Thursday, March 31, 2011

A day Building…Rain slowing work

The day I was traveling home was a rainy day in Balangao.  The email I received from Daryl said it rained Wednesday and that they did not work.  It gave them time to rest some more and get healthy.  So it was a blessing also.  But knowing Daryl and he is ready to work and didn’t like sitting around much.  So pray for some sunny weather.  Even the Mayor said the weather has been temperamental this season.   So pray for the team and the weather, and for an understanding that everything is in God's time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I (Brad) will be traveling home to the States tomorrow (Wednesday) so there might not be an update for the next 24 to 48 hours.  Don't worry when I get home and can open my eyes again I will update the blog.
My daughter Beth sent this to me and I am going to pass it on to you.

I am currently reading a book by Dr. Glenn Geelhoed. The book is about all of his medical missions around the world. (Many stories are from the Philippines). I read an interesting quote from him last night and thought I might share it with you. Maybe if you like it you could pass it on to the guys still in the village. This is something that Glenn tells all of the people that participate in his missions.

"These people that we will meet are not at all like us; they are us. They are friends and neighbors you have not yet met. They may look different in terms of trivia such as skin color or language, geographic boundaries, or economic situations. They may seem so different that you don't know how to relate to them. But look at the most fundamental things you have that you'd want to give up last: your children, your health, your hope. In this we all are the same. When you meet them, one of the things you will find out quickly is that these people have resources-not like coffee or gold or oil, but resiliency and resourcefulness. And that is how they can become instructors to us. What we teach and give to them will pale in comparison to what we learn and receive from them- what I call gifts from the poor"

Pray for the team in Balangao to get healthy and stay healthy.  Also for the weather to break and stay dry.

The whole team in front of the hotel/hardware store
(and the dog)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A day Building...Work being done but Prayer needed

This is a update from Daryl on Tuesday morning
Yesterday (Monday) went well, started off with rain. Later in the morning it stayed misty, and cloudy, but workable weather. We got the forms removed from the back side of the retaining wall, and back filled with dirt. We then worked on digging the footers and grade beams, as well as beginning to form them up. Austin & Matt stayed back at the hotel as they are sick with head colds and sore throat, so Kyle, Robinson, and myself along with 6 of the Balangao men worked. In addition I have been sick with the same thing as the other two, no time for rest for me, as we have a schedule to meet. Keep praying for us, we need it with the weather conditions. Today, Tuesday we will finish forming up all the footers. I have requested more men to come to try to pick up the pace on things as we have to deal with the weather almost every day. Already as I sit here this morning it is raining, not sure when we will be able to get down there to work.
Please say a short prayer for the team as you finish reading this

Austin as he talked in front of church

Matt as he talked in front of church

The kids like getting their pictures taken, they also like to
see them self when you show them the picture.

A day Building…back to work on Monday

I have not gotten an update from Daryl and the team yet today so I am posting some writings from Jo Shetler

Balangao...Jo Shetler

In 1962 Anne and I hiked into Balangao—it had taken 3 days to get to the end of the road and now we had two more days of hiking over the mountains to the beautiful rice terraces tucked back in them.  Headhunting wasn’t as active as it had been (only a few cases in my 20 years there), but they had never seen white women.  They knew about, helped and loved American soldiers who shared their C-rations with them…guerilla warfare happened at the end of WWII there.  We were adopted by the very-disappointed man who had agreed to allow Americans to live in their village…he was assuming men, like he’d seen in WWII.  He become our beloved father whom we treasured.

