Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else. Galatians 6:4
This past month, our scholars have been working on stewarding their time by attending school and the learning center. After a month of attendance, many of the scholars had the "personal satisfaction of work well done!" They were invited to an exclusive pizza and pool party extravaganza! Talk about satisfaction!!
There are some common obstacles to attendance. One is having no clean clothes. During rainy season, clothes sour on the line before they dry, which can be a challenge. Often, there is torrential rain when you are walking to school, with water running in the streets. It's hard to dry off when you're soaked to the skin. Other times, you are leaving for school without a lunch or lunch money. Some kids will just stay home and hope for something to eat there. For some students, attending school is optional and there is no one insisting on attendance, so when the going gets tough, you take the easy way out and hit the streets. Another major obstacle to attendance is not having water in your neighborhood for several days.
To give you an idea of how challenging living without water is, think about how much you use water as you go through your day tomorrow. The water is turned off at the public spigot for days at a time. Your 5-gallon paint buckets are almost empty. Today, as I drove the kids to the pizza party, we passed people at the public water spigots, as they took bucket baths in their clothes. To get an idea of how difficult this is, try to take a shower wearing clothes out at the spigot in your yard and then walk back to your house carrying two buckets of water. As you can see, having a lack of water can directly impact your morning and sidetrack you from school.
If we go back two verses to Galatians 6:2, we read, "Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command." This is where we all come in! You are sharing these precious scholars difficulties through your interest and support of Swanson Mission.
Many of our scholars are at our house daily. They study the Bible with us, sing with us, eat with us, do homework, and are prayed over. Our vision is to provide a Christian family environment where our scholars can learn how to steward their talents and gifts for Jesus Christ. We work with each scholar to assist them with their academic, emotional, physical and spiritual needs and gifts. We go to their homes and schools, helping them bridge the gap between their skills and their successes.
We use two words from Jeremiah 29:11 to decribe our discipleship team: future & hope. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." In Tagalog, future is 'kinabukasan' and hope is 'pag-asa'. We call our outreach team to the community Kinabukasan at Pag-asa, which means Future & Hope. The reason for this is that Jesus Christ is the source of a true future and hope for youth and families.
Above, Jen Bunquin, a midwife and missionary on our team, works on a homework assignment with three scholars.
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.