In January, we had a little “eruption” into our lives and routine. On January 12, we saw the alert for Taal Volcano quickly go from Alert 1 to Alert 4. Walter had been monitoring the activity as the middle school had plans to have this year’s outdoor education week on the island of Taal, with activities in the surrounding areas. He had visited the mayor of Taal earlier to gain permission for us to go. By January 12, it became evident that we would not be going there, with only 4 weeks before our departure date. Many months of planning goes into this week, so the leadership was scrambling to find another suitable and safe location.
We are thankful for the staff at a family camp in a province south of Manila that not only allowed us to come in short notice but found ways to cut the cost for us and have provided additional help in the planning. The details are quickly coming together for the week. We have some activities planned and will be focusing more on spiritual growth, with a speaker twice a day. The week will be shorter this time as well. Please be in prayer for Outdoor Education week on February 10-13. Both Walter and I will be going as well. Walter will go early with a team of staff to get set up and make final preparations, and I will go as the camp nurse.
Also, please be in prayer for those living near Taal. We are safe here and were only affected with a small amount of ashfall, but those living near the volcano were displaced. Many were affected by a lot of ash fall that needs to be cleaned up (it can become like cement when mixed with water), damage to structures (roads, buildings, etc) from the earthquakes, and for some, a loss or interruption of livelihood (farms that are covered in ash). Faith Academy is partnering with First Love International to provide relief for those that have been affected. They are working with the pastor in the area that helped us organize ministry opportunities in previous Outdoor Education ventures.
Thank you for your prayers,