In 1967 God defeated the evil spirits in a hair-raising experience for me, and people came by the droves, wanting to know “Who is this God who has more power than the spirits?!”  Thousands have believed over the years; where only a Catholic church had been in the central village, now churches are in every village.  People learned to read; the NT was finished in ’82 and celebrated with two days of song, gongs, stories… After some years of evangelizing, our Balangao brother told us, “Having the NT without the OT is like having a sword without the handle…we need the OT!”  After the NT, I was assigned to another role, helping colleagues.  So we formed a team of Balangaos, mostly whom we had helped through college. They are now in Balangao, but they have had no place to work.  The priest has rented them a room temporarily; we are in dire need of an office building, since our original place I had built was taken from us.  This new office building will house not only the Balangao OT translation project, but ne of the Balangaos is doing a NT translation across the mountain and they will share the office…so LOTS of translation to go on in this place!
We THANK you with all our hearts for your help and your prayers—please pray diligently for the team as they work so hard to provide this wonderful gift to all of Balangao. 

Ignacio is on the right

Today we introduce: Ignacio
Age: 57
He started working with Jo Shetler early in his career then he Joined TAP (Translator Association Philippines) in the early 80’s and has now joined Wycliffe Philippines also.  He is working with Rudy on workshops for other translators.   He was born and lives in Balangao.  He has 4 sons and 1 daughter, and 2 grand kids.
Prayer request: Finish the translation he is working for a nearby village so he can join with Grace, Robyn, and Joanne and work on the Old Testament.  For his wife, kids, and grand kids when he travels and for safe travel.
Ignacio's son and wife, he just returned from school

Some sites Jo had to hike past
Can you find the people walking on the terraces?

Then you realise how big the rice terraces are

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A day Building…A Farewell for one

Today I (Brad) have to start back toward home.  I only could stay for this amount of time.  I will still keep the blog up to date.   I will get updates and pictures from Daryl and the rest of the team and post them to the blog for them.  I hope this goes well and I will be on a better internet connection so I hope to maybe do more with the blog.  This is the reason that the update for today was delayed.  Daryl, Robinson, Ignacio and I were all traveling to Bagabag today.  I wasn’t able to get on the internet to post the update until Sunday. 
   The trip from Balangao to Bagabag was the same trip we did on Monday.  But there was something different about it.  We had Ignacio with us.  When we were traveling he would tell us about when he would hike from Barlig to Balangao.  They would leave at 3 am with flash lights so they could complete it in one day.  He says his kids didn’t believe it either.  Then when we would stop to look at the rice terraces along the way.  We would stop the HiLux and turn it off; it would be just us 4 and not a sound except the river way down in the valley.  He told us that the road was once the path that Joanne Shetler and Robyn Terrey hiked from where the road ended. The quiet got a lot louder then, thinking of hiking this.  We thank God Joanne and Robyn said yes, the Balangao’s thank God Joanne and Robyn said yes we will go.   We also thank God for Ignacio, Grace, Joanne, and Robyn for working on the Old Testament.  We have to be in prayer for them as satan will be after them. Pray for the work team also as they are now 1 less to do the work, I will be with them in spirit and working the blog for them.  Thanks again for read this blog.

Today we introduce Robyn (Twin sister of Joann)
Age 33
From: Grew up and lives in Balangao
She joined NPMTTA (Northern Philippines Mother Tongue Translators Association) in 1999.  She also joined Wycliffe Philippines in October. Other then hearing that her sister was born first they also have an older brother that is helping with the building of the office.  Robyn and Joanne are creating very good food and taking great care of us.
Prayer request: Also wisdom working on the Old Testament, team unity during the work.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A day Building…A wall

I don’t know what is going on with this dry season but it is not dry.  It rained most of the night again, not hard rain but steady rain.  It was cool which was good for working, but it was the on and off rainy all day again.  It took a little longer to get the form ready for the cement but we were ready just in time for lunch.  After lunch the cement started to be mixed and it took the afternoon but the wall is poured.  With the width of the footer and the height of the wall there has been a lot of cement mixed, moved, and poured on site.  We are thankful that we are to this point.  Saturday the other footers can be formed up and readied for Monday or Tuesday.  Daryl and Eric (the Filipino Foreman) are starting to work very well with each other.  We are starting to learn their ways and they are starting to learn our ways.  They are starting to learn that they can ask us questions why we are doing something this way and maybe offer a better way to do it or understand why we are doing something that way.  It is great that this is happening; I know that with this happening it will pay off in the rest of the project.

