Barner Christian Academy

The Latest News

9/27/2018

Feast of Tabernacles (9/27-29)

STATUS OF 2018 BCA “CHRISTMAS SHOES” PROJECT: Of the $7,500 needed for 500 pair of shoes (with accompanying restaurant lunch visit & BCA printed t-shirt): NEEDED: 7,500 by 12/25. Received: $0.

Donate your laptop- Are you upgrading your laptop computer & wondering what you will do with your old one? BCA has been directed by the DepEd (Department of Education) to build a new computer lab with units for all the 6th graders. We need 16 computers. If you do send us your computer, please use this address: Ginger Bruce 5 Eileen Drive Rensselaer, NY 12144. BCA will send you an in-kind receipt to which you will insert the fair market value of your donation. Thank you!

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month. A few sponsors have requested online communications instead of normal mail. If this applies to you, please inform BCA (via email) at blcKids@yahoo.com.

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

Please pray for the completion of the water tower & septic/ cement foundations of two cottages at our orphanage before the American missions team from Arizona arrives on October 1.

Also please pray for Elvie, as her right arm has been very numb lately & it is challenging to carry anything on that side of her body. Plus, her is saving up her spare funds to replace her car which was destroyed in the devastating flood in May of this year.

Praise God that after Manny, president of DCL (the weekly community prayer meeting I’ve attended for the past 20 years) had a stroke & moved away from Davao, the members continued on with me as acting president. We are focusing on directed prayer for both global evangelism & also the specific ministries which each of us have been called to.

“The typhoon is coming!” Warnings invaded radio, tv & internet about Typhoon Mangkhut’s soon arrival. On the same day of Mangkhut’s arrival in Asia, her little sister Hurricane Florence was hitting North Carolina in the Western Hemisphere with 90 mph winds.

Storms hit the northern tip of the 7,107-island Philippine archipelago & plastered the entire country with heavy wind & rain. In the western Pacific, typhoons generally hit with much higher winds than on the other side of the planet, & the people who live in the way of these storms are often poorer & more vulnerable. Hence, the dozens of deaths due to landslides, after the forests had been cleared previously by loggers.

Top-of-the-scale Category 5 winds of 165 mph began to increase even further as the day wore on. Five million people were in its path & more than 100,000 sheltered in temporary centers. One person was killed by a falling tree. The long-term negative impact on agriculture in this important food-producing area will devastate local food supplies. Only a fifth of the produce there had been harvested in advance - threatening staples like rice and corn.

Typhoon Mangkhut is named for the Thai word for the mangosteen fruit, one of my favorites. Last year the mangosteen, lanzoni and rambutan fruits, three of my favorites since they are tangy and not super-sweet, were not available, since winds and rain had destroyed the buds and the fruit never produced. This year however, the storms came later and the buds were spared.

In the past few weeks Elvie and I have preached at a few funerals and a few rural tribal churches. At the funeral of Elvie’s cousin Gary, the widow absentmindedly sat on the picture of her husband, shattering the glass frame. I asked her to hand me the picture, & then I removed the glass shards for her one-by-one, cutting my own hands in the process. That afternoon we drove five hours away to rural Magpet where Nonoy, one of my former Bible college students from 2 decades ago, was a pastor with his growing family.

On Sunday, while preaching at the Magpet church, I explained that Jesus specializes in broken lives. Church is not a Sanctuary for Saints but a Surgery Center for Sinners. “Which would be wiser” I probed, “to have the picture of a loved one with a broken glass frame or to have a nice glass frame with no picture inside?” The town’s Vice Mayor & Town Council members were present for the service & listened in rapt attention as I shared how, like Gary’s picture frame, Christ’s body was broken for us & nailed to cross. During communion I explained how Jesus’ blood was spilled for our redemption. We are sinners, but with Jesus inside our hearts, we become beautiful.

After Abby sang a duet with the pastor’s son & Elvie gave a report, the service ended. There ensued a three-hour-long Harvest Feast including fruit, desserts, rice, smoked chicken & fish and 4 roasted pigs, Elvie, Abby & I, with hearts & tummies filled with food & fellowship finally unlocked the pickup to make the endless trip in the dark, back home. But the appreciative church members called out, “Not yet!”

Then they formed an assembly line, coming with over half a dozen bushel-baskets of fruit, which they dumped, one by one, into the back “bed” of the pickup truck! We actually had almost not used the truck but come by bus, since the vehicle had been in the shop the day before. But thankfully, it had been finished a mere few hours before our departure time. Had we taken the bus, there would have been nowhere to put all that fruit!

Although we arrived home close to midnight, once the neighbors heard that we had so much fruit, they came with their own pails, buckets and plastic bags to fill up with the plentiful fresh harvest we’d hauled in, for free! The next day we also brought hundreds of fruits to the poor BCA students.

Two Sundays later (this past week) we travelled three hours away to speak in a tribal church among the Marilog people of Salaysay. This time, instead of filling up the pickup with fruit, it was overloaded with 20 people… 17 adults & 3 kids. I had to use the 4-wheel drive to get over the steep dirt mountain paths. While traveling back, these same people were filled with food & weighed a whole bunch more. While shifting the truck back to automatic once we got back on the main road, the truck decided to break down.

Earlier during the worship service, I had taught the congregation “Christian Zumba” Raise one hand & yell, “Amen!” (so be it: trust in God’s providence). Left hand, “Hallelujah!” (praise God vigorously). Both hands, “Thank You, Jesus!” (1 Thes. 5:16-18: thank God always). After two hours of being stranded on the side of the road, one of the passengers suggested, “What about our Spiritual aerobics?” Altogether, after praying, we shouted, “Amen-Hallelujah-Thank you Jesus…” and the truck started-up right away! Awesome, or what?

On Monday morning at BCA, Teacher Julito shared with the 4th, 5th & 6th grade students as he proctored their respective exams, “I am not telling you it is going to be easy, I am telling you it is going to be worth it.”

Yup, definitely.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance

September 27 (Thursday) PJ at Albany (NY) University//Abby at FIA & volleyball & helps lead chapel / Paul & Elvie teach DABC college classes: Alliance History & Urban Ministries// monthly Church Board meeting// 9/27-29 Feast of Tabernacles// Elvie checks classrooms as principal at BCA.

September 28 (Friday) PJ at Albany (NY) University //Elvie in Manila (Philippine Capitol) for International Missions Planning session, DAY 1// Abby at FIA & volleyball//Paul leads weekly Community Prayer Meeting.

September 29 Saturday) PJ in worship team at Schenectady (NY) Messianic church// Elvie in Manila (Philippine Capitol) for International Missions Planning session, DAY 2// Kiwanis Club meeting// Abby’s volleyball game

September 30 (Sunday) PJ in worship team at Albany (NY) church// Church: Missions Sunday// Elvie speaks in Baguio at church of former BCA teacher

October 1 (Monday) October 1-13 Lifepoint Missions team arrives from Arizona to build 2 more cottages & basketball court at Father’s House orphanage. PJ at Albany (NY) University //Abby at FIA/ Paul in language class/ Paul at special dinner to interview family of prospective new Head of School for Faith International Academy (FIA)//Weekly Student Sponsorship Evaluation Committee Meeting//

October 2 (Tuesday) LifePoint missions team builds cottages at BCA orphanage, DAY 1// PJ at Albany (NY) University //Abby FIA classes// Elvie teaches at DABC Bible College

October 3 (Wednesday) LifePoint missions team builds cottages at BCA orphanage, DAY 2//PJ at Albany (NY) University //Abby FIA classes// Prayer Meeting/ Paul in language class

10/6 Abby’s SAT Exam.

10/8 BCA International Day Celebration.

10/12 Street ministry 8pm-midnight with church youth group, junior college class and Arizona missions team//

10/13 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao.

10/17-19 Second Periodical Examinations

10/26 BCA International Day Celebration

10/27 BCA Report Cards Distributed & Parent-Teacher Conferences.

