Whew – we made it! We had to turn in a bunch of paperwork to the government for Hope For All Children (as we have to do at the beginning of each year), and I’m happy to say that the majority of it has been submitted. Some of the requirements have to do with our finances (like our tax paperwork), so I am even more ready to find an accounting/finance person!! ☺

I’ve also been very busy with homeschool for seven girls now! There are actually three of us who are teaching part time, so that definitely makes it easier. Our new girls are progressing in their English (the curriculum is mostly in English), and I’ve been helping them a lot with their math as well. The four new girls took diagnostic tests after they arrived at the Hope House, and our homeschool organization placed them according to those results. The students are generally assigned what the homeschool organization calls “learning gaps” so they can catch up on areas that they are behind on before they begin their regular coursework. So, the girls are each working on certain subjects that they need a little extra help with before they start their regular grade level work. They’re all doing well and learning a lot. Our first three girls are also doing well in school and frequently tell me about interesting things that they are learning (which I often don’t remember ever learning myself!). ☺ In the last several weeks, I’ve also been doing some tutoring for one of the kids of our team leaders. He is preparing to take the SAT, so I’ve been helping him with his math. It’s been fun — I haven’t tutored high school math in a while! ☺

Speaking of school, we have some very exciting news to share! There is a foundation in the Philippines that has committed to building two classrooms for Hope For All Children this year and an additional two classrooms next year!! It will be a HUGE blessing for us! These classrooms will be on the Hope For All Children property, and they will serve the HFAC kids (in the Hope House and in Hope Care – our orphanage), as well as the children of most of our HFAC staff and teammates. The kids will do their homeschool curriculum there, so we’ll be able to have a wide range of grade levels, and the students will be able to do their schoolwork together, (in the same building), and have supervisors to help them. It’s really going to be a great setup for us! We’re very blessed that we will be able to provide a building for our kids to do their schoolwork and for the children of our staff to have a place to get a great education. We’re SO thankful for the favor that Hope For All Children has received! Getting connected with this foundation was really something that the Lord sovereignly orchestrated for us. It wasn’t a connection that we searched out, and we didn’t even know that this particular foundation existed! We’re so thankful for the Lord connecting us with the right people and organizations. We’ve actually had several “God connections” like this lately, and we are very thankful for them! He is faithful!  

We had a few more visitors last month as well. Three gentlemen — Pastor Scott, Dallas, and Brandon —came to visit us from a church in Louisiana. Pastor Scott’s daughter, Lizy, is actually here working with Hope Care for a year. It’s been a blessing having her here! Pastor Scott had been to the Philippines for a visit shortly after I moved here, and it was great to see him again and to meet Dallas and Brandon. We also had our friend Skip from Hill Country Church in Texas come to visit us last month. It was great to see him here as he was doing some traveling in the Philippines and also wanted to see how things were going with Hope For All Children.

Shortly after those visits, Crystal took a short trip to the States to accompany her mom back to the US. Her mom, Dian, had been staying with us here in the Philippines for the last four months. It was great to have her with us, and we were really glad that she could make the visit and also escape the cold West Virginia winter!! We officially celebrated our 3-year anniversary of having girls in the Hope House! It’s been an amazing three years, and I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for us in the future!! All seven Hope House girls came up to the Hope For All Children property for the afternoon, and they joined us for our weekly HFAC team meal. They had a great time and were pretty excited to have some cake for the celebration! ☺

I took the Hope House girls to Tagbaobo again, and they really enjoyed it. The new girls are loving going there, even though it’s almost an hour drive each way. After our time of Bible study with the kids, the girls and I walked along the beach for a while, looking at the coral and shells. It’s a beautiful place, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to go there and share with the kids about Jesus. I’m believing for the Lord to do great things in Tagbaobo!

I shared last month about the possibility of us getting seven more kids in the Hope House in the next couple of months. At this point, it actually looks like those children (in two sibling groups) are going to be placed with family members. There will be some assessment in the upcoming days to make sure that the family situations are safe, so please join with us in praying for the Lord’s perfect will for those kids, and also for other kids who have been rescued from trafficking here in the Philippines. We want the Lord’s will to be done in each child’s life, and we simply want to be able to take in every child that God has for us. We do believe that the Lord has many more children that He wants us to care for in the future, so we continue to prepare for that. We are also excited about getting our new van for the Hope House! The dealership has been delayed in having the vehicle ready for us, but we are hoping to get it soon!

It’s summertime here now, so I thought that for this month’s cultural note, I would share about some more interesting Filipino fruit. In the past, I’ve talked about durian, jackfruit, mangosteen, and mangoes. This month, I’ll share about a few more. One common fruit here is called guyabano or soursop. The outside is dark green and prickly, and the inside is white, with black seeds. You only eat the white part, which has a good flavor but is usually VERY tart. And the texture is a little mushy/slimy…. ☺ Another common fruit here is called lanzones. Lanzones grow in clusters, like grapes, and they are each double or triple the size of an average grape. The skin is a yellowish brown color, and on the inside, there are a few sections of translucent fruit. Sometimes there is a seed in the fruit, which is very bitter, but the fruit around it is good and actually tastes similar to a grape. Another popular fruit in the Philippines is called marang. The outside of a marang is green or brown in color, and it has lots of small “spikes”. Marang has a pretty strong and not especially appealing smell, although it is not as strong or unpleasant as durian. There are a bunch of small pieces of white fruit on the inside, each about the size of a grape, with a fairly large seed inside. The flavor is similar to a banana, I would say, but the texture is quite different and also a little slimy…. ☺  

Hope this finds you well!! Many blessings,
Beth

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Beth Wier

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About Beth Wier

Beth has served in the Philippines since 2011.  She is a member of the Hope For All Children team which operates an orphanage specifically focused on abandoned children, manages feeding programs for malnourished children, and ministers to children who have been rescued from human trafficking.  Beth serves as a house parent to girls in the Hope For All Children restoration home, and she also works with administration for HFAC, including compliance with government agencies and offices.