Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A day of Celebration in pictures

Here's the beginning of it all...we started the program at 10 a.m. and finished a bit after 1 p.m.  It was a wonderful program!

It was awesome....mythological names given to the Majukayong men and the Balangao ladies.  They each sang a song in appreciation.  The men sang How Great Thou Art in their language and the Balangaos wrote a Balangao.  SO good at the end! (see previous post on blog)

Pastor Nardo was wonderful, speaking from the translated Nehemiah. WE were impressed that the mayor not only spoke but he also had a very special luncheon for me, talking about how "Juami" isn't a memory in Balangao, but a legend.  May it be the Lord's legend..when the Word of God came to Balangao!

After people ate they got out the gongs to dance...hard on the ears but everyone loved it!

It was very moving for the dedication prayer--all the teams working together to bring glory to God and both Balangao and Majukayong people into the Kingdom to praise God with the rest of us!

And we had a wonderful program.  Andrew Reichenbacher spoke so eloquently on behalf of all the building teams who to whom Balangaos expressed extreme thanks.  All the others will get their certificate of appreciation in the mail!

George Jones spoke on behalf of the donors without whom this would never have happened!  How we THANK the Lord for all they were able to do! George also prayed the prayer of dedication for the Majukayong team and the Balangao team.  Representatives of the Mangali team arrived about at the end of the program!

It didn't start to rain 'til 2 pm...We were THANKING the Lord!

Behind the scenes in the night

Butchering 2 pigs & 1 cow

3 wheel barrows full of cooked rice

Crowds being fed

Crowds getting rice
Fannah's sing their song

Girls dance

Laggunawa's sing their songs

Tony Dasalla of TAP

In Chris' house

Jo's encouragement

Mayor Chiyawan speaks

On our way to the Mayor's luncheon
Pastor Nardo and Nehemiah
Andrew on behalf of builders
George on behalf of donors

Awards to the Police Dept


Dancing inside cuz rocks only outside

George follows lead dancer

Praise God from whom all Blessing flow.  Pray for the teams that have work ahead of them.  We wait to see what God will do with the Bible in Natonin and Balangao and the areas around.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Praying Friends,                                   July 12, 2011

Greetings from two sides of the world – I’m in Balangao and Amy is in Waxhaw.  We so appreciate your prayers for us both during this time.  Here are a few updates:

Balangao Translation Office Dedication
The dedication Sunday (July 10) was wonderful!  Chairs were crammed into the office building and more chairs were outside—but the majority of people had to stand. Ignacio did a masterful job as MC, guiding the program; Pastor Nardo’s message from the translated book of Nehemiah was so fitting.  He used the analogy of the opposition and celebration of building Jerusalem’s wall, comparing it to the building of the translation office.  Both the Balangao and the Majukayong translation teams sang special songs.  Joanne, Robyn and Grace wrote theirs for the dedication (see words attached).  The mayor spoke.  And Tony Dasalla representing TAP (Translators Association of the Philippines) gave an excellent talk: he encouraged the Balangao and Majukayong translation teams to accommodate the Mangali translation team, helping them and perhaps others of the Kalinga cluster group, with their translations.  This office building may well serve a much wider spectrum of translation efforts than we had imagined!  He also encouraged church leaders to be involved, helping to make the translation very readable.  Certificates of Appreciation were presented to numerous officials; acknowledgments were made of all those who helped in butchering a cow and two huge pigs, the cooking of those along with several hundred pounds of rice. Along with thanks to all those committees, extreme thanks and appreciation were extended to the indefatigable teams who came from America, making it all happen.  And with those teams, the thanks extended to those incredibly generous donors who provided the funds.  We even had one of the builders and two donors at the celebration!  Andrew spoke of the blessings the builders received in their working alongside Balangaos; George and his wife came from Atlanta area to help celebrate and he spoke on behalf of the other donors.  It takes the WHOLE team to make such a project possible and that includes the prayer team.  YOU were also thanked—read the words of the song!  The Balangao team ended the program by having everyone sing “Natonin is for Christ” which was printed in the program so everyone could join in (see words attached). 

We will work on uploading photos as soon as we can get adequate internet access!  But for now we’ve copied two photos below.  Check to see the completed building and eventually photos of the dedication celebration!

