Friday, July 19, 2013

A rough week but God is in the midst of it all :)

I started feeling sick about a week ago.  I am totally the kind of person to just suck it up and push forward and pretend that I'm not sick.  But finally Wednesday morning after having a very feverish night and a temp of 103 I decided it was time to go to the Dr. 
I made my way to the clinic, the sun beat down on me but I still shivered and had goosebumps (never ever thought I would feel cold in the Philippines hahah)
The Dr. took one look at me and wanted to put me on an IV to get the meds into me quickly, I said no, I hate needles and I certainly didn't want to have to stay in the clinic for the next four hours waiting for the IV to finish.   I begged the Dr. to give me oral antibiotics and promised I would come back the next day if I wasn't feeling any better.
Twenty minutes later I walked out with five different prescriptions, ayayayay.
I went home to rest and looked at my phone and found I had a text message from my mom.  She was letting me know that my dear Grandfather had been put in the ICU and that it was not looking good.  That was the last straw.  Suddenly the tears came like a flood....Big sloppy tears chasing eachother faster and faster down my cheeks and dripping soundlessly onto the floor.  I cried for my Grandpa, I cried because I'm thousands of miles away and I just wanted to be with him and hold his hand and tell him how much I love him just one more time!  I cried because suddenly I missed my family and I just wanted my Dad to give me a big bear hug and tell me everything would be ok-  And of course when you're sick everything in life appears ten times worse than it really is....And then just when I thought I was all finished I started all over again!  The truth is sometimes tears are the best medicine.  I didn't have any words just a whole lot of grief in my heart that needed to makes it way out through my eyes.  Thank God for tear ducts.

But in the midst of all of this God is so faithful.  Yesterday I randomly saw this on the web.  As soon as I read it I just knew that it was a special little kiss from God to me to encourage me to keep my head up.

    "God is within her, she will not fall"


Then this morning I was having my devotions and reading in Psalms and I came upon the exact same verse but I didn't realize it was the same one because my bible is a different version. My version read- "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. God shall help her just at the break of dawn" Psalm 46:5  I got so excited and underlined the verse and wrote my name where it says "her".

Then I opened up one of my friends instagram pages today and read the exact same verse!!!  That was when I decided to look up the reference and realized it was the exact verse I had read this morning!!!!  I was so encouraged!!!  I know that there is a reason that that verse has shown up three times in the past two days.  God knew/knows just what I needed/need.

Please continue to pray for me as I am still feeling sick.
Tomorrow I will return to the clinic for further testing because my fever continues to come and go.
Love to all!

Friday, June 28, 2013

A little bit of everything

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Here is a picture of me with my dear friend, Meredith, who was on the LBC college team.  Sometimes you meet people and you just click right away...and that was definitely the case with this awesome group of college students! I wish I had a picture with all 27 of them!  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to meet and serve alongside so many different people.  I think it is one of the things I love most about being here.

This week we had three different teams arrive from the US.....Its a lot of people!!!  It's so exciting to see how much construction can get done when you have so many hands to help!!!

The past couple of weeks have been challenging for me.  The death of baby Alex was really hard.  When I first moved here he was just two months old.  I loved seeing him every week and watching him getting bigger, start to walk and even start to talk a little bit.   His death was so sudden.   Two years ago his family also lost their three year old.  Death is no stranger to this family.  Although we are still grieving we rejoice to see the hand of God working in the lives of the family even in the midst of the sadness.

Rainy season has come again...Even as I write this there is a torrential downpour and a typhoon on the way.  Rainy season is exciting for me because it cools down just a little bit :)  And if there is a big storm school is canceled and that is always fun to have a day off :)

It is official----I will be home for a visit in September!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If only you knew how excited I am to see everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am counting down the days :) 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Please pray

Yesterday I found out that a one year old girl from one of my feeding sites passed away.  My heart is broken over it.
Of all my feeding sites the one that is the closest to my heart is the Helicopter site (I am at that site in the picture above) and that is where the little girl is from.
Tonight Ate Candy and I will be holding a small memorial service for her.  
I know it is going to be incredibly hard...Please pray for the family and also for me as this really hits close to home.  Pray also that God will use this to draw their hearts closer to Him and that we will have the opportunity to minister to the family and to comfort them during this time of grieving.
Thank you so much.

Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave where is thy victory? ....Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:55-57

Monday, June 3, 2013

Please Pray

One day as I was walking home from school a young man approached me and asked me if I was a Christian.  I told him I was and he eagerly asked me where I went to church.
He shared with me that he had been led to the Lord by some missionaries in another part of the Philippines about four years ago- but he felt like he was not living for the Lord anymore and wanted to reignite his faith.   I was excited to share with him about our ministry here on Boracay and also about our church.
Sure enough Sunday morning came around and he showed up.  I introduced him to our pastor and they had great conversation.
That was about three months.  He has continued to attend church regularly and seems to be growing in the Lord.
Please pray for Gaga as he is still a new Christian.  Pray that God would continue to capture his heart!

Leshly is a wonderful girl that I met about six months ago.   She works here on Boracay.
She is a professing Catholic but appears to be interested in Christianity.  I have had the opportunity to witness to her on several occasions.  She has come and helped me at my feeding sites before and also helped with construction on the school.   I really care for her dearly and am praying that she would accept Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.  Please pray with alongside me that her heart would be softened towards the Lord!

We also have a team of 27 here from PA.  They are an incredible group of young adults who will be serving with us for the next week and a half.  The days are long and the weather is hot!!!  Please pray for safety and strength as they minister here!

Thank you all so much for your prayers!!! - Olivia Joy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More than just lunch

Yesterday I took one of the little neighbor boys to lunch. 
He has been living here for the Summer and I promised him that before he had to go back to school we would go for lunch to his favorite place-McDonalds :)
We were sitting at our table eating when I noticed a couple looking around for a place to sit- Because it was busy there were no available tables so I offered for them to join us.
We began to chat and soon I found out that they were missionaries serving in China!  What a delight it was to find out they were my brother and sister in the Lord!!!!
We had a wonderful time sharing with eachother about the ministries we work with and how God called us to the mission field.   I was so encouraged by their testimony!
They had a flight to catch so they couldn't stay long but before they left I felt the Lord leading me to pray for their safety and for their ministry in China.  So there we sat in the middle of the noisy crowded McDonalds and prayed together.  It was such a cool experience!  
God is so good!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Praise report

I just wanted to share one story with you-  At one of the feeding sites I have worked at for the last eleven months there is one particular girl who caught my attention from the very first day.  She has dark curly hair and big brown eyes.  I always noticed that she never smiled or played or laughed like the other children.  I began to make a habit of going over to her every week and picking her up and loving on her.  Then she started coming to church with her older siblings.  Every single Sunday she comes and climbs on my lap and falls asleep in my arms.   I have fallen in love with this precious girl...But still she never smiled or even showed any emotion. She has a hard home life.  Anyways, I have just continued to pray for her and love on her every chance I get.  The other day she was sitting on my lap at the feeding and suddenly turned towards me and smiled the biggest smile and then began to laugh....It was the most glorious moment!  Her eyes lit up and her face crinkled up as she smiled up at me.  Since then I have seen her two more times and she is a different little girl!   She is happy and has begun to join in with the other children at the feeding site.  I know that God has called me here to love those ones that have been passed by and she is a perfect example of that.  I am blessed that God is using me here on Boracay.....Which is why I have made the decision to extend for another year!!!!!!!!
I want to say thank you so much to all of you for your love and support over the past year.  What a blessing you all have been to me!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Red Cross fun run

 Last week the Red Cross held a 5k run to raise money for the Chapter here on Boracay.
I'm not sure who's idea it was to start the race at 5:30am...yep..that's why the pictures are dark hahah :)  We had so much fun despite the early hour :)
L-R Shane, Me, Yosef, CJ and Tom
 Smiling even though I was very tired hahah :)
 I paced with one of our neighbor boys, Ninoy, here we are pictured in the far right corner after crossing the finish line...Poor Ninoy was beat.  He collapsed on the ground and didn't move for a good ten minutes  :)  He ran a good race!
 Resting after the race.
Shane and I.