Sunday, December 31, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

We trust you all had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior together with friends and family. We have been having a wonderful time with our loved ones as well. It is surreal for us to be here and to think about our last Christmas and our next Christmas and how much things have changed and will change for us. The beautiful thing is that no matter what our lives look like and no matter where we are celebrating, the reason we celebrate stays the same.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

May you all feel the love of our precious Lord and find peace in Him this New Year. Happy 2018! 

(Here's a snapshot of what our last few weeks have looked like :) Family pictures, time with extended family, enjoying crisp winter sunsets, cutting down our own Christmas tree, Christmas caroling with friends, playing in the snow, yummy food, and Christmas Eve service with our church family! Yes it's cold. Yes we are FREEZING!!! But we are glad to be home and we are glad for the path the Lord has us on right now. God is good.)



Monday, November 20, 2017

We're Baaack!!

We are stateside again! Our trip from Cebu was pretty uneventful which is a good thing! We were able to get a little rest and meet some fun people along the way. The baggage people at check in provided us with much grace as our carry on bags were  little over weight but didn't make us take stuff out PTL!!

We met a really fun guy from Cebu who we travelled with all the way to San Fransisco. It was fun getting to know him and find out a little more about him and his family. Who knows where that connection will go but he was very interested in CSC and what is being done there.

I had a hard time keeping the tears in as we walked off the plane in San Fransisco. We hadn't stepped foot on American soil since we had left 14+ months earlier and at that moment I felt such great joy that I was "home". We didn't know what to expect with customs and were pleased that the guy we got was Filipino and was more interested in our Cebuano then what we were doing!! (not that we had anything to hide, you just never know).

Things are starting to get back to a little bit normal sleep wise. It took us a few days (some of us more then others) to get turned around and I think for the most part we are able to function at least most of the day :)

We are having a lot of fun with family these first weeks. Last week we spent the week in Chetek with Jake's parents and this week we are in Preston with my parents. We will be heading home to Sturgeon Bay on Saturday and know that will be a joyful reunion with friends and church family too!

Thank you for your continued prayers as we continue to transition back into American culture. It is definitely different. Continue to pray for us as we follow our new path as well. We look around us and so many things remind us of the sweet sweet faces in Cebu. We miss the children dearly and love them so much but we know that the Lord has us on another path now and can't wait to see what happens.

Love to you all!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

24 to 14

24 to 14... that's months...

When we moved to the Philippines we planned on being here for 2 years. We knew that it would be at least the 2 years and possibly (probably?) longer. It never crossed our minds that it would be sooner. When we said goodbye, we prepared in our hearts and in our minds that it would be at least 24 months before we saw most of our friends and family again.

We left for Cebu wondering to ourselves, if we could see ourselves as the next longterm missionaries at CSC. Could we see ourselves living here in Cebu for the next 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?? We thought about it a lot and we wanted to fall in love with the Philippines and do the Lord's work here.

We are learning (again, this is an on going lesson :) ) that sometimes our plans are not always the Lords plans. We've realized that God has other plans for us. When we made the decision not to stay in Cebu longer then our term,  we started to think about what the Lord might have for our lives if it wasn't going to be longer term missionaries in Cebu. We were still committed to pouring our hearts and souls into the Filipino people and especially the children at the shelter but we started praying about what it looks like for the Schulz family after our time here in Cebu. We started praying about and asking ourselves how does God want to use us to "look after the orphan and widow in their distress" (James 1:27) after we leave CSC and the Philippines. There are many ways to take care of the orphans and the widows and we wanted to be sure we were asking God what that looks like for our family.

We are still praying about what that looks like, but, we have also made the decision, for the sake of our family, to come home from the field earlier then planned. We have strong convictions on why we feel the Lord is sending us home early and we cannot wait to share those reasons with you in person upon our return!

We are sad to say goodbye earlier then planned and we know that it will be especially painful to say goodbye to the children here. We have enjoyed our time in Cebu and are glad for the path that the Lord put us on. We have made some lifelong friendships out here along the way and it will be sad to say "see ya later" to them as well.

We will be returning back to the states in mid November and plan on doing a family tour before settling back into "home" in Sturgeon Bay shortly after Thanksgiving. Jake will be continuing to work with CSC until his projects are completed. He has full confidence in the people that are in place here in Cebu and he is humbled to be a part of their success. God has placed some pretty incredible talent out here on the field and it has been such a joy to know them and for Jake to work with them.

