A New Threshold. Faylene and I are moving forward into new waters in several ways. First, the biblical creation curriculum is now going to print in the Philippines for schools in the Institute for Foundational Learning (IFL). That action brings a concentrated period of training of teachers and pastors that will take a few years. The curriculum book’s potential is also being investigated for application in other places. Second, we are changing our USA home from Crozet, VA to a valley among the mountains of West Virginia. While ministry activity in Virginia will continue when we are in the US, the ministry will take the address of a good friend and board member in Virginia for awhile as we shuttle back and forth from the Philippines and the USA. The site will show the changes in a couple weeks. Third, we begin to write the elementary version of the biblical creation curriculum in earnest. All of these changes will be marked by the majority of our time being spent at our missionary station at IFL in the Philippines. It is a very busy time, but characterized by one primary purpose: encourage believers and usher in new believers, especially as influenced by Christian fundamentals related to biblical creation, the Fall of man, the Flood, the aftermath, and the lessons of these things for today’s day and age. We have a lot to do.
A Look Back. I am leaving Crozet VA USA, which has been a home of hospitality since the late 1970s. This home is where I learned hospitality and of the strength of using a home as outreach. The legacy is hundreds of people who met, visited, or stayed with my late wife and me. It is with thankfulness to God that I remember things that took place and learned from the Crozet home base. The first 10 years here, we had people living with us during seven of them. In the 1990-2010 period, we had education functions from church schools and finally using the home as a home school support group for many children in need. At the same time, we ran a food ministry that served over 30 churches. Looking back, I wonder how we ever managed, but we did. As my late wife endured multiple bouts of cancer, she continued. Her legacy is remembered by only a few people in the USA, but I remember more and God remembers all she did, especially overseas. During that period, we got to know the Lawson family, who helped us, encouraged us, and were a source of joy. They also had a ministry of hospitality and ministry to people. We loved their children. Faylene and Gene were counted as good friends. When they moved to Indiana and served the Lord there, Linda and I continued from the same home base in Crozet, Virginia. Linda’s health continued to decline, but that did not stop us from work among our friends in the Philippines.
Saints with the Lord. Along the way, Gene died suddenly and Faylene became a widow. It happened during one of our mission trips to/from the West Coast, so we visited her Indiana home on our return trip a week or so later. We kept in touch, because we were still good friends. As Linda and I increasingly focused on work overseas, which eventually put us in the Philippines at IFL, Faylene would occasionally visit us in the USA and was an encouragement. Faylene still remembers the last visit with Linda in the very home Faylene and I are now leaving. The work in the Philippines increased but Linda’s health continued to decline until the Lord took her home in 2016. Only then did I begin to understand grief from the loss of a spouse. Faylene, especially, and a few friends from around the USA helped me in that period.
The Changed Crozet Homebase. The Crozet home became mine alone, and I began to ship goods and educational materials overseas, because I knew I was going to move, but did not know where or when. Philippine work increased as the curriculum was developed, but it was the love for staff and children overseas that took me by storm. I had resolved to be single and resolved to return to the Philippines semi-permanently. I returned from my mission trip to IFL in the Spring of 2017 to make reports to my lovely Chinese church friends and HOPE Evangelical Presbyterian Church. In a sovereign move by the Spirit in very unusual circumstances, Faylene and I became engaged to be married in less than a month after I had returned to the USA. We had not (as yet) “fallen in love” as they say; we had never had a “date”; I don’t think we so much as held hands except to pray. By late June 2017 we were married and within two months we were in the Philippines. Her heart was expanded; mine expanded some more; and we began to make steps to make the Crozet home a temporary base of operations, knowing we were going to move, and knowing the Lord had called us to move forward together for the remainder of our days on earth. We are very much “in love” in the walk together.
The USA Move. Our first three trips to the Philippines served to underscore our purpose and work overseas. The last trip, which ended less than two weeks ago, ushered more changes for the USA home base. The Crozet home went under contract while we were in the Philippines and a Tiny House in West Virginia was completed at the same time. We are finishing the move of our personal things into our Tiny House near Huttonsville WV and virtually camping in our Crozet home. We will have sold the Crozet home and fully moved by sometime next week (middle April). We leave a legacy of good works in both Crozet and Indiana, so the Tiny House begins a new chapter on the USA side of the ocean. It is with thanks we proceed.
The Course Ahead. The Spirit has indicated some of our course ahead. We know it will be marked by path more than the destinations, because we have many people to see, touch, and influence. Both our homes — one at IFL, Laguna, PI and one in Huttonsville, WV, USA — have writing stations, a place to rest, and a table for hospitality. Our functions are not radically different than what we have both learned through the years and now will continue as we are yoked together in a good work. Both homes (in the USA and PI) are about 500 square feet and functional. Both will be places where we love each other and those around us. We have family in both the USA and PI whom we love. It appears we have a full docket of work through 2022 that is fairly defined. Beyond that, we have indications of a wider reach. We have purposed together that we will move where doors are opened. We count our days carefully because they are numbered since we are in our late 60s. Faylene is a gift to me and she is pleased to have me as her husband. The relationship itself has opened doors I never expected. The numbers of our sons and daughters keep increasing. While we are thankful to be yoked together, our marriage is inexorably connected to our functions with others, whether they take place in the Philippines or Asia or the USA.
Contact and Prayer. Our personal contact information will be unchanged. The site will remain active with a few content changes. Our ministry emails will change, but those changes will not be made for a week or so. While things will stay very busy, we hope to be settled quickly because of writing tasks that are waiting and we have family to visit. We solicit your prayers. We return to the Philippines in the first days of July 2019 to begin in depth training of teachers and pastors with the published biblical creation curriculum.