Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Fun

What a whirl wind! To say the week before Christmas is busy, is a total understatement! There was so much excitement the whole month of December about all of the Christmas festivities! One of the fun events included a beautiful concert at school called Angel Alert. The children were so proud of their hard work and were happy to sing their songs. They all did such a beautiful job! I had a mixture of that "proud mom" feeling but then also a feeling of sadness. All of the kids worked so hard and were glad to perform for us but we are not a real true family as much as we try to be. The kids didn't have parents of their own taking proud pictures of them and sitting in the crowd waiting for their child to spot them so they could wave wildly at them up on stage (maybe the waving wildly part is just me??). We did our best to hug them and tell them all what an amazing job they did but a little part of me still wished that their biological parents could be there to see how amazing each and every single one of these children are. It was a weird emotion to process at that moment. One I didn't expect.

Once Christmas break was in full swing we got to be part of a progressive dinner that CSC has done for years. Our house was the appetizer spot and we got to tell the Christmas story from the wise men point of view. It was so fun to have all of the children at our house (at different times during the evening, I would not have survived 70+ people in our small little house :) ). We were able to share a little of Christ's love and enjoy some yummy appetizers of bbq mini hotdogs, a local nutty snack mix, and some shanghai lumpia, which is a local fave. We also had some gold chocolate coins to hand out since one of the wisemen brought gold for baby Jesus. We were told our house was the favorite stop. I am guessing it had a lot to do with the chocolate ;)

Visitors!! We were blessed by the company of our  friends from "back home". Kate and Anna Pearson came to hang out with us this Christmas for a few days. We were so incredibly thankful to spend some much needed time with "family". We loved showing them around CSC and our city. We enjoyed eating some local delicacies with them as well. Our time was much too short but glad we had a few days.

Christmas Eve was as wild and crazy as expected. 3 santas made an appearance, 2 impostures and then the real deal. The kids were so full of energy and thought that it was so funny to have 3 santas show up. Isaac and Carter even got to play santas elves. So much fun was had by all!

Christmas Day was spent mostly at the shelter. We enjoyed a birthday party at noon and then a Christmas dinner with all of the fixings of Ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cookies were enjoyed! After that we were able to participate in a living nativity acted out by Jake and I as Mary and Joseph and Isaac as a shepherd. Mady was content on just watching the action and Carter was not feeling well that night so he sat on the sidelines to enjoy the show as well.

All in all it was a wonderful first Christmas in the Philippines. We were so thankful for Kate and Anna to be able to join us to keep our minds off of the family and friends that we were missing out on at home. Living here has its give and takes. We don't get to celebrate these things that we would traditional celebrate with family but at the same time we are standing in as family to so many children here at CSC until their forever family finds them. I am okay with that, as hard as it is sometimes, there is beautiful silver lining that God has been showing me lately.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sunday Funday!!

Before Church Selfie with some of the kiddos

We had the privilege to drive one of the houses from the shelter to church on Sunday. It was fun to see them all get ready for church in their Sunday best. It was also fun to see the older children help the younger children with their shoes and being sure they were ready to go as well.  

It is amazing how many children you can fit in an L300. It definitely felt like a clown car when they were getting out lol. Check out the video, I think we had 29 people in there!

We're all in (we hope :) )

I've said this before, one of the things that I miss the most about "home" is our church and our church family. We LOVE FBC of Sturgeon Bay and our family there. We haven't found anything like our home church here and maybe we won't. We are still praying that God will show us where he wants us to serve within the church body. One of the songs that we would sing on a regular basis at our home church was the Doxology. We sang it on Sunday for the first time since we have been here. I'm not gonna lie, I had tears streaming pretty good. Hearing the song made me miss "home" a little more. Then I looked over and saw this little guy praising Jesus with all he had. He was singing as loud as he could (off key might I add which was okay because it made me smile and even giggle to myself which helped the tears stop). It made me realize how awesome it is that no matter where we are in this world we can ALL Praise God from whom all blessings flow. I was thankful for that little reminder of "home" and thankful that I get to be with these kiddos and help them see Jesus despite their previous circumstances. To God be the glory great things He has done, and continues to do! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I thank my God in all my remembrance of you Philippians 1:3

I'll be honest. The only reason why I knew the Thanksgiving holiday was coming up is because it said so on the calendar. It is so warm here and so weird to think that now Christmas is right around the corner. I feel like I am forever stuck in the month of August. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the weather!! It is just so strange from what I am used to. 

