Sunday, June 13, 2021


June 13, 2021

Goeie dag! (Good day in Afrikaans)

Two weeks ago, the 2020-2021 school year officially ended! It was a whirlwind year with raising support, teaching virtually from Ohio for our first 4 months with Faith, transitioning to the Philippines once borders opened, and finishing out the year teaching virtually from the Faith Academy campus. Since break started we've had some time to reflect, and we are just overcome with gratitude... 

God has provided for us in every aspect! God's hand and provision has been so evident every step of the way. We are so grateful for the partnerships with amazing people and ministries that has enabled us to embark on this journey. We are thankful for support staff at Faith Academy for relentlessly working with the various government departments to secure our travel exceptions and visas, for organizing housing and even furniture for us, and for assisting us in every way. We are in awe of the kindness, hospitality, and support of the whole Faith community. We are overjoyed at the friendships that have formed between us and our wonderful neighbors, our Bible study groups, our fellow new staffers, parents, veteran Faith Academy staff members, and other members of the Faith Community. It has been encouraging to be surrounded by and minister with such amazing people. We are also blown away by the relationships that we were able to build with students this year, despite it all being online - that is definitely God's grace.

The new staffers that arrived the same weekend we did

Furthermore, we are also grateful to have time to rest and relax, and spend valuable time with friends and family in South Africa. In the past two weeks we've been catching up with Egbert's relatives, playing Spikeball with his nieces,  eating a lot of tasty home cooked South African meals, and Alyson has met some more of Egbert's extended family (this is our first trip to SA as a married couple). This week we are visiting the Kruger National Park, and taking a road trip through the rural countryside where Egbert grew up. Egbert's high school reunion is also coming up at the end of June.

Playing Spikeball

In July, we will go to Cape Town by ourselves for a couple of days. In between the sightseeing we intend to use this time away from family to cast vision for and pray into our next year of ministry, 2021-2022, and connecting with our partners, current and new. More about that in our next newsletter!


  • Finishing the school year well.
  • A smooth trip to SA
  • Time to rest and relax.
  • Good health.


  • To remain in good health as a new wave of COVID is flaring up in SA.
  • Existing partnerships to continue as we start a new year of ministry.
  • New partnerships for the coming year and beyond.

Sunday, May 16, 2021


Kumusta! Hello! in Tagalog

Hot season is in full swing! We woke up this morning at 6am to it already feeling like 94°F (34° for our South African family and friends) with 65% humidity. We're melting, and from what we hear, we have been experiencing a mild hot season!

At this moment, there are about three weeks left of the school year at Faith Academy. The last couple of weeks have felt like an endurance race, but God has been sustaining and strengthening us to continue. Alyson has been quite busy the last couple of weeks checking in with seniors who need a little bit more encouragement to complete their assignments in order to graduate. This year has been hard on them, and some of them have lost sight of their goal of graduating. Thankfully, their teachers, support staff, parents, and guidance counselor are there to help encourage them through this 'crunch time'. This is an awesome ministry opportunity. Please pray for all these efforts to bear fruit and for our students, especially the seniors, to finish the year well. I, Egbert, have been working on wrapping up the academic year with my freshman and sophomore students. It is a bitter-sweet feeling as the students will move on to the next grade or next class without us ever having face to face classes. It feels as if we missed out on so much when we think of a normal school year, but at the same time we feel a profound gratitude for just how much God worked in our lives and the lives of the students despite online classes. It has taught us that it is God's ministry that touches people's lives, and not our charisma.

Our region is still under MECQ, although the restrictions seem to be loose, or not as strictly enforced. Unfortunately, at this point, kids are still not allowed to attend school face to face. There will be another update on May 15th where we find out if restrictions ease or not.

With the school year coming to a close, summer is right around the corner. The doors have opened for us to be able to travel to South Africa to be with family for the summer. At this point, tickets are purchased and borders are open. We would like to ask for prayer that this will remain the case, and that travel will be 'easy'...or go as smoothly as possible. Our plan is to return to the Philippines in time to finish quarantine and be ready for the 2021-2022 school year orientation. 

We wanted to give you a visual of what class has looked like for staff and students this year:

 Alyson is checking in with some seniors to encourage them to finish strong.

Egbert is meeting up with his homeroom boys. Their house name is Machaira.


