Barner Christian Academy

The Latest News


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: June 6: Crestwood, KY. June 8: Ft Myers, FL. June 13: Orlando, FL. June 16: Jacksonville, FL. June 20: Bishopville, SC.

Please pray for Filipinos who have been caught in Typhoon (Tropical Depression) Dante’s potential path of devastation through to its outer rainbands with isolated to scattered flooding, including flash floods, & rain-induced landslides due to surface runoff or swelling of river channels. Also, a new low-pressure area is also being monitored near the Philippines.

Praise God that our son PJ has just been notified by the Navient student loan association that he has made his final & full payment & no longer has student loans.

Praise God also that the BCA students have just finished their third quarter & the faculty members are now computing grades.

Praise God for sending Brianna, a pastor’s kid from Upstate New York, to accompany our family’s 6-week, 5,000 mile speaking tour to interpret with sign language & also to celebrate her 19th birthday with us, while on the road.
Praise God that many people have listed BCA as the recipient of charity funds delegated through the Amazon Smile Campaign, providing BCA with $58.99, which will be delegated for emergency calamity relief & related required renovations during the present pandemic.

Praise God for a delightful pastor’s conference that we attended in Nashville, Tennessee this past week.

“Dear Sponsor, God’s love is the greatest of all.” JR’s letter to his sponsor enhanced my accompanying “President’s comment” card which accompanied it, stating “You are creating a major step of confidence in the life of this future leader…changing the world, one child at a time.”

Kristyl also reiterated JR’s comment with, “While I pray you have a healthy body, I also am happy that God has guided you to sacrifice taking your wife out to eat on a date at a restaurant and making a wonderful memory… so that you could pay for my education. What love! What better way to show your spouse how deep is your love for her…” Kristyl went on, saying “Friendships are lifelong. While I have no BF [boyfriend] on Facebook, I have learned from you that happiness comes from helping others, not just having others tell me how great or pretty I am.” Finally, she added a postscript of “By the way, if you still want to go on that date, the Philippines is a pretty place to visit…that is all I have to say… I know it is little but I hope you like it.”

Brief appreciative comments from others kids ranged: [from Airesh] “Thank you so much for you.” [to Kyen] “Thank God for creating a sponsor like you” [to Silane] “As I am so blessed that you are my sponsor, may God shower back upon you additional blessings and also to protect you.” [to Melody] “I am praying for your good health always” [& James] “Thank you for praying for my family to be safe during the pandemic.”

“The whole world,” [penned Michael] “is under a pandemic crisis. And yet you, touched by God Himself, You, loving sponsor that you are, you, continue to support me. Thank you for your big big love.” [Michael’s comment was reiterated by cute little Rizza, with] “you never leave me & stay by my side, keeping me safe all through this year, & also for my family. Yet the quarantine has continued. Staying home, we appreciate the most important things like family & food & togetherness. Sometimes we have no food. Sometimes we are lonely, but ultimately we have everything we truly need though our Almighty God.”

Julia said, “You have chosen to reserve a very special, place in your heart, just for me. I am a Filipino & many Filipinos are not very big. So, there is room in there for me to grow!” [Mytreakyl] With ALL my heart, thanks for yoru generosity

[Sophia] “Stay really healthy for a long time, so that one day I can save up to meet you someday.”

[Derek] “Whoah. Talk about generosity! Even as you have been full to overflowing with generosity & kindness, even so may your day be filled to overflowing with joy, love & kindness.”

[Xyryl] “How are you? I am very happy to write this letter. Sometimes, I read the letters you sent me. Even as God loves me through you, I pray that God makes you strong through me. Thank you verrry much you are verrry supportive & loving to me.”

And finally, John wraps up all the comments with his concise note to his sponsor. “If ever I finish my studies, it is because of you and your support or me. Our day here is full of sweetness because I wish you were here on this blessed day.”

How incredible that these kids lives are being transformed positively for the next many decades by people they may never see in this life. What love.

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


A. PJ & Abby’s singalong masterlink:

B. TU- 11 min, 44 sec June 1, 2021

C . TH- 6 min, 40 sec May 27, 2021

D. Message: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 “Rise Up!” (John 11:37-45) 0 hr, 27 min, 13 sec.

Present Need: $543 for Davao City engineers office annual inspection: Building fee, Renewal of signage permit & electrical fee, and also Repair of Aircons- spare parts, Repair and maintenance of BCA Buses: Bus Fi, N, L, Fo & M.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 526

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Wish to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


Support us through Amazon Smile!

Go to and type "Paul M Barner Ministries Inc" as the charitable organization you want to support. That's all you have to do! Now when you shop, 0.5% of the purchase price will be automatically donated to our ministry, at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

PayPal Merchant ID for Paul M Barner Ministries (Barner Christian Academy) is Z89E34M2ZBQM6


Abby- Youth Group President, Church Music team, High School Varsity Volleyball team

PJ- University of Albany 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 Missionary 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

BCA Landline: 011-63-82-234-4000
Paul's Cell Phone: (518) 577-8287
Magic Jack Computer phone: (518) 772-2359

Home address: 18 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144



Happy Memorial Day, USA! (5/31)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: May 30: Bloomington, IN. June 2: Nashville, TN. June 6: Crestwood, KY. June 8: Ft Myers, FL. June 13: Orlando, FL.

Please pray for our BCA staff overseas. They are actively seeking out qualified teachers and a licensed librarian for the next school year.

Praise God that our speaking at Poughkeepsie Alliance Church recently went well. Their church had a bad fire a year ago, so they meet temporarily in a Reformed Church nearby. Our son PJ helped the tech crew to adapt our background accompaniments in audio & visual to that in the Reformed Church.

"👍" Klanenz was asked by BCA’s Teacher Angel, in the chatline, what his response was in one of the discussions. She expected at least a paragraph or a sentence, or even a phrase for his answer. But instead, this 4th grader sent a “thumbs-up” sign!

Most of the students were really performing well, even during the pandemic. Yet for those few who have internet, some of them could not hear clearly because of roosters crowing in the background or little brothers & sisters playing. And then there is the ever-present challenge of defective gadgets & headphones they are using.

Angel avoids favoritism toward specific students, yet gives points to those who answer & participate. But really? A “👍"? Is that considered a response? She also noticed that some students listen & close their cameras, muting their microphones. “Well,” thought Angel, “When I was a kid, I also had siblings who were my age studying & becoming a distraction....”

Angel was rescued when she was invited to go with another teacher on the school bus to deliver rice to a needy family in the Oceanview squatter hut area. Angel asked the driver to bring her to the “thumbs-up” hut, & she brought along her reading comprehension books. Klanenz & Dennis both were thrilled, that after so many months of studying at home, they were able to have their teacher come right to their doors!

During their quick reading tutorial, as Angel instructed them to read, she was shocked at both of their improvements in reading speed. She let Dennis read CVC, giving him a rate of 6/10. Yes, more assignments will lead to more attention & practice. So, she left with him some reading materials she’d brought for him to practice at home so that when it comes time for the students to return to campus (whenever that may be), there will be even more improvement.

As she left, Teacher Angel brought back to the school some completed homework papers from her students. Setting them on her personal cubicle at BCA, Secretary Faith informed her that the cubicles had been rearranged and that hers was now on the second row instead of the first. As she was transferring her papers from one cubicle to the other, she picked up an assignment that she had not yet corrected for Klarenze. So, she graded it &, before placing it into the stack of papers to be delivered by the drivers the next day, developed a mischievous grin on her face & took a few markers into her hand. At the top of the page, she drew a yellow & red "👍".

At home later, Angel opened her Bible, reading from the passage, “Well done, thou good & faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” Taking a pencil, she underlined “well done” and drew in the margin, a thumbs-up"👍"

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TU- 9 min, 29 sec May 25, 2021

C . Message: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 “Called To Win Souls” (Romans 10:15) 0 hr, 10 min, 26 sec.

Present Need: $422 for 1 set socket wrench for all buses, Repair and maintenance of Buses

# of students sponsored at BCA: 525

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Wish to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing:

May 16: Clinton, NY.
May 23: Poughkeepsie, NY.
May 30: Bloomington, IN.

Please pray for our upcoming 5,000-mile speaking tour, traveling along the USA’s East Coast, May 23-July 11. The “Brood X” 17-year locust (also known as cicadas), hibernating underground since 2004, are due to come out by the trillions in June, with their excruciatingly-loud 100+ decibel hum, & part of our journey will include camping outdoors in NC & SC. Fun!

Praise God that, while cutting up the enormous tree that fell on Dad’s storage barn, we found my Bible & cellphone which have been lost for nearly 2 weeks. I’d been listening to the Bible online while working, & keeping my place in the book itself. But when I got distracted they both slid under the wreckage and debris.

“Love is seen in a heart-shape.”

Each of BCA’s students were studying the concept of love, in 1 Corinthians 13. A 9-yr old was jotting a note to his sponsor & poetically penned, “It is an intense feeling of affection with no limits nor conditions.” She added, “There is romantic love, God’s love, friendship love & sibling love.” Then she paused &, before signing her paper, jotted one last idea: “But you know, I love you & that must be its own special type of love, huh?”

A six-year old’s comment was a tad bit hard to follow, unless it was read over & over, at least three times. “Thank you for the blessing of being my sponsor. I love you like my shoes. You are a blessing, for you fit my need for an education, ‘just right!’”

Mark, a 7th grader, blended-in his Social Studies notes: “Dear sponsor, WOW. Even during this global pandemic, God is so faithful to meet my needs though you. Even my family suffers from day to day, not from starvation or anything like that, but from being couped-up inside our tiny hut. Yet I am personally warmed inside when I think that you, my sponsor, on the other side of the earth, are praying for me. No longer do these walls block me in. No, my soul soars across the ocean to embrace you for your kindness.”

Rooey, a 3rd grader, noted, “Whoa. These modular courses & blended learning are really kind of strange to get used to. But then, I do have my two sisters to help me out, & I don’t get that when I am in a real classroom. So, I guess the coronavirus is not so bad when you have older siblings, huh?”

One of her older sisters, Reinne, wrote, “Lord, thanks for my family. Every day they remind me that eventually, everything will go back to normal…& THE SOONER THE BETTER!”

And her oldest sister, Red, added, “I am doing ok…well, even more than okay. Next year I will be a senior high school student. I want to study Japanese! A Philippine Government scholarship, combined with your sponsorship of me at BCA, will allow me to actually go to Japan with 21 other students as cultural exchange students! Please pray that I be accepted… They’ll release the results in July.” She noted as well that she’ll miss her family if she is accepted in Japan, but after getting used to distance learning during this Pandemic, she knows how to communicate via Zoom on a daily basis with loved ones. “…and I can still help my little sister doing her Science homework, from 3,000 miles away!”