We trust that  you all had a fantastic thanksgiving with friends and family. While ours was anything but "normal", we sure did have a great time celebrating with our new family here at CSC and then again with new friends in their home :) We were able to enjoy turkey and all of the fixings twice! One of the highlights was having some of the kids from the shelter join us. There was a coloring contest and the winner in each grade level was able to come and enjoy dinner with us. This is the first time they had many of the things we served. My favorite was watching them try pickles  Pickles of all thing lol. They had no idea what it was and they thought they were very salty and sour. I have posted a few photos of their reactions below :) Another thing that was fun was to go up to the shelter and watch as they put on a little Thanksgiving Day assembly. Obviously Thanksgiving is not a holiday that is celebrated here by everyone so they had school but they did learn about the American history with the pilgrims and the indians and were also able to enjoy a few games. Our kids are starting to fit in really well and joined in on the festivities as well. We are very grateful that they are included in many of the extra actives. What a blessing! 

We did take some time to stop and remember a lot of you and thank our God for the beautiful blessing you all are in our lives. We are so grateful to you, our friends and family, for your continued support both prayerfully and financially. Without you we would not be able to do what we are doing here. We have been blessed by all of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love. We love you all so much! Enjoy a few Thanksgiving day pictures below!! 

The toddlers came to watch the Thanksgiving program at school too

Games at the Children of Hope School

A fun visitor on Thanksgiving

The coloring contest winners

Thanksgiving Day selfie

Not a fan of pickles

Pickles are sour

The whole gang

Not a fan of pickles

Eating turkey is so exhausting 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Game Delay

We were able to experience the coolest thing on Sunday afternoon. The boys are involved in a soccer program that meets every Sunday at a Filipino army base here in Cebu. This last Sunday we arrived at soccer and were informed that our game might be interrupted by a couple of helicopters who will be landing on the field. Sure enough we were informed again that yes indeed we will need to clear the field because 2 helicopters carrying the Secretary of Defense and his team will be landing on the soccer field. It was one of the coolest things to see these gigantic helicopters fly in and land, drop off their people, and leave again. We were surprised they actually let us stay and watch in amazement as this happened. No way we would have been able to stay and watch in the states :) Here are a few pictures that I was able to snap with my phone. The video cut out just as it was turning to land because I ran out of space on my phone and the dirt was kicking up in my face anyway so I had to shield myself from the flying dust and dirt :) Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Just a quick Hi

Hello everyone! I know we have some faithful followers so I wanted to jump on quick and say HI!!! We have had a very busy few weeks so I haven't taken the time to sit down and do a blog entry in awhile. I was going to upload some pictures here of the things we see on a regular basis outside our house and down our street to the shelter so you can see what we see everyday. Unfortunately my phone (where all my pictures were) died and it doesn't look like I will get those pictures back :(  (I will try to take the pictures again when I have a chance) The Phillipines doesn't have an apple store so we had to send my phone to Singapore to see if it can be salvaged or to see if I need a new one. Good thing for warranties!! Anyway, I hope you are all well! Look forward to another "real" entry next week! We love you all! *Pam

Prayer Requests:
*We have had a lot of visitors lately! It is wonderful to meet so many new people and to be able to show off all of the wonderful work God is doing at CSC. With that being said, it is also exhausting. Pray for endurance for all of us.
*Pray for the kiddos. They are ROCK STARS!! With the visitors here, our schedule has not been very "normal". They take it all in like pros and have been very flexible and accommodating to even the not-so-fun adult things they tag along to.
*Pray for the CSC children. We have had  a lot of sickies lately. Pray we can all be healthy again.
*As always, pray for our safety.

Thanks guys!!

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Support Update/Prayer Requests

Many have asked where we are on financial support. Since arriving here, not much has changed but then again a lot has changed. We are at 89% as far as committed donations for both years. That is amazing!! We are SO incredibly thankful for each one of you who have come along side of us and have been able to bless us financially so we can be a blessing here in Cebu. We feel your love and generosity every time we get an update. We would love to be fully supported by the end of the year. We are not going to worry about that though because it is all in God's hands so we are going to leave it there. If you feel so led to give you can do so here, be sure to put Jake and Pam Schulz in the comment box (PS while you are there, check out CSC's brand new beautiful website!!). Please know that your donations are all tax deductible. Thank you! We also feel the love through your prayers. Many have also asked how you can pray specifically for us, so here are a few prayer requests.