Today we introduce Joanne (Twin sister of Robyn)
Age 33
From: Grew up and lives in Balangao.
I asked who should go first on the blog and Joanne said she was born first so she should go first.  Joanne joined NPMTTA (Northern Philippines Mother Tongue Translators Association) in 2000.  She also joined Wycliffe Philippines in October. They say they have 5 books of the Old Testament published and two more ready.
Prayer requests: Wisdom for the translation of the Old Testament.  Also protection during project.

Kyle and Austin finishing the forms

Start of the mixing of cement

Cement being poured in the form

Kyle finishing the top of the wall

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A day Building…Raining and no power day

Today we lost power about 5:45am and at 6:20pm we still don’t have power so it will be quick update. It was also raining when we woke up.  So no cement was poured today but we got all the rebar and forms ready for tomorrow.  We hope to be making and pouring cement most of the day.  We will try and document with pictures.  It was on and off rain most of the day.  Besides getting the rebar ready we move a lot of sand/gravel mix and rocks for tomorrow.   Pray that we have a dry day tomorrow, we could use it for the work that is before us.
As I was typing this the power came back on. So we are charging all the devices and phones.
Grace and her daughter

Today we introduce Grace
 Age: 41
From: Was born and lives in Balangao.
She is one of the translators that are working on the Old Testament and the reason we are here.  She has a seventeen year old daughter that is in college, just finishing her 2nd year (with her in the picture).  Her father helped with the New Testament.  She has been working with NPMTTA (Northern Philippines Mother Tongue Translators Association) since 2001 but worked with Joanne Shetler before that.  Last October she joined Wycliffe Philippine.
Prayer requests: The main one is wisdom in translation project. Good health for her and her family.  Also protection and wisdom for her daughter when she continues school this summer.
Getting the rebar ready for cement

Bending the rebar to the shape that is needed

Making a 2x2 board from 2x4 board.

Had some time for a basketball game today after working. USA won.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A day Building…Making and pouring cement

Once again we had no rain which is good.  Everything was ready for the cement, so the Filipino workers started making the cement.  They setup a slide for the gravel/sand mix to slide down the hill to where they mixed it and made cement.  Then they used a bucket brigade to get the cement to the forms for the footers.  It went very well for the amount of cement we had to fill the footer.  They had it done by 3:00pm, so Daryl and Kyle started forming up the retaining wall for tomorrow cement.  So we started to get ready for tomorrow’s work and cement by hauling gravel and gathering rocks from the river/waterfall.  
  Matt and Austin are fitting in now.   After work they went and “showered” in a nearby water fall.  They are also teasing Grace, Robyn, and Joanne.  The ladies say they are acting like little brothers in jest.  They must of liked the hamburgs we had for lunch.
  We are thankful that we have good progress to show today and are ready for a good day tomorrow.  We had 19 Filipino helpers today, which made the work go very well today.  We are thankful for their help and knowledge of working with cement.

Robinson pouring some of the first cement.

The sand/gravel slide with mixing at the bottom

Collecting rocks from the riverbed to put in the cement

Merienda time

Today we introduce Daryl -  project team leader

Daryl working with the cement

 Age: 49
From: Lives in North Carolina, is from Michigan.
He is married and has 4 kids, 3 are married and 2 grand kids.  He has worked with Jaars for 23 years, in a variety of roles but is presently Manages the Aviation Department machine shop.  Has lived and traveled back to the Philippines many times.
Prayer requests: For his family back at home.  Strength for the duration of the project.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A day Building…Driving and working again

Daryl and I drove back to Balangao today we made good time and were back by 12:30pm and had some lunch.  We then joined the other guys down at the building site.  They had the footer ready to frame which got done and set and tied all the rebar in place and it is ready for cement first thing tomorrow.  The Filipino men were away on a men’s conference Monday and Tuesday and should be back for Wednesday afternoon.   As I am writing we can hear some strong thunder in the background.  It was in the forecast that we saw Sunday online so we are not surprised. This week has been going good, so we hope it is just thunder and not a lot of rain.  The dirt is dry and easier to work with, so no rain.  We thank you again for your prayers, but today pray for the men that are at the conference that it up lifts them. 

