Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pure Delight

It is currently rainy season here and it has rained almost every day that we have been here. It isn't an all day event always but it rains pretty hard for a few minutes and then the skies can clear up again just like that. Then sometimes it will rain really hard again a few minutes later. It can go on like that all day or it can be one big down pour and then be done for the day. Sometimes it pours without much warning. It can be bright sunny skies and then all of the sudden a minute later it can be raining cats and dogs. The difference is that it is a warm rain and is very welcome by most of us to cool things down a bit. Most of the time it is a bummer for the children when it starts to rain because that means all outside activities have to cease for the time being. We were up at the shelter on Sunday afternoon and it started to sprinkle a little. We all heard the little bells that mean it is time for the kiddos to come inside. As the kids were starting toward their respective homes we all of the sudden hear shrieks of joy and shouts of pure delight. There wasn't any lightening in the sky so the house parents decided to let the kiddos play in the rain for a little while. The sprinkles turned into a very hard down pour but that didn't stop the kiddos from enjoying themselves. The laughter and delighted shouts were pure joy to my heart. Hearing the sound of a child (or in this case, many children) enjoying oneself and giggling and laughing is the best sound in the world in my humble opinion. I am so thankful that each of the children at the shelter are safe and have a  reason to laugh and smile. They are being taught the hope that they have in Jesus no matter what their past looks like and the fact that they have a father in heaven who loves them very much. Mady asked what happens to all of the homeless people that live on the streets when it rains that hard. Well. Thats just it. They stay put. They have no where else to go. The questions coming from our kiddos are hard. I don't have the answers to all of them. One thing I do know though, is that God is good. ALL the time! Keep praying for all of us. Our family, and our extended family at the shelter. To God be the glory!

Here are a few pictures of their fun afternoon. I wish I could have captured just how hard it was raining a little better but it was hard to do so. Enjoy! (and no I did not partake in the dancing in the rain, I just sat and watched and simply enjoyed the moment with a big smile on my face and a bigger smile on my heart and thanking God for allowing me to witness the joy of the children that afternoon).


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

So far so good.

Well, we are a week and a few days into our new lives in Cebu. I would say for the most part things have gone really really well. We are getting used to a lot of new things like, roosters crowing not only in the early morning but all through the night, birds flying around INSIDE the grocery store, stray goats taking a leisure stroll down the middle of the street, and the crazy and I mean CRAZY traffic. All things that we will get used to, but are kind of funny and interesting to us now.

Jake has been in full swing at the office and is learning a lot. He is really enjoying getting to know more about CSC and really sees himself fitting into his role here quite well. He and Paul (the Field Director/Founder) are like 2 peas in a pod. They get along really well and have a similar sense of humor. Thanks for praying for the rest of us ;)

The kids and I are starting to venture out on our own. We went for an adventure today and prayed all the way that we would get to and from our destination safely. Did I mention how crazy the traffic is!?! Both of our taxi drivers that we had spoke pretty good English so we were fortunate there. We are sticking to really safe places like the malls so far. We are hoping to venture out into cultural things soon. I think I need to work on my Cebuano a bit more before we do that though.

We are still waiting for our school supplies to get here. It may take up to another 4 weeks we have been told. PLEASE pray that it gets here soon. We are all anxious to get started. We have been doing a few things here and there where we can. Lots of bugs to learn about around here and we also made our own bug spray. That counts for something, right? Of coarse the kids have been reading and journaling on a daily basis as well. Life here is an educational experience in and of itself, but like I said, we are anxious to get started with our texts books too.

We have been spending as much time at the shelter as we can. We usually go up there during free time, if its not raining. That has been by far the highlight of the day for Isaac, Carter, and Mady. They love playing and getting to know the children here and are fitting in really well. Praise God!

That's all for now, I could go on and on, and I will eventually :) For now, here are a few things to continue to pray for:

  • Continued safety. Especially as the kids and I venture out on our own.
  • Health. Isaac woke in the night not feeling well and Carter has been dealing with  sore throat.
  • That we continue to adjust well to cultural things.
  • The CSC children who are getting older and will age out of adoption according to the Philippine government. This seriously breaks my heart. Once they turn 16 with out younger siblings they are no longer considered adoptable. PLEASE pray for families to come along and want to adopt older children. Please!
  • School supplies to arrive soon

Thank you faithful prayer warriors. We feel your prayers and are so incredibly thankful!

