Greetings from Fairbanks, Alaska! This has been the most unusual spring and summer of most of our lives. There have been a multitude of things happening, not only in our country, but throughout the world. It is easy to become afraid, or discouraged, or consumed with the various events and take our eyes off of Jesus, our Savior. Someone made a simple statement to me that helped me to walk with more joy through these times. He said, “we need to remember that the Lord wasn’t surprised by the events that are taking place. He knew about them from the beginning of time.” I already knew that, but was reminded that my trust is in Him and nothing will alter His plans. No matter what the future holds, He holds the future and He will walk with us as we look to Him. Will the times be easy? We do not know. Will they be difficult? We do not know. BUT HE DOES.
We were planning to return to the Philippines this fall and continue with our activities there as we have for over twenty four years. However, the Philippine government said we are not allowed to return at this time. In the meantime, we regularly, sometimes daily, communicate on the internet with Pastor Allen, our administrator.
Pastor Joey and his wife Connie continue to develop the livelihood project. Among other things, they are growing vegetables, raising chickens to sell, and making compost.
We completed a much needed new maintenance building. The building will keep things stored and protected from the weather and give an area to do maintenance type projects as well as be a garage for our new tricycle. The old tricycle served us very well and lasted for about 20 years.
School has just started. The students are required to practice social distancing and wear masks and be careful to use hand cleaners. According to the Philippine government website, in the Bicol region where Catanduanes is located, there are approximately 5.8 million people and so far there have been 17 deaths. I was told that there has been one death on our island. Our village remains in semi lock down with people over 60 and children not allowed to travel or go to the market.
We are looking into the possibility of doing some classes on the internet with the school this fall. It is amazing how the internet has changed our world! When we first moved to the Philippines, it was difficult and very expensive to even call our friends and family in the United States. Now we can call for free and even see their faces (if our internet is working well that day).
I often quote John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Tribulation is promised, but we have peace when we look to Him. And not only do we have peace, we are instructed to “be of good cheer.” So today, I hope you are walking in peace, and yes, even are being of good cheer!
The Lord bless you!
Nels, Lorrie, and Amy