10/28 Paul & Elvie are guest speakers in five worship services at Davao City Alliance Gospel Church/ October triathlon.

10/28-11/12 Mark & Chelsey come from Colorado as construction/athletic team.

10/29-11/4 BCA Semester Break.

11/2 BCA 21st Foundation Day.

11/7 BCA PEPT Exam.

BCA has 465 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: $10,400 Remaining: $14,600.

Present need: $467 for Computer laptop Unit #2 (of 16) needed for BCA’s new computer lab

Missions Team Visitors:

Ongoing… OK- Mark & family
October through May ’19 AZ- Tom & Vangie
October/November AZ- Frank & LifePoint team/ CO-Mark & Chelsey
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo
June 2-17, 2019 VA- Harry & Chatham Heights Baptist team

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OUR ACTIVE MINISTRIES:

Abby- Youth Group President, Church Music team

PJ- College Student/ Elvie- National Board of Trustees for CAMACOP, Principal at BCA, Sunday School teacher

Paul- Senior Pastor at FAF church, Board of Trustees Recording Secretary & Professor at FIA Middle School, Spiritual Aims Chairman at Kiwanis Club, Vice President at DCL Prayer Foundation, President at BCA, Honorary Member of 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]. "Barner Christian Academy": do not write “Christian Aid Mission” on checks sent to Ginger.

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!

9/20/2018 STATUS OF 2018 BCA “CHRISTMAS SHOES” PROJECT: Of the $7,500 needed for 500 pair of shoes (with accompanying restaurant lunch visit & BCA printed t-shirt): NEEDED: 7,500 by 12/25. Received: $0.

Donate your laptop- Are you upgrading your laptop computer & wondering what you will do with your old one? BCA has been directed by the DepEd (Department of Education) to build a new computer lab with units for all the 6th graders. We need 16 computers. If you do send us your computer, please use this address: Ginger Bruce 5 Eileen Drive Rensselaer, NY 12144. BCA will send you an in-kind receipt to which you will insert the fair market value of your donation. Thank you!

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month. A few sponsors have requested online communications instead of normal mail. If this applies to you, please inform BCA (via email) at blcKids@yahoo.com.

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

Please pray for our street outreach coming up on October 12. 40 of us will be on the streets of Davao from 8pm until midnight, giving away Gospel tracts, witnessing about Jesus’s work I our lives, and singing Christian songs.

Please also pray for our son PJ who this week will be attending a luncheon to receive an award for me from the Community College I attended before Bible College, back in the early 1980’s. PJ will give a short speech in my proxy, pertaining to our ministry.

Praise God that Typhoon Mangkhut (also called Ompong), although hitting hard in Northern Philippines, has only provided heavy rains and flooding in our southern city of Davao. Thus, we were spared the intense damage of those directly placed in the storm’s path.

“Father, my life is in the pocket of your protection.” BCA’s Nurse Lucy daily keeps BCA’s hundreds of students healthy. Sometimes with Band-Aids & other times with nutritional insight. After she sterilized the clinic Monday, she also watered the school’s plants, since none of the kids were feeling poorly. After caring for the plants, she returned to her office where little Ashley had just arrived.

“Nurse Lucy, I have a headache.” Shared Ashley. After caring for her she felt much better. Then were 3 other patients: Henna with a stomachache, Marian with a scraped arm from the playground, & finally, just before the end of the day, a bloody nose on Yzel.

As Lucy locked up BCA’s clinic for the night, she pored over the well-stocked shelves, wondering which medications would be needed the next day. Heading home, she prayed, “Thanks again, Lord for your protection, from bloody noses, scrapes & bruises. We all sure do get our fair share of them!”

The day before, on Sunday just shortly after 1am, singing was heard at the front gate of the Barner residence. BCA’s teachers had come over to serenade Elvie for her 51st birthday! Two hours later after they left, we all hit the sack until we were to get up for church.

However, while the teachers had still been at the house, about to eat the birthday brownies I’d made, Elvie tried to blow out the candles. Being that there were 51 of them, the heat from them had melted the “Happy Birthday Mom” plastic stick-in on top of the cake! Elvie had successfully blown them all out with one breath…but ten candles began to sparkle & came right back on! Being trick candles, all the teachers tried their luck at blowing out the candles, which is one reason why they did not leave until 3am!

Since the church was also celebrating their annual Thanksgiving Day, my message was on Daniel’s thanking God even in the midst of trying situations (ex: lion’s den). Then one-by-one, all the church groups performed: men, women, youth, kids-A, kids-B, kids-C, etc. The next was the food: not one, but TWO crispy roasted pigs, along with bunches of bananas, & a vast assortment of scrumptious foods & fresh fruit. Of our 25 churches, 20% of them had cancelled their services to come join the fun!

A few days previous, since Elvie & I had prepared the midterm exams for our Bible College classes, I visited the campus on Wednesday to be sure we had the correct times to administer the tests. Who should I run into, but Melvin, one of my Junior students who had, 2 decades before, attended BCA!

When Melvin’s previous sponsor had heard that his former sponsored child was in college, he emailed me to ask if Melvin was able to keep up in paying his bills. I brought Melvin to the registrar’s office, and she was very surprised to see me. When she heard that most of Melvin’s bill would be covered by this American friend, both Melvin and the registrar were shocked. She said, “It is ok now Melvin, You can now go take your exams.”

When I asked Melvin when his first test was, he responded, “It started five minutes ago!” Wow, what timing! I imagine Melvin had woken up that morning thinking, “I am in Bible college, training to be a pastor, but I cannot take my exam today & will have to drop out of school. But I know that God will provide, so I will go to class anyway. God, please make a miracle happen on my way to the classroom.” Well, a miracle is just what he got. God is soooo awesome!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
9/13/2018

STATUS OF 2018 BCA “CHRISTMAS SHOES” PROJECT: Of the $7,500 needed for 500 pair of shoes (with accompanying restaurant lunch visit & BCA printed t-shirt): NEEDED: 7,500 by 12/25. Received: $0.

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month. A few sponsors have requested online communications instead of normal mail. If this applies to you, please inform BCA (via email) at blcKids@yahoo.com.

Please pray for the ongoing construction of BCA’s new computer lab. While making great progress, we want to be finished before the “Surprise Inspection” which the Department of Education will be carrying-out at any time. A fellow missionary recently donated his big air conditioner & also a computer “work station” for the lab. We have yet to purchase new computers as well.

Praise God that the performances of the BCA students during Culture Month were very well choreographed for all grades: Playschool, nursery 1 &2, Kinder 1 & 2, Grades 1-6. Also praise God for the upcoming International Day in October, which will be performed before an international audience including seven American visitors.

“Don’t drag the chair on the floor, Manny!” Many of BCA’s child-sized preschool chairs are half an inch shorter than they were a few years ago, since little Manny has worn down the plastic while dragging them along the cement gym floor.

However, last week at BCA’s annual “Culture Celebration” Manny was a star as he dragged a box around and around on the stage. Often since poor children cannot afford expensive “branded” ice cream products, old men will make homemade, flavored “ice candy” in little plastic bags, & then wrap them up in lots of newspaper (to keep them cold), side-by-side in a Styrofoam box with a shoulder strap which they carry down the street & swing a handheld bell to announce their presence.

Sure enough, not only did BCA’s little Manny have the telltale ice-candy box, but as his classmates sang about “The Dear Old Ice-Candy Man”, Manny wore a cute straw hat as he rang his bell announcing his presence!

Manny’s mom is one of BCA’s secretaries, & she beamed with pride as her little guy stole the show. Due to the performances, she had a day off from her daily busy schedule. I give a weekly checklist of projects for Inday to complete, & she was pleased the day previous that she actually had accomplished everything on the list! Never fear though, a brand-new list would appear the following Monday! Since some sponsors prefer email & others prefer regular mail, she has the list color-coded to be sure that the right pictures go to the right sponsors. With 465 sponsored kids to search through, every once in awhile a sponsor in Oklahoma will mistakenly receive the picture of the child of a sponsor in New York. But by & far, the staff is pretty efficient.