Finally, 6th Grader Sedney closed out this section on evaluating 1 Corinthians 13. “Love never fails. And you never have failed me, my dear, dear, loving & committed sponsor. Since I was young you have been there, from Kindergarten to Grade 6. Sometimes my grades were really, really bad, especially in subjects I didn’t like, like Math. But I did not give up. Now I promise I will not ever give up. I doubly follow & listen to my heart. I also will get an ‘A+’ from God my Bestest Teacher, in praying for you, that you all are 1) heathy, & 2) strong in the faith. Remember, ‘love never fails.’”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TH- 9 min, 41 sec May 6, 2021

D. Message: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 “Be an Encourager” (Acts 11:18-26) 0 hr, 32 min, 9 sec.

Present Need: $1,008 for Repair of aircon, Bond paper/ink for modules, Repair of printers (4 units), Materials for classroom repainting, BCA Buses: Buses L & M (gas), Bus F (gas, rubber cup, brake fluid), Bus Ph (gas, change oil, fuel hose, hose cup, fuel pump, oil seal, replacement of accelerator/labor, Registration).

Number of students sponsored at BCA: 519

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Wish to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


Happy Mothers’ Day (5/9) Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May)!

Please pray for a quick response from the insurance company after an enormous maple tree fell on my dad’s barn/storage building April 31. The tree was over 10 feet in diameter, and destroyed the roof and walls. We’re chopping up the tree now, with a large pile of firewood. As soon as the insurance settlement arrives, we can repair the damage so that we will once again have storage space for our things before we leave the country for 6 months back to Davao.

Praise God that I survived my 2nd Pfizer coronavirus shot, without too many complications (except temporary yet severe headaches).

“Can I do the math exam 1st?” asked the cute 6th grader with a pink bow in her hair, whose face appeared in the Zoom call.

BCA’s Teacher Hazel responded, “No Khaila, Filipino first & Math isn’t until 3rd period.”

Teacher Hazel had painstakingly preparing questionnaires & tests that would adapt to the Google format, pleased that the kids had responded favorably to her advances in technological prowess.

With rain threatening to compromise the unstable internet connection, Hazel prioritized the subjects which were less popular (like Aral-Pan Social studies, and frictional forces in Science) before the more popular ones like solid figures in Math.

At the end of the day, as the rain poured outside, Hazel praised God for holding off the rain until the last test had been submitted for correction.

Logging-into her gradebook the great grades of the students was a joy to Hazel. She had worked oh, so hard in preparation, evaluating how to do things via YouTube instructional videos, etc.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean in New York, our kids PJ & Abby are also taking exams & submitting final reports. Their last school year ends in just 2 weeks! Yay, almost cap & gown time once again! And whatta year to adapt to as well!

Adapting was the subject of my morning message this week, from Acts 20. Eutychus was a boy who had curled up in the window to take a nap while the Apostle Paul was preaching. He fell out the window & died, but God, through Paul, brought him back to life again. Rejoice!

This past week had been filled with challenging situations. I lost my cell phone & after buying a new one, spent hours and hours activating it & transferring information to it. Then Elvie & I were severely sleep-deprived, since the pastors’ conference in the Philippines was during Filipino daytime which is NY nighttime. All night long from 7:30 pm to 8:30am…whew!

Then the dishwasher broke & I had to every day bail out the grungy water. And finally, the crowning calamity: that gargantuan tree in the back yard fell on our barn, destroying it. Whew! Ok, that week is done. But like Khaila in Hazel’s class, “Y’know God, just one thing at a time, in Your perfect order (well, maybe four things at once) & then the good stuff comes!

Rescuing boxes of old letters from the attic of the barn so they wouldn’t be destroyed in the rain, I spent one afternoon poring through the boxes of old pictures & reading cheerful old letters from decades ago. Hmmm, maybe this isn’t all so bad after all…

Then on Sunday after church we were still all dolled-up & we scooted over to Washington Park where it was downright sunny and almost warm. The four of us posed next to the tulips in bloom: stunning deep red ones, moody purple, yellow & lively orange ones, along with many other flowers I can’t pronounce.

“Lord, even when things are not going quite according to plan…as I read in Psalm 23, it’s okay, because you are with me. Together, we can get through this. Yeah, no prob.”

Back in the Philippines, Hazel had graded all the tests, but one last thing was on her agenda. The bus drivers had brought in the little white Styrofoam cups with plants in them, which each student had planted 3 weeks ago. All were growing, so she went up to the rooftop garden & in the rain planted each gingerly in the rows she’d prepared for them. “Lord, even as I watch these plants grow and produce fruit (vegetables) I know that you are growing these kids (and myself) into better servants of yours.”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TH- 19 min, 59 sec April 29, 2021

D. Message: Thursday, May 6, 2021 “Trials’ Treasures” (Acts 20:7-12) 0 hr, 40 min, 17 sec.

Present Need: $2,546 for wire & labor for rewiring of internet connection, Fluorescent bulb, Repair & Maintenance of BCA buses: Ph, N, Fi, C & M.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 519

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.


Philippine Labor Day (5/1) USA National Day of Prayer May 6

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing:

Please pray for Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, Philippine northern provinces whose continued Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) has been extended until May 14, 2021, after the country had its one millionth positive case of covid.

Praise God for an American policeman friend who responded to last week’s request for funds to pay for food & fuel for hungry Filipinos during covid lockdowns. Now we can send the hungry Filipinos more food!

Prasie God also that Elvie & I joined 4,630 online delegates for a Philippine pastor's conference this week. Since the 4-day conference is in the daytime there, it is nighttime here, so we were up every evening from 7pm until 8am! Whew! Can't wait to get back overseas! Also, one of our very gifted pastors, Jaime, was ordained during the ceremonies!

“Yay! We are back in school!” Since four of Teacher Grace’s 5th graders really, really needed face-to-face tutoring to bring them up in their reading skills, the school had governmental permission to have these few students receive permits to travel Davao’s roads & be under BCA the school roof. For the past 14 months, no students had been allowed on campus, due to threats of the virus.

Teacher Grace has been constantly busy every day in preparing PowerPoint online lessons & also creating/printing thousands of pages of worksheets & lessons on all eleven subjects for her non-internet students. Modules, printers, computers & research…it just hadn’t been the same as being right there with the kids previously.

Grace (GH) had just submitted the 2nd quarter report cards & designed to print certificates for the student with highest honors thus far, plus 3 others who had honors, then the dozen-or-so close runners-up (above 85% grade).

Aral-Pin (Social Studies) has been the one major subject with the most challenging research to be done. Since it guides students in processing & practicing life skills & values in society, the Filipino society has transformed to one of excelled protection & safety over this past year. The students have shared online the development for their life skills and, since they are already 5th graders, exemplified a proper work ethic.

“Oh Lord,” prayed GH, “Thank you for the teachers’ devotional this morning!” Every week, the faculty & staff take turns leading the morning Bible study, & today the “exhorter” was the school’s cashier, Minmin. “We learned that You give us more grace when the burden is greater, You send us more strength when the labors increase…when our strength has failed before the day is half done, well, You got this already Lord. I just give it all to you!” With renewed energy, GH tackled the burden of preparation for her first in-person students of the year (recently termed “learners” in the Philippines).

Since Teacher GH had downloaded some stories & reading materials both in Filipino & English, she decided to also use the modules she’d printed in both subjects since there are many topics to use in reading comprehension. Temporarily distracted by a quote in her Science textbook, it surprised her when, out of the corner of her eye she saw a student come in through the door to sit in one of the four chairs she had sterilized & prepared.

When all four “learners” had found their seats, GH opened the class-time with prayer & then they stood to sing the national anthem. GH did not consider this superfluous, as it helped the kids look beyond the vast empty space in the classroom, & instead to get the feel for existing in a school again.

True to Teacher Grace’s expectations, it became apparent that the reason why the students’ grades had suffered was their non-accountable environment of learning at home instead of with a trained teacher right there with them. Fortunately, only four of the thirty in the class needed this added impetus.

In fact, these four kids learned so quickly that GH had them take a break after the first hour to sing & dance with the music of a Christian song she had on tape. Once they caught their breaths again, they ate the snacks they had brought with them & then continued practicing their reading skills. Intonation, pronunciation, ability to understand what they had read…all aspects were received with an A+ rating.

After sending them off for the day, GH knelt down at the foot of each chair & desk where here students had just sat. “Oh Lord, You truly have fulfilled Your promise. When the burden grew greater, you gave more grace. When the labor increased, you gave me the strength. Now, please do what I cannot do…I am here & my learners are there at home. Be with them for me now, Oh Lord, I pray. Amen.”

Still feeling the ambience of school & re-imagining the memories of teachers, students raising their hands, taking turns, & the fun noises of classes in session, GH began her work for tomorrow’s typed & printed & also online virtual modules of Science…electrical currents (yet she felt like she had supernatural current flowing through her now!)

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TU- 9 min, 55 sec April 27, 2021

C. Message: Thursday, April 29, 2021 “Fire in My Bones Part 1” (Jeremiah 20:8-12) 0 hr, 17 min, 2 sec.

D. Message: Thursday, April 29, 2021 “Fire in My Bones Part 2” (Jeremiah 20:8-12) 0 hr, 17 min, 55 sec.

Present Need: $957.92 Cash for Food asssistance ($40 x 20 teachers & staff), Cleanup supplies & disinfectant supplies, Gas for BCA Bus Fi.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 519

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.


Philippine Barners’ Prayer Diary 4/29/2021. Happy Arbor Day (4/30)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: April 25: Nelliston, NY. May 2: East Greenbush, NY. May 9: Geneva, NY.

Please pray for the few BCA students who are having difficulties studying from home. Especially the speech-impaired ones who really thrive when there is close interaction. Covid’s distance learning has taken its toll on these students.

Praise God for the stamina and endurance of our dozens of house churches! These bivocational pastors truly love their congregations and are careful to remain fully masked & social distanced, even though some of the members are not, as they visit them in their homes to pray for their families.

“Oh, He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own…and the joy…” BCA’s Teacher Shela had a lilt in her step as she hummed away the tune to this precious hymn, coming into work.

Shela arrived at her desk and a pile of modules from her students had been delivered there by the bus drivers. Two notebooks looked very similar, since they were from the twins, Maree & Mhaya. Another thing they had in common was that neither of them had finished their assignments. Shela called the mom, but was informed that she is often at work, & it is the older brother who helps them with their schoolwork. Shela probed a tad further & was assured that the mom would follow-up on their completion when she gets home.

Meanwhile on the other side of the ocean in New York, I (Paul) was looking through my dad’s papers. He rarely threw away anything regarding his children, since we were so precious to him. Since Dad died four months ago, we now have the privilege of weeding out what to keep & what to recycle. I went out to get the mail, & what was there in the mailbox with the letters, but my third-grade report card! Of course, it was not lost in the mail for 55 years, (one of my siblings put it there) but nonetheless, I could see that I couldn’t really judge the twin BCA students, since even I was far from perfect when I was in 2nd & third grades!

