This site is dedicated to the most humane work of Ms Louise Lynip who founded the children's home and until the 4th July 2006 at the age of 94 continued to participate in it's management. The home cares for orphaned and abandoned children and offers love, security and
an opportunity to be brought up in a christian environment.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Typhoon That Devastated Northern Mindanao.

On Friday the 16th December at approximately 10pm local time the Northern Tip of Mindanao between the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro and their surrounding districts was hit by the typhoon Sendang. The typhoon brought very heavy rains which by the time they ran down into the rivers which reach the sea along the northern coast it was around 4.30am Saturday morning. Most of the local inhabitants were asleep when the rivers burst their banks and the torrents of water swept through their homes. Many people were literally swept away in the swell of the torrents and subsequently drowned those fortunate enough headed for higher ground or even their rooftops or anything higher than the water level which included trees.

The aftermath of this dreadful event was to leave in excess of 500 dead and countless missing presumed drowned or buried in the devastation.

Both cities and particularly Cagayan de Oro which is closest to Bethany have been devastated with still large parts without power or running water. Aid agencies are working flat out to help those affected by the devastation and the resulting trauma.

Talakag where Bethany is located is still cut off from Cagayan de Oro due to the road being blocked by several landslides still to be cleared. There is also no power in Talakag area due to lines being down so there is no direct communications with them. There is also no water due to the power outage. I know the people of Talakag will make do as will the staff of Bethany till things can be put right that is the nature of the Filipino.

My concern is for the future when the mess is sorted and the children affected by this disaster need to be placed as will surely happen. Children will have lost parents and siblings, some parents will not be able to cope after loosing all in the storm resulting in children requiring care.

With Bethany not being funded by anyone other than individual donations they are going to require your help and urgently.

Please if you can spare a little let me know by direct mail to me and I will get back with instructions of how to send your donation to reach Bethany.

I don’t wish to post pictures of the disaster here as the situation has already been widely publicised and would only cause more distress to those who have been affected.

God bless all those who have survived this ordeal and give them the strength to continue.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Well it’s that time of the year again when we recall the events past and look forward to those still to come.

Christmas is not just about receiving and giving presents but also to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who from such humble beginnings is now known and remembered in all countries of the world we live in.

I would like to think that our founder Miss Lynip’s work at Bethany would also not be forgotten or that of the many people past and present who continued in her footsteps.

Bethany is a wonderful place for children who need love and care that due to often tragic circumstances makes it necessary. For those fortunate to have visited Bethany and witnessed first hand the dedicated work by its staff and seen the smiles on the faces of the children I’m sure you will agree with me.

My challenge since my promise to Miss Lynip in 2005 has been to try my very best to help ensure the continuity of Bethany and the great work it does.

I ask those of you who can possibly afford to do so please help us maintain the wonderful tradition of keeping Bethany alive and serving the needs of Filipino children. Whatever you give in the year to come big or small will be cherished and used for the benefit of all. I promise I will keep those of you wishing to know informed of the happenings at Bethany by way of this blog on a regular basis.

I wish you all a wonderful festive season and a happy and prosperous New Year and may your God go with you and care for you always, where ever you are.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Ricky Lopez whom I wrote about previously is coming along in leaps and bounds as the saying goes due to his therapy treatment for his autism being funded by Erin and Rodger Kadey from the USA.

My wife Marilou keeps the Kadeys informed on a regular basis as to Ricky’s progress which has been truly amazing since it began in late 2009.

Ricky has gone from being a disruptive and difficult child to someone who is now willing to communicate with others as well as show a willingness to learn new things.

I have often read and heard of a child’s hidden talent and its all about finding a key to release that talent.
Ricky with his Jigsaw.

Ricky has a talent for completing jigsaw puzzles and the more he does the advance and complex his undertakings become. To watch his face when he is doing these puzzles is a sight to behold and the concentration he puts in is something I never thought I would ever witness from him.

The above is an example of how a child if given a chance can develop despite their handicap. I do appreciate that in today’s world climate finances are tight and giving is extremely difficult however every little counts as Bethany’s needs never go away.