BCA is a busy place with more than just ongoing classes. One of the most pivotal positions is the discipleship coordinator. My secretary is Alexander, a grandfather & retired pastor. He was recently chosen by the lay pastor of our jungle-church plant to be the speaker at the church’s 13th anniversary. When Alex approached the pupil, his voice was kind of hoarse and squeaky. Afterward I asked Elvie what the problem had been.

She explained that during his introduction, Jairus (the lay-pastor) had said that just over a decade before, he had been in a discipleship meeting with Alex and had prayed to become a Christian. Over the years he grew by leaps & bounds as they studied the Bible together. “It is because of today’s speaker that I am here in this pulpit today!” No wonder Pastor Alex was choked up. I would be too!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

September 13 (Thursday) Abby at FIA & volleyball & helps lead chapel / Paul & Elvie teach DABC college classes: Alliance History and Urban Ministries.

September 14 (Friday) Abby at FIA & volleyball

September 15 Saturday) Kiwanis Club meeting// Abby’s volleyball game

September 16 (Sunday) Church: Women’s Sunday

September 17 (Monday) Abby at FIA/ Paul in language class/ Weekly Student Sponsorship Evaluation Committee Meeting

September 18 (Tuesday) Abby FIA classes

September 19 (Wednesday) Abby FIA classes// Prayer Meeting/ Paul in language class//

9/19- 21 BCA Summative Tests/ Second Prelim Examinations

9/22 My Sister Ginger, my father & my son PJ proxy for me, receiving “Most Distinguished Alumni” award at Hudson Valley Community College, in Troy, New York.

October 1-13 Lifepoint Missions team from Arizona builds 2 more cottages & basketball court at Father’s House orphanage.

10/6 Abby’s SAT Exam. 10/8 BCA International Day Celebration.

10/13 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao.

10/17-19 Second Periodical Examinations

10/26 BCA International Day Celebration

10/27 BCA Report Cards Distributed & Parent-Teacher Conferences.

10/28 Paul & Elvie are guest speakers in five worship services at Davao City Alliance Gospel Church/ October triathlon.

10/28-11/12 Mark & Chelsey come from Colorado as construction/athletic team.

10/29-11/4 BCA Semester Break.

11/2 BCA 21st Foundation Day.

11/7 BCA PEPT Exam.

BCA has 464 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: $10,300 Remaining: $14,700

   
   
8/16/2018

Please pray for the following four ongoing construction projects: 1) water tower support stand and installation at orphanage, 2) Cement Storage building at orphanage, 3) Solar panels at orphanage, 4) New computer lab for 16 units at BCA main campus.

Praise God for PJ’s successful transfer from Nyack College to the University of Albany, where he will begin classes in two weeks.

Praise God as well that one of our BCA graduates is now studying medicine at a local doctor’s college, and another is one of my students at the local Bible college.

“Gwapo ko?” While exercising at the fitness club to train for my eleventh Ironman triathlon, I held in my hand the study sheet for my Cebuano language class. One of the athletic directors Peeped over my shoulder and tested my vocabulary by asking “Am I handsome?” I responded with, “I have not yet learned the word for poor eyesight!”

Since Cebuano often substitutes the “D” or “B” or “P” sounds for “V” or “F” or “TH”, Elvie had found a cute explanation for some mispronounced English words. The meanings of English words: DEDUCT- The Duck. DEFEAT- The feet (of the duck), DETAIL- The tail (of the duck), DEVASTATION- The bus station, DEPOSIT- The faucet (call DIPLOMA if DEPOSIT is running).

Before I left to teach my college class of Junior students this past Thursday, Elvie and I were busy taping garbage bags to the walls of our kitchen. The water tank on the roof had sprung a leak, and its contents were cascading down the walls of the kitchen. The taped plastic on the walls was used to divert the flow into barrels until the plumber (or “DIPLOMA”)could come and fix the mess.

While taping up the plastic, Elvie mentioned that she had been giving homework assignments to her freshman class so that they could take turns in teaching. So, when I arrived at the classroom, I divided my 144 slides of PowerPoint among the 15 Juniors and listened as they led the class. They were fantastic! So much insight! After nearly three hours we were almost out of time for our end-of-class quiz, so I abbreviated the last two students’ discussions. They too were thrilled for the break.

Meanwhile BCA’s Teacher Jeza was preparing for her day of teaching second graders, by reading Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” This would come into play when four of her male students got up without permission while her back was turned, and ran around the classroom.

“The Fear of the Lord,” remembered Jeza. So, fear is a guiding principle to get things done correctly. “Okay boys, the next time you get out of your seat without asking, I will punish you.” Sure enough, they took the challenge and started running around again. “Raise your arms in the air for ten minutes!” demanded Jeza. “That is your punishment.”

Sufficiently chastised, the students had a healthy fear of their teacher and were fine, until after recess. The runners had returned. So, Jeza decided it was once again time to instill fear. She Wrote the names of the troublemakers on the blackboard, and then advised them of their punishment. “Jump up and down 200 times!” With only a few classes left to the day, the boys were finally breathless, worn out and calmed down. Not only that however, but the other students had seen the penalties, and fearing having to do that themselves, they were nice and quiet, doing their Science lessons until their busses arrived.

So, to avoid DEFEAT they were to keep De FEET in their proper place!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

August 16 (Thursday) Abby at FIA & volleyball/ Paul and Elvie teach DABC college classes: Alliance History and Urban Ministries.

August 17 (Friday) Abby at FIA & volleyball & helps lead chapel/ Community Prayer Meeting/ BCA holiday for Kadayawan festival

August 18 Saturday) Abby’s Volleybal game vs Nikki Jinkai School// Kiwanis Club meeting

August 19 (Sunday) Church: 3 services: Paul & Elvie preach
August 20 (Monday) BCA holiday for Muslim Holiday/ Abby at FIA/ Paul in language class/ Student Sponsorship Evaluation Committee Meeting.

August 21 (Tuesday) BCA Holiday for Ninoy Aquino day// Abby FIA class

August 22 (Wednesday) Prayer Meeting/ Paul in language
class

8/27 PJ starts classes in his Junior year at State University of NY at Albany.

8/27 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao. October 1-13 Lifepoint Missions team from Arizona builds 2 more cottages & basketball court at Father’s House orphanage.

10/28 Paul and Elvie are guest speakers in five worship services at Davao City Alliance Gospel Church/ October triathlon.

10/28-11/12 Mark & Chelsey come from Colorado as construction/athletic team.

BCA has 462 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: $10,100 Remaining: $14,900.

Present need: $360 for six (factory-made) computer desks ($60 each) for BCA’s new computer lab.

Missions Team Visitors:

August through May, 2019 CO- Dave September through May ’19 AZ- Tom & Vangie

October/November AZ- Frank & LifePoint team/ CO - Mark & Chelsey

January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo

June 2-17, 2019 VA- Harry & Chatham Heights Baptist team

8/9/2018

Nutrition Month Culmination BCA (8/3/18)

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

Please pray for Manny, the 79-yr-old pastor who took my place a few years ago as president of a local biweekly community prayer meeting. This week Manny was hospitalized when he suffered a mild stroke. As his vice president, I will fill in during his absence.

Please also pray for many of BCA’s students who are out of school due to a “pinkeye” epidemic.

Praise God for the Massachusetts ministry which provided funding for solar panels to be installed at our orphanage, to supply 24/7 electricity.

“Is anybody allergic to nuts?” On my first day of teaching “Urban Ministries” to Junior students at DABC (Davao Alliance Bible College), I had baked triple-chocolate brownies (with nuts & peanut butter) & also mixed 2 gallons of lemon-iced tea, to serve during the ten-minute breaktime in the middle of our three-hour class.