  • God has sustained us through almost a whole school year at Faith!
  • Our car is finally fixed to the point where there is nothing else that needs to be done for the foreseeable future.
  • We've been slowly learning and making progress with Tagalog
  • The Seniors at Faith Academy. They are about to finish their high school career with no chance to reunite one last time in sight.
  • Struggling students: Both for academics and mentally
  • Our trip to South Africa to see family
  • MECQ restriction to ease, and for kids to be allowed to go back to face to face classes as soon as possible
  • More financial partnerships to come about for this next year God has called us to serve at Faith

Saturday, April 17, 2021



This past month flew by on our end. There have been a lot of changes to the Covid situation in the Philippines, and therefore a lot of adjustment. However, we continue to praise God for the ability to be here and teach at FA.

After a pretty big rise in cases, March 29th started with a lock down called ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). This meant that, among many other restrictions, going to school to work and having tutoring/extracurricular activities with students was no longer an option. This was a big disappointment for both staff, but especially the students who had been taking advantage of the opportunities on campus.

Gathering our things before
campus access closes

April 12th, started MECQ, or Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. At this point, we're not sure what restrictions are partnered with this, but it is a step that eases restrictions. As we wait, we are praising God that he has taught us the power of waiting in prayer and joy this past year.

Partnered with the increase of cases, is the unsureness of how next school year will be allowed to start. The Admin at FA have been working tirelessly to adjust to the constant changes that come their way. Because FA has such an international community, many of who are currently still out of country, staff is preparing to start next school year online, and is developing a schedule that would allow us (restrictions allowing) to switch to a hybrid or face to face option. It's not the news that staff or students wanted to hear, but we continue to cling to God and pray for the hybrid or face to face opportunity. 

In light of the recent extra quarantine restrictions and how they limit our ability to interact with students in person, Paul's words in Acts 20:24 have been an encouragement to persevere. Paul writes, "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." 

In this verse, Paul is leaving Ephesus and boarding a boat to Jerusalem. He knows what will await him there if he's to persevere in his calling. To persevere requires important mindsets that Paul exemplifies in this verse. Firstly, one must be selfless to persevere in ones calling. Paul confesses that his life is not dear to him, that his focus is on what God has called him to, and that he considers those he is called to minister to as more important than himself, which shows faith that God's plan is greater than his own. Secondly, perseverance calls for an absolute resolve. Paul resolves that he will finish his race, and that he will fulfill his calling no matter what. In times that teaching and guiding students is less than ideal, we are encouraged to persevere, imitating Paul, but ultimately Christ, in selflessness and firm resolve. It's our prayer too, that in whatever circumstances you find yourself, you will persevere in Christ.

Faith Academy only has 6 more weeks of school! The time has flown by. With school close to its end, everyone is looking forward to a much deserved summer. Please pray with us and for us, for the opportunity to be able to travel to South Africa to visit family and friends easily and with few setbacks. Summer of 2020 was supposed to be our SA trip to celebrate our wedding with those who weren't able to be there, but with Covid, it wasn't possible. Now, we see an opening and are praying and waiting to see if it is possible.


  • We reached 91.9% funded for one-time gifts and 75.6% for monthly funding. We praise God for the continued faithfulness and for your partnership!
  • The move from ECQ to MECQ

Prayer requests:

  • Car Repairs: We are able to do little by little and are seeing progress
  • South Africa Travel
  • FA Admin as they make very difficult decisions in ever changing situations
  • Quarantine measures to ease

Taking in one last view of the city
from school before ECQ starts.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

This month marks one year since God called us to serve at Faith Academy. It marks our eighth month as part of this ministry and also our fourth month living in the Philippines. We are in awe of all that God has done and is doing. We are greatly blessed to have you as our ministry partners. Thank you for your prayers for us and our students. God has been so steadfast in providing for us and opening doors for us to build relationships with more of our students.

Since our last update, there have not been any big changes. It is that part of the school year when both students and teachers realize that it is crunch time. School and extracurricular activities are in full swing and keeping us busy. Between the lesson planning, the grading, and guiding students through college applications, it is sometimes easy to get into a rut. But as we find a quiet moment with God, he focuses our thoughts on his faithfulness and the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

It has been on our hearts lately to share with you a couple of thoughts about hope in Christ.