Today we introduce Kyle

It was hot today
 Age: 36
From: Lives in South Carolina, is from Pennsylvania.
This is his 2nd trip to the Philippines; He has a wife and one son (Jenny, Trey). He has worked with Jaars for 10 years, in the Aviation Department machine shop.
Prayer requests: For his family while he is gone.  His wife is heading to Russia soon for testing MK’s (Missionary Kids). Pray for Trey and Grandma and Grandpa during this time.

Everyone getting ready for cement

Finishing the footers frame

Pictures don't do it justice, come along on one of the next
two trips to Balangao and see them for your self!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A day Building…Driving and working

Today after starting to work on the building site we saw the need for the generator that was still at Rudy’s house.  So it was discussed and Daryl and Brad drove to Bagabag to get the generator.  We left Balangao about 9:30am and arrived in Bagabag about 3:30pm.  We then picked up some supplies and water in Salono.  We are spending the night at Rudy’s house and will return tomorrow.  So I will not have any pictures of the building site today, but I will post some pictures from the road on the way to Bagabag.  We did get word that Matt got dirt in his eye, it has been attended too, but would like some prayer for this also.  I will introduce Kyle tomorrow also.  Because of travel today I could not get it together for today, sorry.  It was sunny all day Sunday and was sunny and clear when we left Balangao.  So the dirt is drying out and should be easier to work with.  Thanks again for your prayers and support of the team and reading the blog. God Bless this project and the Balangao people who are helping and the church that gave the land for the office.
Rice Terraces

A road less traveled

A Small Village on the way to Bagabag

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A day Building…with brothers and sisters in Christ

Today we got to sleep in (if we could) with breakfast at 8:00am instead of 6:30am.  Daryl made breakfast for the team today, giving Grace, Robyn, and Joanne the day off to rest also.  They have really taken care of us.  After breakfast we went to church and each one of us had time to tell about our self, where we were from and about family, and a personal testimony. We also celebrated communion with our brothers and sisters in Christ. After church Ignacio brought us to his home for lunch. The path was steep in some places but it was worth the hike.  What a beautiful quiet area he has, away from traffic and noise, great for his kids and grand kids to visit grandpa and grandma.  After lunch he beat Austin in chess and Matt in a checkers like game but it was with chess pieces.  We walked around his house and enjoyed the peace and quiet, and visited with him.  Then we went back to our hotel to rest and read and write emails.  In the evening more of the same.

Today we introduce Brad

Brad talking during the church service

 Age: 43

From: Michigan
This is his 5th trip to the Philippines, His wife and two kids (Kathy, Beth, and Alex) worked for Wycliffe Associates and lived in Bagabag center for a year between 2007 and 2008.  He works at Hope College in Holland MI. in the computer department.  
Prayer requests: For his family while he is gone. Thankful to be able to return to the Philippines to renew friendships. And for strength to keep up on the work.
The trail to Ignacio's house, Yes we have to go up on the way back.
Ignacio's house

Matt is getting beat in chess.

Our hotel, we are staying on the top floor.

The kitchen and dining room.

The sala (living room)

A bedroom

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A day Building… A Rice Terrace?

