After a half day of travel to the other island we made it to the doctors office to be informed that he would not able to preform the Smile Train surgery this week because of a slight cough that Ganise has. Even though the surgery has been post-poned to next week, God was able to work out His plan!
Jona (the mom) was able to see her bother that she had not seen in a year and her sister that she had not seen in 10 years. Why the huge time gap? Because neither Jona nor her siblings can afford the $10 it takes to travel. I could not believe that the last time Jona saw her sister was when she was just 12 years old. It was such a blessing to watch them catch up for hours, laughing just like it was yesterday that they saw each other.
Her brother (23) holding Ganise for the first time!!
Her sister, also playing with Gansie for the first time!!
Although the 8 months since I left home feels like an eternity, God revealed to me how little I am suffering compared to most of the people here in the Philippines that have not seen their family members in years. Thank you Jesus for opening up my eyes a little wider.
Please pray that Baby Ganise will be %100 healthy for next Monday so that she can receive surgery!
Just kidding! I just really want you to read this blog- since you've already opened it, you might as well read it!!
Although, sometimes I think it would be a great idea to not be a missionary anymore. Sometimes missions is so hard that I actually fantasize about becoming a Buddhist. It seems like they live a pretty peaceful life always doing there yoga thing, gettin' all centered and focusing on their inner self. It sometimes seems great compared to the insane life I'm living. Missions is non-stop 24/7, like the energizer bunny on crack. Sometimes I wonder why on earth I signed up for this!
But, Praise God, in His great mercy and love for me, (lightly) hits me in the head with a grace filled 2x4. And smacks me right out of my awesome day dream where i'm at home in my incense filled room in crouching dog position.
Lately, probably because I'm really missing home, Jesus had to hit me with a hard and realllllly grace-filled 2x4.
This 2x4s name is Ana-biwan. Biwan is this sweet little 34 year old (and I say little because next to me she looks like a small child) that I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of months ago. She loves ice cream and volleyball and she's a quiet introvert (yeahhh introverts unite!). She is like the big sister I never had. (Just kidding Bria and Jaclyn- just making sure you are actually reading my blogs). She lives in a town called Magsaysay in a tiny little bamboo hut with her husband, Danny, who is a 4th grade teacher at the local elementary school and her three children Arvie (8), Ian Dave (7), and Rafyl Ava (5).
Sadly, Biwan has been diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. She has a softball sized tumor on the side of her neck that has been growing for the last year because she could not afford to go to the doctor. I have taken her to see a specialist and we have started the process of treatment. She has received blood work and CT scans. And we are now just waiting on the results. After next week we will talk to the doctor about starting chemo therapy. So far, thanks to our benefactors, we have been able to pay the $700 bill for the tests but we will not be able to pay for the chemo therapy. The chemo therapy will cost somewhere between $4,000-$5,000 depending on how many sessions she will need.
I know that it is hard to give your money to someone that you don't know but I know and love her! I really want her to be around to watch her kids grow up. Please pray about donating to Biwan! Donating or not- Please please please pray for her and her family and that The Lord would heal her and provide finically for her!
If you would like to donate you can go to my page HERE!!
Or send a check by mail to the FMC office at :
12624 Everglade Rd
Thanks guys! Love y'all! (Don't worry- I'm not converting to Buddhism, I love Jesus and want to live my life for Him!!)
P.S.- I would like to start an art class with the students of Holy Rosary High School but because the school cannot provide funding for this we will have to provide the supplies ourselves. If you would like to donate towards things like paint, paint brushes, colors, color pencils, paper, scissors, construction paper, glue, and other art supplies please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S.S.- for those of you who are following baby Ganise (with the cleft lip), I am taking her to have the surgery done this week! YAYYY!! Please pray for us!
1. Our backyard has turned into a veggie garden/mini farm! With a lot of help from some of our favorite students. Yay!
2. We were able to provide uniforms to over 15 students (and still counting). Including shirts, pants/skirts, notebooks, backpacks, shoes, socks, underwear, pens and pencils. Don't worry- they all look great.
3. India Team came! They shared their testimony and gave talks to the whole student body, made best friends with all the neighborhood kids, climbed a mountain (nbd) held piglets, rode a caribou, drank fresh coconut juice, and swam in the ocean. Pray for their mission in India!
4. We handed out many foam mats, pillows, sheets, blankets, and mosquito nets to our friends and neighbors who were sleeping on the cement floor before.
5. We brought one of our students to the hospital on a different island to have surgery on his fractured arm. Everything went well! He's a happy camper.
6. We continue to provide rice and prayers to those who come to our door hungry. And we sometimes dance with our regulars.
