Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The last week here is at its halfway point.  It really does not seem like we have been here this long.  I will miss it very much, but more importantly I will miss the people.

Sunday, after preaching (with an interpreter) I jumped in with brother Salvador's group to check on congregations in Negros Oriental.  We went back down to Bago where we had a HUGE meal, which included lechon (whole roasted pig) and they sang happy birthday to me.  As I have said again and again, the people here are so friendly.

Monday, we went to the Lalimar Resort, a modest but very nice beach-side resort that only cost about 40 USD.  We had lunch there where I had the best fillet Mignon I have ever had.  That evening, there was an appreciation banquet for those who have volunteered to help rebuild Negros after the devastating earthquake.  Pictures will be up ASAP, but yet again I am at an internet cafe and cannot upload pictures.

At the end of the banquet we had a meeting with the volunteers, where I was called on to speak via the on-the-spot method.  That's okay though.  I whipped out some ancient FFA impromptu techniques.  What I said was truly from the heart though.  Up until this point, I was always proud to be 25% Filipino.  I mean hey, who wouldn't be when you get minority scholarships?  However, the more time I spend here and the more I get to know people the more pride I am filled with that even a portion of my blood has been blessed by God and is Pinoy.

We spent all day yesterday traveling (with the help of our "tour guide" brother Orwen Emperado). We stopped in Ormoc to eat with one of Danny's former students and his family who was very friendly (no surprise).  Today I will be snorkeling.  Then, this evening Danny and I will be holding a Gospel meeting here in Bato, Leyte.  Afterward, we will be going to Obay,  Bohol.  There we will check with the congregation there and most likely have a meeting or teach in some way.

I do not know all of the details of this week, but Friday or Saturday should land us in Lapu Lapu, Cebu to stay with brother Salvador again.  We will worship in Cebu and then fly out for Hong Kong Sunday night, stay there until our flight late Monday morning, and land in Chicago on Monday via CST.

Continue to keep us in your prayers, and may Dios bless you!

In Him,

Audie Cherry

Friday, June 1, 2012

Well.. Happy birthday to me; today, and tomorrow!

This morning I received cupcakes made from ground rice.  Yesterday we ventured into the mountains of Negros; where an earthquake hit in Fe3b.  the whole island is trying to rebuild.  Some are still living in tents made from bamboo and tarps.  It is truly sad.  On the bright side, congregational attendance is around 100 in these small communities.

We met a widow who was a member of the church with a son who has had cancer since he was 18 and was paralyzed.  The church there was building her a new house and getting him a wheelchair so they could attend worship again.  It was a very emotional experience.  These people literally have to start over from nothing.

I also traveled up to a mountain village that has a house with a family of 7 orphans.  We had some singing in Cebuano (or Visaya, same thing) and I had an encouraging devotional with them via the translation of bro. Orwen, who is a famous rapper in the Philippines.  Afterwards, I led a prayer in broken Cebuano and English.  The children were very happy and thankful.  Their story is remarkable!  If you want to know it please let me know.  I will post it at a later date for the sake of time, but I can share it with you personally.

Thursday, or Wednesday in the states, we viewed other earthquake damage.  Churches are trying to be rebuilt.  The great thing about the Philippines, is everyone comes together.  Americans do after disasters, but the people here are never not together.  It is such an inspiration.

I think this journey has put my thoughts and heart here.  I want to gedt a masters here and I will be planning on a trip back in December to help Sunrise Christian College and the agriculture work there and of bro. Salvador.  (So if you could help support that would be incredible).  After I graduate, I am considering teaching for a period of time.  God has done wondrous things here and for me, but there is still much to be done for the Master.

I will try to write again ASAP.  Sorry for no pictures, I am at an internet cafe.  Keep us in your prayers and "sa Dios ang himaya" (to God be the glory).

God Bless!

In Him,

Audie Cherry

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wilderness Adventure

Last night Danny and I stayed at Salvador Cariaga's camp in a village.  We started bright and early at 5 o'clock and went for a hike, using a machete to cut our way through.  After a long walk we get to a cave where a natural spring runs through and supplies the village with fresh clean water.  The cave was deep enough they had a leaf blower connected to tubing so you could have oxygen once you got to the cistern.  

After a much easier, but less fun, walk back we had a vinegar taste contest with Danny as the judge.  Needless to say, he kept them entertained.  Afterwards, we had lunch; goat, rice, vegetables.. oh and goat intestines.  It was very good!  Additionally, they presented Danny and I with Philippine flags and shirts.  It was an honor to be there.  

Salvador has an operation in which he uses goats to help break the cycle of poverty in the Philippines.  He teaches them how to maximize their livelihood with goats; using their milk for drinking and other products, their horns to make crafts and sell, the meat, the skins for clothing and various other uses.  Being an agriculturalist, I was fascinated by what he has the people doing.  He has the whole village using goats and then harvesting earth worms and composting.  There are simply too much details to go over in this blog.  He has transformed a rocky mountain terrain into a bountiful farming area.