It almost feels like we are in rainy season not the dry season.  It rains at night and into the morning.  Today it was raining again in the morning but did not last.   Matt, Austin, Robinson, and Brad started moving a big pile of grave/sand mix that had to be moved closer to the work site.  Kyle and Daryl setup lines for the footers and started to “square up” the floor plan and pulled lines for the footers.  In the afternoon we dug more for the footers. We do have a lot of ground moisture by the southwest corner so we are dealing with more water for the footers.  So we are getting there.  Ignacio’s brother-in-law said it looks like we are building a rice terrace not a building. Tomorrow we will go to the church that donated the land for the project.  Ignacio asked the whole team to his house for lunch after the church service.  He says it is only a 5 min hike from church.  That is for him, I bet it will take us longer but it is downhill.  We thank God for the progress we made this week and look forward to worshiping God with the Balangao’s on Sunday morning. 
Austin and his helper Christian

Today we introduce Austin
 Age: 21
From: Ohio but living in Florida
He has been on many short term mission trips with his family and school to Africa and Latin America. He is a helicopter pilot and building time and getting new ratings.  He hopes to become a full time commercial helicopter pilot and fly on the mission field some. 
Prayer requests: His father Ken is awaiting news about a brain tumor and might have surgery when Austin is working with the team.  Also for aching body and hands and for energy to get the work done.
Daryl and Kyle setting out footers

Small landslide over night.
Start to moving the sand/gravel mix.

Ok so we didn't get it done but we are working on it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A day of building…Moving more dirt but setting some stakes.

Today started with some rain but by noon we had sunshine, we thank God for the sun.  God knows we need clouds to start the day and sun in the middle.  We ended the day about 4:00pm because of rain again (don’t tell Nard).  We did get the back wall dug out, and set stakes for the footers.  We got the front wall area dug but it fell in just before marienda, but was all dug out by the time we left for the day.  Hope the rain will not make it fall in again. Karaoke is going every night most are English songs we know sometimes not.  The rule is that they have to stop at 9:00pm and they do.  Thanks for your prayers, reading and comments on the blog.  If there is any questions that you want us to answer let us know, or any pictures of something we have not shown yet just let us know.
Today we will be introducing Matt.

Matt is a big hit with the kids, they are tickling him with weeds.
Age 19 (will be 20 soon he says)
From: Ohio
This is his first time out of the United States.  What a place to go for the first international trip.  Matt was asked along by Austin who you will meet tomorrow.   He has been working in Florida but will returning to Ohio after the trip.  He wants to sing karaoke only if Robinson will do it with him.  Robinson says no.
Prayer request: His hands have been getting a workout and sore like the rest of us.  He is thankful for the great experience he is getting on the mission field.
Finishing the back wall.
Another look at the back wall area.

Front wall taking shape.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moving more dirt... and an introduction

The network was down last night so there was no update.  Sometimes it is only out for a short time and sometimes longer.  So if there is no update or emails from the team members for a long time then assume the Internet is not working in Balangao.
 It has rained the last two nights (March 16th and 17th) Daryl had to go to Santiago to get some supplies on Thursday March 17th.  The road was very muddy and slick.  Good thing he had the HiLux and 4 wheel drive.  We'll just say he had fun and the HiLux needs a wash.  We need prayers for dry weather so the work would be easier.  From the limited weather reports we have seen there is a light monsoon pattern in the area, and it is raining again this morning.
The digging continued and we think we made good progress even though the dirt was more mud then dirt. I will post some more pictures below.

We are going to start introducing the team to the readers of the blog.  Each day we will high light one team member. So first is Robinson.

Robinson:  Adopted Son of Daryl the team leader, also in the picture.
 Age: 29
From: Philippines - Mindanao Island
College Student: – studying Business Management, also in the army reserves (Philippines)
Has been working with a mission organization for 5 years now and wants to continue after college.
Prayer requests include: finishing college, for his work in the mission field, and he found out his friends house was swept away by a flood while he has been working with the team.
Robinson moves dirt from the site, I think we are moving half the hill.

Pray for dry weather.
We have help from the members of the church.
Merienda time, coffee and skyflake crackers.