Nard instigated making a PPT for my 75th birthday which my first working partner Anne narrated.  Thought you’d enjoy seeing it.  Amy uploaded it to this link:  It’s almost 6 minutes long—5:41.  Look under “My Photos” where it says Full screen…click on that to see the video “full screen” J 

Helicopter Update for my Travel  
Many of you have asked about the status of the helicopter for my leaving Balangao on Wednesday.  With my precarious neck-fusion-that-didn’t-fuse, I’ve been classified as an “emergency” and can’t travel overland.  The helicopter pilot plans to jump-start the battery for the flight into Balangao; he will not shut the engine down but I’ll board and fly out to the helicopter’s base in Tuguegarao. Pray that I’ll be able to get on an earlier flight out of Tuguegarao for a reasonable price as the flight I’m scheduled on arrives late in Manila making a taxi ride to the Center quite problematic.

Amy’s Activities
Amy enjoyed being with family in Texas (see photo below) while I was in the Philippines.  Along with celebrating sister Julie’s special birthday, highlights included family time at a lake house where nephews fished and board games with nieces and nephews made it special.  They all celebrated the 4th of July with ribs, roasted potatoes, corn salad, watermelon and homemade ice cream!  Everyone has now returned to their normal routine except for her parents—this week is her Dad 3rd week of chemo infusion treatments.  The good news is that the treatments are working—his white blood count has been lowered from the unacceptable 157 to 5!  Yesterday’s treatment took 5 hours and he did begin to react to the medicine with chills and shaking, but two bags of steroids stopped that. We both appreciate your prayers for Amy’s family.  Meanwhile she’s continuing her work here in Waxhaw.  I return there on the 19th.

With deep gratitude to God for each of you and your prayer partnership,
Jo and for Amy

The prayer of dedication of the two translation teams to the Lord. 
George Jones did the prayer.

Inside the office building; the rest of the chairs outside…
and people “hanging in the windows!”

With my folks, my siblings and 5 of my nieces and nephews

The heavens declare your glory
The nations bow before thee
And in this place let your praise arise
NATONIN is for Christ
Reign, reign Lord Jesus
In our hearts and in our lives
Reign, reign oh Lord of the heavens
NATONIN is for Christ.
Forever your name be exalted
Oh Lord of all creation
And in this place we lift your name on high
NATONIN is for Christ
Reign, reign Lord Jesus
In our hearts and in our lives
Reign, reign oh Lord of the heavens
Natonin is for Christ

Song Written for Balangao Translation Office Dedication

July 10, 2011

 Tune: Hindi (Praise song)
Apudyus manyaman-ani’n Hea                         God, we bring our thanks to you
Te antoyan–ani amin ahto                                      Because here we are, all in this place
Way manayaw hen ngachanno                               To worship your name.

Saramat hen antochay sosnodni                     Thank you, to these our siblings
Way ummale’y mèladladsak an chàni                   Who have come to celebrate with us
Hen narpasanto’y officeni                                     This finishing of this our office

Chakar agé hen manyamananni                       Great also is our thanks
Sosnodni way tommorong an chàni                      To our siblings who have helped us
Ta  wachay man-offisanni                                     So that  this our office can be/exist

Chawaténni agén bindisyunno                         We’re also asking Your blessing  [God]
Hen amin way tommorong way  a-anàno On all who have  helped [us] your children
Yag anat ma-amma-anto                                        By making all this happen 

Hen anchichay amin way ummidchat               To all those who have been givers
Ya hen  amin anchichay  nantarafaho                 And all those who have worked
Umat agén ninluwaru                                              Likewise all who have prayed…

(Tune: KalabasaJ)
Saramat an uncle way Nard ya hea Auntie Juami    THANK YOU Uncle Nard and Aunt Juami
Ya an chàyuy SILers  hen aminay torongyu               And all you SILers for all your help

To you Mr. and Mrs. Jones thank you for giving to the Lord    (In English!)                     
And were glad you’re here with us celebrating God’s goodness.