1 Peter 1:3-5 NIV says:

3 Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

We have a living hope in Christ. What does living hope mean? Well, living hope is first and foremost eternal life. 

Hope also...

  1. comes from God (Psalm 43:5)

  2. is a gift of grace (2 Thessalonians 2:16)

  3. is defined by Scripture (Romans 15:4)

  4. is a reasonable reality (Romans 3:15)

  5. is secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 11:25-26)

  6. is confirmed in the believer by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)

  7. defends the Christian against Satan's attacks (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

  8. is confirmed through trials (Romans 5:3-4)

  9. produces joy (Psalm 146:5)

  10. is fulfilled in Christ's return (Titus 2:13)

It is God’s faithfulness and the living hope that we, God’s children, are born into that encourages us to diligently serve where God has placed us and to persevere through every circumstance. We pray for all of you to take courage in the eternal hope that is Christ.

  • Please continue to pray for our students and for more opportunities for them to come to campus.
  • We are now at 67% of our monthly support raising goal, and 77% of our one-time goal. We praise God for you and are so grateful for our partnership. Please pray with us for more partners to join us in God’s ministry.
  • We have been experiencing some issues with our car and we’re having it looked at this week. Please pray that it will be an easy and affordable fix.

Some time we spent hiking with friends. Most of it was spent walking on nets suspended above many jagged rocks.

Friday, February 12, 2021


We are more than a month into this new year and our second semester at Faith. After having been in the Philippines for about two and a half months now, and since arriving, and even since our last update, things have been taking shape.

God has been opening doors for us to forge relationships with more students. Activity on campus has picked up as a variety of opportunities are offered to our in-country students. Tutoring sessions and extra-curricular activities are booming. Every Thursday a group of students gets together on the outside court to play volleyball for an hour and a half...and even longer if it starts to rain and their soccer session gets canceled. Alyson has had the awesome opportunity to be a part of volleyball and build relationships with students on the court. 

There is also a group of high school students who get together at a missionary family's house every so often, and we were invited to join for a chocolate fondue game night. That night swept by too quickly as interactions over fondue and games filled the house and our hearts. Meeting students in person has been an utter joy and encouragement, and we can't wait for the next time we get together with them.

Relationships with students are still molding through weekly conferences and homeroom meetings, and God has been faithful in creating that sense of togetherness and fellowship despite being so far apart. It is evident though that students are struggling and longing for more in-person interaction and the physical togetherness that is absent from online schooling.

Our students need prayer, support, and Christ more than ever. We know that it is not just limited to the students in the Philippines. Students everywhere in the world are going through this hard process and it is affecting them. We want to ask for prayer for all students of all ages, here at Faith, and around the world.  Students are in the process of figuring out who they are and their identity. This partnered with this life changing time calls for intercession.

God has placed some amazing people around us, and it has been a joy and encouragement to see new friendships forming. It is an answer to prayer. We are also grateful to have been given an opportunity to take Tagalog lessons twice a week, and we pray that it will enable us to better build relationships with locals. God has already used small phrases to open up so many conversations with people! Please pray that what we learn will stick in our minds.

As in our last newsletter, God continues to provide. We are so excited about the new ministry partnerships that have taken shape since our last update! We are now at 65.7% of our monthly goal! If you feel led to partner monthly, with one time gifts, or know of anyone who would like to become a partner, please let us know.

                                                 Before getting our Visas finalized!
       Getting some beef burgers with great friends. 
    Beef isn't super popular here, so we enjoy it where we can.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

God Provides

 We have a really good friend who always asks us what our theme for the new year is going to be. Although she isn't near us this year to ask, we found ourselves thinking about it. 

God provides.

When we look back at the past year, we are in awe of all that God has provided. He is a mighty and caring God who desires to have relationship with each and every one of His children. 

In the past week we found ourselves struggling with trusting in God. In all honesty, our first reaction was to go anywhere but to God. After reflecting, it was made clear that there was no reason to not trust. He has been in every little detail and guiding every step. 

