Hello from the beautiful Philippine Islands! It has been a while since we wrote a newsletter but there is a good reason for that. We arrived here on March 31, and up ‘til now we have had to stay in the city all but 9 days because it has been too dangerous to live out at MBI. The rebels have been uprising in and around our area out there and no one has been certain what they might do. Last week we started something new, part of the staff from MBI meet us about 30 minutes from town on motorcycles and escort us , in front and behind us, all the way to MBI and they bring us home the same way. We stagger our days out there so they are never the same, and so far, we never get to stay more than 2 days at a time. It is a 2 ½ hour trip out there. While we are there, some of the staff sleep in the houses near to us and in the open kitchen behind us. They are taking good care of us, and we are thrilled and blessed to finally be able to be there again. All that to say, we had nothing to write about while we were stuck in town.
The new school year has started and we have 39 students enrolled. This week we were able to have all of them out on the screened in porch for a get together and pass out some much needed items that had been sent over to them. Items such as; shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens, baseball hats for the men, washcloths, combs. We added a few things as well, dish detergent paste, and a tide bar for laundry. They were so very appreciative. We also had no bake cookies and popcorn. ( Our oven door is broken and we are waiting for the new part to fix it. )
This week we were blessed to have a missionary intern with us, Laura Smith, she is a lovely young woman with a heart for missions and she loved our students and staff as much as we do.
We have had a lot of heavy rain, it is the rainy season. The other day the road collapsed in Sinuda, a village next to MBI, the staff had gone to look at it and we asked how deep it was, they pointed to the house next door to us and said as deep as that house is tall. Big semi-trucks and buses were lined up on the highway all day long, but they finally got it filled in enough to let traffic through.
Right now we have a sad situation going on at school, the wife of one of our 3rd year students has developed endometrial cancer, late stage, according to the report from the hospital. She is today, undergoing a biopsy and ultrasound, to see if surgery is an option. Apparently it was found in October and she was given an experimental drug, and it has only grown worse. Please be in prayer for her, Lionesa is her name. They do not have children.
We are starting a garden project with the students, to get involvement from all of them we are having a contest for the best gardens. There will be a first, second and third prize and something for all who participate. We are excited, we did this when we were here before and it was a huge success. It became a livelihood for some of the students, they would grow their produce and carry it to the road for the grocery trucks coming by looking for vegetables to take to town. And most of all, it helps them to feed their families.
There are 20 children in our learning center this year, we are enclosing a picture of them and their wonderful teacher, Grace. We were blessed to be the ones to hire her when we were here before, and she is a top notch teacher, her students really excel when they get in the public schools. She has been a real blessing for many , many students.
Thank you for your prayers and gifts for the work going on here at MBI, these students are reaching people who would never hear the gospel otherwise. Thank you and God bless you more! We are so thankful to be able to be here and be a part of God’s work in the Philippines.
All our love,
Robert and Sherry Weatherford