Back in Davao, Shela started up her online class with those who had internet. The topic was English: synonyms & antonyms. “Class, I will be meeting for the first time this year with three of your classmates, in the school 2nd grade classroom. I am so excited! What is a synonym for excited?” They came up with “EAGER! PASSIONATE! THRILLED!” and what about an antonym? “BORED. LAID-BACK. APATHETIC.”

“That was great! Good answers.” When the online class was over and Quennie, Rob & Anton were due to arrive, Shela set up the chairs, preparing carefully for the required social distancing. Anton, being the more talkative one of the bunch, dominated from the get-go. “HI GUYS! YAY! WE ARE BACK!” Shela let know-it-all Anton ramble on about his homelife for 2 minutes, then interrupted. “Thank you so much, but now let us get on with our class.”

“If you, Quennie, were to give an antonym of Goliath in today’s Bible story, who would it be?” Since she had directed the question to Quennie, Anton was polite & quietly let her answer. Yet when her answer was “Adam,” Anton interrupted with, “Uh, I don’t think so. Wouldn’t it be David, Teacher Shela?” Of course, both answers could be right, so Shela used it as a lesson to look at both the obvious answer as well as possible other ones.

When the kids had gone home a few hours later, Shela was back to singing the song that she had started the day with. “Oh Lord, it was a great, awesome, super fantastic day today. And why? Because you walked with me, and you talked with me, and you told me that I am Your own. And the joy we shared…”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TU- 15 min, 0 sec April 20, 2021

C. TH- 8 min, 42 sec April 22, 2021

D. Message: Saturday, April 24, 2021 “Willing Servants” (Acts 16:13-15) 0 hr, 27 min, 21 sec.

Present Need: $1,460 for Rice/ Groceries for BCA Teachers & Staff & FAF Elders, Repair & Maintenance & fuel for BCA Buses M & Fi.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 518

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: April 18: Watertown, NY. April 25: Nelliston, NY. May 2: Albany, NY.

Please pray for those 100,000 displaced Filipinos living as refugees in churches & schools, since they lived in the path of Super Typhoon Surigae (locally termed “Bising”) a few days ago. While the storm didn’t actually make landfall, its rains & 190mph winds affected many towns & villages, & a 79-yr-old man died when a coconut tree fell on him. The 500-mile stretch of rainclouds flooded 22 villages & caused power outages in 4 provinces. One farmer is missing after bringing his boat to a nearby island to secure his farm animals. Mayors said they have to open more evacuation centers to ensure social distancing during the pandemic. “It’s really tough, it’s toxic, but we have no choice.” The storm’s rains also affected countries half a planet away in the USA.

Praise God for the hospitality of the dual-serviced Watertown, New York church we spoke at this past weekend. The people were very kind & four even agreed to sponsor students at BCA! Of the 21 Sundays we still have in the USA before flying back to Davao in mid-September, 40% of the Sundays are already confirmed for us to speak.

Praise God also that, even though the three main Philippine airlines have cut Hong Kong off as being “high-risk”, the USA is starting to once again receive more favorable status. This is due to Hong Kong’s grouping the Philippines in with India & Pakistan as “extremely high-risk countries” due to a second local coronavirus case with a mutated strain. Frontline workers are being vaccinated now at a higher rate, for the safety of the passengers. These include pilots, cabin crew, ground staff & counter clerks.

“Please prepare your 1st-grade daughter Savannah for today’s class from 9-11 this morning, okay?” BCA’s Teacher Janice had added pictures to her online PowerPoint, as well as her door-delivered modules so that her 30 students could easily identify the ideas. Her PowerPoint also had the advantage of videos, which the modules did not. So, she included links in the paperwork which the kids could access if they knew somebody with a cell phone.

The morning teachers’ devotional had focused on God’s love: “Our salvation,” said BCA’s Nurse Lucy, “would not exist if it were not for Jesus. His love is so incredibly deep that He died & rose for us.”

Janice reminded herself, “This is my surest example of true love, Remembering Jesus’ love helps me to also love these kids!”

At 8:59, she could already see a few of the 1st graders signing into her Zoom mtg, using the chat -ID code she had provided (with their parents’ help). After they all sang the National Anthem & prayed, they joined in a rousing 15-second Tik-Tok-like “Energizer Song”. Lots of the 1st graders were dancing in the background!

“Ok class, time to settle down. While you were dancing around, I noticed some of the stuff in your homes rattling & shaking.” Michael piped in with “Uh-oh, gotta watch Mama’s glass cups on the shelf!”

Teacher Janice shared about the government-required seminar she’d joined with the moral, “Earthquakes do not kill. Buildings do”. Johana quipped, “my internet signal is so on-&-off that it almost seems like an earthquake!” Janice was pleased that the kids so enjoyed their class that neither the sporadic signal, nor the current pandemic could dampen the continuation of the class, due to their interest & willingness to study.

In preparation for next week’s exam, Janice ended the 2-hour class-time with a quiz. Japheth & Alexia both joined in with an “Aw, do we have to?” But Janice assured them that they could answer the questions in the form of a poem or a prayer, & then they could piece them all together in the next week’s energizer song.

“YES!” exclaimed Rhaen. “I can TOTALLY do that!”

“But Teacher Janice,” responded Jayward, in a wee little voice, “I don’t know how to pray!” Janice was pleased as punch when Justine assured her classmate, “Aw, Jayward. It is so easy. When we pray every day, it becomes as normal as eating and drinking.”

Twenty minutes later, after Janice had already signed-off the class, she pored through their quizzes. Immediately she noticed a common denominator in all, whether they be focused on Math, Social Studies or Filipino Language. Due to the “Rhyming & Praying” focus, they all mentioned showing love & respect for others. Zach’s quiz especially caught her attention, since it hinged on her morning teacher’s devotional about God’s love:

“Jesus does my math for me.// Not my Dad. Not my Mom. Not even Ate (older sister) Dee.// When I add one, ten, two & three,// He whispers “answer sixteen’s the key!”

Teacher Janice smiled, jotting down a postscript to Zach’s 1st grade rhyme, “Your grade just raised to A from C!”
Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TU- 14 min, 17 sec April 13, 2021

C. TH- 11 min, 4 sec April 15, 2021

D. Message: Friday, April 16, 2021 “Regenerational Transformation” (Jonah 3:4-10) 0 hr, 31 min, 31 sec.

Present Need: $1,531 for 2 units of Epson Printers, Printing of modules (bond paper, ink, 3 staplers, staple wire), Disinfection Materials, Materials for cementing the pathway beside the canal, Painting materials for building’s wall beside canal, BCA BUSES: Bus “L” oil seal, Bus “M” fuel, Bus “Ph & C & Fi” gas, Bus “F” oil seal, bearing, carrier differential, machining of gear checkup of differential & overhaul of transmission.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 518

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: April 11: Inner-Albany, NY. April 12-14: Horseheads, NY. April 18: Watertown, NY. April 25: Nelliston, NY.

Please pray for an end to the brewing tensions caused by the Chinese military along the Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea. American & Philippine military are planning a defense since the Chinese now have over 200 vessels amassed there. Col. Brunk said by training together, the two militaries (Philippines & USA) build upon each other & strengthen & add value to their partnership & friendship.

Praise God that, in honor of a friend’s mom turning 80, she wants to give toward the need mentioned last week, for fuel, paint, paper, ink & some other pressing school needs at BCA.

Praise God too that I was able to share at a pastors' conference this week, and my brother’s church hosted me at their “annex” (actually a whole house!).

"Teacher Shela, I disconnected again! Please re-send me the link!” Shela must have received these “emergency” cellphone text messages 20 times during every class day. Out of Shela’s 30 2nd graders, only five of them have internet, and the rest complete piles of daily worksheets and notebook entries at home.

“I feel like three people: a teacher, a technician, and a secretary!” But shela noticed something unexpected during the daily class sessions. Unlike the “normal pre-covid” years (oh, those were the days!), the class was now, not just listening. Rather, they were participating. There was much more interaction, even with the “off-line” students. “It is like we are in a ship, and everybody has their duties to do. I just wish I didn’t have to swab the deck so often when things get a tad messy!”

But on Tuesday, it seemed as though nothing worked right. She shut down the entire program and rebooted it. While waiting (knowing that her students were also at home, waiting for the system to be restored), she opened her Bible to the passage which Teacher Diane had referred to in the morning devotions. Philippians 4: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength!” Well, she thought, God does give ME strength, but it would also be good if He gave this internet some strength as well!

As she looked up form her Bible, the screen clicked back on and the Math lesson she had prepared was right there in front of her. The first lesson was on “Division as Equal Sharing”. In it, a boy had fifteen balloons and five friends. Three times, he gave a balloon to each friend, until there was nothing left. “Students, how many balloons does Mario have left?” None.

How is this like God? God gives to all of us all that we need. Yet how is this NOT like God? Nadya piped up. “God never runs out!” exactly. God has continual supply. Just like my verse, thought Shela. “I can do all things through God whose strength never, ever runs out!”

Nadya then started a poem, “God is the God who always supplies…”
Ann joned in, "Which we will see if we open our eyes..."
Back to Nadya again, “But when we close them and fall into sleep…”

This time it was RJ who finished the couplet, “God’s already provided the next day’s so we don’t have to count sheep!”
All those online applauded, and Shela jotted down the words so she could send them to the students who don’t have internet.
For the rest of the class time, they put the words to music. What fun!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TU- 23 min, 10 sec April 6, 2021

C. TH- 14 min, 18 sec April 14, 2021

D. Message: Sunday, April 11, 2021 “Pray for Mercy” (Genesis 18:16-33) 0 hr, 46 min, 34 sec.

Present Need: $1,124 for Printing of modules (bond paper, ink, staple wire), Computer Mouse, Repair of printers (3 units), Hard Drive/external for Sponsorship pictures, Carpentry work materials, repair of ceiling outside offices of principal, registrar & Sk offices -flexiboard for clinic’s office wall, 4th grade exit door, repair of 2nd floor bathroom near science lab, BCA BUSes: Bus “M” fuel Bus “Fi” gas, amper gauge, taggle switch, window riser, wires, jumper/carbueretor space, Bus “Ph” gas, repair of differential & installation of bearing, bearing, axle o/s, cross joint, brake shoe, gear oil, press in/press out, brake fluid, motor oil, hub nut, grease, sure brake, rubber cup, bulb.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 516

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Wish to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: April 4 (Easter): Albany, NY. April 11: Inner-Albany, NY. April 12-14: Horseheads, NY. April 18: Watertown, NY.

Please pray for the end of the recent surge of global anti-Asian violence. A video released on Instagram by Diet Prada on March 29, 2021, showed a man punching & kicking a 65-year-old Filipino-American woman, who was on her way to church in Midtown Manhattan in broad daylight. Sadly, the footage also captured guards shutting the doors on her, hence the media site’s caption, “If you see something, do nothing?”

Praise God that, after the death of Alma (one of the BCA moms), the whole school (teachers, drivers, secretaries, etc) along with the church (members, pastors, deacons/esses, youth, kids) came to the house to sing & encourage the family, around the casket in their living room.