7. We are trying to set up a time to take Ganise and her mom to the main land to have surgery on her cleft lip. Through Smile Train the operation is free but, we need funds for ferry/travel expenses, meals, and a place to stay for the week. She will also need medication for after the surgery. Please consider donating! I have estimated it to be about $300.
8. This last week Genevieve got a huge burn on her leg (it was sick) from the motorcycle, hearing this, our neighbors came right over to put cooling leaves and tomatoes on the burn. It is now almost healed!
9. *For Mom-- When the same awesome neighbors found out the I was running a fever the whole family came over to help. The son (23) started making herbal tea from leaves that he found in our yard, the daughter (17) started massaging my head, and the mom came over with medicine and repeatedly told me to take it every 4 hours then gave me a full body massage. (It wasn't your Campbell's chicken noodle soup mom, but close enough!)
10. SHOUT OUT to all the prayer warriors, blog sharers, and those who are supporting us finically. You are the reason this mission is possible! I can not thank you enough for your holy sacrifice. May The Lord bless you and reward you!
So many things have happened since I last posted. Here are some pictures of what we have been up to!
#1. I became a Godmother to the sweetest little girl. She has the same birthday as my niece and Goddaughter that I left back home. God is good to me!
#2. While at the baptism meeting, I got asked to be the Godmother of two other boys! :)
#3. For a couple of weeks in the month of June, we had the opportunity to have our friend Flora and her daughter Monay stay with us. Flora had just put an end to her life of drugs and alcohol use with the help of our awesome missionaries in Malaybalay. She stayed with us to get back on her feet and grow in her relationship with Jesus. She is now living in Malaybalay with Monay. Please pray for her to stay strong in times of temptation and trial.
#4. We started teaching again! The summer is over her in the Philippines and a new school year has started! We are now teaching Religion, Values, and some English classes. Holy Rosary High School is BADLY in need of repairs. I will post another blog on this but if you are anyone you know feel called to donate to this amazing school please email me at email@example.com.
#5. We were apart of a mass wedding, a total of six couple were married all at the same time!
#6. Genevieve had a birthday! Here is everyone at our house at 5am! Happy 24th!
#7. The China team came for a visit/vacation!! We were so happy to have them for just 2 days!
#8. ASIA SUMMIT! A great week retreat in Malaybalay with missionaries from all over Asia. It was awesome to be with everyone again!
This blog was written by my awesome team member Rebecca. We are trying to raise awareness for this beautiful family's needs. Please consider donating!
Meet the Delopere family! Elma is a first-grade public school teacher, and Renati is a stay-at-home father. They have three children - Jane Rennoit (9), Clark Reniel (4), and Johnreel (2) - and another baby due in September.
Renati, Elma, Jane, Clark, and Fr. Joe
Two years ago this family experienced terrible tragedy when Jane, then 7 years old, was critically injured. On August 2, 2012, Jane was walking past the gate at her elementary school when she was hit by a truck. She suffered a broken skull and spent 10 days in the ICU, some of that time in a coma. She has had a total of four surgeries and spent three months in the hospital, followed by a year of recovery at home.
The doctors inserted an artificial bone in Jane’s skull to protect her brain, but they are not sure whether or not this procedure was 100% successful or if it is a lasting solution. Elma told us that the right side of Jane’s head is soft to the touch, like a baby’s skull that is not yet fully formed. Another operation may be necessary for further healing and recovery.
Because the truck driver was only able to pay a small portion of the damages incurred, Elma and Renati were left with the majority of Jane’s medical bills. They currently owe P380,000 ($8,500) in hospital bills -- as a teacher, Elma earns only $400 a month, making it nearly impossible for them to make payments on these loans and still provide for the family's needs. Jane's last operation was in January, and she is supposed to have a monthly check-up, but the family has already had to miss three of her check-ups because they cannot afford the doctor’s fee, which is P500-P1000 per visit (between $11 and $22).
We asked Elma to share Jane’s story with us so that we could share it with you! Renati has begun working as a fruit vendor to provide a little extra income, but it is not enough. We assured Elma and Renati that we would pray and ask for benefactors to help with their family’s needs.
Jane (far right) with some of her cousins and my teammate Genevieve
It was touching to see how deeply these parents love and care for their daughter. Elma said, “We do not have money to spend for our child, for her security. ... I don’t care what God wants her to do when she gets older. If she is to be a sister [nun], okay!”
Even though they have experienced great hardship over the past two years, they are not bitter or angry at God or at the truck driver. Their main concern is for Jane’s health and their family’s well-being as they struggle to pay for these expenses.
Elma and Renati were so blessed at the thought of our “friends back home” sending financial support to help them through this difficult time. Your donations will allow Jane to receive the medical care she needs as soon as possible!
Please click here to donate to my fund and write "For Jane" in the comments section to ensure that your donation will be given to the Delopere family.