The fifteen students automatically had divided the class, with six female students on one side & eight male students on the other side (with one female student on-line skyping-in). Kris piped in, embracing the tray of brownies, “Sir, I think that all the boys are allergic to peanuts, so we girls will protect them by eating the brownies ourselves!” This was met with a spontaneous response from the boys, ending with all sharing the goodies!

Meanwhile, on the other side of Davao City, Barner Christian Academy’s Teacher Diana presented an intuitive approach to her 4th grade students: “Armchair Procedures”. Having all the students raise one hand, she asked them, “Please count your fingers, one-by-one, in unison.” When they chanted “one,” Diana interrupted them with, “with your one finger point to your ear. This reminds us to listen to our speaker. Now what is next?”

After the next number, Diane instructed, “Now point to your eye. This reminds us to be attentive to details.” The kids were catching on, so they paused after calling out “three,” expecting their instructor to give additional direction. Some pointed to their noses. But Diane said, “now point to your other hand. This reminds us to keep our hands on our desks.” For “four” the guideline was, “Point to your chair. This reminds us to stay in our seats.” Finally, #5 brought the direction, “Now point to your head. This reminds us to use our brains to remember the five guidelines for ‘Armchair Principles!’”

On yet another section of town, one of Abigail’s senor high teachers mentioned three times, “Oh did I tell you that the stucco (student council) forms are on the table?” Abby took that as her cue and picked up one to sign up as one of the 2018 candidates for student government. “If nobody else was going to sign up, well then, somebody has to do it!”

At this very time I asked my college class, “If you do not reach the billions dwelling in the cities, who will?” I showed pictures of a few dozen of the cities of the world. “See how well you can identify these major cities,” I challenged. Surprisingly, they got about a third of them correct. “You know the cities. Now, when you think of these cities, pray that God will send His messengers to tell the people there about Him. Maybe, just maybe, God will call you.”

While driving out from the faculty parking area, I caught the eye of one of the institution’s head officers. Getting out of the car I asked, “Mer, my class is Urban Ministry. This college is in the city. Could I take the students on a field trip to the streets & give them a few hundred Gospel tracts so that they could experience city evangelism, first-hand?” Pleased with my initiative, Mer agreed to present the proposal before the college president.

On Friday evening, Elvie & many of BCA’s staff members stayed up until almost midnight gluing insulation & nailing paneling into the walls of the school’s new computer room, preparing it for the first of the six new units that will be purchased over the next ten months, as funds permit.

What are your “Armchair Procedures?” What is God asking you to use your hands, feet, eyes & head for, to further His Kingdom? Are you, like the college students (with brownies), hoarding the treats all to yourself, or are you willing to share the precious message of salvation with the lost? Like Abby, why not say, “well, it doesn’t matter that nobody else is doing it. At least I will volunteer!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

8/2/2018

Please pray for PJ as he starts his Junior year August 27 as a transfer student at the State University of New York at Albany. Many opportunities have arisen there for him to pursue an occupation which will use his unique talents, abilities & interests. Meanwhile Abby is starting her senior year of High School, here in Davao.

Praise God for an incredible family who drove hundreds of miles up from Maryland to New York to help see our family off before we left to come back to Davao. They also accompanied PJ to fill the void after we’d left. What a joyful example of the family of God’s sacrificial love!

“Supper at 3am: blame it on jetlag!” Having just flown three days, halfway around the planet, Elvie, Abby & I landed in Davao just after 7am Tuesday: daytime outside, nighttime inside. Over the next 24 hours, sleep eluded us with scattered catnaps. We unpacked & took out our calendars to synchronize our schedules for the next 20 months’ plans.

Just a few miles away on campus at BCA, Teacher Dibble had finished her day with the third graders. She ended the class with one last project: each child was to design his or her own nametag & memorize the names of their classmates. They were so very artistic & creative! One little girl, Jane, drew each letter of her name as a colorful animal bent into the correct shape. She stood in front of the class to explain a story about the animals & how they related to her life. Creative!

Dibble’s prayer that evening was, “Thank you, Lord, for the excitement of my students! They are sooo very well disciplined & considerate! This is my first teaching job, but as you know, I take every weekend to work with a children’s evangelism ministry. Kids during the week & kids during the weekends. What a joy to serve you while serving the kids!”

Telling stories was one of the ways that Dibble planned to teach her students, & Jane had already used a story to help her classmates to remember her name. Since Jesus also told stories (parables), the theme that I have chosen for sermons at church this month will be “The Parables”. All the speakers in our 25 churches will likely cover all the parables over the next 5 weeks! This Sunday I plan to preach on the parable of the Lost Sheep, comparing it with that of the Prodigal Son.

Yet another lost sheep had found her way home this past week. Before we left New York, our family helped-out at a Vacation Bible School. One little girl in Elvie’s class stayed after the Bible story & said she was confused. Elvie & her co-teacher Ellen prayed with her to become a Christian! In many ways our lives are like living parables of God’s message is to us!

On the other hand, God can use dreams too…& with jet lag, oh, what dreams may come…

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

7/26/2018

BARNER SIGHTING: Schenectady, New York Travel-log: 35 days, 7,011 miles driven

Please pray for the evangelistic outreaches of Jason, an incredible man whom we met while swimming at a cool, freshwater spring in rural Missouri. He has half a dozen foster kids whom he has adopted. I asked if they are from the same family, & his response was, “They are now!” He invited us to his church next time we are passing through. He asked me, “Do you believe that we are saved by the blood of Christ alone?” to which I responded, “How else?” He responded that he was just checking, and he is always ready to give an answer for his faith!

Praise God that I (Paul) was chosen as distinguished alumnus of the year by the community college I attended 30 years ago. During my interview this week with the college president, PJ & Abby sang. The school is considering providing a special scholarship for scholastically-exceptional poor Filipino BCA graduates to learn a trade at that school in New York!

Praise God also that, although Elvie’s car was totaled after the recent Philippine flood, the insurance company offered to refund her payments so that she can get a replacement vehicle.

Praise God that, while visiting a church in Southern Missouri, upon our arrival the sky poured out rain for the first time in weeks! The farmers were happy! We also visited a farm that raises llamas!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3.” BCA’s Teacher Jeza whistled happily as she decorated her second-grade classroom. She had recently received her teaching license & was teaching modules at a local Bible College & Seminary. Yet her heart longed to teach children, & she had not yet been contacted by any elementary schools until BCA’s secretary called her. “Welcome!” Jeza taped above the door in large blue letters, as she too felt very welcome, dedicating her days to changing the lives of second graders.

While Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything, it is always time to serve God. While Jeza was decorating her classroom in Asia, on the other side of the world the Barner family was driving seven thousand miles in the USA, speaking at twenty different locations & personally visiting nearly a hundred American families in nine US states & a province of Canada.

While visiting the home of the widow of a college classmate of mine, we were offered his unexpired cell phone to use while traveling. This was a great benefit, as it gave us unlimited usage of the internet even while traveling in the car. Yet when we arrived in Canada, the phone data could not function. Not the time for data I guess. A time & place for everything…

In Detroit, after over 6,000 miles of driving, the rental car needed an oil change, so it was time to exchange it for another vehicle.

In Missouri, a little boy named Kayden decided it was time to donate a very dear companion of his. After we spoke at Kayden’s church, he brought out a bag of stuffed animals. One little teddy bear had a bomber jacket & goggles. Kayden called him “Fly Guy”. The little tyke had been airlifted at 6 yrs old as he faced a life-&-death medical emergency, & when he pulled through the dilemma with flying colors, he was granted the treasured stuffy. Now it was time to give up “Fly Guy” to a needy Filipino child.

