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Wednesday
Dec232015

December 2015

 

Dear Ones,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Tom and I hope that this Christmas is special for you and your loved ones. We pray that your hearts and homes will be open to the greatest gift ever given! Jesus, the Savior of the World has come to live within us. What a miracle!

The Philippines


We continue to take care of the kids from Sankey Samaritan Home. They no longer live on the property but nearby on the compound of a church we have worked with for many years. All of the kids are over 18 now which means they are all in high school or college. We have one in pre-med, one in pre-dental school, one preparing to be a pastor, one in hotel management, and one in psychology so far! We miss them all terribly but keep up the best way we can by phone, Facebook, etc. The property is for sale and once it is sold the funds will be able to sponsor any needs the kids have as well as other ministries in the Philippines.

Our camp in the southern Philippines, Mt. Moriah, is really doing great. They have a huge Awana program, sports evangelism programs, feeding programs, they host retreats, pastors conferences, and on and on. And the work in the north is continuing under the leadership of Linda Bernabe. She is a force to be reckoned with and a great example of being sold out for Jesus! A few of our boys have lived with Linda and her family for several months at a time. She is a great example to them and they have been a good help in the ministry. A couple of the boys are actually in school up in the northern Philippines now and love helping in the churches there.

Tom has really wanted to return for a visit to the Philippines but we just haven’t felt it was the best timing. There is still an open case against our director and his son. Tom returning could stir up things and become a problem possibly so for now we must be patient.

Tom made a trip to Rome earlier this year. Our church has taken on Rome as a place to pray for, send teams there to meet people, and to see what local churches of faith might need. Our church has sent art and music teams that perform in the plazas to gather crowds to strike up conversations where Christ might be shared. In the course of the visits of several of these teams they realized that many refugees were gathering in certain parks to find others from their home countries. One very large group is from the Philippines! So Tom went to make contact with the Filipinos in Rome and to visit the small church they have there. A basketball team is in the plans for next year. They will operate just as the basketball teams that visited the Philippines did for so many years. So, Tom got his wish to visit the Philippines after all. It just happened to be in Rome, Italy!

 

Tom and Karen

It seems we haven’t done as much traveling this year and I can thankfully say I haven’t done hardly any! I think all those years of flying back and forth to the Philippines and then traveling all over the US with the PGA Champions Tour when Tom was chaplain helped me to appreciate staying home. I was even able to join a ladies Bible study at church that ran for 11 weeks and I didn’t miss once! That was very satisfying!

So okay. We did sneak in a couple of trips. One was to visit some friends up in Buffalo, NY who took us to Niagara Falls for the day. I had been when a kid with the family but Tom had not been there. We loved it! We took the boat ride into the Falls and even made friends with a little family waiting in line with us. They just happened to be Filipinos and were a bit taken aback that this tall white guy was speaking their native language. Tom loves surprising people that way!

We have made several trips up to see mom in Ann Arbor, Michigan which is just under 3 hours. This is the closest I’ve lived to mom since high school! My brother is not too far from there so we have had much more family time this year which we have all loved. We even got to a nephew’s high school football game!

And we did spend time in Florida and California last winter which we hope to do again. Not for any sightseeing but to stay out of the cold of NE Ohio as much as we can!

Tom has stayed busy this year with his responsibilities at church. He has taken his turn preaching at our services, has traveled to California several times to preach in churches that support our ongoing work in the Philippines, had the trip to Rome, Italy to visit some missionaries our church supports, and has managed to play lots of golf and ride his bike. He had a checkup at a fitness center recently and they told him he was doing very well for a man his age. I think at this stage that is a compliment!

One very fun thing Tom was able to do was help out at the half time show of an NBA game here in Cleveland! A family we know all ride unicycles. Very tall ones, short ones and all 12 of them (it’s a big family!) ride and do tricks with the basketballs. They perform everywhere from schools, to prisons, to NBA games! They called Tom and asked if he could help them and of course, yes, was the answer. He had a great time and loved the energy! No, he didn’t ride his unicycle. He says he is retired from that! He got to meet Rascall Flatts who sang the National Anthem, too!

Another fun trip for speaking was to a prayer breakfast for the owners, sponsors and drivers the morning before the Indy 500. He was the guest of the chaplain and was the speaker for the morning. He got to meet Juan Pablo Montoya who went out and won the whole thing the next day! He must have been very inspired by what Tom spoke about!

Tom and I are happy and really enjoying life in Ohio. We love our church, have made some wonderful friends, and we really have enjoyed being so close to mom and Alan and Michele in Michigan. We celebrated 38 years this year so I guess this is going to work out!

We want you to know how much we appreciate all your prayers and your support. We know we couldn’t do any of this without you. You have been such a blessing to us! And our prayer is that you will know that the Lord is using you to bless many!

Merry Christmas, Karen and Tom Randall

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