We look forward to seeing many of you soon. We hope to be able to share what our 14 months out here looked like too! Thank you for the continued love and prayers! See ya soon!!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Can you believe it!?!

Where does the time go?!? It feels like just last month we were arriving here in Cebu, but at the same time it feels like we've been here forever. It's been a year! Can you believe it!?! It has been a whole year since we first arrived. We had no idea what our next weeks and months would look like. We have definitely had some ups and downs but glad to say more UPS then downs. It certainly isn't easy here but it sure is filled with so much love and joy with the children!

Here is a video of our 2nd 6 months. Enjoy!! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

School's in Session!

We have officially started our 2nd year of home school. We are actually 2 weeks in already! We decided a 4 day work week might work better for us then a 5 day work week so the days are a little longer and the school year is a little longer, but we are okay with that. The kids love having the extra "weekend" day and I love having the flexibility of a floating day during the week. We have built in some holiday time as well as some "snow days" for those days that come up out of the blue. We want to remain flexible with our school schedule but at the same time I am a list following, calendar abiding, schedule keeping kind of personality so it helps to have that floating day for when things come up unexpectedly at the shelter that we want to be a part of and I can still feel like I am keeping a "schedule". So far it has been smooth sailing. The kids really like to home school and I really love to teach them. It is my favorite thing to see their "light bulbs" go off when they finally understand that frustrating math problem (Carter got a 100% on his first Math test of his 6th grade year! We all got to celebrate that with him a little more then we might have if we weren't learning along side him!!). I love seeing their interests peak when we research a new animal or a new place. I am glad for this season of home school. I am not sure if we will sustain it once we get back to the states, but one can never tell. It seems that whenever we start making plans, the Lord decides to change them sometimes anyway :) So for now, we are just going to sit back and enjoy the ride!!

First Day of School 7-24-17

Independent Work Time, so quiet! 

Enjoying library time at the Children of Hope School

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Church and Technology

It's not a secret how much we love our home church in Sturgeon Bay. It also isn't a secret how much we miss our church and our church family back in the states. While we haven't found anything close to what we are used to here, one thing remains the same. God's word. It doesn't matter whether it is being heard in English or Cebuano or Tagalog or whatever language. The Bible says the same thing. God loves us. He sent His only Son to die for us. For me. What amazing love!!

We (Jake and I) have spent a lot of time searching what "worship" looks like for us as a family here and for me personally too. We have had some great conversations with our children about why we choose a specific church over another. It is very different here compared to what we are used to. Most churches are Mega churches here (like 700-1000 people in a service vs. our 150-200 that we are used to in WI). A lot of the churches we have visited here are focused more on the "performance" of it all vs. What God's word has to say. We have tried out many different churches and are grateful for the many options we do have here. Not everywhere has options and especially options in our native language. One of the things that I have come to appreciate is the fact that, for the most part, we feel safe going to church here in this part of Asia. Not all parts of our world can say that they feel safe going to church. Even though we miss our "home" church, we are so incredibly thankful for what we do have and that we have found a church that speaks God's truth. We are also thankful for the conversations with our children on “why" we go to a specific church. 

Our church here has a Saturday night option so we choose to go on Saturday nights. We have gotten in the habit of having family worship time together singing a few songs and then tuning into the service from FBC online (you can too by clicking here) on Sunday mornings. Isn't technology amazing! We can listen every single week to the message that our Pastor in WI preached the week before. We have always loved how God works through him and God's word to speak to His people in a special way. We love that we can continue see/watch and listen even 8,000 miles away. We are also glad that we are able to enjoy corporate worship here too that speaks truth. (You can also check that one out here).

While we still miss our church family, we are so incredibly thankful to God that we are still able to enjoy corporate worship while here, as well as tune in each week to FBC and Pastor Cory! Thanks FBC tech team for making that possible!! 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

nine... NINE!!!

Nine. That is the number of children that were told they have a mom and dad in the month of June. They will soon be leaving us to go live with an actual family! The excitement around a "telling" is so fun. Seeing a child for the first time after they have been told they have a family is so sweet. I often get teary eyed because I see the happiness, fear, excitement, sadness, and joy in their eyes when they tell me they have a mom and a dad. After one of the tellings I was at the school and the little girl that was told she had a family came running up to me to tell me she had a mom and a dad. The excitement in her voice was so fun to hear. I could hardly keep the tears back on this one. I remember a couple of weeks ago I was at the shelter at night praying with some of the girls before bed. This girl was in my group and she prayed specifically for a mom and a dad (as so many of them do each night). Who knew that her prayers would be answered just a few weeks later. We have kids that will soon be leaving us and it is so fun and exciting to think about them with their new families. The kids often ask us if we have been to the area in which they are going. A lot of times we can say yes and can tell them a little about the area. One of the sibling groups will be going to Tennesee and we were there not too long ago so we were able to share a little what it is like there. We have kids going to Italy, Australia, and the U.S soon. Please keep praying for these beautiful children as they prepare to meet their families. Pray for their new families too as they prepare for their children to come home. Pray for the children and friends here that are left behind. Also, please keep praying for more of us to open our hearts and homes to the orphan. Love you all!! ~Pam

Friday, June 9, 2017

Schools out for SUMMER!!!!!!

