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.