Arriving in New York, I spoke in a Messianic church & mentioned to friends there, “We have all kinds of natural calamities in the Philippine Archipelago. Tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes & typhoons. The only thing I have never seen in 22 years living there is a tornado.” Two days later we received a phone call from Elvie’s sister in Davao City. “I have to leave. There was a tornado racing down the street which was ripping off roof tiles & tearing up plants along the roadside!” Guess that this time I had spoken too soon!

Just a few days before we were to fly back to Davao, we were given a financial gift from friends to take a day off & drive to New York City to see a musical. While there, we parked the car & took the subway to also tour the newly-rebuilt World Trade Center. Upon arrival in Southern Manhattan, PJ’s coupon didn’t work, & neither did my credit card so instead, the ticket-taker gave us a major discount & even an express ticket to avoid the lines!

Later while entering the subway, Elvie & PJ got separated from Abby & I. We ended up going south while they were headed north. Two stops later someone informed us that the train was not headed to Times Square. The musical was to start in 20 minutes so we quickly switched trains.

When we arrived at Times Square, it wasn’t until we’d run two blocks in the wrong direction that we turned around to find our destination, two minutes late, but still able to get in, where PJ & Elvie were waiting. We were so sweaty, dodging hundreds of pedestrians as we ran down the crowded sidewalks of New York City! Arriving at the theater, many thought it must be raining outside!

But it was time to see the musical, & we made it. As BCA’s Teacher Jeza had quoted earlier from Ecclesiastes, “There is a time & purpose for everything under heaven…” & we made it just in time!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

7/19/2018

BARNER SIGHTING: Flint, Michigan Travel-log: 28 days, 6,235 miles driven

2018 USA CELL PHONE 570-492-6248

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month. A few sponsors have requested online communications instead of normal mail. If this applies to you, please inform BCA (via email) at blcKids@yahoo.com.

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

Please pray for the remaining 142 children on BCA’s waiting list, that we find sponsors for them before we leave the USA on July 30. Already 8 new sponsors have been added to BCA’s sponsorship list since we arrived in North America 5 weeks ago.

Praise God that PJ & Abigail performed a 45-minute mini-concert in Birch Tree, Missouri during the church’s evening worship service & were very, very well received. Hearts & lives were touched & many expressed their deepest appreciation.

“Good morning students. What animal in the jungle do you like best? Choose that animal & stand under its picture.” BCA’s Teacher Jean had prepared for her first-grade students by decorating the classroom in a jungle theme. “Chadrick, you’ve chosen to stand under the picture of the kangaroo. Why’s that?” Chadrick answered the teacher’s question with, “All the other classrooms are filled with pictures of gardens, & since I like carrots, kangaroos look like big rabbits, & rabbits like carrots!”

Jean’s kids tend to be slow readers, so she asked Chadrick, “Do you know how to spell kangaroo?” Honestly, Charick responded, “No, I am sorry I don’t. How about rabbit? I do know how to spell that, & boy, do they look alike!” So, he went up to the blackboard & spelled it, R-A-B-I-T. Jean was kind in her response. “Oh, that is soo close, Chad. But it looks like both the kangaroo & the rabbit have leaped over one letter. Which letter do you think it is?”

Chad thought a while, picked up a piece of chalk from the sill & squished a second B alongside the other one. “Excellent, Chadrick. How did you know?” Chad returned the chalk & explained, “Well, the rabbit walked halfway through the word & got tired so he leapt before walking the rest of the word, skipping the B before finishing!”

Meanwhile on the other side of the ocean, our family was speaking at a series of churches & civic clubs in Missouri, USA. Visiting a Toastmasters (public speaking) group, we each had the privilege of giving a 2-minnute impromptu speech, while also sharing about our overseas ministry. Among about a dozen speeches & nearly that many different nationalities in the college town, PJ won the award for the best speech! The theme was, of all things, jungle animals! I was a toucan, Abby a bat & PJ a kangaroo. So, the kangaroo was the winner on both sides of the ocean…

The next day we bought fishing licenses, & a friend let us use her four poles & bait. Abby caught 13 fish, while Elvie got three & PJ 5, including a trout & bass. I wasn’t having many bites, so let our host use my pole, & went into the woods to break off a branch. After tying on a fish line & sinker, bobber & hook, I dropped them into the river &, whaddaya know, got a bite almost right away! We threw all the fish back, but I wanted to get right near the deep area, since there was no way for me to cast-out with the branch. As I threw the stuff into the water, I lost balance & fell in.

Making my way to the others, soaking wet, I explained, “I am all wet because I caught a very, very big fish!” They all laughed when they saw that my hook had snagged on my back pocket. The fish I had caught was ME! Real-life saga of fulfilling Christ’s command to become “fishers of men!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

July 19 (Thursday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Ontario, Canada

July 20 (Friday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Albany, NY

July 21 Saturday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Schenectady, NY

July 22 (Sunday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Albany, NY

July 23 (Monday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Albany, NY

July 24 (Tuesday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Manhattan, NY

July 25 (Wednesday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Albany, NY

8/3 Paul teaches Urban Ministries at Davao Alliance Bible College while Elvie Teaches Alliance History;

8/3 Abby starts her senior year at Faith International Academy,

9/27 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao.

October 1-17 Lifepoint Missions team from Arizona builds 2 more cottages at Father’s House orphanage.

BCA has 458 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: $9,900 Remaining: $15,100.

Present need: $220 for two large boxes sent to BCA from Missouri, filled with a breadmaker, clothes, toys and books.

2018 Missions Team Visitors:

[Barners on 7,000 mile, 7-week USA Speaking Tour in 8 states June 13-July 30]
July through May, 2019 CO- Dave
September through May ’19 AZ- Trish, Tom & Vangie
October AZ- Frank & LifePoint team
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo
June 2-17, 2019 VA- Harry & Chatham Heights Baptist team

Remaining plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (7/12-30): Missouri-Iowa-Michigan-New York.

7/12/2018

BARNER SIGHTING: Rolla, Missouri Travel-log: 21 days, 5,009 miles driven

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month. A few sponsors have requested online communications instead of normal mail. If this applies to you, please inform BCA (via email) at blcKids@yahoo.com.

Please pray for Trish, a volunteer missionary who has spent over a half year at our orphanage. She went back to the USA with a malignant tumor and cannot return to the work here until her cancer is healed. She is encouraged by Psalm 16:8, “I will NOT be shaken, for HE is right beside me."

Praise God that, although this past week brought massive flooding throughout Davao City, with nearly the entire population affected, our BCA school was only minimally hit.

“The theme for July will be Christian Financial Stewardship…” Last December, I scheduled a CMT (Church Ministry Team) retreat at the beach, in which we made plans for the upcoming year. Everybody received my ten-page 2018 masterplan.

“Please notice the schedule I have made for the topics to preach on each month. During July our family will be traveling across the USA. But while we are gone, you will be preaching on the topics of Eschatology & Stewardship.”

Many of these “church officers” had been unbelievers just over a decade ago, but since then they have not only become Christians, but have also grown exponentially in their faith & are teaching Sunday School, Bible Studies & preaching.

Stewardship includes evaluating the gifts that God has provided & leaving buffers so we can be surprised by God’s incredible provision.

As the CMT “held the fort” back home, we four Barners were driving thousands of miles to thank many who support the ministry in finances & prayer. Watching children play community baseball kin Missouri (PJ was catcher), speaking at churches & civic clubs (the kids sang duets), & visiting thrift stores to find odds & ends needed in the school, each stop seemed way too short before we had to hit the road again.

In Arkansas, a buddy suggested we visit a seed company on the way, to provide for the gardens at our orphanage. But when we got there, the store had just closed half an hour previous. Still, around a week later after attending a church in Missouri, PJ called his mom’s attention to a tray full of seed packets in the lobby with a sign, “Free- take all!” God truly does provide!