These children. These children right here are ROCK STARS!!! We are officially DONE with our first year of homeschooling. I have been seeing a lot of first day of school pictures vs last day of school pictures on Facebook. It is so fun to see how much everyone has changed in 9 short months. The differences in appearance is no different for our children. Their height has changed and their hair has changed too. What you can't see is how much they have changed characteristically and spiritually. The beauty that we get to see on a daily basis is amazing. The love that they show to children who don't have a family is a beautiful sight. The love they show to the neighborhood kids is awesome. The love they show towards each other is pretty great too (don't worry, they are not perfect and its now always perfect ;) )! While they have all 3 done an amazing job academically this year and Jake and I are so proud of their accomplishments, the life lessons that they are learning together while serving here is something you cannot learn in a book. Thank you so much for praying for us. Especially with the whole change from public school to homeschool. It has been a ride for sure. We are amazed how well they did with the transition and we are so blessed that God has given us the drive and desire to work through the bumps. Happy Summer to all of our friends and family in the states!! For those of you in Door County, enjoy the outdoors as much as you can for us as well!!

First Day of School '16-'17

Last Day of School '16-'17

End of the school year 'get a way field trip'!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer Activities

As I have mentioned before, summer is in full swing here. The kiddos and I, have had the beautiful opportunity to teach the 5 and 6 year olds in a summer activity type class these last few weeks. We are kind of making it up as we go and are having so much fun with it! Mady has been a huge help with reading stories, helping color, and doing projects that go along with what we are learning that day. The 5/6 year old class is more along the lines of maybe the 3/4 year olds as far as their English skills go so we have been working on their ABC's, colors, shapes, and many more things. I love their desire to learn and their concentration during class. Isaac and Carter are used for crowd control and they do a good job at that. There sure are a lot of laughs and giggles during our day as we learn together and as they teach us too! We love that they try to teach us a little Cebuano as we go too! We meet 2 days a week for a little over an hour and our time flies by.

The more time we get to spend with the kiddos the more we fall in love with each of them and pray that somewhere out there, there are families that would open their hearts and homes. Please continue to pray for God's people to step out in faith and follow Him by caring for the orphans. 

God Bless you all! ~Pam

His concentration every week is priceless! He takes his coloring seriously. 

Painting flowers for Mother's Day to give to the house mothers :)

They love game time.

Mady reading a story. She does such a great job!

2 of our older kids asked if they could read the story! They were so brave. Sometimes they can be a little self conscious about their English but they both did such a fabulous job!!

I can get pretty animated with my story reading :) 

Carter helping with the bigger words.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

6 Month Video

For those of you who have not seen our video of our first 6 months yet, here it is. We (mostly Jake) had a lot of fun putting it together. It was really hard trying to narrow down the pictures but we think this highlights our time here so far pretty well. Enjoy!! Love to you all!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fun in the Sun

Summer is in full swing here in Cebu and we are having so much fun! The boys picked soccer camp as their summer activity to do along side some of the kiddos at CSC. They have been having a great time learning new skills and keeping their feet on the ball. As a result of that, we met a coach who coaches a U11 soccer team and a U13 soccer team! Is that crazy or what!?! What are the chances that he coaches the same ages as our boys. As a result of the camp they have been invited to play in some of his teams tournaments this month, one of them was on Mother's Day weekend. I tell you what. It was one of the funnest weekends we've had in awhile. I LOVE watching my kiddos do what they love. It brings me so much joy and happiness. They made many friends and they played some good soccer with their new teammates too! We had a great weekend of soccer and sun and we are looking forward to more :) It has been important to us and our kids to find relationships outside of CSC for many reasons and soccer has given us another opportunity to do just that and we are so grateful for another blessing of answered prayer.  Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support. We are enjoying our time here in Cebu and are reminded on a regular basis that God has us where he wants us at this time. God bless you all!!