“You are my inspiration!” Alnico, a BCA student, was sending a thank you card to his generous sponsor. “I promise I will strive hard to reach my goal & will make you proud. Like I said, you are my inspiration to succeed!”

Alnico, along with 2 of his Eleventh-Grade classmates; Ronavic & Abegail, have been struggling these past 14 months of pandemic to keep up in their studies through reading hundreds of pages, & filling-out weekly worksheets & exams/quizzes designed by their teachers.

“I had finally, after 7 months of modular lessons, started to get the hang of this ‘blended learning’ approach.” If you looked closely, Alnico’s handwriting turned a bit shaky at this point. “But then, calamity struck! On the day before Christmas, my brother was admitted to the hospital & he, myself, mother, father, Tita & grandma were diagnosed with COVID-19.” He went on to explain that they were all isolated from people in quarantine so that the virus would not spread & weeks later they were finally free & healthy, thanks to God.

Abegail added in her note, “I am glad that we are safe. Through it all, you never let me down. You faithfully supported me every month, & as I sneezed, coughed, ran a high fever & found it hard to breathe, I thought about you.”

All three kids inserted the same postscript in their notes as they said, “I hope that you are safe right now. I may not ever be able to show this enough to you, but thank you so much for your kindness with many thanks & prayers.”

God is our refuge during this time of pandemic. Abegail worded it succinctly when she referred to God’s Sovereign plan. “I want to thank the Lord for choosing you as my sponsor. Indeed God is always, always perfect!”

Jhey sent one final word, “I am so sure that, since you have such a kind, generous heart to provide this education for me, God will keep on providing for your every need. I guess you could say, God is your sponsor!”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


Present Need: $1,010.78 for Printing of modules (bond paper, ink) Cabinet for modules (plyboard, nails, paint, etc), Materials for classroom repainting, Flower pots (cement, paint & brushes), Repair & repainting of kindergarten room , BCA Bus “M” gas, “Fi” gas, repair/ reconditioning of carbueretor, Bus “Ph” gas, motor oil, spare parts (4 pcs bearing, electrical tape, toggle, welding acetelyn, wiper bushing, motor oil, A-wire, A-bulb, A-bulb, starlight switch, Rubber cup, labor and materials of electrical connections, check up, rewiring, Bus “Fo” labor & mechanic, gas, starter 12 volts, hose & hose clips, relay & relay switch, toggle switch, Brake fluid, rubber cap, bulbs, auto wire, silicon, blinker light, non-sng for dashboard, spark plug, oil filter, fuse glas/ plate in, chamois, fuel pump assembly, t/m support, sealed beam, motor oil, labor- tune up of engine, replaced oil seal of transmission & reconditioning of differential.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 516

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,606.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Want to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


Easter (Resurrection) Sunday (4/4)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: March 28: East Greenbush, NY. March 29: Helderberg Christian School. April 4: Albany, NY. April 11: Inner-Albany, NY. April 12-14: Horseheads, NY.

Please pray for our BCA teachers & students. In a typical year, they would be graduating around now. But the school calendar is off-kilter due to the lockdowns. Please pray that the students will not lose hope, even though they usually would be starting their Summer vacation and Vacation Bible School this week.

Praise God that Pastora Gripo, one of our middle-aged church planters, has accepted a proposal to be married!

Praise God also that our sharing the past few days in church & in a Christian school were blessed times. The kids and churchgoers had thoughtful questions after the Bible messages were completed.

“Teachers, are you ready?” BCA’s very capable 70-yr-old cashier Minmin led the devotional Monday & wanted to know if the teachers had finished their preparations for the upcoming exams. “Yes! We are VERY ready!” Amen for very capable staff.

The next day she had heard on the news that Davao City is back under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through April 30. She headed downtown to withdraw funds from the bank for the salaries so that faculty & staff can get food ahead of time to prepare for lockdowns.

On the way however, traffic was backed up, due to checkpoints by the police for those who do &/or do not have passes. However, once she got to the bank, there was no traffic, since nobody has any work, therefore no money to deposit nor withdraw. A mini-blessing of the pandemic? She also had Faith help her buy the supplies (like construction paper, etc.) for the fourteen BCA orphans’ school projects.

Back at the school, Minmin prepared the salaries & then assisted in the arranging, checking & stapling thousands of worksheet modules which the teachers had designed & printed for the students who have no computer access.

In a separate pile were the Homeroom Guidance forms. “Why homeroom guidance” asked BCA’s bus driver Ben. “Due to Covid, nobody is in school. So how can you have a homeroom?” Teacher Helen explained, “This is virtual, Ben. Even though they may be at home or online, there is a protocol they must follow, to avoid distractions or cheating.”

Minmin paused & looked around her at the busy-ness of the teachers & staff as they worked together in getting the delivery of papers prepared. Minin thought out a prayer of thanks… “Lord, I am so very blessed to be with these beautiful teachers & staff who are hardworking & supportive. That is why I am always inspired to work, although sometimes I feel weak physically, at seventy. Praise God for this incredible teamwork!

Before heading out the door at the close of the day, the 11 staff & faculty members in the computer lab held hands in a circle & one-by-one prayed for each other & also for the Barners back in the USA.

Minmin closed in prayer. “It is just about time for Holy Week, Lord Jesus. 2000 years ago, You headed up to Jerusalem, knowing full well what awaited you- the cross. Even though the pain was to be nearly unbearable, You never hesitated in your determination. Lord, may we too have that same determination- in preparing our students for a life of service to You!”

Thank you for the kids. Thank you for each other. And especially Lord, thank you for the cross!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

Present Need: $1,048 for courier delivery of LBC for Government-required Form 137, Disinfection Supplies, Capacitor – repair of water supply, Painting Materials, Repair of 3rd Grade Door, Dry Stand Pipe- Installation & Materials, Repair & Maintenance for BCA Bus N, M, Ph, L & F.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 518

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Want to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


Happy 1st Day of Spring (2/20) and Happy would-be 92nd birthday, Dad! (3/20/1929: Dad entered heaven 3 months ago), Happy Palm Sunday (2/28)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: March 21: Walton, NY. March 28: East Greenbush, NY. March 29: Helderberg Christian School. April 4: Albany, NY.

Please pray for wisdom on the part of the Philippine Immigration Service. Last week they instituted a COVID-instigated “Temporary Entry-Ban” into the Philippines, suspending entry of all foreign nationals & returning Philippine citizens who are not Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), through April 21, with a few categorical exceptions, & also limiting inbound arrivals to 1,500 daily. Also, in some areas minors may not move out of their local villages during that time period.

Praise God that, after we begged God for over a year to give us a free treadmill, this past weekend a woman in Walton, NY informed us that a friend of hers was moving & gave us her incredibly huge combination treadmill/lifting bench. God, are you awesome, or what?

Praise God as well that one of BCA’s orphans, Geurgie (Apple is her nickname) passed her NCII assessment last week at the Davao Assessment Center. This means that she will qualify to work in Davao. After we have been operating this orphanage for almost 2 decades, Apple is the first we have seen to achieve this honor. Way to go, girl!

Thank the Lord for our Philippine BCA staff who came to sing & preach & give comfort to the children & family of Alma, the mom who died of cancer last week. Alma’s daughter Leslie is a 5th-grade student at BCA.

God is good! This past weekend we spoke at Walton CMA church & many dear friends were present, including 95-yr old Rev. Jacob Bouw & his wife Suzette. “Uncle Jake” was the man God used 50 years ago to lead me to become a missionary in the Philippines, when I was ten years old! Also the people in the church gave many school supplies & stuffed animals for the BCA students.

“Class, what is the difference between a vertebrate and an invertebrate?” Among the attentive students of BCA’s Teacher Hazel’s online 6th-Grade class, Joshen had the answer. “Oh, I know. Vertebrates have backbones & an internal skeleton, while invertebrates don’t.”

“True. Could anybody else give an example, or phylum, of a vertebrate?” The next to answer was Aira. “A fish & a mouse both have internal skeletons, & so do I! But neither of them smells as sweet as I do!”

“Once again, excellent, Aira. What about an example of an invertebrate?” To which Jane had a totally unexpected answer. “My Uncle Fred. Aunt Gertie said he is such a coward that he has absolutely no spine whatsoever!”

Hazel stifled a chuckle as she immediately avoided getting into trouble by changing the subject.

Since Hazel had watched YouTube videos to understand better the lesson, she shifted the discussion to analyze different “systems” of the body. “Could you put all these systems into one sentence?”

Jazzle was ever-alert & supplied the answer, in English. “My internet is so slow, it makes me NERVOUS. So, I wait for the BCA bus driver to CIRCULATE & collect the module worksheets to my neighborhood. I need to DIGEST my lunch & be strong to get a good grade on this month’s exam in Filipino. My parents are in trouble because I did so well on my grades that they EXCRETED the worksheet onto the internet, which my classmates copied to also get a good grade. This caused the RESPIRATION of my teacher to accelerate!”

Teacher Hazel was noticeably pleased. “Well done. That is all for today, class.” As the students each signed-off, Hazel typed up a summary of the day’s transcript to send to those students who have no internet. Then she logged in the day’s grades on her laptop & shut it down.

Praying before she was to leave campus for the day, she said, “Oh Lord, these kids are so very smart! Even amidst COVID & all the frightening challenges of lockdown, you are preparing the students for life as an adult, which is right around the corner, since these kids will be graduating from 6th grade this year, Amen.”
Hazel reached for the bookmark in her Bible & read from the book of James, “ Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature & complete, not lacking anything.” Truly, these kids have persevered through COVID. Now they are “strong & complete, not lacking anything!” That puts them in the “VERTEBRATE: strong internal backbone” phylum of life!

Now, maybe tomorrow I could get this stubborn printer to cooperate, so my students can DIGEST more information!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TU- 9 min, 25 sec March 16, 2021

C. TH- 8 min, 39 sec March 18, 2021

D. Message: SUNDAY, March 21, 2021 “YOU Are Lazarus” Walton (Riverside) Alliance Church (John 12:9-11) 36 min, 26 sec + Elvie & PJ 10 min, 54 sec

Present Need: $1,075 for 2 pcs water pump Capacitor, Thermal Scanner, Stainless Sink & water lines materials (entrance gate) , Materials for repair of roof at side office & stairway roof to 3rd floor, Materials for blocking the birds to enter the library, Painting and welding materials for fire exit & ladder , Government Registration of BCA Bus C & L, Tail Light- BCA Bus C , Repair & Maintenance of BCA Bus M, N, Fi, L & Ph.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 515

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.


"Pi” Day (3/14-3.14159…), “Shakespearean Ides of March” (3/15), “500th Anniversary the Philippines founded by Magellan” (3/16/1521), St Patrick’s Day (3/17/385)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: March 14: Ohio, NY. March 21: Walton, NY. March 28: East Greenbush, NY.

