURNAL A: keep daily log of achievement in hitting 129 pounds at least once, and averaging 150 pounds each day (presently 168), 5: (YES) JOURNAL B: keep daily log of achievement in memorizing 200 Cebuano-language words, 6: (YES) JOURNAL C: keep daily log of achievement in attempting “Phase One” in “portioning” a weekly Sabbath- one day a week, spend one hour in Bible-reading & prayer, 7: (YES) JOURNAL D: keep daily log of achievement in swimming/cycling on at least 25% of the days of the year (92 days), 8: (YES) JOURNAL E: keep daily log of achievement in having “Morning Prayer Time” on at least 75% of the days of the year (274 days), 9: (YES) JOURNAL F: keep daily log of achievement in practicing my French horn at least 25% of the days of the year (92 days), 10: (NO) Re-reach 500 sponsors for BCA sponsored students’ education (presently 417), 11: (NO) Build first two buildings of BCA’s new “Mountain Outreach” campus, 12: (YES) Replace damaged laptop computer before this one stops working (parts keep falling off), 13: (YES) Clean my office at BCA, 14: (YES) Speak in at least ten churches on furlough in June/July, 2017.

1/11/2018

2017 Christmas Goal: $9,000 for “BFF- Backpacks for Filipinos” at $15 each x 600 students (both those 425 who have sponsors & those 175 on the waiting list). $5,000 given so far (333 backpacks) & $4,000 left to go…

Please pray for the middle school students to whom I am just now beginning to teach Old Testament at Faith International Academy.

Praise God that our family was able to visit four churches while in Guam. The people were delightful & truly brothers & sisters in Christ, praying for God’s work in the Philippines.

Also praise Gdo for Chrystal, a college-age

"Chex, here is your exam.” Teacher Rose’s first grader had to take his exam while his classmates were milling around, making noise. Chex had been absent on the day of the test, so he took a makeup test. As he mulled over the answers, Rose led the rest of the students in their devotional.

“We need to get into shape, kids. A good way to do that is to look at the word SHAPE: We as individuals have S-Spiritual gifts, H-Heart, A- Ability, P-Personality, E-Experiences & we have to offer up our SHAPE to be used by God for His ministry & for His glory & honor.”

About twenty minutes later, Chex was done with his test. Rose quickly glanced at his paper & immediately brought the paper to the class’s attention. “While we were making noise, Chex was working on his paper. I think he must have been following our lesson, for he has a grade on the top of his paper in the shape of a big red-letter A: for Ability!”

The class then had the chance to try & catch-up with Chex’s adroitness. One-by-one, they came to the front of the classroom to read their exercises in English & Filipino. Most were expert readers.

That evening after the students rode the BCA buses back to their families, Rose joined the other teachers, riding in the back of our pickup truck to our home, a few miles away. While feasting on Coke & pizza, we watched the Christian movie “War Room”.

The story told of a family who nearly was broken & about an old widow woman who introduced Jesus into the life of the young wife. It is all about how prayer conquers the giants in life.

“Lord,” thought Rose in prayer, “Please inspire me to really work on my prayer life to have a relationship with Jesus closer than anybody...so that even my students will notice the change!”

The next day in class, Chex came into class with a big smile on his face. “Teacher Rose, I showed my parents my perfect paper & they were very happy! I told them the A was for Ability. Thanks for praying that I would do well!” Rose silently prayed, “Thanks, God. this will give me more incentive to pray every day in my husband’s & my new WAR ROOM!”

While the teachers & staff were already back in classes after the new year began, it was to be two more days before our family returned from Guam. We were there to pick up our New York son PJ & also for Elvie to renew her American visa. Since the place we were staying in had a small pool on the fifth-floor rooftop, I decided to join PJ for a swim, to help prepare for the Ironman triathlon I’ll be competing in this March.

After half an hour in the pool, I could not find my eyeglasses. PJ noticed that the wind had blown them over the side of the roof, & they were precariously balanced on a narrow fourth-story-high ledge along the edge of the building.

