Thursday, July 28, 2011


Father continues to reveal His perfect plan as we travel about the Philippines.

Fri., July 15 – We spent the day at Samaritana which is a transformation community for women trapped in prostitution. It was a day for training women coming off the streets to learn be to servent leaders to other women on the streets! We had the opportunity to personally pray with two of the women. What an honor!

We went out to the streets in the evening and were introduced to a number of women whom Samaritana staff have befriended and visit regularly. We were blessed to be included in interacting with and encouraging them.

Sat, July 16 - We visited with David Lim, the chairman of the Philippine House Church movement. He shared his extensive acedemic background and his efforts to transform Asia. He states, “We're encouraging each house church leader to be entrepreneurial (if possible, set up their own business), and if possible corporately set up businesses, cooperatives, foundations… We have already clearly decided never to incorporate as a house church network or movement - since the beginning.” However, he said that a number of them involved are establishing a foundation that will allow the house church network to receive funds to help scholars etc. We challenged him on this thinking using Jesus and His disciples as our example – who never considered registering their ministry with the worldly government (, ).

Sun. July 17 - Yesterday was laundry day and rest. We've postponed our journey to deal with health issues before we move on. Our wounds are looking much better! No more diarrhea! YEAH! However, I'm now having back problems, which is an intermittent issue at home. So... please keep praying! I know that God is sovereign over all things and that He uses all things for His glory! So.... I've been praising Him in the midst of it!

Sharing such things is a challenge for us. We both tend to quietly endure, but.... we're learning that this is not good. Instead, we need to share with those who love us and can pray for us!

Mon. July 18 - Because of their schedule, we’ve not had much of a chance to visit with Ferdi & Toni, but they have freely opened their home to us and Ferdi spoils us with his wonderful cooking!

We are scheduled to move on to Laguna today, but I’m not sure that my back is ready. I’m wrestling with whether or not satan is trying to hold me back and that I need to press through or…if God is trying to tell me that my schedule is not His and that I need to stay put!

Even though I’m wrestling through what I believe is a spiritual attack, I know Who is sovereign over all and that He has a beautiful purpose. While icing my back, Gary has been reading a book to me called Back to the Basics (yes, he’s a blessing!). It is about Kingdom living. I see the importance of reading this book even before moving on in our journey.

As we read Back to the Basics, I have mixed emotions:

1) I have longed for years for this kind of transparency and accountability and knew of no one who was ready or seemed interested. I’m saddened by what seems like “wasted” years! Yet I know God’s timing is perfect!

2) I’m relieved to know that I was not off-base in my thinking and that I was truly desiring that which God desires for His people.

3) I’m excited to know others who desire this way of living – kingdom living!

Tues. July 19 - The Lord always has a purpose! Because of our "delay" we've had time to rest in our Lord without the busyness and the extra time here provided an opportunity to have a wonderful conversation with Toni & Ferdi that we would have missed out on had we moved on sooner. Once again, I see Gary's tender heart toward the next generation as he visits with Ferdi! Although my back is not totally back to normal, it is more manageable. My wound is nearly healed. Gary's still has a ways to go, but we are feeling more comfortable about moving on.

Thurs. July 21 - We traveled Wed. by bus to Laguna. Our host family is Eman & Elvie Abrea and their 3 children. Eman is the house church leader in this region. Wed. eve we met with Norma who is another house church leader and community developer. Thurs. morning I taught Elvie to knit and we visited with Eman about organic gardening, making herbal soaps, lotions etc. as livelihood opportunities for his family and others. He is very interested in learning and teaching others.

In the afternoon we went to the riverside where approximately 300 families live in poverty. We had around 15 men and women who came to observe as I taught knitting. The men were just as excited as the women. In fact, they are already planning how they might make more knitting looms for the women and got some wire and began to make more hooks. The women learned very quickly! Although I brought yarn, we talked about recycling items such as plastic bags, old clothing, ribbon from VHS tapes, etc. into “yarn”. They were already thinking very creatively!

Gary was delighted to have the opportunity to interact with several children while I taught knitting! This is like heaven for him!

We had the privilege of praying for a young girl who is very ill.

We observed Ernie making concrete stoves which are used for cooking with charcoal.

