Thursday, December 23, 2010
A big thank you to Steven for a wonderful gesture and its hoped that your photographic career brings you back to the Philippines one day to see the Rubber Plantation Project through your camera lens. http://www.stevenblackphotography.co.uk/
I don’t know if it’s an age thing but time is flying especially now I’m retired from full time working. To be honest I’ve never been busier than I have been since coming to reside in the Philippines and I thought retirement was just a long vacation.
Never mind I have enjoyed ever minute of helping Bethany as well as helping out my wife Marilou in the other charity work that she is involved in.
So it leaves me to say I hope all my readers have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year for 2011. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped the children of Bethany financially and those that gave their moral and spiritual support as without your help Bethany could not exist.
God Bless you all.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Today Bethany Christian School celebrated Thanksgiving with a musical presentation of Joseph the Dreamer. It was a joy to watch the presentation of the students performed with so much “gusto”. It was good to see a biblical story portrayed with a modern twist. Blending the dialogue with rap music was artistically created that it appealed to both the young and mature audience. I was very impressed indeed and can honestly confirm that “Bethany Has Got Talent”.
Well done to all the cast and the staff who worked hard to entertain us. Thank you.
Monday, November 22, 2010
As a result of the kindness of Mr Michael & Mrs Mary Beth Soignet from Charlotte, North Carolina USA, Mary Joy Radam one of our Bethany children or should I say young ladies has now enrolled at Bukidnon State College Talakag Campus. Incidentally Mr & Mrs Soignet have already a son adopted from Bethany called Darvy.
Mary Joy has elected to take a course leading to obtaining a BSc in Elementary Education. Mary Joy’s ambition is to teach at Elementary School on completion of her studies. The degree course is of 5 years duration and runs Monday to Friday from 4pm to 9pm and Saturday from 8am till 12 Noon and 1pm till 4pm. Due to the course being part time in structure it’s very demanding as Mary Joy also works as a carer at Bethany. I spoke with Mary Joy today Friday 19th November and asked her how she was finding going back to school so to speak. She told me although the college schedule is demanding she is enjoying the challenge and is determined to do well and not let her sponsors down.
I will keep you all updated on Mary Joy’s progress as she travels along the road of academic enlightenment.
Once again a big personal thank you to the Soignet’s for your kindness from myself and Marilou on behalf of Bethany.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
I shall let my readers decide if the photographs were worthwhile.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Following a chance contact via my blog Mike Gowens wrote to me asking if it was possible for him and some people from his church First Baptist of Middleburg in Florida http://www.fbcmiddleburg.com/ to visit Bethany.
I immediately put him in direct contact with our Chairperson, Atty Chemene Nacua to arrange a possible visit. To cut a long story short a visit was soon set up and Mike along with the church pastor Dr Alan Floyd and senior associate pastor Todd Jones arrived in Talakag on the 23rd September.
A special welcome was arranged for our guests in the form of a cultural history of the Philippines depicting the origin of the Filipino people and there association with the Spanish as well as the Americans over the years. Our guests were a bit taken a back by the show and I might add pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the children. Mrs Heidi Cansancio, School Principal, provided the welcome address explaining the work of the school within the complex that is Bethany.
Since the visit for pastors Floyd and Jones was brief they immediately went on a fact finding tour of the Bethany facilities culminating with a meeting the following morning with the members of the Board of Trustees as they were returning to Manila that afternoon. Mike Gowens however remained until the 5th October to carry out an indepth study of the Bethany Organisation in order to determine where his church maybe able to assist most.
At this stage I don’t want to go into too much detail as talks are at a preliminary stage but I’m confident that both the First Baptist of Middleburg and Bethany will go on to work together in the not too distant future. What I can say is Mike Gowens had an instant rapport with children as well as the Bethany staff and his enthusiasm just radiated from him.
I will keep my readers updated on future activities between the two organisations.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last week I had the opportunity to meet two wonderful young women Amy and Rachel Yarnold who returned to Bukidnon to visit Bethany where they were adopted from with the blessing of their adoptive family.
The other and most important reason for them returning to Bukidnon from their home in Brisbane Australia was to meet up with their birth father and their siblings as well as their birth mothers sister.
As one can imagine it was a very busy week for the sisters and also very emotional one.
