Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meet the Leanos!

Ramon, Kring, Rham (2), and Laress (1) 

This family literally saved my sanity! This beautiful Filipino couple is responsible for finding our new house and making it our new home before we ever arrived on this side of the world.  Kring made sure that we had beds and bedding, pots and dishes, soap and shampoo, and even made sure to have a few home decor items hung around our house to welcome us when we arrived.  Ramon hauled it all to our new house and built us some shelves for our prayer books.  They spent weeks traveling all over the Malaybalay and surrounding areas searching for items not only for our house, but for the other missionary family and Mr. Ed.  And made sure that it would fit our missionary budgets.  They are one of the main reasons that our family had such a smooth and easy transition and that we didn't have lots of emotional meltdowns.

Since we arrived, they have been at our beckon call (Thank God they are just down the road from us!).  Anytime we have a question, we can count on them to come over to help us.  They have taken us where we need to go, taught us where to shop and where NOT to shop, what to buy and what NOT to buy, and what is expensive and what is affordable.  $1.00 = 45 pesos, so things sound like they cost a lot more here. For example, my first grocery bill was almost 2000 pesos!  (I'm an English teacher; it takes me a while to figure out math!) They have been teaching us how to say all the much needed words that we need to communicate with our motorella drivers to get to where we need to be and have taught us how much we should actually be paying!  They have laughed with us and at us many times. We've even shed a few tears together already.

Most importantly, Ramon, Kring, Rham, and Laress have become part of our family.

The Leano's story is amazing!  Three years ago they were living a life far from God.  "Kring was a self-proclaimed Buddhist. Ramon was a bad boy. He spent his nights out partying with friends and had had multiple run-ins with the police." (From the Romero's blog) Then one day they met the American missionaries, and their lives were tranformed!  You can read all about it on the Romeros blog linked above.

Today, Kring and Ramon are dedicated to serving the poor and bringing Christ to all they meet.  They are so full of joy that at times I think Ramon might burst!  He comes over to borrow books about the faith and devours all of the information that he can find.  We've watched him write pages and pages of notes, so that he can go to his Jehovah Witness friends to bring them the truth.  His goal is to convert all of his old friends and save them from the path that he was once on.  He is so passionate about saving them, and his thirst for the Truth is so inspiring! 

Kring is also dedicated to bringing everyone to Christ, but has a passion for the poor.  We have already witnessed her giving away money that was given to them specifically for their personal needs to someone who needed it more.  She never tells anyone "No."  I have watched her give away her very last peso knowing that she needed to buy food for her own family.  She is one of the most giving and generous people I have ever met.  Her generosity and love for the poor humbles me on a daily basis.  I know that God sent her to me to teach me many things besides how to shop in the Philippines and speak Visayan.  I pray that one day I can truly give out of my need and completely trust in God's providence like she does.

The boat their family took to
the island loaded down with
rice for the typhoon victims.
Imagine riding this with
TWO babies!

Their family of four lived in this tent
while helping with disaster relief after
Yolanda devastated Cabulauan.
They have also made it their personal mission to bring relief to the November 2013 Yolanda Typhoon victims.  Their family along with Father Joe from Camguin Island were on the ground delivering supplies to one of the most devastated islands almost before the storm finished passing.  They have been back to that island several times sleeping in a tent in order to help the people there.  (Yes, even the two babies!)  They are planning a trip back to Cabulauan Island next week to get things set up for the rebuilding of the chapel on the island.  Travis and some of the other missionary men will travel with them at the end of March to help with the actual rebuilding.

The Leanos desired to travel to the USA this past fall to join us at Family Missions Company in Abbeville for In-take to receive training to be full time missionaries, but they weren't able to get the needed paperwork to bring their children to the USA.  God had other plans for them here like saving my sanity!  But that didn't stop them!  They have become full time missionaries anyway!  Family Missions Company has been working with them to get them "officially" trained to be sent out to spread the Gospel to the other parts of Asia.

The Leanos, like us, have quit their jobs to serve the poor and bring the Gospel to the Philippines full time.  They rely on God's providence to provide for all their needs just like us.  But unlike our family, they do not have the resources from home that we do, especially since their closest friends are the poor they serve.  I am asking all of our friends, family, and followers to pray about sponsoring the Leano family monthly or making a one time donation to their mission fund. Even just a few dollars a month would help their mission here tremendously, and it would bless us to know that they are taken care of.

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