“Guess I should go get them,” PJ suggested, “since you can’t see to get them, without them being on your face.” He then crawled over the railing & glanced down at the cars way below. Pulling him back up, I was awfully glad that our spiritual “War Room” had been visited frequently. God answered prayer & kept him safe.
Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

January 11 (Thursday) Attend “Child Safety” class at FIA School

January 12 (Friday) Paul teaches college class

January 13 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting/ BCA Parent-teacher conferences

January 14 (Sunday) I Speak at 2 churches (2nd is a new church plant)

January 15 (Monday) Paul teaches middle school class & Elvie teaches college class

January 17 (Wednesday) Prayer Meeting/ (1/17-19) BCA summative exams

2/14 Valentine’s Day/BCA Tchr & Staff Appreciation Day/

2/21-23 BCA 4th Periodical exams/

2/9 board mtg for local Christian school/

3/14-15 BCA Achievement Testing/

3/17-18 BCA Graduation Ceremonies

BCA has 426 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $6,750 Remaining: $18,250.

Present need: $1,366 for BCA school buses’ fuel consumption for September & October: Bus “L”: $208; Bus “Ph”: $91; Bus “M”: $454; Bus “N”: $261; Bus “T”: $123; Bus “C”: $229
Paul: (63) (947) 955-4541/Global Magicjack # (518) 772-2359
Philippine cell phones: Elvie: (63) (946) 258-4259; (63) (926) 939-4357
Barner Christian Academy Landline: (63) (82) 234-4000
Barner Family’s Philippine home landline phone# 63 (82) 287-3806

Missions Team Visitors:
Now, through March CO- Dave
Now, through April NY- Tom & Vangie
Now, through May AZ- Trish
Now, through June NY- PJ
March UT- Don & construction crew
May CA- Linda & team

Tentative plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (6/13-7/30): NY-PA-OH-IN-IL-AR-TX-MO-IA-MI-NY (estimated 6,000 miles).

1/4/2018

Happy New Year, 2018! (1/1)

2017 Christmas Goal: $9,000 for “BFF- Backpacks for Filipinos” at $15 each x 600 students (both those 425 who have sponsors & those 175 on the waiting list). $4,945 given so far (329 backpacks) & $4,085 left to go…

Please pray for PJ as he directs our Easter musical. Using the skills which he has developed over the past two years in NYC performances (West Side Story & In the Heights), he will train Filipino young people in focusing many toward the true meaning behind Christ’s life, death & resurrection.

Praise God that, even though Christmas is already over & all 600 BCA students received backpacks, donors continue to give to pay for these gifts, since we only raised enough funds before the gift-giveaways for a little over half of the (full) backpacks.

Also praise God that I (Paul) was given the opportunity of sharing a New Year’s Eve message & missions challenge at a local church in Guam during our visit, as well as visiting & worshipping with two other churches.

"There is a COW in the middle of the ROAD…& he is NOT budging!”

I was in a great hurry with many errands to make, yet when I turned the corner in my pickup truck I had to swerve to avoid hitting a large cow who refused to move. He just sat there, as if to say, “I dare you to run over me. I am too big. You will have to go around me.”

Often here in the Philippines, we have chickens & cats & large rats in the way as we drive. Even dogs will be sunning themselves on the cement & when they see our car coming, will slowly, if at all, mosey around to getting up & off the road as if to say, “Well, I suppose I may humor you by letting you pass by me...”

Sometimes stubborn objects, animals, & even people, are just where you do not want them, when you don’t want them. But then, there are others who are “true blue” & always faithful…they are there when you need them. One such person has always been MJ.

Before graduating from FIA (Davao’s school for missionary kids) about 8 years ago or so, she was often on stage for chapels, talent show accompaniment & even recitals with her exceptional piano abilities.

Then she graduated. Though busy with church & work, she still brought her incredibly contagious smile onto the campus to help out. Then, just six months ago, God blessed her in her marriage with a handsome fellow church member.

Working overtime just before Christmas, MJ was answering phone calls at a 24-hour call center in the top floor of NCCC, a local mall in Davao. Somehow a fire started on the floor just below her in the furniture department. Nearly forty workers smelled the smoke & felt the heat, but since there were no fire escapes on the top floor, they were all incinerated.

Texting their families & friends, the victims detailed their final moments as they dampened available fabric to place over their blistering faces. But then, even the water was boiling & they knew they were about to meet their Maker. So, they texted their goodbyes to loved ones down on the street below. MJ also texted her newlywed husband, “Goodbye, I love you!” Hours later, according to Presidential Assistant Bong Go (his real name) the remains of the top two floors crashed down upon those below it. Firemen continued to battle the blaze even into Christmas eve, over 24 hours later. On the 26th, Abigail & a few other close former schoolmates of MJ put together a memorial video for the family.