Please pray for Lucy, BCA’s school nurse. She has been battling cancer for five years. Her younger sister just started having cancer symptoms a year ago and her funeral is this week.

Praise God that I finished filing my taxes (for me & Elvie), both state & federal, and we only owe a few hundred dollars.
Also, praise God that we were able to find a repair shop that was able to pry open our car's hood. Fortunately, we have a back-up vehicle, as the Honda minivan was buried under a snowbank for four months with a dead battery & broken hood latch. AAA towed it for free.

“What a generous heart you have!” Katie is a sponsored child at BCA & her letter to her sponsor glowed with adoration. “Dear Sponsor, your kindness keeps me safe, as I do not have to go out & work to pay for my books, uniform, tuition & food. After all, I am only eight!”

While the entire country is celebrating the quincentennial (500-yr) anniversary of Christianity coming to the country through Magellan in 1521, BCA students are celebrating a nearer item on the historical timeline: their education! Patricia was a 4th grader whose family moved away, so her replacement (Grace) wrote a letter to her new sponsor. “I know you feel sad about losing Patty, but look on the good side: now you have cute lil’ ol’ me!”

Then there is Mordy. “Pandemic or not, you are so very faithful! You are my role model, sponsor. Thank you. Thank you! THANK YOU!” Mordy went on to say that his sponsor was an answer to his prayers & the prayers of his parents, that he, though really poor, would be able to get a good education. “And BOOM! There you were, like an angel of God! Thanks again.”

Jemmie is a 9th grader. Her thank you card had religious overtones from years of being in such a Christian school as BCA. “Dear Sponsor, God makes no mistakes. Many victims of covid have positive test results in our city. But by God’s grace I am not one of them! I will keep praising God, no matter what.” Jemmie is a great student & really studies diligently. “I had a choice to either have online studies or modular worksheets. I chose the latter since our internet is practically nonexistent.”

Finally, a note from 7th grade Flory. “Boy, are you kind. There is nothing I can give you to thank you, so I will just use my pen. THANK YOU! Because of you, I have hope over the disease. You did not leave me when things started getting so bad around the planet. If God can send such a delightful sponsor from 13,000 miles away just to give me an education, well, I guess that He can help me anywhere I go, & anything I face, in my whole life…even when I live to be a hundred & ten!”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

Present Need: $1,151 for Computer lab aircon repair & freon, Computer lab materials for teachers’ cubicle installation, white boards (7 pcs), curtains & rods, Computer repair (office reinstalling), 7 pcs headsets & delivery charges, Installation of gutter (San Lorenzo St), COVID-19 IATF Photocal requirements, Repair & Repainting of BCA façade, entrance gate & Cashier’s office (outside only), Gas for BCA Bus Fi & Ph, Oil for BCA Bus Ph, Parts for BCA Bus M: renew registration, fuel, hand brake bonding, repair of hand brake, plate light, gear oil, back light, wiring of headlight& replacement of relay switch, brake fluid, rubber bolts, Devcon fluid, silicon, bulb assembly light, 3 gallons castral oil, oil filter, backup horn, auto wire cable, bumper lamp, corner lamp, clutch cable, hand brake cable, electrical tape, socket terminal.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 515

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.

Want to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to:

Barner Christian Academy
5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144

& you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


St Patrick’s Day (3/17), Daylight Saving’s Time (one-hour forward: 3/14)

Please pray for Eddie, the furnace guy with whom I was able to share a bit of my faith with when he came over since the water was not getting hot.

Please also pray for an end to COVID. Exactly a year ago, on March 10, 2020, all Philippine schools were temporarily closed & students from every level stopped attending face-to-face classes due to the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Praise God that our family was able to, online & virtually join the Alliance Regional Forum for church leaders in Davao Philippines (Albeit it was night here while it was daytime there, on the other side of the planet)

Praise God that our family was able to attend the funeral of 76-yr-old Francis of Ithaca, who went home to the Lord. This man had, for over 2 decades, been delighted at the work that God is accomplishing through us in The Philippines.
“You’re early!” BCA’s cashier Minmin greeted Teacher Angel, who was typically punching the time clock just seconds before it clicked “LATE”. Today however she was pleased to be a tad earlier than usual, as her mind was responsive to the Monday “Teachers’ Bible Study”.

Philippians 4 was the source for the brief study, as fellow Teacher Helen quoted, “Rejoice in the Lord always, & again I say rejoice!” God gives us hope, even though we often sin. The hope is that there is always a “second chance” to come back to our former intimacy with Him.

Classes started for the day a few hours later, & 4th-grader Nina asked, “How do I do this English language? It is so weird!” Then another student, Shirine, added online in the Zoom meeting, “Yeah. Why is PLAQUE pronounced PLACK, while PLAGUE is pronounced PLAYG? What is behind this UE-thing at the end of a word?”

Teacher Angel thought back to the morning’s Bible study on keeping God first in all things. She answered Nina & Shirine, “Think about sin. I know you would never do this, but if you steal a fish from the fresh market, you have sinned, right? Right. But if you buy a fish, you have not sinned. Right? Right. Is the fish bad? No. Is the fish still edible either way? Yes. Same fish, but different in different situations. UE is kind of like that. Depending on the word, it can change the pronunciation of the word.”

Nina quipped into her microphone, “English is still weird. But then again, so are we, if we insist on stealing things we could easily buy.”

Angel signed off with her class half an hour later. Then she opened her Bible to Philippians once again, smiled & prayed, “Lord, every day you make it easier & easier to rejoice in You. You are helping me explain to these precious students from both the words of their lessons, and YOUR Word, in the Bible.”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

B. TH- 7 min, 8 sec March 4, 2021

C. Message: FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 “Missionary Two-Step” (Acts 8:4-8) 0 hr, 24 min, 40 sec

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $8,300.

Present Need: $300 for (installment #30 of 155) $46,500 flood-proof (4-foot-high backfill) raised garage next to BCA’s present building, to protect our school buses. $36,500 remaining.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.


35th Anniversary of Philippine Edsa “People’s Revolution” Day (2/24/86)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: March 7: East Greenbush, NY. March 14: Ohio, NY.

Please pray for the family of a dear 76-yr old supporter who passed away during surgery last week. Francis sponsored 5 BCA students for nearly 2 decades & often shared with coworkers & friends the need to sponsor & pray for destitute Filipino children.

Praise God that the DepEd (Department of Education) has adjusted the school calendar for 2020-2021, aiming to allow schools to implement intensive intervention and remediation activities for students & to give time to teachers for the different learning delivery modalities due to CIVID, ending the school year in mid-July instead of March.

“It is a mini report card!” BCA’s Teacher Helen, like a ballpark shortstop catcher, had to field the questions of the parents of her 5th-grade students. “But why is it so small?” asked Bertha, the mom of Abigail.

“So that you do not confuse it with the real report card. Please do not show it to your child. Instead, if you see that he or she needs practice, train them before two weeks from now when the real FULL-SIZED report cards will be released.”

Helen actually fit a whole lot in that tiny little envelope. “I made a list of required outputs & activities to base the grading of the students upon, for the use of you parents as you monitor the activities of your kids.” Pedro (Marissa’s dad) this time responded, “Yeah, but I will need a magnifying glass to see those tiny instructions!”

This conference session with the parents was not in person, but online. Thus, the poorest of the poor kids’ parents could not participate. However, one child’s Dad was able to visit his neighbor’s home & share the screen with the parent who lives there.

“I have provided a study sheet for you to follow-up your kids’ learning in mathematics.” Each of the parents pulled out the study aid (which accompanied the tiny envelope). “You can see that our study on decimals ties-in like a puzzle piece with our previous class on fractions.”

Bertha was on deck again with a hearty comment which made Helen grin. “Wow, this is great! Makes me wish I was back in 5th- grade again!”

Helen piped in, “and the last item in your packets is the homework papers…” To which Bertha quipped, “On second thought, I dislike homework. I am very glad I am NOT in 5th- grade anymore!”

As Teacher Helen closed-out her teacher-parent conference call, she closed her eyes to talk with God. “Oh Lord,” she began, “This has been great. I do so miss my students & their parents. As the kids without internet receive their mini-report cards, I pray that the parents can understand them & also train their own kids well. Oh & by the way, Lord…I really miss my family in the mountains, due to the travel bans. As I look at these kids’ parents, I think of my own. Please protect them from harm until I can see them again. Love, Helen”

Helen then began work on the upcoming exam for her students, & also graded their weekly notebooks.

At the end of one notebook, a lollipop was taped to the page. The student had written next to it (with an arrow), “I love you, Teacher Helen. You are so sweet, just like this candy. If God is as great as you, it’s no wonder He makes such gorgeous sunsets!”

Helen shut the books, began licking the lollipop & raised her beaming face to the sky, whispering, "No wonder the kids have a great teacher. I learned from the very best...YOU!"

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


    1. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:
    2. TH- 10 min, 47 sec Feb 25:
    3. Message: FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2021 “Are You ready for Liftoff?” (Acts 18:24-28) 0 hr, 34 min, 12 sec
    4. Message: FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2021 “Are You ready for Liftoff?” (Acts 18:24-28) 0 hr, 34 min, 12 sec

    2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $8,300.

    Present Need: $316 for 15 pcs uratex plastic kiddie chairs, Decorative fence outside the preschool rooms, Materials for garage gate stopper, Repair of airconditioners (spareparts), Fluorescent bulbs, Renewal of government registration of Bus “L”.

    # of students sponsored at BCA: 514

    Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.

    Want to sponsor a Filipino BCA student? It's easy! Just send your first monthly $30 check to Barner Christian Academy, 5 Eileen Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144, & you've given hope to a destitute Asian child.


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: February 28: West Rensselaer, NY. March 7: East Greenbush, NY.

Please pray for the delightful people who responded to our missions challenge this past Sunday at the church where we shared & sang. Two agreed to sponsor kids at BCA & one even discussed the possibilities of Samaritan’s Purse coming to do a medical mission in Davao!

Praise God that, even though all three of my credit/debit cards were compromised & cancelled these past few weeks, making me (in PJ’s terminology) “off the grid,” one of the companies was able to get their replacement card to me the very next day! Also, a check arrived in the mail from a woman who agreed last week to sponsor a child. When I looked at the check’s memo line, it said she decided to sponsor two kids instead of one! PTL!

“Begin with prayer.” BCA’s Teacher Janice followed-up the school-day’s opening prayer for her 1st-graders, with the national anthem & review of online “virtual rules”. The 8 students online represented both themselves & the 22 others who had no access for a Zoom call. During announcements, BCA’s Secretary Faith came into the room with a note for Janice, then left.

“Class, it seems that there is a special video presentation that we are required to watch, right now.” The students were curious. Savannah (the class’ top-honors student) mentioned, “Is it an emergency? Is President Duterte announcing that Covid is finally over? Can we go out of our homes now?” Janice was just as curious as the kids were, so she stated, “Let’s watch to find out!”

