Monday, December 24, 2012

Gratitude: November 2012

I started the month with some "challenges" at work, but it got "better" throughout the week..praise the Lord! For the first weekend, I drove to Alexandria for our seasonal training (ESL & GEd), which was a "productive" meeting/training time. I took advantage of the 40 minute drive out of town to get some kitchen cabinets for my remodeling project in my basement apartment. I decided to take a break from staining the new kitchen cabinets and attend the weekly Saturday worship-fellowshing gathering called "Journey". I actually stayed for the teaching and it was ironically on "Spiritual Warfare", which came in a good time before going on my trip overseas. The following Sunday, I went to the weekly Sunday afternoon "Spanish-service" at the local Morris Evangelical Free Church. I asked for prayer for my "vacation-mission" trip to the Philippines this month, which it always feels "good" to be covered in prayer by as many friends and family of believers. I also, asked prayer request from my local home church (Morris Community Church), local radio Christian station (Praise FM), my other "home" radio Christian radio station (KTIS 98.5 FM, which sends emails when someone reads your prayer request and will be praying for you), and other numerous friends. I definitely felt the prayers as I share about why I did need it (see down below).

My second week was pretty "busy" as I had a lot going-on before heading on my two week trip. I was hosting a friend (Geordan, UMM Alumn- Filipino who helped with the UMM Cougar Football team, from California) at my house the 1st week of the month as he needed a place to stay before flying out of town after renting a nearby apartment in a monthly basis. We would hangout together with a couple of other Filipinos on Tuesday (Election Day-Congrat to "re-elected" President Obama) evening at a local restaurant as a "good-bye" party for Geordan. The following day, I helped a friend (UMM Int'l student from Japan) learn how to drive, which we've been doing this for over a month now each week for an hour. He's definitely progressed! On Thursday, I attended a UMM Alumni-Current Student gathering at Pizza Ranch, which I sat with a weekly paid UMM Student "worker" (watches the kids of our students in our ESL/GED Classes) and his friends. It was good to catch-up on the current student life, which he and I shared our similar interest in WWII History. The next day, I drove home (St. Paul) after work to get ready for the "big-trip". I spent Friday night and Saturday morning packing as we would carry 4 "carry-ons" and 4 total "check-in" luggages. I thank my sister and dad for driving us to the aiport, which was 60's (F)-"springy weather" when we left Minnesota (gas prices only $3.12 or so)... In the middle of the month, I spent two weeks (10th-25th) in the Philippins visitng relatives. I had so much to share that I decided to just put the link (above) of my 2-week journal of My Philippine Trip.

My highlights are hard to just pin-point to just some, but overall visiting relatives and them taking me "almost" as many places they can during my short two-week trip. I have so many pictures (see travel pics-videos of the various geographical places in the main island of Luzon alone!) ofthat I can't share them all here. Feel free to check "some" on the site above, but here is an album I created of the many delicious ("masarap") foods I tasted there.. has links in the caption below the pics to tell you where I ate it. Enjoy! Below is an email I sent (Wednesday, November 22nd) to those that emailed me that they were praying for me while I was in the Philippines....

"Kamustaka/hello family in Christ,

I'm currently back in Valenzuela (suburb of Manila) after extensive travels (some 8 hour drives in congested 2-lane roads through towns/barangays). I've been trying to upload as many pics as possible for relatives (private facebook group) and facebook friends. Thank you/Salamat for your replies of praying for this 2-week trip, which I've felt the prayers. It's been a faith building trip as I've been trying to ask God daily how I can be effectively used in "such a time as this". I feel this will be just one of many future "mission trips" through words of encouragement. I just wanted to personally update you all on some of what God has been doing.. *password: (email me if your interested)

Above are pics of an unexpected opportunity to share the "Good News" with some children (neighbors that just walked in the house) as I was just "chilling" while my mom greeted "old friends" in her hometown (Labrador, Pangasinaan-similar to Morris, Stevens County-located also 3 hours from the capitol). I like to keep anything "bible related" at my workplace (recycling center), which some children bible worksheets (with games) came in handy during this trip. I was able to teach the children and praying "seeds of the Gospel" were planted.

An awesome unexpected eye-opening praise report is my grandparents' (mom's side) old house i(down below) is being used for a Sunday "Bible-believing" (born-again phrased by my Uncle) church service. They are renting this place from my uncle, which I'm praying for "God's provision" for them...

I'll have more to share later (e.g. dreams of back home-St. Paul, USA, etc.. that has been very vivid) when I come back. Anything I can pray for you ? I've been trying to pray for you all back at home, especially during the long road trips around this country. I've been watching/hearing news of the on-going "war" in Israel, which I have a video I'll share later too related to the Philippines. Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and have fun with the cool weather by enjoying the snowy sports, which I'm actually anticipating (e.g. snowboarding) when I come back!