Here are a few photos of the kiddos enjoying their time at CSC. Please enjoy them here but do not copy and post them on social media, thank you!! *Pam

Monday, September 12, 2016

Safe and Sound

Hello from Cebu! We made it! Our travels over were pretty uneventful, which is a good thing when traveling that distance. We were blessed with plenty of room on the plane to spread out so we were able to get our rest and for the most part everything went really really well. Motion and I don't always get along so I was a little sick but it could have been much worse :)

We are adjusting to life in Cebu very well too. We love our house and our neighborhood. We feel super safe and the the neighbors are very friendly. The boys have already made some friends and are having a great time running throughout the neighborhood playing Nerf wars or capture the flag. Mady is a bit more shy and sticks pretty close to me. She will do just fine in time, I am sure. It is mostly boys around us so once we get some girl friends I am sure she will have a great time playing as well.

We have taken these first few days to get adjusted and settled into our house. We haven't been up to the shelter much yet but we are looking forward to spending more time up there. We are really close to it, maybe 5 minutes or so. We are thankful that God found this house for us. It meets our needs (and wants) perfectly! Our landlord has been amazing. He has been so helpful in helping us get settled. He had ice-cream and chips waiting for the kids when they arrived as well! He is definitely a blessing to us. If you think of it, pray for him and his family. May the Lord bless him for his kindness that he has shown our family.

Some of you have asked for an address for us. Here it is! We welcome any and all mail. Especially for the kiddos from their friends :)

For packages:
Jake Schulz
c/o Children's Shelter of Cebu
178 ID Sun Valley Rd
Cebu City, Cebu Philippines 6000

For regular mail:
Jake Schulz
c/o Children's Shelter of Cebu
PO Box 178
Cebu City, Cebu Philippines 6000

Thank you for the continued prayers! We appreciate them more then you know! Here are some specifics as well...

-Please pray for continued adjustment. We are amazed (but really shouldn't be) by how comfortable we feel. We pray that continues as we get more familiar with our surroundings.
-Please pray for continued safety.
-Please pray for our cargo box that is still making it's way across the ocean with all of our school supplies in it. We can't really start school until that arrives :)
-Pray for health. It is a real adjustment to not being able to drink the water here. It is hard to remember to use bottled water when brushing our teeth and even washing off fruit and veggies. The kids are doing pretty well. We take so many things for granted in the US.
-Pray for Jake as he starts at the shelter real soon. Pray for that all to go smoothly.

Thanks so much! God bless!! *Pam

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Goodbyes Are Hard...

Goodbyes are hard. That is an understatement. We have had to say some pretty tough goodbyes over the last week. We said goodbye to our church family that we love dearly. We said goodbye to our community that has become home to us. We said goodbye to life long friends that are more like family, and we have started to say goodbye to our families. I knew there would be tears, what I didn't expect was the physical pain. Watching the kiddos say goodbye to their friends and extended family has been the most heartbreaking. Don't get me wrong, it has been heartbreaking for Jake and I too, but they are saying goodbye to everything they have ever known. Yet, they still want to go and do what God has called us to do. The goodbyes have been painful, but also so joyous at the same time. It has been a weird combination of emotions. We knew the goodbyes had to come in order for the hellos to come. We are looking forward to the beautiful and sweet hellos as well. We are ready to get over to the Philippines and live life there. We are excited to see what God has in store for us as we start this adventure. We do not feel nervous, or scared, or anything like that, yet. God has given us the peace that we need in order to make the hard goodbyes, so we can say the sweet hellos.

We have been blessed by so many encouraging texts, emails, Facebook messages, and hugs. Please continue with those. We feel the love and the support through all of you. Please continue to pray for us as we fly out on Wednesday, September 7th. Pray for safety and ease getting through the airports. Pray for rest over the next few days, and for comfort during the last of the goodbyes. We know God has all of the details in the palm of His hand and for that we are so incredibly thankful. To God be the glory!


Niagra Cave, Harmony MN with my parents. 
Jake and I have been married 15 years and I never went through the cave with him. It was fun to do that with my parents and the kiddos before we left.