If the burden of care can be shared it becomes less heavy for the individual when spread amongst the many, its better to give $2, £2 or €2 than give nothing at all as when all the donations are counted a Bethany child will truly benefit.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Ratchel (Chi Chi) Sulatan.

Its 30 years this year since Rachel (Chi Chi) Mendoza Sulatan joined the staff of Bethany. Chi Chi as she is affectionately called graduated from Liceo de Cagayan University in her profession in general nursing in 1978. In 1981 she joined the staff of Bethany as a nurse.

During her work at Bethany she met her husband Fred Sulatan himself a former Bethany ward who was working after graduating in Cagayan de Oro city at that time and returning to Bethany at weekends to help at the home. In 1984 Chi Chi and Fred married and started their own family.

In 1988 Chi Chi and Fred officially became house parents to the Bethany wards and Chi Chi continued her duties as nurse. You can just imagine the Sulatan cottage with three children of her own and nine Bethany wards all living together as one big family.

Until the Sulatan children left home to further their education this was how it was for the family.

Chi Chi recalls that as many as twelve children had to be fed, washed and clothed and played with in her cottage with all the usual trials and tribulations of raising children.

Chi Chi went on to explain that over the years she has been a house parent between 50/60 children have been adopted from her cottage along with the numerous wards that passed through as they became older and moved on to other cottages.

She sits and recalls all the children by name as well as where they went to live at the time of their adoption and can remember particular characteristics of each child.

If Chi Chi and Fred were living in another country they would I’m sure by now be honoured by the relevant authorities of that country for their care and devotion to the wards of Bethany.

So thirty years on Ch Chi despite recently aggravating an old back injury soldiers on with her duties of house parent and nurse to the children.

When you visit Ch Chi in her cottage she is always smiling and cheerful despite the personal pain she suffers daily due to her back problem but one thing you can be rest assured of the children always come first.

Well done to Chi Chi for her thirty years of service to Bethany and lets not forget Fred her support in her very busy life.

Monday, September 5, 2011


The stage setting for the 55th year celebration.

This morning 4th September 2011 I had the pleasure of attending along with my wife Marilou the opening ceremony of Bethany Christian School’s 55th Foundation Year celebration.

Yes it’s now 55 years since BCS first opened its doors to teach the children from Bethany Home in its formative years and then the children from Talakag and surrounding Barrios in later years. Thousands of children have graduated from BCS with an excellent standard of education as provided by its dedicated teaching and support staff.

BCS Students at todays ceremony.

In the last five years I have to admit its had its ups and downs due to lack of financial support but this is slowly but surely being overcome by the efforts of the current Board of Trustees as well as the efforts of the membership of the First Baptist Church of Middleburg, Florida as previously reported here and not forgetting the parents and guardians as well as sponsors who also add their support by sending their children to be taught there year after year.

Joe Hutcheson talks about commitment in his speech

At this mornings ceremony Mr Joe Hutcheson (Financial Officer) gave a speech on the importance of being truly and fully committed to whatever you do in life, if you want to really be successful. His words were directed at not only the students but also their parents who were also in attendance. How true are his words when we reflect back ourselves to what we have achieved in our lives to date. Could we have done better had we showed more effort and commitment, of course we could have. With continued commitment BSC will survive and grow to fulfil the educational needs of the children of Bethany Home as well as those from Talakag and its surroundings.

The celebration is week long with educational, cultural and sporting activities involving all the students of BCS. I’m sure you would like to join me in wishing them a happy celebration with many more years of celebration to look forward too.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Joe & Donna Hutcheson
Mr Joe Hutcheson has been appointed Bethany’s Financial Officer. Joe and his wife Donna came to Bethany earlier in the year following a synergy between Bethany and First Baptist Church of Middleburg, Florida.

Joe and Donna had previously been doing missionary work in China and bring to Bethany much needed administrative experience in relation to financial services.

All income and expenditure will be channelled through Joe in order that the three cost centres namely the Home, School and Farm will function totally separate and be self accountable.

