Thursday, November 22, 2012

Loving the children

Sometimes ministry is cuddling a child who needs some extra love
 Sometimes it's just a shoulder for them to rest on
I was leading songs at a feeding site a couple weeks ago and I noticed this little girl off to the side crying...I went over and picked her up and before I knew it she was fast asleep.  She slept through the entire feeding in my arms.  I love these children so much!!!

But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matt. 19:14

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prayer request

Every day my roommates and I have the opportunity to minister and reach out to our neighbor kids.   Many of them attend our school and we have become very close to them.
They love to come to our house and play games or read stories - we love spending time with them!!  Acouple times a month we have "Movie night"....Sometimes we have 30 kids packed into our tiny living room :) 
I would like to ask for prayer for these kids.  Most of them have wonderful parents and a great home life-  but they don't know Jesus as their personal Savior.  
Please pray for opportunities for us to share the gospel with them and that their hearts would be open to receive it!

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2nd Peter 3:9

 Angel, Aletcha, Shane, Kevin and Jake playing cards on our front porch
 One of the days Anneke and Alyssa were here we had them over and made bead bracelets :)
 I am so thankful for each one of these children...God uses them in my life to teach me so many things!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Anneke and Alyssa's visit

The past two weeks have flown by!  It has been so amazing having Anneke and Alyssa here!  They have been such a blessing to me!!  Here are just a few pictures to show what we have been up to!  There are lots more to come too! :)
 Alyssa and Anneke leading songs at the Malabanoot feeding site.  The children were so excited to see them and enjoyed the new songs they taught them :)
 They brought a flannel graph board to use for the stories.  It was something we have never had at the feeding sites before so it really captured the kids attention.
 The coloring sheets are always a big hit with the kids :)
One of the biggest things we challenge people to do is just love the kids.  So many of them just want to hold your hand or sit on your lap and receive some much needed attention...Here is Alyssa doing just that :)
 Besides doing the ministry work we have also enjoyed some bonding time :)  I am going to miss them both so much when they leave!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

They are hereeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday morning I flew out bright and early to Manila.....Anneke and Alyssa's flight was not coming in until 9 pm but I had a little shopping I wanted to do before they arrived.  Traveling to Manila includes- a trike ride, a boat ride, a two hour bus ride and a one hour plane ride.  It is always an adventure :)

Manila feels alot like cities in America...except usually you are the only white person in sight and everyone is staring at you haha :)
It was exciting to walk around the mall and to enjoy an American meal :)

At 8:30pm Dan and Tori's driver, Adore, and I headed to the airport...I was so excited I could barely sit still. I felt like I was ten years old and I was getting to go to the county fair for the first time lol! ;)
It still didn't seem real to me that I was actually going to be seeing Anneke and Alyssa in less than an hour!
Adore dropped me off at the front of the airport and I raced inside....I stood next to the glass window and reminded myself to breath....I went over and double checked at the information desk that I was at the right terminal and gate.....I paced back and forth chewing my nails furiously. Suddenly people began to pour out of the stairwell...My heart was pounding.  Five minutes passed, then ten..still no sign of them.  I went back to the information desk...The woman told me to be patient.  Just as I was beginning to get nervous I saw them come around the corner....It was so shocking, there they were!  I pushed and shoved my way through the crowd leaving my manners far behind me as I fought my way to the entrance of the gate. I ran right past the security guard and into the "secured" part of the airport....He was not pleased. We hugged and and jumped up and down and smiled ...It was a beautiful moment :) And then it hit me that this was for real!!! They were really here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 This is a reenactment of when I first saw them :)
 So so so happy :)
 It has been almost six months since I have seen my family :)

We are thrilled to be together again and are looking forward to the next three weeks :)
Love to all back home!!!!! :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I am alive :)

I do apologize for the quietness on my blog this past month...
I had a great month it was just very busy!  The highlight was finally getting a long awaited box from home that my family and friends put together for me...It took three months to get here but it was worth the wait!  My Moms homemade raspberry jam was just what I needed to drive away the bout of homesickness I had been going through :)
School is going really well.  I fall more in love with the kiddos every day :)  Teaching has proven to be very stretching for me but I do love the challenge :)

I am looking forward to welcoming my little sister, Anneke and our friend Alyssa, to the Philippines on October 18th....I seriously can't even tell you how excited I am!!!!  Please pray for them as they prepare for their trip :)  They will be here for Three weeks serving at the school and feeding sites.

