Brief Bio

My photo
Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines
I am a runner, pastor, sociologist, teacher, and missionary. After living in Chicago for 6 years, I discerned a call to go to Manila, Philippines to live and work among the urban poor, and combine my passions for ministry, running, and the oppressed. After serving in the Philippines in 2012 and 2013, I returned to the United States for two years to finish my dissertation, get ordained, spend time with my family, and work at a neighborhood center in Kansas City. Since then, I have been working in the Philippines with Companion With the Poor as a missionary. Each day I look forward to how God will direct my steps as I live into His work of restoring a broken world.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Picture A Day [February Part III] - Tatalon and Manila

A Picture A Day [February Part III] - Tatalon and Manila

 2/23/12 – Thursday night at ARC pictures, clinic.  Tonight I got to lead my first clinic at ARC (A Runners Circle).  I have helped put together a three month clinic schedule (prior to this they did not have a schedule though they did have a coach who helped teach the clinics.  The regular coach did not show up on time this particular day, so they asked me to lead.  It was on injuries and how to prevent and recover from them.  I am using a lot of material from a book by Ryan Hall (the best American distance runner), who is a Christian but also has great material on running and its various topics.  I’m hoping also to help the store offer clinics for colleges and universities in Manila, as well as businesses and primary/secondary schools.  I’m excited to help out wherever I can.

2/24/12 – Abigail’s prom. These pictures were taken right before my host sister, Abigail, left for her high school prom.  My host parents do not allow their children to go to the prom as Juniors (because of the cost), but do let them go as Seniors.  While I try not to embarrass Abigail much (this can be difficult at times, and I remember what it must have been like for my younger sister in the States when my brother and I probably hassled her and embarrassed her, though unintentionally, many times).  I am very proud of Abigail though, as her faith is very strong, she is very involved in both her local church and her dad’s ministry site, and she is a great student.  She is currently in the process of applying to some Teaching colleges here in Manila, and I pray she gets in so she can pursue this career (similar to my sister back home who is also a teacher and working at a church).

2/25/12 – Wildlife Park…Birthday Celebration!  This Saturday, I was able to visit a Wild Life Park here in Quezon City with my three other classmates that are living in Manila and studying in the MATUL program with me.  Katie and Brandon (in the middle of the first photograph) arrived last July, so are fairly conversational in the language and very knowledgeable in the culture, and have been great guides for Lindsey and I during these first two months.  Katie and Lindsey both had a Birthday this past week, so we decided to celebrate by having a picnic at this park in the afternoon.  Though it was very hot, we found a nice picnic table near a lagoon and shared some bread, peanut butter, oranges, and a local dish with meet and noodles.  We also had the chance to see some wildlife (thus the name) at the park, and even ran into some of the boys that Brandon is currently serving at a transitional home for former street children, many of whom lack parental support and had been addicted to drugs and anything they could get their hands on to survive.

2/26/12 – Feb-Ibig (Feb-love) Celebration!  Finally I got to participate in my own Valentines Day celebration here in Manila.  After passing up two couples dinners at both of our churches locations (I was invited to both though I am still single, maybe out of courtesy J), this one was a fun time.  Though it was for the youth, and many people were younger (some even 11 or 12), there were also many young adults from the church to keep me company, and my host siblings also attended so I had plenty of friends present.  The church doesn’t currently have a young adults group, so I am considering joining another churches young adult Bible study for the time being.  This event though provided plenty of smiles, songs, food, and laughter. 

2/27/12 – Tatalon Bible study. So while I mentioned I may attend another young adults Bible study, this one has given me a great opportunity to meet some people from my community and church, and even learn some Tagalog while doing it.  This was the second Birthday in the last month that we have celebrated in our Bible study (they celebrate a lot here, particularly Birthdays, if you haven’t noticed), so we had some pansit (a thin noodle), drinks, and fellowship following the Bible study time.  Thankfully there are some men in the group who help interpret for me when some of the members are sharing in Tagalog, and they all understand English well enough for me to share in English still until I learn enough Tagalog to share in their native tongue.

2/28/12 – UP (University of Philippines) Dilliman.  This is one of my favorite places in Quezon City.  Maybe the sunshine and trees in the pictures give it away (not to mention the bike/run lane in the last picture – a whole lane just for bikers and runners, that goes all the way around the campus for 2.2 kilometers or just over a mile!).  I have been running here once or twice a week as it is only a 30 minute run from my house, and a 20 minute jeepney ride away.  There are also many younger people and families out playing the parks all over campus or studying for their next exam.  I’m thankful for such an oasis so close to home.  The first picture is the entrance to the university, and the statue a statue standing for freedom.

2/29/12 – Pig on the sidewalk!  Why did the pig cross the sidewalk?  I don’t know, but why is the pig in the sidewalk, tied to the fence, in the first place!  No joke, as I was just walking along the sidewalk trying to catch a jeepney (somewhat near the Wildlife Park and outside of one of the Barangay’s) I saw this pig just ‘oinking’ and taking up the sidewalk.  I tried to be sly with taking a picture of it, but I guess other Filipino’s were smiling at the pig anyway too, so I figured it was ok. It is moments like these that make my day (or, for instance, watching my youngest host brother make up a new dance move or take a bath – he is hilarious to watch), and that make cross cultural experiences so rich and formational.

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