Manyaman-anin chàyu amin way nansakrifisyu           We all thank you-all for your sacrificing
Bindisyun Apo an chàyu  an chàni imfingayyu             The gifts of the Lord to you and giving
                                                                                                 us this share

Wat yato  hen chawatni  an chàyu way sosnodni   So this is our request of you our brothers
Masapornin luwaruyu  metoroyan  tarafaho.        You must pray for the continuing work here

Hen chawatni agén chàyu sosnod way iFarangao       Our request to you our Balangao brothers
Ta mantetennorongtaaw  ta marpas hen Bibliataaw  Let’s help each other so our Bible will
                                                                                               be done

Te antoy alen Apudyus yato hen mangintudtuchu      ‘Cuz this Word of God, it teaches
Hen ustoy Kahara-an way  ah Jesus yanggayn charan  how to be saved, Jesus being the
                                                                                                   only trail/way

Anggaychih ifagani an chàyu way sosnodni          That’s all we have to say to you our brothers
Saramat ummaliyanyu  way mèladladsak an chain  THANK you for coming to celebrate with us!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It’s time to CELEBRATE!!

Life is teaming with activity here!  All kinds of committees are fast at work.  The wood-gathering committee got all the firewood together to cook 5 sacks of rice (100 lbs each!); the butchering committee killed the cow Saturday afternoon; the cooking committee started cooking that meat so it’ll be tender; more butchering of two HUGE pigs happened in the night; the decorating committee is making the place look beautiful; the program committee has been fast at work; the chair committee has gathered chairs from all over…and the committees keep on going!  In the end the clean-up committee will have plenty to do!  This is the norm for any function in Balangao…and it seems they all know what to do.  We from the outside stand in awe!!  It’s time to CELEBRATE!!  God has brought together a vast team—a need produced a vision.  That gave rise to sharing a message; God’s people responded.  Men (and even a woman) took leave of their work and places of service and volunteered uncountable hours and days and weeks of extreme labor.  Others gathered together finances, making personal sacrifices to bring together all that was needed.  There is no way to properly enumerate all that God has brought together…many gracious and extra-hour efforts from staff in Manila to fellow translator, Rudy, who has done SOOO much behind the scenes to the men who sweat buckets-full, hand-leveling a place, hauling cement, building…  God has made us RICH by deeply-bonding our hearts in awe and THANKS to Him for such friends in every corner.

Today we’ll be taking pictures and CELEBRATING!!  Wish you ALL could join us!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

“You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.” Prov. 16:9

Dear Balangao Team,

      “You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.” Prov. 16:9

 Plans were set in motion to go to the Philippines July 5th to surprise everyone in Balangao and my siblings in Dibagat as we planned to do a side trip July 8 to Dibagat and spend the night! These were all set to go, as I made reservations in Manila to fly to Tuguegarao July 8 and then flying by helicopter to Dibagat 8th and on to Natonin the 9th, dedication 10th and return to Tuguegarao 11th and on to Manila! That was simple enough as our colleagues  in Manila do fantastic jobs in making reservations for us!!

 You have all be praying for this day to come as the BIG DAY OF DEDICATION FOR THE NEW BALANGAO OFFICE YOU ALL HELPED BUILD WAS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 10 IN BALANGAO!  My good friends George, I call Uncle G and his wife JoAnn I call aunt Jo were leaving Atlanta the same day July 5th to meet  with me in Minneapolis and on to Japan! However, uncle G called me and thought they would just go from Atlanta because it looks impossible to rendezvous in Minneapolis as all flights were showing booked from Atlanta to Minneapolis! So they were going Atlanta and I was going MN and we will meet in Narita Tokyo Japan! I got to the Charlotte airport at 7a.m. on July 5th and it was unusually packed for an early morning departure, but found out many flights were cancelled and delayed that night due to weather problems all over the area. Since I was on  a non-revenue flight even though I was high priority on the list, all the paying passengers had priority over me and I was unable to get on a flight on July 5th! All flights were fully booked and no way to make up time. So stayed home and the next day went again and it was wide open. A lady at the Delta counter in Charlotte questioned my 5 month before expiration date on my passport and that I was supposed to have 6 months, but another agent intervened and said I was good to go, so got on to Minneapolis at 10 am July 6. All were looking good, until I was called on the counter for my boarding pass to Narita, Japan! They checked my passport and all the agents were from Japan and they said I could not go because I didn’t have 6 months on my passport. I begged them to check again, and actually there was a clause that said – a Philippine national can go with less than 6 months as long as their passport did not expire on arrival in the Philippines and relatives will be there to meet them. However, they did not consider that one because I held a US passport and that applies to all US passport holders! So, they said they were sorry! They also said they would have been fined $25,000 if they let me go – so instead of arguing some more – I was reminded of the verse in Col. 4:5-6 – “Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” I also have a friend that said – “praying that God will use you for His honor and His glory” while on this trip. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Prov. 16:3