Salvador teaches people to be self-sustaining.  He gives them goats and once their goat has kids, they split them with the farmer so that each person gets one goat.  This gets them on their feet and prevents him from losing too much money.  It is a great practice.  The influence and the methods of which he gains influence are phenomenal.  I cannot say enough how impressed I am.

You can check out some of the things he does (and I suggest you do) check out the following links:

Tonight we are staying at his house in Cebu and heading to Negros at 4:00 am to catch the ferry.  Once there Danny and I will start our journey once again, with Jenjan.  Jenjan will be with us until Saturday, June 2nd.... also my BIRTHDAY!!!

Nonetheless, keep us in your prayers and some updates will come when possible. 

God Bless!
In Him,

Audie Cherry

Friday, May 25, 2012

First of all, sorry I have not written for a while.  We have been struggling for internet service, but thankfully we got to an internet cafe today and I could get on and submit my assignments for school.

This week has been an eye-opener and faith-builder. I do not have time to go through everything, but I will give some highlights.  I will post some pictures when I get the opportunity.

We arrived at Sunrise Christian College on Wednesday (Tuesday in the States).  They then took Bro. Danny and I around the campus.  The next morning I gave a lecture to all of the residents on campus about agriculture and enhancing their farming practices.  I gave them a brief overview of some of our farming techniques, and then told them how they can incorporate them into their techniques.  In addition to that, I brought along tomato, cantaloupe, and watermelon seed, all of which produce larger fruit than the native crops produce.  I spent the rest of Thursday meeting people and talking, trying to understand more about the school, the situation in regard to Christianity, and the culture.  I finished off trying out the new firing range on campus for the criminology students.  Needless to day, I need to work on my shooting if I want to keep up with some of the Filipinos. 

Friday, I started off helping put on the roof of a nipa hut.  Nipa huts are the huts with grass roofs.  I only lasted about an hour before I had to take a break.  The heat and humidity here are just a little harder to handle than that of my old Kentucky home.  After some rest, I met with some of the staff and campus inspectors for lunch.  The campus inspectors had a lot of positive things to say and were very supportive of the college.  During lunch I even  got to pick on some language.  I learned what ahas (Tagalog) and betin (Cebuano) mean... snake, and hadlok means afraid.  Why these words, you ask?  We had a special visitor; a black cobra, who happened to crawl right between my legs.

After lunch we had some dramatic incidents that should probably go unsaid, but the bottom line is that there are brethren who do not want the school to succeed without their name on it.  They offered the staff money to switch sides and made a big mess here.  However, none of the staff accepted.  Something I have seen here, despite the brothers who were behind this conflict, is the closeness of the brothers and sisters here on campus.  They are all like family and turned down very much needed money in order to see the school succeed and be loyal to one another.  I can only pray that one day I will see this bond in the United States.  

To close out a long day I spent some time with some of the kid playing basketball.. and was beat.  They taught me once once, a game played on the court, and I taught them 21.  We played until it was too dark to see the ball and it was time for supper.

Today, Saturday, I spent the morning finishing some assignments and sending them.  I went to McDonald's for wifi (I did not eat there).  Outside were three children begging who were hungry.  I bought them each two pieces of chicken, rice, and a drink for under $10 total.  They were so excited and shook my and ran off rejoicing like the healed blind man.  

To end the day, I am going to swim with Brother David's sons and some of the guys here.  In the morning, Danny will be teaching Bible class and I will be preaching.  Our song service will be in all Cebuano.  I can't wait!!

So far I have learned so much on this trip.  First of all, I have learned how much we take advantage of things.  Here in the Philippines, nothing goes to waste.  While I used to be the person who would jokingly make someone feel bad for leaving food uneaten, it has become a reality.  I now see the true suffering of those who haven't enough food.  We take so many valuable resources for granted.  Here I take a bath with about 6 gallons of water and I cannot drink water unless it has been purified and sent in jugs by truck.  Everything is so meticulous and you must be cautious.

I have also learned that American are not smarter than other peoples.  I have never considered myself above others, but when I came here I did not expect the level of intelligence to be so great.  I am one of the least educated people on the campus.  It is truly humbling.  I wish all Americans could have this experience.

The biggest thing I have learned so far is passion; passion, passion, passion.  the people here are so passionate about family, the school, and most of all God.  It has been such a blessing and slap in the face to see how passionate these people are about Christ and His cause.  I hope that I can come away with jut a fraction of the example that they have given me.

I could go on forever (imagine that), but I will leave it at that.  I still have lots of time to pend here and lots of lessons to learn.  I hope that the Lord continues to bless us.  Please keep us in your prayers as Danny and I will keep you in ours.

