Monday, November 30, 2015

People's Park

Our new Filipina friend ate lunch with us and showed us around one of the beautiful parks in Davao. It is called People's Park and has a lot of statues and neat photo ops! Also, we have been told that it has pretty lights at nighttime so we will need to find a time to go back some evening.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though there are Christmas decorations everywhere, it is now Thanksgiving time! Here are some pictures of food in honor of this holiday:

This is Durian. It is famous here in Davao. What makes durian such a special fruit is that it smells...really bad. It's not allowed on airplanes because of the smell! But many people say it tastes great! The picture on the left is the whole fruit cut open. The picture in the middle shows the fleshy part that you eat surrounding the pits. We have tried it a few times and have agreed that we have other favorites in the Philippines...for example, pineapple and banana smoothies!

Pure MSG. It can be difficult to find certain foods
without it. And it's available to buy in very large quantities!
Giant fish! We have bought fish in the marketplace instead of the
grocery store, but couldn't resist a picture of this very large fish!

 Here we have Halo-halo which in English means mix-mix. This is because it has so many ingredients mixed together! This is a dessert that can be found many places in the we are doing a taste test and trying different ones! Some of the ingredients include ube ice cream, flan, coconut milk, beans, coconut and pineapple pieces, and much more!

We have eaten many Filipino foods but there are still many more to try. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Christmas is Here!

Hello World!

It's been the Christmas season here in the Philippines since we've arrived. Complete with a countdown in one of the malls and everything. However, now the decorations have really exploded! I think most of the places I go, I hear Christmas music and see at least a couple of twinkling lights.

Normal sized Christmas tree.
This is in the coffee shop where we have
a lot of language lessons.
GIANT Christmas tree in one of the malls.
Also in the left of the photo, there's a Hello Kitty Christmas Village.

Need some decorations?!?

It's nice to see all the Christmas things around here but also reminds me that we should be praying for the Filipinos to understand why we celebrate Christmas--the birth of our Savior Jesus who came into the world, lived a perfect life and died in our place on the cross so that we can trust in His sacrifice and live in relationship with Him. Please pray with us!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pictures of Our Apartment

Our bedroom

Living and Dining Room

Kitchen, with banana chocolate chip muffins in the oven!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Exploring Our New City

Hello Everyone!

We just wanted to do a quick post and show you some pictures we took while exploring Davao! We take the jeepneys to the malls for grocery shopping, language training, and Krispy Kreme donuts! We also got to travel to a church last weekend and spend some time sharing and helping with some training. The training was to raise interest in missions among the youth at the church we visited. We had a great time and made some new friends there. Look for another post coming soon!

Joe and Elizabeth

View of the street from a pedestrian bridge, to the right is a mall
with all of the colorful jeepneys lined up ready to go!
The other side of the street, there's even a Pizza Hut!

Elizabeth and I sharing last weekend.

Monday, October 12, 2015

It's more fun in the Philippines!

It really IS fun in the Philippines!! Here's some reasons why:

Our Filipino friends!

Our snorkeling boat! We spent the day with new friends looking at
coral and fish, ate fish on the beach, and had fun!

We spent the day at Mati, what a beautiful country!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

From the Philippines!

This is our first blog post from the Philippines!

We have done a lot so far! We've met lots of new people, been to lots of new places, tried new foods, have moved into our apartment, and started language training.

Here's some pictures to show you some of what we've done so far:
Plane ride from Manila to Davao City!

Bananas in the Market! This is where we'll get our fresh fruits and veggies, and hopefully practice our language skills! :)

This is a new fruit we've tried called Mangosteen!
It only grows in this part of the world and the
season is in August-September.

The inside is white and sweet, delicious!

This is one of the views from our apartment! We even get the privilege of hearing karaoke some nights... more pictures of our home to come in the near future!

We are excited to share everything with you all! We had our first language lesson today and already have a lot of words and phrases to practice. Please be praying for us to learn and acquire the language as quickly as possible. The people here are very friendly and so finding people to practice with should be easy.