Prayer "warrior" for christ,
p.s. I've updated this site with more videos and pics, which I'll try to add more as I have 3-more days here. Please continue to pray for me in these last-three days (e.g. including my mom, whose been struggling with lowering her constant high-blood pressure-> thus me being a health freak! :)


I arrived around 11am in the morning Sunday (Minnesota time) after leaving Manila around 8am (Philippine time)...just like a 3 hour flight!! When I got home, I was excited to share some souveniers and pictures of our trip, but I got "jet-leg" tired. I took a power nap before driving back to Morris as I told my boss I'm willing to work the overnight (sleep) to help fill-in the "open hours" since I was gone for 2 weeks and many of my co-workers filled-in for my shift (just like right now as I'm working the Christmas holidays since we are 1 staff short as he'll not be working till the 15th of next month).

It was a post-holiday(Thanksgiving) rush driving "home" (Morris, Minnesota) on Sunday, November 25th. There were cars going back to "college" along the I-94 stretch to Alexandria. I stopped over at Taco Bell as my "first" food back to the States!

My clients at my work would repeatedly tell me "I missed you" on my first day back, which shows how compassionate the clients I work with-just like family! It would take 3+ days to get over my "jet-leg" as I couldn't sleep the "night shifts" (also because of being woken up at times for meds) and I would have long "power-naps" (over an hour) after work. I spent the rest of the last week of November "uploading" the many pics from my 3-different SD Disks (2-8GB's and 1-16GB's) till now (Tuesday, December 25th 2012) to my photography online sites and journal of my trip (just finished yesterday)! I hope you enjoyed reading this and surprised if you read this far in this long month journal. God bless!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gratitude: October 2012

We started the month with some nice weather (80's) in the beginning of the 1st week. I took advantage of the nice weather on the 2nd by cleaning my gutters. I did many other house projects (e.g. indoor) as I was targeting my goal to finish before I left for my big trip next month to the Philippines. I've been working on my basement most of the week after work and needed to take a break Satuday evening, so I attended the 1st "newest" fellowship gathering called "Journey". It was awesome! It was like a praise-worship concert in a intimate environment (lights were off) and they had a great fellowship ("goodies") time afterwards. ..

The 2nd weekend, I went to a friend's bonfire at his backyard. It was a great evening to be outside in this fall weather. I had a great time "fellowshiping" with other friends there too. The following day, I had to get up early to visit my friend at Moose Lake, which another friend joined me for his first time. I enjoy the "fellowship" during the 4 hour ride to and from. It was nice to have someone tag along in this long drive.

It's that time of the year, so I did some raking on the 15th as most of the leaves has fallen in my front yard. I would get a homemade apple pie from another "friend", which was so thoughtful of her.

I had a "miracle" (answer to prayer) that happened to me on Thursday, October 18th! It might not be considered a "miracle" for others, but this was for me! As you know, I like taking pictures-videos for my blog here and websites. I lost one of the three batteries for my digital camera. Well, it came in a bad time because I was heading to my 2-week trip to the Philippines and didn't want to spend more money on buyging another one. I decided to just take the 2 batteries I already had for the trip. I was riding my bike and somehow I decided to look down in the ground by my stairs (side of my house) and saw my battery laying there! It's been through some rain storms and was able to "survive"! It "bulked-up" (fattened) a little, but was able to fit in my camera and work!...Praise the Lord!

I went to the cities the 3rd weekend to help my brother and wife move some stuff. It was a great family time! On my way back, I dropped by Menards in Alexandria to pick-up two kitchen cabinets to help finish my basement apartment.

It was such a nice fall day at work, so took out the tricycle to give some clients rides during my lunch noon hour. I was trying to "take advantage" of the last remaining beautiful fall weather before winter comes.

I have been so busy finishing my basement that I haven't had the opportunity to visit Jane Addams (Tuesdays at UMM's Imholte Hall) this semester much. It was good to visit (23rd), which was a unique time as MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) was in town to do a "story" of our group. They have been traveling around the area (e.g. Fargo) doing stories of how the growing "Spanish-speaking" community is assimilating in these parts of the state-country.

I attended "Journey" the last Saturday of the month and was thankful for a "friend" that went to for the first time was "touched". He was so touched, he asked me if he could go to church with me the following day. What makes this awesome is that his family are not regular church goers as they probably just go only during the holidays. His family was open for him to come with me to my local church the following Sunday.