So I recently realized that in all these posts, I have never really laid out what we do on a regular basis, and it’s really the basis of my next several posts. We live in Davao, Philippines, and we own a small bag manufacturing business. This is what we did in the United States, and several years ago God put the vision on our hearts to move it overseas, use it as a ministry, and allow us to get more involved with the community. I know. We could get involved in ministries right there in Oregon, and well, we did. But, the business required so much of our personal time and attention that it was never at a level that we wanted to do, and we were always left drained, empty, and exhausted. Being in a region where it’s economically viable to have several employees allows us to get much more involved, and even have occasional free time.
My husband, Dan, is the pillar of the business. We argue back and forth as to who runs the show, we both claim the other, so I guess it’s evenly split. We make a good team. We have a handful of solid employees, we have been so blessed in this area. We are still heavily involved in the daily operations, but our workers are making us more and more obsolete every day.
One thing Dan had on his heart from the get go was to begin a trade school as well. We have had several local people approach is, saying they want to learn to sew, or know someone who does. In the near future, he is going to begin weekend classes for those interested, at no cost. There is a ton of creativity within the population here, and so many potential micro businesses. Supplying the know how is what is really lacking.
Dan also has an extensive background in search and rescue training and carpentry, and he, with several other missionaries, have been doing recovery and rebuilding since Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao in December. And speaking of carpentry, he also teaches wood shop, and this coming Fall, carpentry, at Faith Academy, the local missionary school our kids attend.
So while Dan is running around building things, I play with kids. Partnered with a very good friend of mine, Vergie, I get to teach kids every Saturday in Agdao, one of the more impoverished areas in the city. The kids all attend school, and are sponsored through Oasis Ministries, a local organization that has several programs focusing on kids through high school age and beyond. We average about 12-16 kids a week, down from nearly 70, before the groups were restructured. I love the individual attention and relationship that the smaller group allows. We also visit the kids throughout the week, usually once a week, to check in, inform them about upcoming activities, and to just love on them.
Beyond that, we live life. Despite being in a country that moves at a slower, more casual pace, life is a full time job. More on that next time!