Eman crushed and placed moringa leaves on Gary's leg wound. We’re anxious to see the results! I was a bit concerned about the amount of walking we had to do along with riding on bumpy roads in jeepnies and trikes. But... the Lord protected my back and I really felt pretty good by the time we arrived back to Eman's.

Norma is full of fire and energy. I think she knows everyone in the Philippines and half the people in the USA! She is full of helpful information and has helpful contacts all around!

“The world MUST see us loving each other. They cannot see through the walls of a room once a week. They see us loving each other when they see us carrying each other’s loads,… This is how all men will know that we are His disciple – not just by what we believe, but how they see us love each other.” – Back to the Basics

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

Whole-Heartedly, Bonnie

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Fri. July 8 – Gary spent the morning visiting with Peter while Molong and I chatted. about many deep things. Molong’s wisdom is far beyond his years! I taught Lisa how to knit. She’s a fast learner!!! I promised to teach Lisa how to bake bread and to make an American dish. So... in the afternoon we went to the market to purchase supplies for bread making and beef stew. I had a great visit with Albert about organic gardening and canning! It is so refreshing to visitng with a young man so eager to learn!

Sat. July 9 - We have had many deep and intimate conversations with Molong & Lisa. Even after such a short time my heart over flows with love for them. Lisa calls me “Mommy” and my heart leaps every time I hear her say it. I’ve noticed that I can’t help but “mother” them – it seems so very natural to embrace them under my wing.

The evening was spent with extended family and community “members”. Lisa finished knitting a cell phone carrier. She’s so excited! She already has “customers” wanting her product!

Sun July 10 - A few days ago, I wrote “I suppose it is difficult to understand why we would travel so far to "just be with people". I treasure this response from a dear brother –

“I know someone who traveled from the glory of His Father,
to be with people, talk about life within the kingdom of God
-- such idle indulgence, don't you think?  ”

We received word this morning that the Philippine House Church “movement” is seeking incorporation! My heart hurts! I cried for the people whom God has so powerfully moved among here. Can we expect to remain organic while registering to be institutionalized? Can we expect the Spirit of God to remain among us when we marry ourselves to the world’s systems? When we begin to select kings (presidents, board members etc) to rule our activities have we not rejected the Kingship of God? How is it that we can see the destruction of institutionalizing our Kingdom fellowship but not our Kindgom work? Attempting to incorporate the kingdom work of God will always lead to establishing a kingdom outside of the Kingdom of God.

Once a movement crystalizes into an institution the radicalness of the movement’s founder is discouraged. Most founders do not mean to reform or dismantle one institution only to establish another. Their task is to question authority, to deconstruct the powers and to confront government.
When preachers say, “Be like Jesus!” they usually don’t mean this one.
The morale is: Question authority, even if it hurts.

I had the thrill of cooking an American dish for the community here and extended family members. The afternoon and evening was filled with wonderful fellowship, testimonies, tears and laughter! What joy there is to look one direction and watch the children play and hear them laugh! How exciting it is to look another direction and observe young men and women tenderly discipling one another. What pleasure there is in visiting with brothers and sisters from around the world about what Jesus has accomplished for us and the freedom there is in experiencing it in Kingdom living together.

Molong was attempting to teach me a few words in Cebuano. I should have known better than to trust him!  One of the words he had chosen was “handsome” - or so I thought. In my efforts to learn, I clearly and cautiously pronounced the word while looking at the young man sitting next to me. As it turned out, Molong was teaching me to say, “ugly”! Yep…. I looked this precious young man in the eye and announced, “You are U.G.L.Y”! Everyone started laughing and the young man said in English, “You are ugly!” Now….I’m thinking that I had just complimented him and in return he’s telling me that I’m ugly?! Like a momma, I told him that he needed to respect his elders! As we recalled this scene later in the evening, we all laughed so hard that I thought we were going to fall off our chairs!

We had the honor of meeting Molong’ spiritual mother and Albert from Uganda. Albert left his postion of “honor” in a royal family to follow Jesus! We were blessed by his testimonies, gentle spirit and most importantly His passion for Jesus!

July 11 – Mon - I snorkeled for the first time today! All I can say is “WOW!” and I know that I saw only a taste of the beauty of God’s under water creation!