It is hard to believe that you are going into Fall/Winter....The weather here is hot, muggy and rainy.  I am slowly getting used to it...I will definitely miss the snow this year!  I never thought I would say that hahah :)

I will end with a verse that was a huge encouragement to me this month.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  James 1:2-4

Monday, September 3, 2012

Introducing my students to you

Sittie Asia...Beautiful, shy and such a cuddle bug! When play times come she is more happy sitting on my lap and talking to me :) Her English has improved so much over the past two months! I am so proud of her!

Eleazer is a transfer student- He joined our class about a month ago...He has the sweetest smile ever! I love getting to see that cute face every morning :) His favorite part of the day is snack time :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Malabanoot Feeding Site

I have the privilege of serving at the Malabanoot feeding site on Friday afternoons. At this particular site we have seen up to 70 children at a time! What a joy it is to love, teach and play with them :)
Teaching the children memory verses
I wish I could tell you all of their names- but there are so many children and I go to many different feeding sites. I do try my best, but it is nearly impossible to learn (and then remember) all of their names! I always think to myself "Lord, thank you that you know each one by name!" :)

I will end with a verse that has really ministered to me.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And he shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27: 13-14

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Movie night!!!!!!!!!

I think Kyle took the prize for being the most excited hehe :)
My Roomies Carla and Elizabeth and some of the kiddos

Friday night we invited all of our neighbor kids over for a movie and popcorn.. We had seventeen VERY excited boys and girls crowded into our living room...And several VERY excited adults ;) (Carla, Elizabeth and I were pumped about it too) :)
It was such a fun evening! It was an awesome way to reach out to the kids! We all enjoyed it so much I think we might make it more of a regular activity :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Introducing my students to You :)

Never a dull moment when this little guy is around...John Rex is my happy hyper 5 year old :) He has enough energy to make me jealous (And I have ALOT of energy haha) He LOVES to sing...He easily drowns out the other sixteen children when it comes time to sing :) Usually he has his eyes tightly shut and his head thrown back as he belts out 'Jesus loves me', 'This is the day' etc.

Tell me this little face doesn't have mischievous written all over it :)
Divine is 4 and so incredibly cute that when she is naughty I have such a hard time punishing her :) Her Father (Bong) is the Chief Engineer for building the school and her Mother (Jing) is a second grade teacher at the school.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Preaching to the Choir

The other day I was thinking about how many "bends" there are in my life that I would love to see around the corner of....just to know "how it's going to turn out." I admit it, I'm human. ;) I'm sure at one point or other in our lives we have all been at this same point.
I snapped this picture the other day while I was walking home from school. What I love the best about it is the brilliant light coming from "around the bend." It is so easy for me to get caught up in thinking that I have the best plan for my life and that I know what is best for me. I think God probably sits up there and chuckles at me. Because the truth is only God knows what is best for us. Only HE knows exactly what we need. Only HE knows the true desires of our hearts. Only HE loves us enough to say no to us and to sometimes allow us to walk in darkness in order to produce faith and hope in our lives. That was the conclusion I came to- If I always knew what was coming next in my life I would have no need for faith. God is teaching me about patience, and waiting for HIS timing, and also teaching me that HIS ways are the best ways. Even when it seems nothing is going the way YOU had planned, always remember that God sees the bigger picture, and through everything He has your best interest at heart!!! Isn't that incredible to think about! God only wants us to have what He knows is best for us!
Since moving to the Philippines I have learned alot about releasing things--dreams I've had, desires I've had. God is showing me that when I release all of the dreams that I have had to Him, and truly abandon my heart and soul to the one who loves me dearest, He begins to place HIS desires and dreams that HE has for me into my heart. What an awesome God. I am humbled and amazed that the God of the universe cares so deeply for me.
Whatever your "bend in the road" might be, whatever it is you might be struggling or feeling frustrated about because you don't seem to be hearing or seeing an answer for it--rest. Rest in Christ. Rest in the assurance that He is working something in your life that is bigger than what is right in front you. Rest in the knowledge that His love for you is deeper than anyone else's. Rest in the peace that He knows best.

Monday, August 6, 2012


As we give God praise for His good work and the family
of God from around the world, a recent medical team came to minister
to hundreds of people on Boracay and to the Ati tribal people on Panay.
God contiues to pour out His blessings as He provides
a huge ministry task on Boracay and Panay. We are always so blessed
with those who have encouraged us and the ministry
here with prayers and gifts. A grateful melody rings from our lips each
day, because of the family of God around the world who care.