At the same church, an African man came out of nowhere during the singing, informing Elvie that God told him to pray for her healing. She mentioned about her upcoming goiter surgery in August, & immediately she was surrounded by three or four prayer “warriors”.

God seems to love surprising us. As we were travelling in the USA, back in the Philippines Bonna Faye (one of BCA’s teachers), was sharing with her kindergarteners about just that topic (stewardship). “I am so happy” she wrote in her daily journal, “because the students are so attentive while I am reading a story about ‘The Origin of the Butterfly’”.

Bonna Faye tied-in the idea that the butterfly had to plan for the future by building a cocoon. “What is not ours should not be taken, because we have not worked for it. God punishes those who steal.” But God rewards those who work hard & trust God to provide through any lack. She then read the story about the “Tree of Good Deeds”. The kids formed letters out of playdough to describe what work they could do each day to provide for their families by washing clothes, helping to cook, clean, etc. After recess, they played “The Boat is Sinking” (with a twist) to learn how to count when under pressure.

While even kindergarteners can learn stewardship, we learned a new avenue of that truth when one of our BCA graduates, already having finished college, came back to BCA as a civil engineer. He & his sister, both adroit in their occupations, are planning a project to decrease the flooding problems in our school.

Drawing up architectural plans, these former BCA students are protecting the very classrooms which they had been taught in so many years ago. The plan is to raise the roof three feet & raise the floor two feet, thus eliminating 80% of the flood waters that will come.

God trains us in Christian Stewardship as we notice His uniquely creative provision.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

July 12 (Thursday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Rolla, MO

July 13 (Friday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Rolla & Jefferson City, MO

July 14 Saturday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Birch Tree, MO

July 15 (Sunday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Birch Tree, MO

July 16 (Monday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Grundy Center & Williamsburg, IA

July 17 (Tuesday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Holland, Farmington Hills & Flint, MI

July 18 (Wednesday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Ontario, Canada

8/3 Paul teaches Urban Ministries at Davao Alliance Bible College while Elvie Teaches Alliance History;

8/3 Abby starts her senior year at Faith International Academy,

9/27 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao.

October 1-17 Lifepoint Missions team from Arizona builds 2 more cottages at Father’s House orphanage.

BCA has 456 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: $9,850 Remaining: $15,150.

Present need: $1,050 for two BCA air conditioners: one for the first grade & one for the fifth grade classroom.

2018 Missions Team Visitors:

[Barners on 7,000 mile, 7-week USA Speaking Tour in 8 states June 13-July 30]
July through May, 2019 CO- Dave
September through May ’19 AZ- Trish, Tom & Vangie
October AZ- Frank & LifePoint team
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo
June 2-17, 2019 VA- Harry & Chatham Heights Baptist team

Remaining plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (7/12-30): Missouri-Iowa-Michigan-New York.

7/5/2018

7/5/18 Happy 21st Birthday, PJ (6/29). Happy 22nd Anniversary, Paul & Elvie! (7/6)

BARNER SIGHTING: Ava, Missouri Travel-log: 21 days, 4,684 miles driven

2018 USA CELL PHONE 570-492-6248

Reminder: BCA child sponsorship is now $30 per month. A few sponsors have requested online communications instead of normal mail. If this applies to you, please inform BCA (via email) at blcKids@yahoo.com.

Please pray for Trish, a “Grandma” for our Father’s House orphans, who needs a biopsy after her recent mammogram.

Please pray for our niece Elissa in New York, who has just graduated and is preparing to enter college in the Fall.

Please also pray for Armin (not his real name) whom the Philippine LGO (Local Government Office) previously would not allow to enter our orphanage. Doris (our government liaison) has convinced the LGO to release Armin to our orphanage on a temporary probationary period. Three other homeless children were also added to our “Father’s House” orphanage last week. Armin’s birthplace is five hours away from Davao, and thus Doris has to travel there to transfer his school records to us. The LGO never had crossed this hurdle previously.
Praise God that an American friend has agreed to donate $1,000 to buy a cement mixer for our orphanage. This mixer will be used to pour a basketball court & also the foundations for two new cottages.

Praise God as well that we shipped six boxes of stuffed animals & used books from friends in Indiana churches for the poor Filipino kids at BCA.

Praise God too that Elvie & I were on television this week! The title of the 700 Club message was “Someone, Somewhere, Somehow Episode Trailer | The 700 Club Asia” and it can be linked at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiAfABel6Nk

Praise God also that Flo, a friend in a state hundreds of miles from where we were speaking drove with her husband through the night to get to the place where we were scheduled to speak!

Praise God for great friends as we have been traveling. Not only did they donate two carloads of stuffed animals and books, but they even helped us pack up the things to send. One of our hosts brought us to a Bible Study in a Ninevah, Indiana church where over fifty adults listened to PJ & Abby sing and as we shared about the ministry in the Philippines. They even are considering sending a missions team out to Davao in a few years! While many of the people we are visiting we have known for quite a few years, there are some new friends whom it seems we have known forever, they are so friendly and kind.

“My friends are jalapenos!” Little Kenan in Indiana couldn’t remember the word “Filipinos,” so he substituted us for hot chili peppers.

While being interviewed on an Indiana Christian radio station, I explained that “There are more homeless people living in the Philippine capital than Budapest, Jakarta, Moscow, Mumbai and Manhattan combined! Over three million! Statistically the worst homeless situation in the planet.” After that, PJ & Abby sang a duet of “How Beautiful is the Body of Christ.”

Meanwhile, back in the Philippines BCA’s Teacher Maryrose challenged her Preschool morning class what the colors of the rainbow were. “Look around in our classroom,” she told them. “Can you find Azul [blue]?” Japheth responded, “The eraser, Teacher Mary! The eraser!” Maryrose shook her head. “No, the eraser is black. Black starts with the same two letters as Blue. What is blue, Japheth?”

Japheth thought a bit & peeked around the room again. Suddenly his eyes landed on his very own wooden desk. “My desk is blue, Teacher Rose! It is my desk.” Sure enough, although that was not what she was thinking of, the desk, as well as all the ones in the room, was dark blue.

“Yes, Japheth. You are absolutely right!” Mayrose glanced around the room, over the heads of the students to see the decorations which she had tacked to the walls just a few weeks ago before classes had begun. The border had blue flowers and green vegetables seen in a garden. “Yes, these precious kids are like this year’s crop, waiting to be watered and to mature…”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

This week At-A-Glance:

July 5 (Thursday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Columbia & Jefferson City, MO

July 6 (Friday) Paul & Elvie’s 22nd Anniversary/ Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Ava & Jefferson City, MO

July 7 Saturday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: West Plains & Fowler, MO

July 8 (Sunday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: West Plains & Fowler &
Waynesville, MO

July 9 (Monday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Waynesville & Rolla, MO

July 10 (Tuesday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Pulaski, Waynesville & Rolla,
MO

July 11 (Wednesday) Barners’ USA Speaking Tour: Waynesville & Rolla, MO

8/3 Paul teaches Urban Ministries at Davao Alliance Bible College while Elvie Teaches Alliance History;

8/3 Abby starts her senior year at Faith International Academy,

9/27 Devols (fellow missionaries) fly back to Davao. October

1-17 Lifepoint Missions team from Arizona builds 2 more cottages at Father’s House orphanage.

BCA has 456 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: $9,800 Remaining: $15,200.

Present need: $240 for BCA supplies purchased in the USA: wall decorations at thrift store: $20, study aids: $25, Toys R Us closeout clearance school supplies: $195.

2018 Missions Team Visitors:

[Barners on 6,000 mile, 6-week USA Speaking Tour in 6 states June 13-July 30]
July through May, 2019 CO- Dave
September through May ’19 AZ- Trish, Tom & Vangie
October AZ- Frank & LifePoint team
January, 2019 KY- “Grandma” Flo
June 2-17, 2019 VA- Harry & Chatham Heights Baptist team

Remaining plans for 2018 Speaking Tour (7/5-30): Missouri-Iowa-Michigan-New York.

