Saturday, April 21, 2012

In Dumangas

We spent four days in the small town of Dumangas in the Philippines over spring break.  We were with a group of families from our church, participating in what has become an annual outreach there.  There were several activities that took place during the outreach, including a pastor's training, a large VBS for about 500 kids from neighboring towns and a basketball tournament.  Our family was there for the basketball and a mini VBS session for a much smaller group of children. 

I have lots of pictures in this post... it was hard to choose.  Being in this small town in the middle of nowhere was really amazing.  It was about playing basketball in 100 degree heat, eating mangoes at every meal, riding motorcycle trikes overflowing with people, doing crafts and teaching Bible stories... but it was mostly about making friends.  The people are incredibly warm and friendly.  We loved being with them, getting a peek into their lives.  I've included some pictures of our activities and many pictures of the people of Dumangas that we came to love while we were there. 
 The night before the basketball tournament began there was a kick-off parade with about 200+ people parading through the streets of Dumangas with bamboo torches (I got to help make these!).  Drum beats led the way through the dark streets of the town, ending back at the church.  So cool!  Not sure if I will ever do something like that again!   I love how Caleb seems to have fire flowing from behind him in this pic!

 Our kids helped lead the songs and motions for VBS.
 Me with a crew of sweet girls!
Our basketball guys were drenched in sweat after every game in the heat... here socks dry in the sun before the next game.
 Leading games with the VBS kids.

 Seth clings to his seat on the back of a trike.

 Prayers with the other team before the game begins.
 God sees me and He loves me... paper telescopes as a reminder.  :-)
 More games, Gwen leads the charge!
Joe and Seth prep for leading worship later.  Seth loves this 20-something guy... he is a worship leader and helps with the youth at our church in Shanghai.  I told Scott the other night I weep even thinking about thanking Joe for the way he has mentored Seth.  He has taught him so much.  What a gift. 

This little girl ended up with my guy's Ohio State hat... and Caleb ended up with a new friend. 
 Our team!

 Our little crew of VBS kids outside Dumangas Baptist Church.

 Caleb and Zach and friends! 
 Jesus Loves Me hearts... VBS craft.

 Caleb flying through warm ups.

These sweet ladies from the church tirelessly cooked for our crew of families, both lunch and dinner every day, over the fireplace in this kitchen.

 Delicacies for sale at a roadside stand.
 Look what our host church in Dumangas is rejoicing in at their 95 year celebration... What a privilege it was to serve alongside these faithful people in this poor little town among tens of thousands of towns on the 7000+ islands that make up the Philippines.  It always amazes me (why should it?!) when we find God's people everywhere! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Track Meet

Yesterday was the Shanghai International School Athletic Conference track meet.  Scott and I haven't been to any of the track meets yet this year, so we loved getting to see our guys jump and run.  Here are a few of Caleb's long jump attempts.

Seth runs hurdles, both the 110 meters and the 400 meters.  Hurdle running always amazes me... maybe because of my short legs, I can't imagine having a chance of getting over them.  I was surprised to learn there is no penalty for knocking them down, but Seth cleared them all with ease.

Caleb ran on the 4-by-1 team.  He was the second runner.  Baton pass went fine and he was leading the pack.

 Looking strong...
 Little grimace, great effort?

 Hand to hip...
Something's not right... he managed to stagger to the third runner and pass the baton, then he crumpled. 
He said later he heard a snap or something like it... fortunately it is a strained hip flexor muscle, not ruptured.  No fun though, and he is hurting today.  Seth stepped up and ran Caleb's last race for him.  Thinking Caleb probably won't be running in the Asia Pacific Athletic Conference meet next weekend.  Three varsity sports seasons in his senior year is a pretty great record- proud of this guy for giving his all.