- Dan & Tori Beaver


Because of the poverty here, many people can not afford healthcare.
Many sicknesses go untreated; some even die from lack of medical care.
In fact, a cousin to a little boy in our school died just last week
from a sickness because family was not able to take him to Manila for treatment.
The hospital and clinics on this island are very simple. Major medical
problems are sent to a nearby island or Manila, a one hour plane ride away.
If you do have a loved one in the hospital here, there is no
nursing care….you are their nurse, the provider of their food, and care taker while
there. This is difficult for single mothers with other children at home.
So many medical issues go untreated.
But we serve an awesome God.
He knows exactly what we have need of before we even pray for it.

Recently, we were blessed to have a Nigerian-American team of Doctors
and nurses come here to do a free medical clinic for the people.
They did physicals and eye exams, then handed out free medicine,
vitamins and eye glasses. The people were so grateful!
About 200 people showed up at the clinic in the northern part of Boracay
and another 100 at the clinic we held for the Ati village on the nearby island.

The Ati are the native tribal people who live in the mountains, mostly
secluded from the other Filipinos. Many elders were coming out to receive the
medical care they have not had for years. High blood pressure and ulcers were some
major problems. We discovered one woman with a cyst or tumor in her breast that
could be cancerous. The poor lady had waited so long to get it checked,
we pray it’s not to late. She’s a single mother of five, with one child being deaf.
Her fear is dying without anyone to care for her children, so she never got it checked.
Prayerfully we can get her the medical treatment she needs.

So much physical sickness, but also emotional and spiritual sickness.
Praise God, besides the medical treatment, we prayed with every individual
person who came through the clinic.
God was really moving in the hearts of the people!
Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit touched so many; healing from the inside out!

Lord, continue to move in the hearts of the people from the clinics.
Wash them from the inside out with your blood, grace, and mercy.
Let them bathe in your presence
and soak in your healing, in Jesus name. Amen.

*Article written by Julie Immer. We thank God for Julie's love and
encouragement for the Filipino and Ati people.
If you would like to help with some of the continued medical needs
of the Filipinos we are reaching, your gifts would be
very much a blessing to these people. You can mark your gifts for the
medical needs of the Boracay and Panay ministry.

Send gifts to -
First Love International - Boracay Ministry
PO Box 15836
Loves Park, IL 61132 USA
(815) 229-3065

Dan & Tori Beaver

Missionaries to Boracay & Panay Islands
First Love International

I just wanted to share Dan and Tori's latest newsletter with all of you :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Introducing my students to you

Each week I will be introducing two of my students to you. I want you to get to know each of them.
Please keep my students in your prayers...Most of them do not come from Christian homes. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to share the gospel with them on a regular basis..Please pray that the seeds we plant in their hearts would bear much fruit!

Meet Peter...He is Four years old...He loves to help whenever I call for a volunteer and enjoys drawing pictures of dinosaurs and robots :)

Meet Jay N...She is 4 as well...She is very shy and quiet and is my best child when it comes to sitting quietly and listening :) She can write her ABC's perfectly and is starting to read small words :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Feeling wiser after surgery

We've all had those moments....You know you have to do something and yet everything inside of you is screaming no and trying to pull you back...Kinda like when I passed through security in the Syracuse airport on my way to the Philippines...I remember tears stinging my eyes as I fumbled to get my laptop out of it's case..I remember looking back and seeing Pastor Dave and Jean and wanting so badly to run back to them.  Instead of running in those moments, you pull your shoulders back, purse your lips, stand straight and walk on....Or totally fall apart..wait, yes, that's actually more like it for me..lets be real Olivia :)

Yes, today I had one of those moments..I found myself racing along in a taxi headed to the dentist to have my wisdom teeth removed...That is the LAST thing on my bucket list of "things to do before I die."  I consider myself an extremely brave person most days, but of course today did not fall into the category of one of my "brave days."  I kept having different thoughts like "maybe if my mom was here I wouldn't be nervous"  or " if I was in America this would be a breeze, I'm just scared cause I'm getting it done in another country."  Suddenly I realized I needed to come to grips with the fact that it wouldn't matter where I was or who I was with, I would still be in the same state of mind, and it was also time to come to grips with the fact that it was indeed going to happen today.