6/28/2018

BARNER SIGHTING: Elizabeth, Arkansas Travel-log: 14 days, 2,314 miles driven

Please pray for the upcoming availability of two pieces of property which are becoming available on nearby Samal Island. One lot would be used for a Christian preschool & the other for a chocolate store/tourist workshop to raise funds for the operation of our orphanage. The funds for both lots are being made available by committed friends whose hearts were touched by God for this opportunity. Also, it is a chance for us to build a third campus while the complicated second (in the mountains) is still being processed.

Praise God that, as we have spoken for just over a week in churches & other locations, two more committed believers have signed up & paid for their first month of sponsoring a BCA child. Only 147 more to go!

“Please, please, please, rescue Armin!” Our dear North American friend had flown across the ocean to visit Davao & rescue more abandoned street children to bring into our orphanage. He was successful as three more little boys agreed to leave the streets, have a roof over their heads & be enrolled in school, plus to have various chores to earn personal savings, etc.

But a week later when we contacted the government social welfare offices, they informed us that two of the kids could not stay with us. One has a violent criminal record, & another is Muslim. Once Muslims find out that one of their faith is residing in a non-Muslim institution, they often attack that institution.

Yet Armin (not his real name) the third little tanned, smiley, intelligent & quick-witted chubby-cheeked guy had no reason why he couldn’t stay with our other cheerful orphans. He could be freed from being daily attacked while sleeping on the sidewalk each evening or under the bridge when it rained. The government however prefers to keep the little boy on the street where they can keep an eye on him, plus possibly being paid-off by the pedophiles.

Doris is our “go-to” person for the orphanage, & although we have no legal platform to adopt-out, we could however find a family in our church who would be willing to temporarily house the boy until we could drag his paperwork through the “red tape” process.

Meanwhile on the other side of the planet, PJ quipped from the back seat of our rented minivan, “Dad, we just landed less than four days ago and have already driven over a thousand miles!” I peeped out the car window & noticed a bumper sticker, “Lady Driver…please be patient.” Then when we stopped in a second-hand store to pick up clothes that we were lacking for the trip, a woman was wearing a t-shirt which said, “Mrs. Always-Right”.

Patience is sometimes hard to come by in this ministry, since we live by God’s Great Commission to go everywhere to make disciples. Poring through the clothing racks, I found the perfect shirt for my suitcase. Somebody had attended on a missions trip to Trinidad & left behind the team shirt which had the Bible verse on the back which stated Matthew 4:19, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Whether we be in Davao, New York or Missouri, and whether rescuing street children from attack or destitute kids from illiteracy, the message is clear, “Let’s make sure that the entire planet rejoices with their knowledge of Christ’s salvation!”

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!

6/21/2018 Please pray for BCA’s construction team during the six weeks while we are in the USA. When we return, the roof of the gym will be over three feet higher, providing space so that the floor can be raised two feet and occasional likelihood of flooding will decrease. This same team will be on-hand in a few years (2020) when our paperwork is finished for BCA’s new tribal campus to begin construction.

Praise God that, after flying over Japan, Alaska & Northern Canada (en route to JFK), the clock had already made its full swing & was a few hours into its second time around when, somewhere over Wyoming at 7 miles high & 700 mph, I finally found a blanket. Good thing too as, when breakfast was served half an hour later, I spilled a full glass of tomato juice on my lap.

“Please pray that we can find 150 people to sponsor the kids on BCA’s waiting list.”

On Sunday, the second church we had started in Davao (out of 25) had a combined “Pastor’s Appreciation Sunday” & commissioning service for our upcoming USA speaking tour. It was actually a two-day celebration, as Saturday night was an (early) celebration of PJ’s 21st birthday, & Sunday evening was the final performance of PJ’s musical: “My Deliverer”. The latter was especially significant, as almost all the actors, singers & actresses were either BCA students or alumni of BCA, over the past 21 years.

As Elvie, PJ, Abby & I say in chairs on the stage, the church elders & others laid hands on us & prayed for God’s direction, protection & provision. On Wednesday we left for the Davao airport at 3am & about 12 hours later were flying out from Manila airport to New York, via Tokyo.

Landing in Japan that evening, the immigration official stated that we could not stay in the departure area overnight. So, after processing our passports, we decided to go ahead & stay at a relatively cheap hotel overnight about five miles away.

They had a nice buffet breakfast in the morning, & as we were eating noodles, bacon, rice stuff & so on, a kindly man approached our table.

“I couldn’t help noticing that your family prayed together before you ate,” he quipped. For the next half hour, we had a delightful conversation about our respective ministries worldwide. As he was departing, I interjected, “Sir, I do have a prayer request. Could you please pray that, during our 6-week USA speaking tour, we can find 150 people to sponsor the kids on BCA’s waiting list?” He agreed & then said, “But not to worry. It’ll be only 149 that you need now, as I will go ahead & sponsor a child!”

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

As BCA’s Teacher Jean had quipped recently to her first graders, “Excitement & eagerness to learn is half the task of education.” As we approach our tasks with a positive & Spiritually-expectant demeanor, God opens our eyes to His pleasant surprises along the way.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
6/14/2018 Please pray for our 6-week USA speaking tour, from June 13 through July 31. While we are scheduled to speak in many churches, bible studies, civic clubs and other locations, presenting the God-given mandate for missions, the bulk of our time will be spent in visiting & thanking the sponsors of BCA students.

Praise God that our church youth group & congregation, plus BCA faculty & friends came to celebrate an early 21st birthday party for PJ, since he will actually be out of the Philippines on his real birthday, later this month.

“Ashlein, come here.” Teacher Rea’s kindergarten Summer school class was larger (32 kids) than BCA’s usual prep classes (15 kids), since it has many non-matriculated students. Ashlein was new, & not accustomed to rules of etiquette in the classroom.

“Do you have to wander around the classroom while I am teaching? It is very distracting for the rest of the class!” As Ashlein continued her wandering, Teacher Rea got an idea.

“Kids, what animal moves around a lot?” A cute little boy with a roundish face & button nose raised his hand. “Oh, I know, I know! A snake!” Right, Toby. Very good. Now Toby, could you also tell me what animal stays in one place & pays attention? “Oh, my own faithful dog Rutrut is always obedient & stays right where I tell him to. He is so nice.”

Students, raise your hand if you want to be like a nice dog. All the hands went up except Ashlein’s. Now, who wants to be like a snake? No hands went up, but Ashlein sat down & from then on was more dog-like & less snake-like for the remainder of the class. She was very cooperative in all events together such as eating, singing, dancing, playing & learning.

In her evening devotions, Rea folded her hands & prayed, “Lord, thanks you for making life like a roller coaster- up and down, with more times of expectation than excitement…live it, be happy, enjoy life.”

That Friday I was at a community prayer meeting seated next to an elderly, retired missionary to Nepal. “What were your nineteen years in the Himalayas like?” I asked the white-haired woman with the huge smile.

“We were safe. The government recognizes Christians there, even though it is a Buddhist country.” I was surprised, as I thought that Nepal was averse to believers. Yet my friend continued. “It is the local believers who have the challenge. When a person becomes a believer, it is the law that they must immediately be arrested & remain in prison for six years. After which time they are always known as non-Buddhist Christians.”

“Are they treated well in jail?” I asked. Then she explained that many prisoners starve to death, since they are not fed nor cared for there. And yet more Nepalians were spending time in prison for becoming believers in Jesus, for Christian congregations were showing Christ’s love by providing food for their brothers & sisters in jail. The love was noticed & the Nepalis craved that family-type concern, so they were converting in large numbers. What turned out as a punishment actually caused the church to grow!

Perhaps one day Ashlein’s newfound knowledge of Rutrut’s dog-like faithfulness will grow into the type of care that Nepalese believers have for their brothers in need.

