What a whirlwind it’s been being back on the mission field at Obed’s House after a long maternity leave! So much has happened over the past 7 months. I have enjoyed (but have struggled at times) adjusting to new life as a full time “work at home” mom. Mia has been such a perfect addition to our family and everyone is smitten with her! The kids love to help Mommy Mer out as well as our amazing staff.
A few notable things to update on:
The kids started back to school in June. This is the first year all of our kids have gone to “real” school (as some were home schooled in the past.) I am so proud of their adjustments and all are doing well so far! Please pray that they would continue to thrive, and be leaders in their classrooms for the sake of Jesus.
We’ve had a number of earthquakes in the past few months, at one point there were 4 in 2 weeks. Please pray against any harm to our building and for the safety of our children and country.
We’ve been going through the accreditation process to be recognized by the Philippines government as a licensed operating NGO. One of our lacking documents for the accreditation was our building permit which was never applied for or created by our original contractor when we built the house. When Engineers came out to look at the building to sign the permit, they declared the house “not suitable for living.” They proposed a “retrofitting process” where they will go under the building and strengthen the foundation and all of the support beams where there has been damage from some of the earthquakes/improper building structural design from our original contractor. Praise the Lord as he placed it upon the hearts of our supporters to give towards this unexpected expense! The permits have been applied and the first inspection will take place the second week of September. Please help us pray that no other surprise expenses come up (although we are aware that during most home renovations these do usually occur.)
We have received word from the government that our Accreditation was approved!! We are just waiting for the certificate to be signed by the right people and then they will present it to us one morning during a special flag ceremony (Filipinos are very patriotic and have flag ceremonies every morning, rain or shine!) We have worked so hard for this accreditation, with many bumps along the way! Praise God for the incredible efforts of our Social Worker, Eli who helped make this possible after years of failed attempts.
We had our first Mission’s team visit on August 23rd! A group of 7 from Southgate Baptist Church (our home church in Ohio) came and painted the entire interior of our home. They also crafted a new sidewalk, and laid tiles upstairs on our porch!! It was such a delight to have them here. Not only did they “lift” the face of our house, but they brought so much joy, encouragement and love with them. Our kids felt so loved and cared for and we had an incredible time of fun and fellowship! If you’ve ever considered a mission’s trip, feel free to email me! I would love to talk to you more about Obed’s and the endless opportunities that you could be a part of here!
If you are following us via Facebook, you know by now that Avery left ahead of Mia and me to the USA. Unfortunately, he had to because of the limitations on his citizenship, as he is still a green card holder. Avery leaving has been much harder on me that I thought it would be. There’s just something about knowing your husband is coming home at night that gives you a sense of security. I think having a baby only heightens that feeling. Please pray for Avery as we have applied again to remove the restrictions from his green card. If these restrictions will be removed (due to me being stationed full time overseas as a missionary), he would be able to have his citizenship right away, and we would never have to travel again without one another!
Mia and I will be returning on October 2nd just in time to prepare for the 2nd Annual Obed’s Harvest Gathering. I am really looking forward to being back on USA soil and seeing everyone at this event. We will also spend Thanksgiving, Mia’s 1st birthday and Christmas with our family in Ohio before heading back to the Philippines in January/February. I have a couple speaking engagements while home, and am meeting with a few churches to talk about becoming a mission’s partner! Please pray for God to go before us in these meetings and for what he might have in store for a partnership with Obed’s. Please also pray as I fly alone with Mia on the long-haul flights. She has just began pulling up and standing by herself, which I am assuming means she might be a little restless on the long flight! I am praying for patient and kind seat mates, and for her to sleep well!
If you have financially supported Obed’s in the past 3 years, you should be receiving an invite in the mail to our 2nd Annual Harvest Gathering! This event will take place on Thursday evening, October 17 in the Grace Community Center! Dinner & Dessert will be served at 6:30pm. We are expectant for a great evening, and hope you and a few of your friends will join us! If you haven’t received a hard copy invite and would like one for you or a friend, please email me and I will be sure to get one mailed to you.
Looking forward to the many connections to be made once we are “home” in the USA next month. As always, Avery and I just want to remind you how grateful we are for your partnership with Obed’s House Ministries. Know that you are prayed for daily by our children, staff and family here Thank you for choosing to be a part of our BIG family!