Gary’s tenderness and open heart toward the young disciples that come and go daily warms my heart. It is fun to simply sit back and observe as they share their hearts with him!

We went to the open air market with Lisa. It’s fun to see all the vendors with fresh produce, sea food etc. Although I can’t understand a word of Cebuano, it’s also fun to listen to them barter back and forth! I must learn! I think I’d be good at it! 

Every day that we are here with these precious people we get a fresh taste of what it is like to disciple those whom God calls you to in daily activities. I simply marvel over the sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s moving and preparing a heart to receive all that God has to offer! The love and compassion that Lisa and Molong demonstrate to those they father and mother spiritually is beyond words. I’ve learned much from them already and will miss them greatly as we move along to Luzon tonight!

July 12-13 - Our host family here in Quezon City is Toni & Ferdi Dy and their little daughter Robyn.
We spent this time getting settled in and making arrangements for our visits while here in Luzon.

Thurs, July 14 –We had an opportunity to visit with a number of people who were interested in learning more about organic church. Many good questins were stirred up and some are seeking to learn more! We left them with some helpful resources.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

And He Will Turn the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children

Throughout these next several weeks I will be sharing parts of my journal while here in the Philippines in an effort to share my heart and what Father is teaching me.

Sunday July 3: Oliver & Shirley brought Molong to pick us up @ airport.
Arrived “home” and sat in the bahay kubo (hut) with while it rained listening to frogs and drinking fresh picked tarragon tea..

Monday July 4: Before coming Brother Dan Hubbel shared with me that the Lord had spoken Mal. 4:6 through him to those attending the Philippine House Church. When he shared it really touched my heart. Molong had much to say yesterday about spiritual fathering and mothering. My attention was drawn this morning to an article in which a dear brother wrote:

"It has always been the plan of the Father to reveal His nature to man through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man. The Father understood human nature and how we need visible examples with skin on them. Today it is no different. For proper discipleship to take place, we need to see examples of Godly men who are following hard after Christ.

The Lord Jesus instituted no seminaries, he left no religious how to books, nor catechisms, nor baptism classes, and he left no Mecca for people to go to whether that be Jerusalem, Redding California or Kansas City Missouri. His discipleship plan takes time so there is no intensive available. The plan calls for a son to follow a father. Disciples need fathers and fathers are made for sons. No one can father himself!

Mal 4:6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." NKJV"

We're listening Lord!

Tues July 5: We are meeting more and more of the people of this commnity. There is a young girl who has four holes in her heart but can not afford the healthcare that is needed for surgery. Father give us wisdom! She longs to learn but can not attend public school because of health issue. I visited with Molong about homeschooling and what I had learned about it in the Philippines so far.

We had a long visit with Molong & Oliver about their desire to establish a “Foundation” (non-profit incorporation) in order to help those in need, what God’s Word says about developing His Kingdom Work under the headship of the world’s government, what example Jesus set for us etc. It was a time of learning & re-evaluating for us all. We continue to ask Father to give them wisdom.

Molong, Gary & I rode the Molong’s motorcycle to the sea. While enjoying the water it began to rain. We could see the rain moving across the water toward us. The storm kept circling around us in such a fashion that the rain kept coming back to us until eventually we were enveloped by rain from every direction! It was beautiful & fun! We laughed and giggle like little children as we enjoyed being poured upon! We continued to share our hearts while literally and spiritually being emersed in the beauty and presence of our Lord.

Wed July 6 – Began to plan a rough draft of our schedule and making calls to our contacts in Luzon. Looks like our days are going to be full! Spent the afternoon and evening connecting hearts with those in the House Church community here, sharing, learning how God is moving, etc. We are being spoiled by the hospitality being offered to us and are blessed to see the coming and going of those in the family of God and those interested in learning what this thing called “the family of God” is all about! The spontaneity of fellowship is refreshing! Some of the ladies here are interested in learning to knit and bake. So… tomorrow may be a knitting day!