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
6/7/2018 Please pray for Elvie. A recent hospital checkup revealed that, upon our return to the Philippines in August, she will need to have thyroid surgery for goiter.

Please also keep praying for the governmental paperwork to clear for the establishment of our new BCA Tribal Foundation. Since our new campus is in a tribal mountain area, the foundation must be approved before the property title can be signed & construction can begin. We began the processing three years ago and the processing typically takes about that long. Yet it is still on hold.

Praise God that, after extremely long delays, the Davao Fire Department finally released our annual campus clearance safety permit for our city BCA campus. Due to a devastating shopping mall fire in December, where dozens were killed, the department has been clamping down on minor details of multi-level buildings. Since our campus has four stories, we were a target for severe evaluation. Our annual educational permit to operate required the fire permit as one of their requirements.

“Thank you, Lord!” fifteen “Father’s House” orphans, plus some BCA visitors & staff, the night before during our retreat through the mountains, memorized the song, “Thank you for saving my soul, making me whole, giving me salvation” & also the Bible verse Eph 3:18: “Be not drunk but filled with the Spirit.”

Wherever we went, at the public swimming pool, or sliding ten-in-a-row down the water slide or standing on the edge of a mountain cliff with an incredible miles-wide overlook, or in a food court surrounded with hungry diners, the kids recited & sang.

Just a few days ago we only had twelve orphans. But when Dean, our friend visiting from Mexico, joined Loraine (a member of the church youth group) to rescue street children, they found three more homeless boys who came in just in time to join the retreat. What fun they all had!

Elvie had just returned from Manila the day before, at a board meeting for an international missions team that she is a member of. They send out dozens of career missionaries worldwide to plant churches & empower Filipinos who are working abroad.

Just a few days before that, I was in a board mtg for a local International School for missionary kids, in a training session on the joys & challenges of educational community. “Hard things in life cause us to think hard about life” was followed-up by the decision, “Instead of just multiple choice, every class (even math) would have discussion in-class, not just lectures.” Since I was teaching a Bible class, the discussion ensued regarding King AMON. A student asked, “Did King Amon change the name of the land of Judah to AMMON-ia”?

Later, while making a test, I asked the name of the “Nahushtan” bronze snake that Moses had formed. It was destroyed by one of the kings. One of the choices I gave was, “cute little bronze-snake thingy”. However, in researching the meaning of “Nahushtan,” sure enough, it means (roughly) “cute little bronze snake thingy!” Hmm, that was one choice I eliminated.

While Elvie & I were attending ministry meetings, BCA’s Teacher Hazel taught her fourth grade VBS & summer school students, “Be prayerful!” In-between VBS meetings, the teachers were filling out their end-of-year government-required “Form 137” documents on each student, as well as their report cards.

“Students,” challenged Hazel, “A noun is a person, place or thing. A compound noun is two nouns, or a noun & a verb, put together for one idea.” She then wrote some nouns on the blackboard & asked the kids to add words to them to turn them into compound nouns.

How about “board?” A student came up & wrote “black” to make blackboard. Next, “How about ‘bus?’” Another student came up & wrote “school” to make school bus. Okay, now here is a very difficult one. How about “sun”? Without hesitation, a third student grasped his small finegers around his stretched-out piece of chalk & made “sunrise.”

Very good, students. We have seen the sunrise of your education, as summer school progresses. “Oh, teacher, you just made another compound noun!” Hmm, guess she did!

At the end of the week while Hazel was giving a spelling bee highlighting compound nouns, Elvie, PJ, Abby & I were on our way to the mountains with our orphans for their annual, 3-day retreat. While in the high mountain passes, we stopped to buy some native-made peanut brittle. But it didn’t agree with me, & when we slept on the floor of a church that night, my stomach felt like a herd of rhinos were trampling over it. After only a few hours of fitful sleep, the sunrise finally peeped over the hills.

In morning devotions, I challenged the fifteen orphans, “the Bible says we should pray for the sick. I am sick.” 24 orphans & staff gathered around me & prayed for my healing. A few hours later, the pain was gone & I joined in with the games.

During the 8-hour drive home, we stopped at a gas station & as the attendant pumped our fuel, the kids joined me singing the song, “Thank you for saving my soul, making me whole, giving me salvation”. God truly does make us whole. Guess that makes us like a compound noun, two joined in one purpose: God & us, together!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
5/31/2018 Please pray for Mark, an American dad of five, who is now volunteering to help at BCA, as assistant office manager. His wife & kids are helping too, sorting through the stuffed-animal bin, doing office work, & improving the BCA library!

Praise God that a friend from the southern USA sent $200 to help in our Emergency Medical fund, which pays some of the bills for children in life/death situations, who can’t otherwise afford hospitalization.

Praise God as well that another friend in the Northern USA sent much-needed funds for our new tribal campus’s construction.

Praise God for the life of Shirley, a senior citizen who just left for heaven a few days ago. Shirley has been sponsoring a child in BCA since shortly after her own husband died, over a decade ago. She also consistently & faithfully prayed for my triathlon events & practices.

“Without Jesus, we can do nothing!” PJ’s actors in his original musical, “My Deliverer,” could all make it to the day of the performance later this week…all but one: JESUS! “We can’t do a musical about Jesus without Jesus!”

It is true that in this work for Jesus, we must include Him in the plans. While printing a project at home on my laptop, I had a cord draped across the living room to the printer. Suddenly the printer stopped working. Sure enough, the cord had pulled itself out of the laptop. Without access to the source, there was not clear command for the printer. Likewise, without listening to Jesus telling us His plans, we fail to have clear direction.

Dean, a friend from Mexico, is here in Davao for a few weeks. He goes out on the streets in the wee hours of the morning to find homeless street kids who need the services of our orphanage. While we have a dozen orphans already, there are still vacant beds. With Dean here, he can try & fill those vacancies. Clear direction from one who cares. Jesus always cares.

Just last week Elvie returned from BCA’s annual 4-day teachers’ & Staff retreat, up in the mountains of Bukidnon. “What topic shall we focus on for the Bible lessons?” Elvie asked me, before they left. “How about the importance of studying the Bible, in personal individual quiet times with God?” I suggested. So that is what they did.

Every morning & evening they researched the reasons why believers do & do not study the Bible. Also, they examined their own personal devotional lives & then made commitments to improve & prioritize personal Bible study. Since the retreat travelled progressively, from one location to another, sleeping on the floors of churches & also swimming at resorts along the way, they picked up souvenirs en route. At their first stop, a beautiful, scenic location, all were tasked to find a stone or rock which they could cherish. Some stones were big while others were small. They even painted their names on the stones.

On the last day of the retreat, on their way home, they were asked to deposit their stones into a pile & leave them behind. Many objected. “I chose this one especially. I know just where I will put it on my shelf at home.” But Elvie said, “These stones represent things that distract us from our quiet time with God. We must make sacrifices: of time on the internet, time reading or watching basketball on television, etc., so that we can get our daily clear direction from God.” So, one by one, the employees brought their cherished stones to the pile & discarded them.

I couldn’t go on the retreat since I was still teaching my Bible Class at the International school, where Abby was finishing up her Junior year & PJ was teaching his final drama “Improv” classes. I had asked my eighteen 6th & 7th grade students, “Would you prefer to have a final test on the last day of class, or a game?” Not so surprisingly, it was unanimous that they would have a game. I prepared games that would use the knowledge they had gleaned from the past months of Old Testament Bible study.

As a student sat in a chair with the name of a King on the wall behind him or her, the students answered yes or no to questions about the king until the “chair-person” got it right. Pooling together their knowledge, almost every student finally guessed it right. Collectively, our various experiences in Christian growth result in incredible understanding of God’s plans.

All to say, together, we have clear direction from Jesus, when we all are on regular speaking terms with Jesus!

Until next time…

Let the islands rejoice!
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.

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 September 30, 2018
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