Other calamities have also hit Davao over the holiday season. Two other fires left over 160 families homeless, while Typhoons Urduja & Vinta brought severe flooding, which left families stranded on their rooftops while surging rivers of muddy water coursed over and past their rain gutters.

On the morning that the fire hit NCCC, I cooked eggs for Elvie & Abigail. After removing the pan from the burner, I must have nudged the dial, for ten hours later when we came back home from a very busy day, the flame on our gas stove was still burning. Praise God that our own home did not go up in flames! That evening I received emails from friends in Mexico, New York & Missouri telling me that they were praying for our family’s safety! Wow, our God is so incredible to have touched their hearts to pray when even we did not know what danger was lurking right there in our midst!

Our faithful Lord also directed us on our flight to Guam. The plane had been delayed a few hours and as a result many were concerned they would miss their connecting flights. When we arrived in Manila, a huffy, swearing businessman in a dark suit refused to wait for the shuttle bus to the terminal, & decided to walk instead. As Elvie, Abby & I took the shuttle, we kept asking directions (over five times) & kept getting lost trying to find our way. Yet we had to laugh when we asked two security guards, “Which way to the international gate for Guam?” Both pointed opposite directions! Then the second decided to change his mind & point the other way.

Finally arriving at the security check machine, the huffy business man was still there, putting his jacket back on. After removing my shoes & taking the laptop out of its bag, I ran down the hall in sock feet with my laptop under my arm. “Honey,” called Elvie, “You forgot your laptop bag!” Backtracking, I picked it up & slid down the tiled hallway to our gate, where they had kept the plane waiting for us! Oh yeah!

We will miss beautiful MJ & her incredibly talented piano abilities. While some people, like the huffy businessman & the “sunning cow” stubbornly make life miserable, in contrast, MJ blessed everyone she met, so that the world is a better place because she was here.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week’s Calendar:

January 4 (Thursday) Barner family flies back to Davao, from Guam

January 5 (Friday) PJ begins directing team for Easter musical

January 6 (Saturday) Kiwanis Club Meeting

January 7 (Sunday) Church: Paul speaks (Switching time of Sunday School & Worship at
church so that families with small children do not get hungry) / Afternoon: First worship service in our brand-new church plant in Communal (Paul speaks).

January 8 (Monday) Paul begins teaching Middle-School Old Testament at Faith
International Academy/ Elvie teaches college class in Church Management at Davao Alliance Bible College

January 10 (Wednesday) Prayer Meeting

1/13 BCA Parent-teacher conferences/

1/17-19 BCA summative exams/

2/14 Valentine’s Day/BCA Tchr & Staff Appreciation Day/

2/21-23 BCA 4th Periodical exams/

2/9 board mtg for local Christian school/

3/14-15 BCA Achievement Testing/

3/17-18 BCA Graduation Ceremonies

BCA has 426 sponsored students. As God sends new sponsors, we will add more out-of-school children to the sponsorship program.

BCA’S New Campus Fund (Phases B, C & D): Present Goal $87,000:
Phase B: Administration Bld. /Temporary Classrooms/Multipurpose Wing-East:
Need: $37,000 Raised: $37,000 Remaining: $0 Awaiting Government Survey of new (previously agricultural) campus, which may take as long as three years.
Phase C: Classrooms Phase One (First Floor South Preschool Wing/Cafeteria)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $25,000! Remaining: $0.
Phase D: Classrooms Phase Two (First Floor Elementary Wing-West/Library)
Need: $25,000 Raised: $6,700 Remaining: $18,300.

Present need: $144 for now-homeless fire victims: $100 for two 50kg sacks of “7 toner” rice, $25 for 100 cans of sardines, $16 for 100 packets of ramen noodle soup, & $3 for 200 plastic bags.
Paul: (63) (947) 955-4541/Global Magicjack # (518) 772-2359
Philippine cell phones: Elvie: (63) (946) 258-4259; (63) (926) 939-4357
Barner Christian Academy Landline: (63) (82) 234-4000
Barner Family’s Philippine home landline phone# 63 (82) 287-3806

Missions Team Visitors:
Now, through March, ’18 CO- Dave
Now, through April '18 NY- Tom & Vangie
Now, through May ’18 AZ- Trish
Now, through June '18 NY- PJ
May ‘18 CA- Linda & team

Tentative plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (6/13-7/30): NY-PA-OH-IN-IL-AR-TX-MO-IA-MI-NY (estimated 6,000 miles).


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Last edited May 26, 2018
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