Volume 15, No. 11
Abigail, on top of the "miracle" $1200 car that carried us 25,000 miles on furlough.
150 sponsors for unschooled poor Filipinos on waiting
list at Barner Learning Center.
Elvie, PJ, Abigail and I departed for our 9-month furlough from Davao City, Philippines in January, 2003. Before we left, Elvie interviewed prospective families to enroll their children in the free student sponsorship program.
A line of 200 children stretched out the door from
Elvie’s Principal Office at Barner Learning Center. She “weeded out” 50
children who were from families who could afford to pay. However, 150
children were left, who needed sponsorship.
As we crossed the United States of America, one by one, all the needed sponsors were found. Some Sunday School classes took on the project of sponsoring a child. Some retired couples. Other families. One engaged couple. Finally, with only two days remaining before we were to fly back to the Philippines, we received an email from New Jersey:
Praise God! We will not have to turn any children out onto the streets! If you are still considering sponsoring a child, please contact us. Occasionally there are those who pledge to sponsor a child and then change their minds a few months later, leaving Elvie and I to have to cover these children’s expenses ourselves.
3 school busses for poor Filipino children who’ve
been relocated, to get to school
The property owner meant business. He had bought a large parcel of swampland near our school decades ago, and left it vacant. Meanwhile, 500 nomadic families eyed the location and built their shacks on it.
Termed “Squatters”, these families used cardboard, scrap metal and discarded remnants of paneling to build their shacks. Flooding often washed away what little they could call their own in this low-lying area. Parasitic mud squished between their toes when they had to go outside to go to the bathroom in a cordoned-off pit.
These are the families that we focused on when desiring
to reach out to the poorest of the poor for giving them an education and
also sharing Jesus with them. As we reached out to them, both the school
and the church we started began to grow. After all, did not Jesus say,
“Whatsoever you do to the least of your brethren, that you do unto me.” ?
Praise God, one by one a family here, a couple there, and new friends whose hearts God had challenged during our visits, said, “Yes, God, I will help!” Through their sacrifice, hundreds of lives will be brought to Jesus.
Used Black Shoes
250 pair of used children’s black shoes to complete
the uniforms of sponsored kids.
Praise God for the patience of PJ and Abigail, and they have been strapped in their car seats for 25,000 miles, while we crossed the USA, north, south, east and west. From Washington to Florida & California to New York, in 9 months we drove through 27 states.
Often after speaking in a church or school, kind friends would give us needed things for the Filipino children. We received toys, clothes, books, vitamins, first aid and school supplies. One desperate need was black shoes. The sponsorship program, to keep the cost ($20/month) low, does not include the required black shoes for children’s uniforms.
Since kids grow out of shoes pretty fast, many new-looking shoes were given to us. We mailed them off as soon as we had spare time. Sometimes we’d box them up in a hotel and find a post office. Other times we’d save money by mailing a cargo shipment of shoes. Altogether, our goal was SURPASSED, as 280 pair of shoes were shipped!
Some shoes came from churches who did not even know us before. Some invited us to come and speak, and gave toward other needs in the school as well, promising to regularly pray for our work. We ended up speaking in nearly a dozen different denominations of churches. Many heard the gospel!
The Barners say goodbye to a productive
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November 09, 2003