Thurs July 7 - I’m not sure I even know how to put into words what God is showing us that makes sense to anyone! We’ve had so many wonderful and deep conversations that I’m not even sure where to begin in sharing! Most of the day was spent learning from one another. One thing that we talked about is the reflection of Christ’s life within the Kingdom of God, how that is lived out among His people. We’ve talked about how there is no buying and selling among his people, rather giving and receiving

We spent the evening with Oliver & Shirley’s family at their home sharing and enjoying the reality that Jesus truly is in our midst!.

I suppose it is difficult to understand why we would travel so far to "just be with people". I’m feeling strongly that I need to write about our time with these precious ones being relational and not project oriented! God is showing me so much that I can’t keep up!

Whole-Heartedly, Bonnie

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Could Cooperative Homeschooling Be a Part of the Solution?

While I was in the Philippines this past winter, I learned that not only are the children required to wear uniforms in order to attend school; there are fees to be paid, as well. Because most families are too poor for such “luxuries,” many children do not receive an education. Yet, in order for a person to obtain even the lowest paying jobs, such as working at McDonald’s (yes, they are everywhere!), they must obtain 1-2 years of college education! Needless to say, the unemployment rate is quite high!

Often, the eldest daughter in a family is held responsible to help provide for the rest of her family. She is often sold by her father into what he believes is “domestic work,” but in actuality she is trafficked as a sex slave or out of deep loyalty toward her family she sells herself to prevent them from starving! My heart aches over such horrible reality!

A number of weeks to go, I began to consider that homeschooling might be an answer for those living in such poverty. Through a little research, I discovered that homeschooling is not only legal in the Philippines, but that there are an estimated 4,000 being homeschooled. Having this information, many questions began to run through my mind:

• How can uneducated parents fulfill a teaching role for their children?
• How can they afford the educational resources necessary for homeschooling?
• What is the role of the House Church communities in helping to educate children within their communities?
• Are there ministries already established for this purpose that I might glean information from?
• Are there mission workers who can help train the parents and community leaders?

Considering our special concern for those at risk or enslaved in sexual exploitation, it seems that the safe confines of Christian fellowship and community would be a perfect place for them and their children to obtain a well-rounded education taught by a variety of community members!

Perhaps a homeschool cooperative through which families join together to educate their children would prove to be beneficial in many ways:
• low cost
• a safe environment
• multiple teachers with diverse skills and interests
• the ability to select learning methods, curriculum and most importantly Christian values
• high academic standards

A cooperative would enhance the homeschool experience by involving children in a community of friends and families, exposing them to a variety of academic topics and activities.

Something I learned in public school that is being confirmed in my adult life: if you color outside the lines you will Fail! What will you fail? You will fail to please the authorities, the conformists and the fearful. You must conform! Thinking outside of the box is punishable by “F“!
Rules are important. We need them. But sometimes they are used to our detriment, to prevent creativity and to keep things the way they are.
- dhayward

Further research led me to information about The Master’s Academy in the Philippines. According to its director, Edric Mendoza, “Filipinos are still very open to biblical truth and generally have a religious outlook. They are becoming more open to the option of homeschooling, especially when it is discussed in light of character development.” Mendoza explains that “The public school system is not only wracked with practical problems—a ratio of 50 students to 1 teacher (at best), substandard curriculums, and a decline in the quality of teachers—but there is also a growing population of young people who are being lost in the noise of a media and technological age that seeks to erase God.”

The Master’s Academy is a homeschooling program that seeks “To provide families with a world-class, distinctly Filipino, family-focused homeschool experience via a Christian worldview and the Luke 2:52 model”!

TMA “created a Training & Receiving center based in Manila, to increase accessibility to its enrolled families who come for orientations, seminars, workshops, events, meetings with Academic Consultants, as well as the processing of enrollment. However, in the nature of homeschooling, daily instruction of their children happens in the home…”
After answering a few questions about what my vision is, Mr. Mendoza agreed to meet with us to discuss what might be done to help!

When I shared all of this with a dear friend, she suggested that U.S. homeschoolers could be drawn to support this mission and provide input/resources, sending their no longer needed materials and having their children as pen-pals for mission kids! What a wonderful vision!

Can you imagine the honor of praying for and rejoicing with these families as they achieve academic excellence along within their community life as children of the Most High God?

What else can I say, but…. “Amen (Let it be so), Lord Jesus!”