God Bless!!

In Him,

Audie Cherry

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Morning Adventure

While still in the city, waiting for our plane, we took a trip around the market. We got there by a an old school Humvee-like vehicle.  It costs about 40 cents round trip.
We enjoyed vintage cokes in glass bottles with pop-tops. We also went through a meat market with some live meat, and plenty of raw meat.  The smell.. "like pure gasoline. It really singes the nose hairs."  There were more types of rice than I knew existed.  You can by fighting cocks, and anything else you can think of.  I have attached some pictures.  Check out the traffic in some of them.

Off to catch my plane! God bless!

In Him,


Hello from Lapu Lapu City

Greetings from the future! It is Wednesday 8:42 AM

Well.. 1 1/2 hours from Evansville to Chicago, 4 1/2 from Chicago to LA, 14 from LA to Hong Kong, and 2 1/2 from there to Lapu Lapu City, Cebu.. but I'm here!!! It's amazing! Had Brother Elmer Palacio meet us at the airport; he was very nice.  No one ages here.  I figured he was about 30, but he had 4 kids and the oldest is 14.  It's near impossible to guess ages.  Below is a picture of us going through customs (a lot easier than American or EU customs).

After getting settled in to our hotel, we went out on the town to Cebu City.  The trip there was as interesting as the actual city.  They turn 2 lane traffic into about 4-6 lanes.  There is a line in the middle of the road and other than that, you drive where you can.  On the way there I may or may not have had motion sickness from the hours and hours of plane rides and vomited out of the cab window (the cab only cost about 5 dollars)... 
Some of the poverty was just unbelievable.  I had two little girls, no older than 5, who were picking up trash come up to me and just stare.  I gave them each 5 pesos (about 12 cents in US money) and they were so happy.  Then, another little boy came running and I gave him 5 too.. he just said thank you and ran off happy.  It is so sad.  Some of the houses were just sheet metal slabbed onto whatever can be found.  Then, they bathed in the marshes.  
On the other hand, the mall in the city was overwhelming!  There were 5 or 6 floors and everything from McDonald's to KFC (I've seen more KFC than anything).  No matter where you eat, they have a chicken leg and rice as a meal.  Burgers were as low as 25 pesos (about 60 or so cents).  Below is our dinner at a Filipino restaurant. 

[Top left, rice. Top right, crab rangoon (NOTHING like what we eat; it was a huge hunk of crab. Bottom right, some sort of amazing chicken.  Bottom left, some kind of pudding that taste like meringue. The rolls in the middle were awesome, but I can't remember the name. The cups are sweet and sour sauce.]

This morning (evening for you all), we ate at a continental breakfast (that costs nearly 800 pesos if you don't have a room).  

[blue plate; watermelon and pineapple. White plate; taters, toast with an unknown, heavenly jam, white rice, ponset, bacon, and fish. To drink I had coffee, mango juice, and orange pineapple juice.]

We are about to head out from the hotel.  Our flight leaves this afternoon for Butuan City, where we will get together with the Sunrise Christian College.  

God Bless! [And sorry for the rambling.. after all there's a 13 hour time difference]

In Him,


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Seventeen Days!!!

This is my first post, so let me give you the run-down. I will be traveling to the Philippines for the Master's work. I will be flying out on the 20th of May and returning on the 11th of June. While there myself and Brother Danny Weddle (elder at the Washington Ave. coC, Evansville, IN) will be assisting the Sunrise Christian College in their labor. 

I will primarily be focusing on the agricultural perspective with the school. The only way the school can pay their employees is through their agricultural practices, which are not as efficient as possible. With an agriculture background, I am hoping to help them transform their practices into those that are more sustainable and more yield-bearing. 

Aside from that, we will be engaged in Gospel meetings (revivals), as well as vacation Bible school(s). Additionally, we will be assisting in disaster relief after a devastating earthquake. Needless to say this will not be a walk-in-the-park mission trip, but one that, though exciting, will be draining in energy, emotion, and who knows what else! HOWEVER, the draining of these components only makes more room for the spiritual gain in which will be received by doing good work for our Father.

I am more than excited.. and maybe a little anxious. I will try to blog as often as possible while over seas to keep an update on the trip. Please begin your prayers now, and continue to pray while we go. Also, as much as I dislike doing this, if you would like to aid in supporting our work in the Philippines, you can contact me. As you know, the economy is not in the best state, thus our trip is not on the cheap side. Any donation would be greatly appreciated, or if you would like to sponsor a hog, or goat, etc. for the college and students, that would be great as well. The most important thing is that we pray. Please at least contribute words to the Father for our safety and effectiveness, if nothing else. 

In Him

Audie Cherry
Youth Minister
Sturgis Church of Christ