All were incredibly surprised when the video began. It was neither from the government’s health department, nor from the Department of Education. Instead, on the screen came a 20-minute series of clips of the other classmates, the ones who were not able to make it to Zoom, performing presentations of appreciation to their Dear Teacher Janice! Some sang, some recited Bible verses, & others had “energizer dances” with background music like “God will Make a Way” and “Overcomer” from Christian artists.

In fact, every class had prepared a special presentation for their teacher, which BCA’s secretary Faith had spent all week, secretly splicing together, just for them. Elvie & PJ & Abby & I also had Bible studies & song-clips included, sent from across the ocean in New York! What a surprise of joy for the faculty!

Since the presentations lasted only 20 minutes, there were still five hours of lessons left for the class to participate in; 2 hours online & the remaining 3 at home, with the kids doing their assignments there.

This was a perfect opening for Janice. She had been stymied on how to incorporate inquiry-based strategy into her daily class discussion time. Now she had fuel for her fire. “Students, I’d like to take the remaining time of our class for you to evaluate your classmates’ online performances. You will each choose 2 students, telling how their performances applied to MAPEH: Math-Art-Physical Education & Health”

Although Janice was not sure if her spur-of-the moment idea would take off, the online kids were ecstatic! The rest of the day was filled with laughter, discussions & depth of insight. In 1 hour & 59 minutes, the 8 online kids voiced a collective “Awwww…” when Teacher Janice told them it was time to sign off.

“But before you go, class, tomorrow we will have a short quiz to test the understanding of what you learned from your classmates!”

As Janice’s laptop computer screen darkened, she bowed her head & prayed. “Worthy is Your Incredible Name, Lord Jesus. Every day is another opportunity for You to reveal your incredible surprises. Thank you for the strength you have given me to both enjoy you & to see you in all that occurs. Bless my students tonight, Lord. Wow. How can I improve tomorrow on the wild events of today? I guess that is up to You, Lord. See you then!”

Janice then began correcting the homework of her kids & preparing her online & at-home modules for next week.

When the day finally ended, Janice punched her time card. On her way out the door, Faith caught up with her. Janice gave her a hug & said, “Thanks Faith. That was a lot of work you did.” Faith smiled & said, “Well, actually the surprises are not finished yet…”

Curious, Janice followed Faith down the stairs into the gym, & there was a huge table with plates & food, & at each plate was a teacher’s name. Alongside the plates were flowers, handwritten notes & chocolates form her students.

A tear streamed down Janice’s cheek & she closed her eyes with a grin to tell Jesus, “Now I am REALLY excited to see how you will top this one, Lord!”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


1. PJ & Abby’s singalong:
A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:
B. TH- 7 min, 58 sec Feb 18
C. Message: Calvary Bible Church, Yorktown Heights, NY: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021 “Wonderful Peace” (Matthew 14:22-32) 1 hr, 1 min, 20 sec.

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $8,300.

Present Need: $300 for (installment #29 of 155) $46,500 flood-proof (4-foot-high backfill) raised garage next to BCA’s present building, to protect our school buses. $36,800 remaining.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.


NOTE: 2020 DONOR RECEIPTS have been mailed out. If you have not yet received yours, or if the one you received requires revision, please submit any updates to

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: February 21: Yorktown Heights, NY. February 28: West Rensselaer, NY

Please pray for the parents & sister of one of our former students who was killed in a house fire which also took the lives of his younger brother & two cousins, about 12 houses away from the BCA school campus.

Praise God that, after we spoke at a New York church last Sunday, some members of the congregation decided to sponsor three previously-unsponsored BCA students!

“I love you!” Jamaica may only be 3 years old, but in the letter to her sponsor she drew pictures & wrote with a crayon in her chubby little fingers, “Happy Valentine’s Day! I study hard because you keep praying for me to do my very best!”

An older 8-yr-old student, Mordecai, wrote, “Dearest loving sponsor, I would like to express my gratitude & thankfulness for your supporting me even when there is a pandemic that we face. Even though many in Davao City have covid, I have been spared because, through God’s grace, you are praying for me! I love you! I hope this message put a smile on your face.”

Katie, one of Mordecai’s 3rd-grade classmates, drew lots of bright red hearts on the page. After sneezing, she wiped sniffles on her sleeve & penned, “I pray for your good health.”

Then there is a high schooler, Harvey. “Hi! How are you?” Harve sat for nearly 5 minutes trying to figure out what to write next. Secretary Faith prompted him, “Just write what your mind says you feel inside, Harvey.” Hmm, ok, then Harvey penned, “I hope you are doing well.” Harvey sighed. Boy, this is so difficult! Then he glanced up at a poster on the wall of an Olympic skier about to go off the high jump, accompanied by the Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!”

Harvey’s pen started writing as his mind was trying to catch up. a flood of ideas flowing through his mind. “As a 10th grader, learning with modules is so, so hard! I can barely understand, since there is not that face-to-face communication. But you know what? Even though it is hard to understand, thank God for giving me knowledge & wisdom, & for keeping me healthy. I love you; my sponsor, & God bless you.” Whew, done. He got up & went back to his studying, with renewed fervor.

Faith glanced around the room & saw just one student left, diligently & artistically designing a big, colorful Valentine for her sponsor. 16-yr-old Ana. Among the pastel flowers & hearts, she penned, “When anybody asks me if I can prove there is a God, I tell them about you, my loving sponsor. Even though you are in this same fight against covid, the Almighty God we share has spanned the oceans, connecting your heart & mine as you provide for my schooling.”

Ana left the room to get a drink, & meanwhile Faith peeked over to check the spelling. Perfect. Ana returned to her work, with gusto. “I don’t lose my hope that one day we can overcome this kind of challenge because God is with us. And I have a kind, loving & great sponsor like you. Thank you for helping me & for not forgetting me. I so much appreciate your kindness. I can almost feel the love that you have given to me. And because of that I continue to pray for you, that God will prosper your life, providing everything that you need to live happily ever after!”

Faith gathered up the creations these kids had made, carefully arranging them in the respective cubicles above the desk of Inday, BCA’s communications secretary. Inday would stuff the letters & prepare them for mailing in a few days. Then Doris, BCA’s government liaison, bundled & brought them to the post office to mail them to the other side of the planet.

As these precious notes were making their way around the Earth, Pastor Paul shared about God’s love in a New York church. Three new sponsors will soon be receiving Valentines from their Filipino students this coming March!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


PJ & Abby’s singalong:

  1. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:
  2. T- 17 Min, 12 sec Feb 16
  3. Message: BCA’s Filipino Churches, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 “Love=Attraction + Commitment” (Genesis 29:14-20) 0 hr, 17 min, 35 sec .

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $8,300.

Present Need: $306 for chain, padlock, key duplicate for the buses & classroom Panel Doors (3 pcs) painting materials & door knobs.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,406.24 received of $20,000 needed.


Chinese New Year (2/12), Valentine’s Day (2/14, USA President’s Day & BCA Teachers' Appreciation Day (2/15)

NOTE: 2020 DONOR RECEIPTS have been mailed out. If you have not yet received yours, or if the one you received requires revision, please submit any updates to

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: February 9: Helderberg Christian School, East Berne, NY (postponed til April, due to snow). February 14: Delhi, NY. February 21: Yorktown Heights, NY

Please pray as, while BCA’s teachers prepare lessons for their students, they also lean on each other’s creativity & ideas to build excitment for their kids.

Praise God that, next Monday (2/15) is the BCA Teacher appreciation Day. Oh, how we love these instructors & their incredible dedication!

“Time for Takyan!” BCA’s 6th-grade Teacher Hazel, to develop the coordination of her online students, was testing the kids’ music, art & gym skills in a traditional dance to celebrate Chinese New Year. Since Takyan involves using a hackysack which the kids could not afford to buy, they improvised with all sorts of beanie-bag inventions. One even used the head of a chicken wrapped up in a cloth.

Bouncing the tiny weighted sacks with their hands, elbows, knees & feet was so hilarious, that Hazel occasionally had to mute her microphone to avoid hurting the feelings of the performers while she laughed out loud. But when the chicken head made its way out of its baggie & flew through the air, Hazel was caught off-guard & joined the guffaws of her students.

When they all calmed down (& also retrieved the decapitated fowl’s crown) Hazel turned on a virtual metronome to challenge the students to perform in metrical signatures of 2/4 time, ¾ & 4/4.

“Students, there is a lesson in this. God tells us to fully cast our cares upon Him. When we try with our own strength, we sometimes start out ok, but often mess up. God can carry our burdens & take the weight away, making us in perfect step with His plan.”

She also taught the kids to make cute valentine cards for their siblings & parents. She’d planned this a few weeks previous & had the bus drivers deliver colorful construction paper to the various homes. One mom messaged that her son was crying since he could not connect for class, but Hazel had given instructions with the papers on how to do the project on their own. Hazel watched the students leave the Zoom mtg one by one, then she started preparing her lesson for Tuesday. It proved to be a full-loaded day. While today was Art, History, Music, Gym & Health, tomorrow highlighted Filipino, English, Math (Division of Decimals), & Science (Separating mixtures). Plus, she had to prepare the report for her own weekend Masters college classes.

Hazel decided that the computer lab was too loud with the other teachers in their Zoom meetings, to concentrate. So, she sequestered a few bus drivers to set-up a white board in the open-air 2nd- floor hallway outside her usual classroom. Hazel got permission to borrow the board from GH (Grace), the 5th grade teacher. She also prayed it would be not too sunny or bright so the white board could be seen. Hazel considered, “Wow. In spite of the situation the world is facing, BCA is still standing strong! Yeah, you go, God!”

While printing the modules, Hazel checked the notebooks of the students. She answered the activities myself before checking, to correct them, noticing that some of the answers in the teacher’s copy were not 100% correct. So, she “corrected the correction” table.

Before leaving, she had to deal with a few nonparticipative parents, knowing that they often had more alibis than the students do. They are good at making excuses & reasoning, which you need to counter in a respectful way.

Her lesson that day for the kids held true for following rules, be they in the classroom, with parents, with incorrect answer keys, or with a chicken head in a cloth- “Even when we falter, God can easily carry our burdens & keep us in perfect step with His plan.”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


1. PJ & Abby’s singalong:
A. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:
B. T- 14 Min, 24 sec Feb 9
C. TH- 6 min, 55 sec. Feb 11
D. Message: Rensselaer First Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 “My Deliverer” (Daniel 3:16-25) 0 hr, 40 min, 44 sec .

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $7,800130.

Present Need: $300 for (installment #28 of 155 of) $46,500 flood-proof (4-foot-high backfill) raised garage next to BCA’s present building, to protect our school buses. $37,100 remaining.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,800 received of $20,000 needed.


NOTE: 2020 DONOR RECEIPTS have been mailed out. If you have not yet received yours, or if the one you received requires revision, please submit any updates to

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing:

February 7: Rensselaer, NY.
February 14: Delhi, NY.