   So I came back home from MN yesterday very disappointed but with peace knowing God had it all planned out – and praying that my attitude was that of Christ and those that I met and talked with yesterday from Delta would have seen the reflection of Christ through my actions!

    Of course the hardest one was to share the sad news to my Ina Jo and to uncle G and all those in the Philippines that I was hoping to meet – like missionaries with TAP, my family in Dibagat, colleagues in Manila, new students doing linguistics course and are recipient of the G.R.Roe scholarship fund for Bible translation! All these were more opportunities to be a blessing, but again God had other plans and put a deviation to what I had planned! I like how Brian (New Tribes helicopter pilot in Tuguegarao) put it -- None of this took God by surprise though. Of course the New Tribes helicopter has battery problem so we could not fly to Dibagat anyway on the 8th, and our team had to travel by road to Banaue and on to Natonin, so instead of taking one day – it will take two days to get to Natonin!

    My Ina Jo Shetler arrived in Natonin on July 5th, so would appreciate you all praying as they plan the dedication on Sunday July 10. They are going to have one cow and some pigs for the celebration! Uncle G and his wife Jo Ann will arrive Saturday afternoon in Natonin via Banaue along with Andrew and his family driving the HiLux to Natonin as well. A van from Natonin will meet them in Banaue and then take them to Natonin.

    Again, each of you who have gone to Natonin – Daryl, Kyle, Brad, Austin, Matt, Robinson, Bob, Linda, Robert V, Rob, John, Isaac, Elden, Andrew  and Dave –  seen this project from the beginning and its  completion – I am grateful  to the Lord for you all and your families who let you go – especially Leshia and Jennifer! To you who have given your resources to make it a reality – David, Allie, Tom, Leigh, Ron, Nancy, Darryl, Babs, Del, Tim, Allon, George, JoAnn, Charlie and Marian -  I am truly grateful as well, and without any of you this office for the Old Testament team, Majukayong and Mangali NT’s  would not have been completed in 3 months and a dedication on Sunday July 10 would have just been a dream! I am also grateful to the Balangao teams – Grace, Joanne, Robyn, Ignacio and all the folks there who have hosted our teams and helped – I am grateful to you all too! To our teams at the MNL office – and guest house – thanks for all your help! Truly this was truly a great team God put together to accomplish His purposes for His glory!  I am so grateful to my wife Sandy who always reminds me that this was God’s project and that He will provide as always! She keeps teaching me to TRUST in the Lord with all my heart!! 

    Finally, I am grateful to my Ina Jo for all the work she has done and given to the Balangao people, and the privilege of helping provide an office for their Balangao Old Testament team and the Majukayong and Mangali NT teams! This is truly His work and we will give Him all the praise for what He is going to do both now and in the future – for the next generation!! 

And ----
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:118

Serving Christ together for His honor and glory,


Ps. I hope to see some wonderful  pictures on that dedication and Brad will put them on the blog!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A day traveling

Please pray as plans are being made for the celebration.  Pray for all the people that are starting to travel towards Balangao.  Some by foot, some by jeep, some by plane.  Pray for good traveling weather, right now says there is no active tropical weather over the area, but there is a tropical disturbance south of them.  The forecast is that it will stay south and west of them.  Pray for the people of Balangao and Natonin that don’t know about this celebration but will hear about it, pray that they will be touched by God.  Pray for Joanne, Robyn, Grace and Ignacio as they prepare for the Celebration, but also for the work that is ahead of them on the Old Testament and other translations.  Pray for health and protection from harm and dangers as the work continues.

We will put updates on the blog about the celebration as soon as Nard gets them to us.  I will be traveling also but should have access to the Internet to keep the blog up to date.