The elevator felt like it took ages to get to the thirty first floor.  Tori and the nurse chatted about what medicine I would need etc.  I tried to imagine it was four days from now, and I was back in my classroom happy as a lark. The elevator doors opened and within seconds I found myself seated in a comfy green chair, a floor to ceiling window giving me a generous view of the city of Manila. "At least I get to enjoy a beautiful view while I wait for my surgery," I thought. My sightseeing was ruined by the news that they would not be putting me under. I felt panicky. I did not want to be aware of what was going on around me when the surgery took place.  The very thought made me want to .. well..  you know what I mean.
 "Is there something that I can take to at least relax me?"  I tried to sound brave. The nurse said she would talk to the Dr.  I took a deep breath.
 Even though my appointment was not until ten we arrived at nine. The office was not busy so they took me back almost immediately.  First there was an x-ray, and then I was ushered into a tiny room and told to take a seat.  I was so grateful that Tori stayed with me as the Dr. showed us the results of the x-ray.  The Dr. asked if I was nervous. "Uh", I thought to myself.  "Do bears live in the woods?"  But of course I didn't say that. I just laughed and said that yes indeed I was scared. The Dr. said he only pulls two teeth per visit.  I held up four fingers, and told him I wanted all of them done at once. I said I didn't want to have to go through this nervousness twice.  He laughed, and I could tell he still was not convinced. I was not going to let this go. And then Tori (whose father was a dentist) said that he always took all four out at once. The Dr. paused and then agreed to it. I couldn't believe we had just talked him into it. I asked why they don't put people under for this procedure, and he said that in the Philippines you aren't allowed to use anesthesia unless you are in a hospital. He told me the best he could do was give me half of something that was similar to valium.  I told him I wanted the whole thing. He said he wanted me to keep my mouth open the whole time and didn't want it making me sleepy. Of course I wanted the whole thing! I was all about sleeping through the surgery! He gave me half. I begged him for the other half; he gave it to me.  Ahh, I started feeling good in quick order :)
As if I wasn't pushing my luck enough, I further asked if I could be allowed to put my headphones in and listen to music throughout the surgery. He said yes to that as well :)  I was delighted.

At first I was completely alert and aware of what was going on.  I kept my eyes tightly shut and hummed.  I thought I was humming in my head, but it turned out I was humming out loud.  And then after that I pretty much didn't remember anything until I woke up out of my drugged state at three
o' clock. But what I do remember is.....the Dr. telling me repeatedly to open my mouth wider (probably kicking himself that he had allowed me to take the whole pill),  having a nurse tell me to let go of her shirt (I think I was holding onto the edge of it for comfort),  telling the Dr. that Miami was a city full of crime (I have no idea where that came from),  opening my eyes and seeing thread weaving back and forth and realizing he was stitching up my mouth (definitely could have done without that one),  and staring up into the Dr.'s special glasses trying to see if I could see my reflection (I was so gone).

Two hours of surgery later four giant teeth were wrapped up in a little bag and handed to me. I sat up. My brain was about as numb as my mouth. I clumsily tried to wipe the drool that was falling lazily out of my mouth. This was super embarrassing to me.  I made it to the waiting room where Tori kindly helped me gather my things and then escorted me down to their car that was waiting outside for us. Tori gently helped me step up into the van, and I flopped down on the seat and was out again like a light.
And then suddenly I opened my eyes and was laying on Tori's couch, and I realized it was over!!! I never have to go through that again!!! I was ecstatic....until I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror... hahah just kidding :) Looking back it really wasn't that bad.  God certainly gave me peace throughout the entire morning (ok, maybe that little pill had something to do with it too ;))  But on a serious note, thank you so much for everyone who stood with me in prayer! And also those of you who so generously contributed to the bill. I truly appreciate your love and support! And of course your continued prayers are appreciated.  I hear there is this nasty thing called "dry socket" and I am hoping I do not get it.  I will be in Manila for a few more days and then head back to Boracay as soon as my stitches are out :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And then she turned 22

Today I turned 22.
22...That just seems like a really big number to me!
This afternoon I was thinking back over the past year.  So much has changed in just a short twelve months!  Last year on my birthday I was sitting across the breakfast table from my Dad talking about my life and what I was going to do with it.  I'm pretty sure if Dad had leaned over and told me that I would be celebrating my 22nd birthday on a tiny island in the Philippines, I wouldn't have believed him.
I certainly never thought this is what my life would look like right now...but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I know God has me right where He wants me to be, and I can rest in the assurance that God's plan for me is far greater than the ideas I have in my head of what I think my life should be.