Since the last update, so much has happened. Like we said, God provides! Because so much has happened we wanted to give you the bullet point list:

  • God provided a wonderful car in the perfect timing (we had school the next day)
    Egbert and Pastor Danny finalizing the purchase of the car.
                                                         Egbert & Pastor Danny checking out the car
  • God provided amazing people to guide us through the process of opening up a bank account
  • God provided an awesome landlord, apartment, and all that was needed to furnish the apartment
  • God has provided great friends and community
  • God provided the ability for school to start on the 11th of January with most staff in country
  • God provided a time for some rest and relaxation up in the mountains
  • God provided an incredible and hard working visa team. Our visas will be submitted to be finalized next week
With second semester just around the corner, and days filled with Professional Development and preparations, the High School Department came up with 2 words that described our goals for this second semester. 

Connected: The goal is to stay as connected with the students as possible. This school year is different and difficult, but it is still a school year in the student's lives, and we want to be connected and intentional with building relationships and educating. Connected also stands for our vertical connection with God, building relationship and continuously getting to know Him better. No matter what is thrown at us, we know that this is God's ministry and He will guide.

Still: Yes, we are still virtual learning, still in this odd time, and still trying to figure things out. But we are also still able to be a part of the student's lives, still able to show Christ, still able to guide, still able to interact, and still able to teach. Most importantly, God can still have impact. How great is it that God has provided all of these 'stills'?

God has provided in so many ways this past month!
Second semester starts on Monday the 11th.

Prayer Requests
For the students and staff that are diving into second semester of virtual learning.
For God to provide new partnerships.

Thursday, December 10, 2020


Wow...we don't know where to begin! Since our last update, we have really experienced tangibly just how faithful God is, in all things. It has now been about two and a half weeks since we arrived in the Philippines, and we have been taken aback by the welcome we have received, and the kindness and generosity of the Faith community. 

We have been blessed to be able to stay in a furlough home until our apartment is ready for us to move in. Just this past Wednesday, we signed the lease to our apartment, and plan on moving in next week! Our landlord was so kind to repaint the apartment and change some specific things we had requested. Our lovely new neighbors are also part of the Faith community, and they have been kind enough to show us around.

Our quarantine period ended just in time for us to be able to attend Faith Academy's Staff Christmas Banquet. We were finally able to meet most staff face to face. Yes....face to face. We were and are so grateful for the opportunity to be physically surrounded by our coworkers! We have since also been able to go into school and work in our classroom and office, still connecting with our students online though. On Thursday we had a tour of the campus, and what a testimony of God's plan, provision, and heart for the nations it is! 

Currently, we are in the process of looking for a car. We have been put in contact with a reliable liaison who will help us find and purchase a good quality...but,  and help us with the mountain of paperwork. Our liaison is a pastor at a local church, who has been helping missionaries and expats in this way for nearly 30 years.  We are hoping to find and purchase the car before Christmas break so that we can go and explore our new home a little.

How second semester courses would be administered has been up in the air for a while. We now know that all of second semester will be given virtually. Although this isn't the news everyone was hoping for, we are still grateful that we are able to be in country and be in community with the other Faith staff.

Here are some pictures of Faith Academy High School Department!


Now that we don't have to wait for visas or flights, and are actually in county, we have some specific prayer requests.

- We still need $1, 365 per month in order to be fully funded. Please pray that God would lead others to become financial partners with us in order to be fully funded. 

- Our car search is on! We are praying for a reliable car within our budget.

- The school is loaning us some basic furnishings for the time being. We hope to be able to gradually
purchase some furniture of our own.

- With a move comes a transition. Please pray that we are able to transition smoothly into our new home. 

We also want to reiterate that we want to know how we can pray for you in this partnership! Please send us any prayer requests you may have to

Monday, November 9, 2020

Faith's Impact: A Parent's Story



We hope that you all are doing well, and that these days you are enjoying time together with loved ones. 

We have had to postpone our flights from the end of October to November 17th! All of the paperwork that needed to be approved has been approved and our passports are currently at the Embassy getting their visas. God willing, everything will go smoothly and we will be able to leave according to plan. On another note, the 17th is the day before Egbert's stay in the U.S. would expire. Although the application for a longer stay has been submitted, we haven't heard anything back, so we are praising God for this timing!

Thank you for your prayers and support during this time! 