We have been so blessed by those who are already here and have much knowledge to share about survival in Davao! Thank you for your prayers for us to transition well here, they have been answered :)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Email Newsletter Signup!

Hello everyone!

We would like to start a newsletter to keep you all informed on what is going on! We will continue to update our blog with pictures and stories throughout our time overseas.

To join our newsletter, simply enter your email address below and hit subscribe.

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We will try to send email updates once or twice a month. Thank you for subscribing!

Joe and Elizabeth :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New York, New York


Thank you for your prayers for our trip to New York! We had a great experience in the city and got to experience many different cultures! We stayed at a hotel in Queens and rode the subway all week to wherever we needed to be.  At times we felt discouraged, but most of the times we were able to talk with many different people and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  

We also met a woman on our first day in the city who seemed lonely and we were able to meet with her each day and spend time being with her and encouraging and praying for her. She was very interested in studying the Bible with us and we are working with church planters in NY to make sure she is cared for and has fellowship since we are gone. 

"Freedom Tower"
World Trade Center Memorial Fountain
We were also able to spend some time in Manhattan during the evening, we visited Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the 9/11 Memorial. It was the first time we had ever been to the 9/11 Memorial and we really enjoyed it.  As 9/11 approaches it was good to reflect together on where we were on that day and what it must have been like for the people in that area and on those who gave their lives to save others. As we go to the Nations it is good to remember our ultimate purpose, to share the love, grace, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ who "demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8).

Thank you all again for your love, prayers, and support!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Quick Update!

Thank you so much for your prayers! We are still working on getting the paperwork in order for our visas, but seem to be on the right track. God has been faithful to answer your prayers in strengthening our prayer lives and in teaching us about Filipino culture. We spent an evening at a Filipino festival enjoying music and trying new foods. One woman we met even spoke the language that we will be learning once we get to the Philippines and had been to the area we are going to.

Time has gone by very quickly as we are over halfway through our time of orientation! This next week we will be going to New York City to meet people from all over the world and tell them about the Bible and who Jesus is. Please pray for us that we will be bold in sharing the gospel and that people would be willing to hear and believe it.

Also, please pray that we will finish our last few weeks of orientation well. We would be thrilled to hop on a plane tomorrow but we know that there is still much for us to learn here!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Hello all,

Joe and I have started orientation and have been in classes for a week. It's been super fun reconnecting with friends we made a few months ago and we've gotten to spend a lot of time with them so far. We've also made a lot of new friends from all over the US. The people are great and the food is pretty good so we're grateful to be here for the next couple of months.

In our sessions, we have been repeatedly been learning about the importance of prayer. So we would like to update all of you on prayer requests we have for our time here at orientation:

  • Getting our visas for our time overseas
  • That our personal prayer lives would be strengthened so that we would rely on God for all of our needs
  • That we would learn more about the culture of the people group we are going to be living among
We're thankful for you following along with us and your partnership in prayer. We hope to update you as we move closer to journeying to the Philippines!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hello! Welcome to our blog!

If you are reading this, you probably know a little about our upcoming trip to Eastern Samar, Philippines. This blog will be our main form of communication to everyone during our time in the Philippines. Check back here periodically, we will update it as often as possible but internet may not always be available for us. Here are some details about what we'll be doing and experiencing while we are there.

We will be going to minister to the Waray-Waray people who live in remote river villages on the island of Eastern Samar. Our goal will be to evangelize as well as disciple young believers in efforts to grow the church there. We will be in the Philippines by October 1st and for the first three months we will live on the island of Leyte in the city of Tacloban in order to learn the Waray language. We will then move to a town called Dolores in Eastern Samar and begin working there.

Things you can pray for us while we are in preparation to leave:

  • Pray as we prepare to move out of our apartment and say goodbyes to family and friends.
  • We start a 2 month training in Virginia on July 20th. Please pray for that time to be fruitful in our spiritual growth and equip us well for our time in Eastern Samar.
  • Pray for the Waray-Waray people that the gospel would continue to transform hearts and that disciples would be made.
Thank you for visiting our blog! We hope you will be able to follow along us as we journey to the other side of the world!

Joe and Elizabeth