Bethany is no different from any other like organisation where transparency is the order of the day, as quite rightly so our donors who are the life blood of Bethany want to know on a regular basis how much money we receive and how it is spent.

In the past accounting has always been a problem not that any monies were wasted but due to the old system itemising the spend was very difficult to achieve.

It is Joe and the Boards intention to publish on a regular basis a Newsletter detailing the financial situation of Bethany.

I would just like to add that whilst I appreciate the worlds financial situation is poor ours at Bethany is dire and we need your HELP NOW!

This is Joe’s e-mail address:  joe@eastasianow.com  and you can contact him direct for more information on what’s happening and what is planed. And if you have a spare Dollar, Euro or Pound or any other negotiable currency please let Joe know as our children here would be ever so grateful for the news.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Early this week Bethany was honoured to receive a Mission Team of 19 members of the First Baptist Church of Middleburg, Florida USA. http://www.fbcmiddleburg.com/

The visit was a culmination of a previous visit from Dr Alan Floyd and Pastor Todd Jones back in August last year who came as an advance party to establish if the First Baptist Church of Middleburg could be of assistance to Bethany.

The welcome diner for the FBC Mission Team.

Following that first visit a husband and wife team Joe and Donna Hutcheson was appointed with approval from the Bethany Board of Trustees and they came to live in Bethany in March this year.

The whole idea of Joe and Donna being appointed was to assist with the management of Bethany and liaise with First Baptist Church of Middleburg for any ongoing projects resulting from the synergy between the two organisations.

Since coming to Bethany Joe and Donna have worked tirelessly in order to improve the ambiance of Bethany and conduct surveys in order to establish a list of priorities that would improve life in general for all who live and work at Bethany.
The plans are explained to me.

As a result of their initial report the Mission Team was formed which included members that had the necessary skills such as medical, teaching, farming and general building maintenance and of course the ability to work hard and be committed.

The medical team comprised of a Doctor and Optician as well as paediatric nurses who have examined all the Bethany children as well as those attending the Bethany School. A patient index card system has also be set up so that each child has a medical record that will enable any further Medical team visits to view the progress of the individual children.

The children being examined by the Doctor.

The nurse taking the childrens particulars.

Amongst the Mission Team was also teachers who taught at the school as well as assist at the nursery. A sum of $1,000.00 was donated by the Mission Team to enable the Bethany Farm piggery to be reactivated to help with supplementing the food requirements.

Last but not least of course was the effort by those members who painted the Bethany Church building and the Main Library facade and its all weather walkway which has really enhanced a very vital part of the Bethany infrastructure.

OK Joe, this is the plan says Pastor Todd.

Leading by example.

A labour of love.

Finishing touches.

I have a good feeling now that more people on the outside are taking an interest in what is going on here and know that without that help and kindness Bethany and its children would surely suffer. With that thought in mind I would personally like to thank the visiting team members who gave up being with their families and loved ones to travel half way around the world just to be with us and dedicate their precious free time to helping Bethany. Also I’d like to thank the entire congregation of the First Baptist Church of Middleburg for making the whole Mission possible and the trust given to those at Bethany from Dr Floyd and Pastor Jones.

Thats amazing.

Having fun with the kids.

So happy to be here.

Mrs J in the classroom.



The finished project.

The Bethany School reference centre of knowledge.

Our little church with its new exterior coat of paint.The reference centre to our faith.

I just hope that this synergy between BCHCI and FBC of Middleburg lasts for many years to come.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Recently the Ladies from ELCI came to Talakag as part of their (3rd) annual visit to Bethany. As always the children and staff were delighted to see the Ladies as they bring with them goodies for the children.

On this occasion the ladies treated the children to their morning snack which comprised of siopao, corn chips, chocolate cake, cup cakes and a fruit drink. How the children just loved this. When all the food was eaten the Ladies played parlour games with the children and to hear the laughing I don’t know who was enjoying the games most.

During their visit to Bethany the Ladies also inspected the rubber tree seedlings that they donated last year when they came and were delighted to see the progress being made.

