Thank you for praying for us during this ever changing time. As you know, things continue to change from day to day. Outdoor education continued to change up until the time that the students arrived at the camp, but it ended up being a wonderful time. The kids had an adventure at a refreshing lake and at a beautiful waterfall and a field trip to an organic garden, as well as learning to kill a chicken, ministering to Taal refugees, and engaging in two sessions/day from God’s Word from three awesome speakers with the theme of “Catching Fire.” Students were challenged and grew in their walk with God. The volcanic alert for Taal has been downgraded to Alert 2 but is now in the background of our thoughts.
Some of the changes that affected us during Outdoor education week were also due to the new Covid-19, which affected our ministry and the sites we visited. It also affected sports and fine arts teams for our high school students. March 12, the President of the Philippines declared a lockdown on the National Capital Region of Manila from March 15 until April 14. Government officials closed schools down on March 9 and then permanently on March 13. This fit nicely into our March Break, March 14-22, but instead of going back to classes, teachers did online training, learning how to teach our students in a totally different format. Our students had been doing things online, but with no direct contact we learned how to do Zoom classrooms and sending assignments through Loom and Flipgrid. Our first day of online classes was Friday, March 27. We are praying our school will be able to open after April 14, but that is uncertain at the present moment.
With borders closing in different countries and flights being cancelled, many of our staff that were planning on leaving at the end of the school year (either for a time of home assignment or not returning to teaching here at Faith), decided to return to their home countries now. It has been hard for us and them, not being able to say a proper good-bye. That is part of missionary life, but harder when you can’t do it well.
We are doing fine here. We can only go out for essentials (medicine and food, etc.), and only one person can go at a time. There are checkpoints to make sure that people are not out unnecessarily. It takes a long time to get into a store and the lines in the store are long, but there is still food.
We would also appreciate prayer as we are planning to return for our daughter Ashley’s wedding in June. We have tickets and they are not canceled yet. We are not sure what the situation will be at that time, but we are trusting God to work out His will for us and Ashley. Also, our son, Ben and his family will need to travel from Brazil for the wedding.
Thank you for your prayers for us and our ministry,
Cheryl Spicer for both of us