Please pray as, according to the Philippine Airlines (PAL) website, all international passengers arriving in the Philippines, have newly-revised quarantine protocols, updated monthly by ever-changing resolutions of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging & Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). It is still extremely difficult for foreigners to enter the country, which is why our family has postponed our return to Davao until mid-September. International Passengers register on the Electronic Case Investigation Form (e-CIF) as early as three days before their flight to Manila, and spend 1.5 months in quarantine: 1. 14-days pre-departure at home, 2. 14-days in Manila, upon arrival, & 3. 14-days at destination. The middle quarantine is interspersed with evaluations by health teams which visit the pre-approved hotel with RT-PCR testing. Passengers who test positive will be flown back to their port of departure. Since we have already suffered COVID & since we plan to be immunized in March, any COVID-tests might misconstrue the conquered virus antibodies in our blood as active.

Praise God that, after our orphanage’s houseparent Ludy died last week, the local pastor (Randy) who has been discipling the kids has agreed to move-in, along with his wife & baby until the new family moves in this May (as administrators) to supervise the children & farm.

Praise God too that I just finished reading the Bible from cover-to-cover for my 76th time! I’d like to read it 150 times before I turn 75 (in fifteen years).

Also praise God that PJ & Abby broadcasted their 100th LNW (Late Night Worship) online session, with the favorite songs/hymns of many who cast their votes.

“6am! Time to wake up!” BCA’s 4th-grade Teacher Angel had gotten to bed extra early on Sunday night (after grading the last of her students’ papers) so she’d be fresh for teaching Monday morning. With all her newfound energy, she leapt out of bed & straightened up her room. After B&B (bath & breakfast) & a speedy trip to the BCA campus, the morning Teachers’ devotional Bible study left her feeling motivated, responsible & focused.

Angel sat down at her computer-lab cubicle, with laptop in front of her. Great- just enough time (before her Zoom-call to students) to run-through the downloads, & print-off modules after revising them for her students. After printing English, Math, EPP & Filipino, the first students showed-up on Zoom. Some of Angel’s students couldn`t join the class because they were just connecting with their neighbors’ WIFI. Others don’t have smart-phones (which are sometimes easier to connect). Also, one student couldn't join the class anytime because she has a sister in 5th-Grade who also has the same schedule with Angel. But the day had started out great, & Angel was not about to let this glitch get her down.

Teacher Angel had prepared her PowerPoint presentation for teaching English, with the lesson on “Similarities & Analogy”. Since Angel had only started teaching English this year, she still felt a bit unsure of herself. Even though she’d studied it & researched for more information, she began to feel like her efforts in doing the job didn’t make sense. “Maybe my best is not good enough for others?”

Then Zoom kept reminding her about the time limit, since the connection was slow. So, they had to re-enter the site again & again. After the virtual class, with a slight sigh, Angel informed the students, “I decided not to have an online class Tuesday, since I need to focus on checking your notebooks & correcting last week’s test.” After a few cheers, they signed off.

“3:30. Good. Just enough time to check a few notebooks.” Angel finished 8 of the remaining 18 notebooks before the bell rang that it was time to go home. In her mind she calculated the # of subjects she’d just graded: 18-10=8 notebooks, times 11 subjects each, totaled 88 lessons. Divide that into 2 hrs of 60 minutes each, & she’d done 22 every half hour! Feeling a bit better about herself now, she closed up her laptop & headed down the stairs for her trip home.

Correcting the students’ notebooks had been a challenge, since some students did not follow instructions or even left a few answers blank. So, each time she saw that a student did not comprehend, she prayed that they would get higher scores with more understanding next time around.

Arriving home, she prepared rice & viand (meat) for dinner. As it was cooking, she watched the news, called her parents & checked a few more papers before getting ready for bed.

“Lord.” She prayed after her nightly Bible reading, “Today was an adventure. Thanks for getting me through it. And you know what the best part of the day was, Lord? I improved kids’ lives. Oh, how I love to be a teacher. Thanks again, God! Love, your angel...Angel. Amen.”

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!


2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $7,130.

Present Need: $1,080 for BCA Bus “L”: repainting & general repair overhaul.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,206.24 received of $20,000 needed.


BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing:

January 31: Ithaca, NY.
February 7: Rensselaer, NY.

Please pray that the severe COVID pandemic will diminish enough to allow our return overseas to the Philippine ministry this coming September. While we have 32 Sundays left to challenge congregations in the area of missions, as well as another Sunday to compete in the Maine Ironman, we still are counting down the weeks until we can once again be on Asian shores.

Praise God that God has answered your prayers by using Paul’s lung exercises over the past three weeks to eliminate 4% of the COIVD-induced phlegm residue in his chest. In a few days he can once again gradually build up a regimen of exercises to bring him back to 100%. He is now breathing at 96% & getting his voice back. However, occasionally he still gets winded during routine exercises like walking up the stairs.

Praise God as well that, after nearly a year of being closed, the Philippine Postal System is once again operating!

“Math Test tomorrow!” BCA’s 5th Grade Teacher GH knew what it took to get the students’ attention, even if they were only online & not in person. While there were also to be tests in Art, Health, Music and Science, GH knew that their uncertainty in Math would light a fire under them to study.

When GH suggested that the parents & relatives assist the kids, little Marco’s “Uncle Maurice” piped in with, “I haven’t studied multiplying fractions & analyzing how scientific changes in matter affect the environment, in thirty years or more!” GH said, “Guess now is a good time to start taking notes, then, huh?”

Teacher GH had actually well-prepared the students for their upcoming test, though. In the past, students had depended too much on the answer keys when they were doing quizzes, so she took them away & made them find the answers by her telling them the worksheet # where the answer could be found.

In Art class, the kids made miniature houses with popsicle sticks & other recyclable items. In Science, GH had almost missed the class as her clock had stopped when she was having coffee over breakfast and she lost track of time. Grabbing her stack of colored paper, spilling her coffee & rushing out the door, she arrived just in time to punch her time card & scoot upstairs to begin her day’s lessons.

“Class, notice the colored construction paper which I placed in the packets that were distributed to you by our bus drivers this past Monday.” GH reached over the stack of notebooks which she still had to correct from a few days before, retrieving her many pages & colors of construction paper.

Delicately folding the paper, she frame-by-frame instructed the “Module #8” science lesson in the petals, stamen, pistil and other parts of the flower, as they shaped, cut, folded and glued together their flowers which were very colorful and realistic!

To be sure that those students without internet also would not miss out, she made a video to send out to them.

The hard work paid off, for when GH began correcting the exams, colorful pictures graced the pages as the students energetically gave 101% effort to do their very best!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $6,435.

Present Need: $300 for (installment #27 of 155) $46,500 flood-proof (4-foot-high backfill) raised garage next to BCA’s present building, to protect our school buses. $37,400 remaining.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 513

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,206.24 received of $20,000 needed.



USA Inauguration Day (1/20)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: January 24: Colonie, NY. January 31: Ithaca, NY.

Please pray as, according to the January 21 Manila Bulletin, 47% of Filipino adults will not get vaccinated against COVID-19, because of their concern about the safety of such vaccines. 29 elderly patients died in Norway as a consequence of their Pfizer shots.

Please also pray as, according to the January 17 Manila Bulletin, An investigation is underway in Tianjin, China after 3 samples of ice cream reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. Epidemiological investigations conducted show the company produced the batch of ice cream using imported raw materials. 1,600 employees of the Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company have been quarantined & are undergoing tests.

Praise God that, as one of the benefits of Abigail’s recently completed 3rd semester in college, she is now certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

“A-E-I-O-U. These are the vowels in the alphabet. What are the consonants?” BCA’s Teacher Janice quizzed the six students of hers who had access to either internet, cellphones or computers, typically borrowed from neighbors. While she had waited for them to log-in at 9am, she’d uploaded the PowerPoint presentation, which she’d created the previous week, for this Zoom meeting.

“Looks great!” exclaimed Rhaen when he saw the lesson. But when Savannah asked, “Is that a dog or a pig?” Janice decided to, in the future add some more effects, more images, & a colorful background. After all, it was neither a dog nor a pig. Neither began with vowels. It was an anteater. Of course, there are no aardvarks in the Philippines, so when Justine suggested it was a baby elephant (which does begin with a vowel) she explained about the funny animal with the long nose that eats ants. “Ick!” responded Johanna. But Japheth said “Grandpa would love that! We have way too many ants in our home!”

When Jayword clicked on, suggesting that since “A” & “E” had already been used, he could draw a picture of an iguana for the letter “O”, Janice corrected his spelling & knew that the last of her six “onliners” had arrived. The other 24 students are doing their work at home via worksheets that the BCA bus drivers had delivered.

Today’s worksheets had highlighted a Language Workshop, asking “How does Ana feel?” with Imojis: happy-mad-scared. First, which one is you when you get a valentine? Second, how about when your brother teases you for the rash you got from rubbing against elephant grass? And finally, which one is you when you slip off the narrow path into the ditch? Janice wondered if the lesson was too easy, difficult, or just right. Unlike in-school classes & online when you get responses right away, she’ll have to wait a week to get the results. Thankfully, 80% of last week’s students got 100% on their quizzes, & the other 20% came close. So, she must be doing something right!

Three more lessons for the day, & Janice had creatively figured out a way to combine the them together, since the Zoom meeting had limited how many minutes they could be online before being cut off. First, their devotional topic was that, since Christ is our Savior & by His blood we become overcomers, no evil thing planned against us will reach us, for God is our protector.

The other two topics were Social studies & Math. Here goes… “Students, who is the Philippine national hero?” Jose Rizal. Every Filipino knows that. And who died for your sins? Jesus. Unanimous again. You too are a hero. Pursue your dreams & desires in life. Dr Jose Rizal travelled the world in the 1800s to tell people how special the Filipino people are. You too can confidently seek to achieve your dreams!

Now, let’s go on to comparing #s 1- 100 using relational symbols (greater than, less than, equals). We mentioned three heroes: Jesus who died for your sins, Jose Rizal, and you. All are great people, but if you used a “greater than” sign, who would be the greatest?

Once again, the class response was unanimous…. Jesus is the Greatest! The Greatest Overcomer. The Greatest Protector. The most Heroic of Heroes!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $6,435.

Present Need: $303 for Insulation/wires at gym & labor, Repair of classroom doors (materials).

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,206.24 received of $20,000 needed.


  1. W- 7 min, 40 sec. Jan 20,
  2. TH- 26 min, 50 sec. Jan 21,
  3. PJ & Abby’s singalong: FR- 17 min, 57 sec. Jan 1,
  4. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:


Martin Luther King Day (1/18) Paul & Elvie’s Silver (25th) Paperversary/Anniversary (1/15/96 & 7/6/96)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing
: January 17: Yorktown Heights, NY (Postponed). January 24: Colonie, NY (active).

Please pray, as General Gilbert Gapay, Chief of Staff of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) estimates that there are 3,700 New People’s Army (NPA) Communist rebels & 600 local terrorists still active in the country. The AFP plans to continue pounding the enemies’ known strongholds in the three sections of the country: Luzon, Visayas, & Mindanao to totally eradicate them before the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022.