Their story begun in 1986 when the sisters along with their brother David were adopted by an Australian missionary couple who at that time were stationed in Papua New Guinea. The eldest of the siblings was after sometime sent to Australia to continue her education followed eventually by her brother then finally both adoptive parents and the youngest sibling returned to settle in Australia.
I got an e-mail from the youngest sibling Rachel last month to say they would be coming to Mindanao and was it possible for them to stay at Bethany during their visit.
I passed their request to Bethany’s Chairperson Atty Nacua and Rose Longcob who made all the arrangements for the visitors during their stay in Talakag. A message was sent to their birth father to inform him of the visit and as they say the rest is history.
During their stay they discovered that they were three of 13 children with 4 sisters and 2 brothers still surviving. The also met their birth mothers sister their aunt during their visit. Now that they have made contact with their Bukidnon relatives the sisters vowed to return more frequently in the future and bring their brother along with them.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Dancers Practising their Moves
Making the Props
Making the Costumes
Landscaping Efforts by the Gym
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Over the last two weeks two American graduates Lauren and Andrew West from Colorado have visited Bethany to further their overseas working experience. Early this year, Lauren wrote to me after reading about Bethany through this humble blog. She asked about the possibility of coming over to do some volunteer work at Bethany. She then asked her brother Andrew, who incidentally has just returned from his trip in Africa, to join her on the Bethany trip.
The brother and sister duo have worked mainly in Bethany School teaching English to the children at both Elementary and High School level. Both were also teaching the children how to do a Square Dance to be performed on Bethany’s Foundation Day event in September. While Andrew, who is a football (Soccer) enthusiast, was coaching the school's football team, Lauren was in the library reading stories to the elementary school children.
They both loved their experience here and I’m sure they will talk about it for many years to come.
Monday, August 9, 2010
During their recent visit to Bethany both ELCI and Sigma Beta had the opportunity to find out the origin of Bethany as well as its future aspirations first hand.
The Chairperson of Bethany’s Board of Trustees Attorney Chemene Nacua who incidentally for those who don’t know is an Investigative Attorney with the National Bureau of Investigation Cagayan de Oro Office, gave a short talk to the Ladies on how Bethany was formed and what it means to deserving children to keep it in operation. She also went on to explain what the Board of Trustees have got planned for the future of the Bethany facility and how they are working hard to explore all options to raise funding to ensure their longer term goals are reached.
The Ladies also had the opportunity to ask Attorney Nacua questions as well as join in a group discussion which they all enjoyed.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Along with Melogie, his beautiful wife, John Burns could not resist getting into the spirit of things and becoming a Talakag warrior for a photo shoot with his wife.
John originally hails from Newcastle in the North East of England and apart from being an ardent Magpie supporter (Newcastle United) he also supports England (notice his shirt). Well I suppose it takes all sorts to make a world.
John is a canny lad don't you think?
THE ELCI LADIES AND SIGMA BETA HANDOVER THEIR GIFTS TO BETHANY
Recently the Expats Ladies Charity Inc (ELCI) visited Bethany again (they first visited last year) to see the children and as usual spoiled them with an assortment of candy goodies. The ladies also left gifts of rice and milk for the children. Accompanying ELCI were the Sigma Beta Sorority and Fraternity from Cagayan de Oro Chapter who are also involved in charity work. Sigma Beta also brought many gifts for the Bethany children which were well received by the staff.
During the visit the ELCI Ladies took the opportunity to plant some of the rubber trees that they so kindly donated to the Rubber Plantation Project. In total ELCI donated 75 seedlings which have all now been planted. Well done all the Ladies and I would like to say a big thank you for all you have done for Bethany.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
This is really good news as he is now of an age whereby he will benefit most from the therapy. I mentioned in a previous post the story of Jane who is being sponsored by the Gurske family from America another Bethany child suffering from the same condition as Ricky so they will both attend the same clinic therefore saving on transport and support care when travelling etc.
So it’s a big thank you to our friends in CdeO who incidentally against my wishes want to remain anonymous and that I have to respect.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I learned today that some children from the Barrios and the Town are transferring to the National High School because their parents cannot afford the tuition fees. It’s such a shame as Bethany School provides an excellent standard of education.
If any of my readers would like to sponsor a student please let me know and I will give you details of cost, etc and how you can help. Bethany deserves to survive but only you can make it happen. Please donate today.