Dear family and friends,
Happy New Year! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start! I’m believing God for an amazing year! 🙂
As we are starting off a new year (and new decade!), I wanted to do a little “housekeeping” and mention that if you would be interested in receiving this newsletter a different way than you are currently receiving it (either by regular mail or by email), please let me know, and I’d be happy to adjust that for you. Also, if you would like to receive occasional prayer requests by email for more time-sensitive matters regarding our work here, please let me know, and I’d be happy to include you on my Philippines Prayer Team emails. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text, phone, or snail mail at the numbers or address listed below on the letterhead. Thanks!
I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported me and our team in prayer and/or finances over the past year (and previous ones!). I couldn’t be here without your help, and I so appreciate those of you who partner with us to see the Kingdom of God advanced in the Philippines! THANK YOU!! 🙂
Well, SO much has happened since my last “regular” newsletter. (In December, we usually just send out a “Christmas card” newsletter.) So, I will do my best to fill you in on all of our happenings!
Crystal and I continued our travels in the US, visiting several different states. It was GREAT to see so many of you! We traveled to West Virginia and were blessed to be able to share with the awesome folks at Glad Tidings Assembly of God church in Hurricane, WV and New Horizon Worship Center in Cross Lanes, WV. Then, we traveled back to the Atlanta area, and my family and I were able to get some family pictures taken! 🙂 I also joined in the celebration for my brother’s birthday, and Crystal and I were able to share at the wonderful prayer group in my parents’ subdivision. Then Crystal and I were on the road again and traveled to Florida. We went to Pensacola and got to share at Warrington Worship Center and see lots of friends there and in the area. We were also able to visit some great friends who work at a children’s ranch near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Then we went back to the Atlanta area and met some awesome friends at The Church at Acworth. We joined a couple of their home groups and a prayer meeting too! Crystal and I were able to share at the United Methodist Women’s group at my parents’ church, and we spent some time with some wonderful friends in the Knoxville, TN area as well. We went to Florida again to visit some other friends and share at the Jena Pentecostal Holiness Church in Steinhatchee, FL. A BIG thank you to all of you who hosted us, met up with us, and blessed us on our travels!! I really appreciate it!!
After that, Crystal and I headed back to our families’ homes to spend Thanksgiving and the last part of our visit with them. My sister-in-law, two nephews, niece, and I participated in the “Gobble Jog” 5K near their home on Thanksgiving morning. (My brother was part of the crew helping to facilitate the run.) The kids did great, and in spite of it being a very chilly morning (at least for me!), we really enjoyed ourselves. We walked (rather than jogged), but at least we got some exercise! 🙂 I also was able to share at my parents’ church, Hollydale United Methodist Church, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Crystal and I returned to the Philippines at the beginning of December. Crystal’s mom accompanied us back to the Philippines from the US, and she is staying with us for about 3 months. This is her third visit to the Philippines. I’m glad she can be here to spend time with Crystal and also to escape some of the winter weather in West Virginia!
Well, it FINALLY happened! I am SO happy to announce that very shortly after returning to the Philippines, we were able to get the Hope House vehicle! FINALLY!!!! Amazingly, it took NINE MONTHS from the time we had the money until the dealer had the vehicle ready for us! But, I’m glad to say it was worth the wait. 🙂 It’s a great vehicle, and we are really happy with it. The girls are loving it, and we have already used it many times. Our first outing with them was to a local pool. 🙂 They had a blast!
We had a great Christmas with the Hope House girls as well! For the five girls in the home, it was their first Christmas at the Hope House. We made Christmas cookies, and they LOVED it! We also had a Christmas party with all of the Hope For All Children team, complete with lots of games, a gift exchange, and a talent show. The Hope House girls did an amazing dance with tambourines and won first place at the talent show!! They were SO excited!! It was a really fun holiday season. 🙂
Well, as you may remember, my car has been on its last leg (or tire 🙂 ) for a while, and while Crystal and I were in the States, one of our teammates was borrowing it (at her own risk 🙁 ), and it broke down on her. The mechanic had told me that it needed an engine overhaul, which would be very costly. So, while we were in the US, Crystal and I were trying to raise money for a vehicle to replace my car. We were able to raise some funds to make a down payment, so we actually got a new vehicle shortly after returning to the Philippines! (And ironically, it was only about a week after we FINALLY got the Hope House vehicle!) We are SO blessed to be able to leave the house without worrying about breaking down every time, especially with Crystal’s mom here visiting us! It is really a perfect vehicle for us with the rough roads that are on Samal, since it is high off the ground and a 4 wheel drive. We are VERY thankful for a new vehicle! Thank you SO much to those of you who helped us with the down payment! We are still raising funds for the vehicle, as we would REALLY love to pay off the car completely, so if the Lord leads you to give toward our vehicle, you can indicate “Wier – Vehicle” on your donation. 🙂 Thanks!
For this month’s cultural note, I wanted to share about something that I was reminded of after my recent trip to the US. Believe it or not, it is actually about shopping carts! In the Philippines, for some reason, it is very common that when you push your shopping cart up to a cash register, you unload your groceries, and then, rather than continuing to push your cart forward, you push your cart BACKWARDS, toward the people who are standing in line behind you! They usually back up a little and help move your cart out of the way. I think that in the past, the aisles between cash registers were so narrow that a shopping cart couldn’t actually fit! However, the aisles today ARE wide enough for the cart to go through…. I think it’s just out of habit that people push their carts backwards! I’m pretty sure that if you were to do that in the States, people would wonder what in the world you were doing (!), and it would probably also appear fairly rude since you would be pushing your cart into theirs!!
Hope this finds you very blessed and enjoying the New Year! 🙂
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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.