Praise God that, even though my (Paul’s) lungs are still only functioning at 92% capacity, each day my body is responding favorably to your continuous prayers for complete recovery.

Praise God to that the dozens of pastors in the Philippine ministry we started a few decades ago have developed a “report of camaraderie,” assisting each other in the growth process & training of their members, who are mostly new believers. The combined total of our 26 churches reached over 1,200 before covid hit last March. Since then, these pastors (many bi-vocational, with their trained, volunteer teams) have been giving much-needed counseling & care (personally & virtually) to those who have become sick, jobless, quarantined, grieving, or even just searching for resolution in the big picture of God’s sovereign plan.

“Teacher Shela,” 2nd grade Thirdy interjected via their cellphone virtual class, (interrupting his teacher for the 4th time in the past hour), “I have a question…” The subject was Mathematics, tackling the adding of 2-to-3-digit numbers, combined with Counting & Writing bills & coins & writing them down in both symbols & words.

Shela noticed that during discussions, the students participated. But Thirdy’s questions kept veering off from Math. “Teacher Shela, why is the Philippine Hero Jose Rizal’s picture on the peso coin?” Shela was stuck. In the past, if she ignored these questions, this particular student would clam-up afterward & no longer participate. So, she came up with a strategy. After recognizing his inquiry, she’d pause, as if to think. Then, instead of answering directly, would include the other students by asking them first for their opinion on the answer. They would sometimes even vote on the best answer. But then she had a mini white board, & would chock-off a tally mark to remind Thirdy that, of the four questions he was allotted each subject, he only had three left, so he should choose them wisely!

Shela also had an honesty-challenge: some of the computations on the take-home worksheets had been done in the parents’ handwriting. That, combined with the breaking news that her hometown (150 miles away) was both locked-down due a spike in covid, & also facing unrest by a local terrorist group. She was however encouraged to press-on by the morning’s BCA faculty Bible study by Teacher Helen in John 14:1 to stay focused on God “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God…”

Shela prayed for God’s direction in her decisions. So, after having some nasty problems with the printer’s ink pad & black lines and spots, she sent it to the repair guy & when it arrived back, printed-up the thousands of pages of module-worksheets. Then she had a Zoom meeting with the parents.

The parents were concerned that the 40 minutes allowed by Zoom would cut-off in the middle of class discussions & slide presentations. Plus, trying to get Gmail-WPS-EBox-PDF-cellphones & Word all compatible made some files unopenable, and/or lacking applications. Then, full device memories bogged-down. So Shela said, “I’ll work overtime to take pictures one-by-one of the lessons, sending them to you & also print them for those without any kind of electronic devices…if, & only if…you let the kids do their own work.”

You’d think that the parents had had their fingers caught in the cookie jar. Next week, bright & early on Monday morning, the online students were chipper & even dressed in their school uniforms, as they proudly showed their very own work in their very own handwriting, before having them sent via our bus drivers to the BCA campus.

Shela sighed. Surely, trying on our own strength, we’ll always get in a bind. But when we put our trust in God, well, He’s got this.

…Oh, & Thirdy? He already has 2 chock marks on the whiteboard today. But his classmate Valerie has three, so she is in the lead!

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $6,435.

Present Need: $300 for (installment #26 of 155) $46,500 flood-proof (4-foot-high backfill) raised garage next to BCA’s present building, to protect our school buses. $37,700 remaining.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,206.24 received of $20,000 needed.


  1. PJ & Abby’s singalong: TU- 16 min, 49 sec. Jan 12,
    TH- 9 min, 43 sec. Jan 14,
  2. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:

1/7/2021 Happy New Year, 2021! (1/1)

BARNERS’ speaking / singing / visiting & / or sharing: January 3: North Bingham, PA (Postponed), January 10: Cold Brook, NY (Postponed).

Please pray for the 586 Barner Christian Academy students this week as “Blended Online & Hands-On” classes have resumed for the 2020-21 school year. Although community covid lockdowns are on and off, our faculty faithfully arrives on campus daily to print, prepare lessons & interact with their students. Many of the thousands of BCA students (since we opened in 1998) students Fb-ed me that they are praying for my complete recovery! Also we may have three new homeless children (from 25 miles away in the mountains) cleared by the government to be added to our orphanage in February, bringing the “Father’s House” total up to 17.

Praise God that, even though we lost a long-time but aged sponsor for one of the BCA students, during December, a woman at a church where we spoke in early December decided to sponsor a second child!

“Peace…Always.” I clutched the Christmas card to my chest as a tear coursed down my cheek. Two words. A simple message. But in a nutshell, God’s synopsis of the past 25 days.

For the past year, due to covid travel bans, I have had the privilege of sharing the duty with siblings to daily care for my 91-yr-old dad whose dementia has slowed due to constant care. When we arrived from abroad in 2019, he had asked who I was. Now, when his nurse would come daily, he’d say proudly, “This is my son Paul”.

Almost daily I get calls from local schools for mentally disabled requesting me to substitute teach. Occasionally, when I have an alternate to care for Dad, I agree. In mid-December, they called & PJ agreed to fill in as his grandpa’s aide. After downloading the “Daily Dozen” reports from our ministries in the Philippines, to myself as their president & pastor, the final one before I left to teach, was from Alex, my 70-yr-old secretary (a retired pastor).

“Rained hard last night, so I mopped the office. Trained the male faculty in weekly devotional from 1 Peter: ‘Hope that is never shaken’.” As I checked-in to the school, half an hour away, I considered Alex’s message. Hope. Hmm. Kind of the opposite of HYPE which we often get caught in, when things catch us off-guard.

Teaching while wearing a mask is challenging, since you have to keep repeating yourself. But little 2nd-grader Tommy was responsive as I taught him how to add. “Put up 3 fingers. Now count from five. What do you get?” When Tommy said “8” & I told him he was correct, a huge smile spread across his face. Then it happened. Tommy’s mask fell off, & the charming little 7-yr old sneezed.

On the way home later, it did not seem like I could turn the heat high enough in the car. I began shivering. At home, I curled in my bed with blankets. For a week I was homebound. The rest of the family decided to have covid tests, but were negative. The bones in my heels started twisting painfully so I could not walk. Coughs brought sharp pains to my chest, & my lungs began to fill with phlegm so that I struggled to breathe. Christmas week, PJ brought me for my very first covid test. Three days later, on Christmas Day, the results came back positive. While I had been bedridden upstairs, my father downstairs had caught a cold he could not shake. Christmas night, Elvie came into my bedroom upstairs. “Dad is now in heaven. A few minutes ago he was sitting in his favorite chair…then we prayed…& then he stopped breathing. He went more peacefully than anyone I have ever seen, as the angels came & brought his soul to his new home.”

Wow. Dad is gone. But ever being the teacher, I almost wonder if Dad was saying, “Paul, if you do not go to the hospital…immediately, then you will join me tonight in heaven.”

PJ drove me to the hospital. “Ma’am, I have covid…and…I…can’t breathe.” Rushed to the emergency room, gadgets, tests, hoses, auto bp cuffs, compression balloons, etc. made me feel like a robot. High-flo oxygen tanks made up for my lungs that could not function beyond 65%. Very loving doctors & nurses (in protective gowns, air purifiers backpacks, helmets of multiple layers like on the space station) cared for me & every few hours another patient died when “code blue in room #” was announced on the PA system.

Then heaven was bombarded. Elvie, PJ & Abby, plus my brother & sister caught covid. “Please pray for us!” Elvie sent out the message to thousands of friends, who in turn contacted their prayer chains. In Intensive Care, I opened my Bible to Psalm 91. “I will protect him, for he knows my Name.” Incredible peace gently descended upon me, overwhelming me with God’s prescence. Just as Dad had said “This is my son Paul,” God was now saying, “This is my son Paul.” I can’t breathe. But God is here! I have painful gadgets & hoses & machines keeping me alive, yet God is here! I can’t yet feel him, nor see Him, but He is here! Imagine, God is in ICU!

In the middle of the night, among the beeping & oxygen whirring, suddenly I woke up to demons. They appeared before me. But God is in ICU. With great confidence I shouted (in my mind, as my voice was limited) “GET OUT OF THIS ROOM! THIS IS HOLY GROUND! I CLAIM THE BLOOD OF MY SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST OVER THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW!!!!” They left, never to return. Good riddance. The doctors were amazed as my lungs started taking over once again. 65%...75%...87%...” New Year’s Day came & went. Hours…days…weeks…”Paul, what do you want to do today?” asked the very kindly Dr. Bernei. “I want to go home.” Hmmm, let’s see what we can do.

On January 8, I was already back home (Yay, God!) & our family finally opened our Christmas presents. Mostly dollar store stuff, as our holiday shopping had been curtailed. I still can’t sing well as my voice is not 100%. But you know what? I have peace. Peace that passes understanding. I love God so very much. He cared for me, like the tender, loving hands of a nurse who is still there as you pass in and out of consciousness. He was there at my bedside. I was in pain, & He was there. I couldn’t breathe & He was there. And the peace that passes understanding, He gave…just by being there. For me. Cool. A friend has a refrigerator magnet that says, “God loves the whole world…but I am His favorite!”

Thank you for praying. In a nutshell, the past month can be summed up in two words: Peace…Always.

Until next time…Let the islands rejoice!

2020 BCA Kids’ Christmas: Stay Strong & Safe for 2021!” $15 will give each child a face shield, face mask, Christmas BCA t-shirt, stuffed animal & food. NEEDED: $15 x 600 = $9,000. Received: $5,975.

Present Need: $300 for (installment #25 of 155) $46,500 flood-proof (4-foot-high backfill) raised garage next to BCA’s present building, to protect our school buses. $38,000 remaining.

# of students sponsored at BCA: 514

Triathlon bus fund (NEXT RACE: 8/29/2021): $7,206.24 received of $20,000 needed.


  1. My New York home-church, with ASL sign language: Jan 10, 2021 1 hr, 10 min, 40 sec.
  2. PJ & Abby’s singalong:
    TU- 22 min, 52 sec. Jan 5,
    TH- 23 min, 17 sec Jan 7,
  3. PJ & Abby’s singalong master link:
  4. Message: Jan 5 “When God Seems Quiet” Psalm 77 0 hr, 9 min, 18 sec. (from the hospital)
  5. Video of last week’s diary: #13 Dec 29 10 min, 9 sec (from the Albany Medical Center hospital emergency room)
  6. Videos from the hospital and beyond: Dec 29 1 min, 24 sec
    Jan 3 14 min, 42 sec
    Jan 3 19 min, 20 sec
    Jan 4 20 min, 34 sec
    Jan 5 4 min, 5 sec
    Jan 5 9 min, 18 sec
    Jan 6 2 min, 7 sec
    Jan 7 35 min, 9 sec

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Last edited June 6, 2021
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