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

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