  1. Continued transition. I know we keep asking you to pray for that and you might be thinking, for crying out loud you have been there for 8  weeks you should be good by now. Well, that is somewhat true in getting settled but not for the Culture Shock. I (Pam) especially, am having  a hard time with the shock of everything we see around us. I was not prepared enough emotionally to process all of the children living on the streets and the people around them (seemingly) not giving a hoot about any of it (there will be more on that in an upcoming blog post). Also the shock of how Americans are treated here. We are treated like celebrities and we get followed and our picture taken everywhere we go. We have people scream and point at us and say LOOK at the white people. For those of you who know me well know that I am a big behind the scenes kind of gal. I hate the attention and we bring attention wherever we go. We are constantly being watched and that is hard for me. The kids love it :) They say they feel famous lol. I have been told it is something that I will get used to. I guess I just need to keep praying and figure out how to emotionally handle everything around me. We have met some other American missionaries here who I have been able to chat with about all of this. She has been a lot of help and a huge encouragement to me because she has gone through all of it too and understands exactly how I am feeling. I have also had some good chats with some of you about it all. It helps to be able to process it out loud as well.
  2. School: While school is going well and the kids are really liking learning at home we still have our daily struggles. Sometimes it is really hard to focus on school work when it is so bright and sunshiny outside and all the kids want to do is go play. Also sometimes it can be hard to balance getting things done like I would like to when we are busy with stuff at the shelter. Although all good things and we want to be at the shelter and help out and be apart of anything we can, we also need to find balance and discipline to get the school stuff done too. For the most part we can have a balanced schedule in the morning and then do the fun stuff in the afternoons and evenings, but continued pray is always appreciated :)
  3. Safety: Although we have never felt unsafe anywhere we have gone, we also would love the continued prayers for safety. Because we are foreigners living here we are easy targets for ransom type activity. We know God is in control and He has us here for a reason and we are grateful that we are in the palm of His hand. 
  4. Continued Comfort: The kiddos are continuing to branch out and make friends. That is great to see. Mady, especially, has had a harder time feeling comfortable talking to people new to her. She is taking the longest to get comfortable, but she is getting there!
  5. Health: So far we have been pretty healthy, praise the Lord! We have all had a few G.I issues at times but beyond that nothing major. It is Dengue Fever (a mosquito born illness) season and it has been a big deal around us this season. Please pray for us,the staff, and children at CSC that we will all stay healthy especially during this season.
  6. Church: We have found a couple of churches that we like. Nothing like "home" but 2 churches that we think would be a good fit for our family. Pray that we will see clearly where it is that God wants us to serve.
Thank you so so much for your continues prayers. We appreciate it more then you know. Have a great week! We love you all, God bless!! *Pam

Sunday, October 30, 2016

More Goodbyes...

We have had to say a lot of goodbyes in the last 6 weeks. More goodbyes then I care to make again. HARD goodbyes. And we knew that by coming to Cebu and working with children at an orphanage where the whole point is finding homes for the orphaned and abandoned children, there would be more goodbyes. Happy goodbyes, but still goodbyes. The whole point in being here is helping these children get ready for their adoptive families. We pray, we pray a lot, for families that will open their hearts and homes to these children and that they would take the chance to fall in love and bring an orphan into their homes. That means children leaving CSC and going to their adoptive families, and us saying goodbye once again. Just because its a happy goodbye doesn't make the goodbyes on this end any easier. We were able to witness our first adoptive family come and pick up their children last week. It was a mom and dad, farmers from Utah, adopting a sibling group of 5. This particular sibling group has a set of twin boys that are 9 years old. Ironically these boys were the first ones to capture the hearts of our boys. They were the first names we heard when we asked if they met any friends the first time we went up to the shelter and if they knew what their names were. These boys played with Isaac and Carter for weeks. We (Jake and I) knew when we got here that these siblings were already adopted and that they would be leaving soon. What we weren't ready for was the emotion that goes into a sibling group like that leaving. Over the short weeks that we have been here we have been able to get to know this sibling group (as well as the other children here). The 2 teenage girls in this family loved on Mady like she was their own baby sister. The middle boy although extremely quiet has a wonderful sense of humor and I would see him smirking at the funny stuff going on around him. He has a smile that would melt anyones heart. The twins, well lets just say I wish I had a quarter of their energy. They are funny funny boys and it was their favorite thing to do anything that would make someone laugh, even at the expense of not listening to instructions (sound like anyone else you know? Ahem, Carter :) ) We are so happy for these kiddos to have found a family and we are so excited for this mom and dad to have found this group of siblings. Jake and I had the opportunity to spend quiet a bit of time with mom and dad. They are the sweetest people. So kind and compassionate and they had a love for Jesus that we could see. She is a homeschooling mom (they have 3 other adopted children at home that are older) so we talked a lot about what has worked for her over the years, and she was a huge encouragement to me in my homeschooling adventure. The dad reminded me of my own farmer dad. We had a lot in common because of the farm aspect. Jake and him were able to share some funny farm stories as well. We were sad to see them all leave. It was especially heart breaking watching these kids say goodbye to their friends, our kids included. Please, can you join me in praying for this family? As with any change and especially in the adoption process, the "honey moon" stage will wear off. With the love and happy times, comes the stress and unhappy and hard times as well. Pray God will give them patience with each other and comfort especially to the children as they have left the Philippines and everything they have ever known and are now living in a strange place very different from where they come from (I know that feeling and it is not easy, trust me). Pray that they will be comforted by our heavenly father as they get to know one another as a family. And maybe someday when we are back in the states, we will make our way out west to visit a happy family on their farm in Utah.
Thanks for reading friends, love you all!! *Pam

(I am sharing these photos with permission given by the family)