I was slightly sad when I woke up this morning...There were no delicious smells wafting up from the kitchen as I opened my eyes, no presents on the table, no family..."Ug" I thought to myself "This is such a bummer!"  I wandered out of my bedroom and scrambled some eggs ...I sat and and looked out the window, mindlessly watching the neighbor chickens scratch away in our front yard. 
I trudged out the door to school ten minutes late. I just was not in a good mood. I thought about flagging down a bike and getting a ride, but I didn't have small change with me. I power walked all the way there and entered my classroom with three minutes to spare, covered in a thick layer of sweat. 
At exactly eight o'clock  the children began to file into my room. Seventeen beautiful boys and girls, each of them with a special smile and a sweet "Happy Birthday Miss Bauman."
Then before I knew what was happening one of the teachers burst into the room holding a muffin with a candle in it and loudly singing the most intense version of Happy Birthday...The children joined in. Of course the only way to sing Happy Birthday is at the top of your lungs...All seventeen of them did..It was so loud and I loved every minute of it.
Some of the children had made me birthday cards and others had small presents for me.  It was so special! And suddenly I realized my day was not so bad after all.  No, it didn't feel like home, but there was something so special and unique about experiencing my birthday here. I smiled.  God always shows me the ways I can be happy and thankful in the midst of feeling lonely or sad.
I left the classroom and came back to find a poster that the children from 1st grade had made for me, taped on my classroom door.  I felt overwhelmed with happiness....Everywhere I turned there was something/someone reminding me it was my birthday and making me feel so special and loved.

At five o clock I got a text from Candy (a Filipino Missionary who I have been doing feeding sites with).  She told me to come to the barn because they had something special for me.  I walked in and saw Eileen, Isidro, their children and several neighbor children. Candy handed me a beautiful pink carnation and a chocolate birthday cake with my name on it.  I felt tears starting to well up in my eyes.  They had spent money and time making sure that I would feel at home, loved and special on my birthday! And I certainly did!  We cut the cake and that was followed by another round of Happy Birthday..This time I sang along :)  I was so incredibly blessed by everyone.

For dinner Haley, Elizabeth, Carla and Ryan took me to an Indian restaurant. I LOVE Indian food and this place did not disappoint!  It was so delicious! The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable, and again, the food was fantastic.  I smiled and thought to myself it truly was a perfect day :)

I can't even imagine what God has in store for me in this next year. I'm ok with that..If it's anything like this past year has been, I know for sure my imagination can't come up with it :)
I'm looking forward to it! Here's to another incredible year!!!!!

 My birthday cake and flowers :)
 (L-R) Eileen, Me, Candy, Isidro
Enjoying the cake (L-R) Haley, Jiren, Elijah, Me, ? drawing a blank on his name haha I will get back to you on that one ;)
Heading out to dinner, (L-R) Ryan, Carla, Me, Haley, Elizabeth

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Basketball outreach

One game they LOVE to play here is Basketball.  Sports is an awesome way for us to reach the teenage boys and girls.  Last week we put a team together and went over to the Island of Panay and did a basketball outreach in the village of Carla. The Filipino girls put us American girls to shame! haha :) We were playing on a dirt and gravel court. Most of them were either barefoot or in flip-flops and they still played better than us :)  

 A crowd of parents and children watched from the sidelines and cheered us on :)

Most of the American girls in this picture were here with a team from California.  They stayed for two and a half weeks and helped with construction on the school and also did tutoring.

Friday, June 29, 2012

God is good all the time

There have been several nights that I have tried to get an update written and posted, but I have been so tired I end up drifting off to sleep :) Tonight I am determined to finish this post :)

Today marks the end of our second week of school!  It has been a challenging and exciting two weeks!  I teach Kinder Two from 8am to 11am and then lead club time for the first and second graders from 11am to 11:30am.  
We have sixteen beautiful boys and girls in our class.  I am so thankful for my teaching partner!  I don't think I would have been able to handle all of those children alone :) 
Most of the children speak English-some are more fluent then others. We teach in English so the kids have no choice when they are in the classroom (which is a huge bonus for me!)

My favorite part of our school is that we teach the children about the love of Jesus every single day! These kids have the opportunity to hear about God on a regular basis!  I am so blessed to have the chance to plant seeds into the lives of these children!

 This is during Chapel hour at school this morning.
We actually have three different teams here right now!  It is amazing how God is bringing more and more people to continue the work here!  One of the teams brought puppets and did the presentation this morning.  As you can tell from the kids faces they were LOVING it :)
 This is Christy-  She has been such a God send!  She is here for three weeks and is a teacher back in CA.  She has been working with Ronel and I in our classroom and I don't know where we would be without her!  She has so many wonderful ideas and has already helped us to improve our classroom so much!  We will certainly miss her when she returns home!
The noise and excitement drew a small crowd outside the school :)

 This is inside our classroom.  Christy and Ronel pictured with the children
I wanted to end with this photo....This is one of my students, Adam.  This picture speaks volumes.  It totally sums up why I am here.  I have to admit I really have been struggling the past couple weeks.  I am so far outside my comfort zone it's not even funny!  But today when I looked over and saw him praying so sweetly it was like God just tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Don't get so caught up in everything around you, your only job is to love these children well and to point them to ME."  
I am SO thankful to be here and to have the opportunity to serve these precious kids!