Busy 1st Quarter of 2020!
Hello friends! While our early summer weather is quite beautiful, like the rest of you, we find ourselves in a very strange season due to Covid-19. Thankfully, as of now we are all healthy and doing ok.
Due to our strict lockdown here, only a few groceries, markets, and pharmacies are open, and only one person per household can obtain a pass to get out and buy essentials. So please pray for our kids cooped up in the shelters and for the staff attempting to fill the kids' time creatively. The Wii and other toys, games, and books that were donated in the past few months have been a huge blessing! Please pray for the Philippines as maybe 80% of people suddenly have no income, which of course affects the river community and families of the kids in our shelters. Pray too for our health system which is not yet equipped to handle a pandemic. We are praying and trusting that this strict lockdown will "flatten the curve" here.
I had been planning to focus this newsletter on our kids finishing the school year, but sadly, school was cancelled with only two weeks left! We are especially bummed for our two boys who are graduating Grade 12 this year. I plan to share more about them and the other students in my next letter when the school year eventually does finish.
We also had some big news back in January, when our local volcano (12 miles away) erupted, sending ash 50,000 feet high before raining down on us and the surrounding towns. Cleanup took a few weeks, but the volcano seems to have settled down again. You can go to the Facebook update group for more info and pictures.
And now to update you on our land/building project! After making the final payment in August 2019, the transfer of ownership of our 1.33 acre lot was finally completed a few weeks ago. In the meantime we have been finalizing our plans and layouts, in consultation with architect and engineer friends, and we've started seeking contractor bids for construction.
When we first bought the land, our immediate need was to protect it from intruders or informal settlers. Because there were two half-built homes already on the land, with the funds we had left, we were able to hire a small crew to make the two houses liveable. Our Independent Living boys were able to move onsite a couple months ago, as well as Krista's parents. We still have occasional intruders, though, so we also began building a wall around the land, which is still in progress (until materials run out because of the lockdown).
Please keep praying for wisdom in this process as we finalize our plans and seek creative ways to raise support for the project, potentially through grant applications. We are also still praying for a mid- to long-term missionary to come and serve with us as a Building Construction Manager.
I hope to update our website soon with more details about the building project, but I wanted to go ahead and get this email out. I'm also switching to a new email service so stay tuned for another email within the next month.
And finally, updates of our BND team. At the end of January, we celebrated Pastor Danny, one of our staff since almost the beginning of Brand New Day, before he moved on to focus on launching a new ministry. He has been a huge blessing through the years especially as a spiritual leader and a teacher in our ALS program.
Would you to pray specifically for our BND team? We are: Krista, Mervi, Rona, Tin, Acel, Melai, Dennis, Robert, Pastor Vincent, Nanay Mercedes, Erin, and the Beack family (in the US right now for furlough).
Also can you pray for future missionaries praying to join our team this year, as they raise prayer and financial support? They are Jessie Brown (US), Andrea Lockwood (US), and the Ciccone family (Italy).
And of course please pray for our kids' continued physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.