During this visit Marilou and I planned a little surprise for the Ladies as a way to say thank you for all their efforts in helping Bethany.

The first surprise was to take them to visit a local farm owned by Amado and Elizabeth Noble who have built a weekend retreat and recreational area as well as a small botanic garden. The Ladies just loved this as it’s so beautiful and peaceful and allowed so many picture opportunities.
From the farm we took the Ladies to our house in the town for lunch and a chance to get refreshed.

The last part of the trip to Talakag was to visit the HELP Foundation a charity run by an American Keith Hooper that has a goat farm and training facility for local women in handcrafts as well as home economics and also gives micro loans to enable small businesses to be started.

The charity is funded by US donors as well as Rotary International. The Ladies were impressed by what they saw at the training centre. The feedback was that the Ladies thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Bethany and Talakag and look forward to next year when they will return once more.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


From time to time I receive mail from people who read my blog and I just love to hear from former Bethany children and their experiences in life since leaving the Philippines.
One such mail I received recently was from Wanda Swenson which I have reproduced here with her permission as I think it’s so touching and down to earth.

Wanda wrote, I would be happy to share my story. God certainly does move in mysterious ways and I have been very blessed in my life thus far.
Background: I was brought to Bethany by my Aunt; my birth parents were unwed students. I lived in Bethany for 5 years for a very happy childhood (from what I can remember!) Christian missionaries Paul and Barb North (& their newborn son Justin) of New York served at the orphanage for two years helping to build the music school and music/art program at Bethany. When they left they adopted another Filipino child- Lenny. So the couple came over a 'family of three' and left a 'family of five!
Since my adoptive father was in ministry, he took several pastoral calls throughout the U.S. so we lived in New York, Indiana, Iowa and California. All that moving around made I well equipped to adjust to new environments and make friends easily. I have always had an adventurous spirit and I joined the U.S. Navy after high school. My four years in the Navy onboard the U.S.S. LaSalle flagship were challenging but filled with wonderful travel, exposure to many varied cultures and an opportunity to make lifelong friends. My duties onboard the ship included coordinating mail delivery to over 40 ports of call in Northern Africa, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean and running the shipboard post office. Another perk to the Navy- that is where I met my best friend and husband Brian.
I used my G.I Bill to go to college at Michigan State University. I currently work in Sales & Marketing for an insurance company. I work with Indiana and Ohio Medical, Dental & Legal societies and train insurance agents who want to work with my company.
In my free time I am in a dance troupe that performs Middle Eastern, Polynesian and Spanish dances. My husband and I are avid cyclists and he is teaching me how to play hockey (I really need to stick to dancing!
I would like to share that so many people who hear that I am adopted say I am 'lucky'. I do not feel that 'luck' has anything to do with it; instead it is God's will, and open loving hearts of his servants that enabled me to have a fruitful life. I know He has a plan for me and my family and although I may stumble at times to find it, I know there is a plan for my Life, just like there is a plan for each precious child at Bethany.
Wanda with her husband Brian
Thank you for your time, I certainly hope we can keep in touch. . I have not been back since I left in 1980 but hope to one day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Entrance to Bethany

Entrance looking towards the School Library

Bethany Baptist Church (Currently receiving some TLC).

Bethany School's Mission & Vision

The School Yard

The School

The School Admin Block

To the Church

The road to Sugar Creek

The Kindergarden

To the Creek

The Creek

Bethany's Admin Block

So peaceful

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bethany Christian Home for Children in Colour: Part 1

I was asked recently by a former Bethany School student if I would post some recent photographs of Sugar Creek the name given to the upper part of the Bethany compound by Ms Louise Lynip (our founder) where the Children’s Home is located. Always willing to please, here is the photographs that I took yesterday..............so Joyce this is especially for you. I hope you like them and they bring back happy memories.

Nursery Playroom

Former Laundry now a Store Room

Administration Block

Older Cottage

Farm Building & Office

New Guest House

Cottage 11

Old Cottage being renovated

New Cottage

Older Wooden Cottage

Original wooden cottage

Basketball Court