It is always nice to get some fresh perspective on why this ministry at Faith Academy is so important, and how by being there we contribute to the wider faith community and enable other missionaries to follow their callings in reaching the unreached. It's nice to every so often get a glimpse of the bigger picture of what God is doing in Asia, and how Faith Academy is included in that. This past month a parent of students who typically board at Faith Academy shared with our staff just how instrumental the school has been in allowing his family to pursue their calling in a more rural part of the Philippines. Their ministry, Reefs for Life, works with coastal communities on protecting and restoring the reefs around their islands, while also reaching them with the Gospel and starting Bible studies. They address the physical and spiritual needs of these people. These communities rely on the reefs as a means of livelihood, but the reefs also play a crucial role in protecting the coastal villages from high tides. By working with locals, they restore the coral reefs using a technique that speeds up the time of regrowth significantly, ensuring the sustainability of these communities and their posterity. Through interacting with the locals, they have been able to reach 10,000 people with the Gospel in an area where less than 1% are Christian. They have also been able to start over 20 small groups. This has eternal value. The parent emphasized that having an affordable school and boarding house for missionary kids has made it possible for them to serve they way they do. 

To hear from a parent about the impact that Faith has had on their ministry was very encouraging. In a way, we see a small part of what God is doing in students' lives, but it goes so much further than just our students. Their education enables their parents to continually spread the Gospel wherever they may be. As another parent put it: We might just be teachers, but in a way we are partly church-planters, partly medical missionaries, partly missionaries to unreached people groups, partly a Bible translator, etc.

We also wanted to thank you. Because through your partnership and prayer, you are also a part of this ministry that goes beyond the students at Faith Academy.

Here is their website if you would like to check it out:

  • That the visa process goes smoothly
  • Travel goes as planned
  • Quarantine/COVID-19 Tests
How can we pray for you? We would truly love to know. Send us an email:

Again, thank you so much for your continued partnership, whether it be financial or through prayer. We are currently at 61% funded for the year. If you know of someone who would be interested in becoming a partner, please let us know! We would love to get in touch with them. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

CHI to MNL we come! 

    Faith Academy told us on Sunday September, 27th that we may be able to get in country after the October break and that tickets can be purchased! Our tickets are purchased, and we are scheduled to leave from Chicago in October. God has provided so much in this time of waiting, or what we call 'limbo'. Although tickets are bought, there are still a lot of 'ifs'. The Department of Education and Department of Foreign Affairs need to endorse all new staff in order to be allowed into the country. 

    A lot depends on being able to leave the US before November 18th, as Egbert's visa for stay expires then. We can apply for an extension, but with leaving the country in October, there is no need. If we cannot leave before November 18th, we will technically be late in applying for the visa extension, although we will have proof we had intended to leave before the expiry, which we hope will help. 

    We ask for your prayer in this time, as we move forward in faith that we will be able to travel as scheduled and all will go according to God's will. 

    Faith Academy has been such a support for the students and staff during this time of adjustment. They continue to pursue the will of God in education, support, and encouragement. 

    In the meantime, we have been taking full advantage of the nice fall weather. Alyson has the opportunity to work in admissions at Ramseyer Farms during the day. We were able to spend an afternoon exploring the farm and taking a break from grading to do the tractor pull, play pumpkin checkers, get lost in a corn maze, slingshot potatoes, and enjoy apple cider slushies. God has shown the beauty in every season and every season of life. Having the opportunity to work during the day next to Christ centered colleagues and business owners and come home to work with Christ centered educators has been such a blessing and encouragement. We are both grateful for all that God has provided!

Life Update

    Through partnership, we are 61% supported for the year. We are praying to be fully funded by the end of November, and trust that God will provide. If you feel led to partner with our ministry in the Philippines, please let us know, and we will connect with you. Partnership is a two way street: we care  deeply for our partners, connect with them continually,  and pray for them!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Our FAITH Journey


    The title, "Our Faith Journey," is actually a play on words that we are using to link how our own journeys to faith in Christ highlighted God's call on us to start working at Faith Academy. 

    I grew up in a Christian home in northern South Africa. Both my parents were strong believers and were very involved in ministry at church. Despite my upbringing, I had slipped into a rhythm of cultural Christianity in my teenage years, lacking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As I started attending university, I slipped even farther away and became more self-centered.
    God had others plans for me though and sent good Christian mentors to challenge my worldview and faith. Not only did they challenge me to turn to God, but they also encouraged me when I found it hard to let go of the past. God used my parents and upbringing, as well as those key people during my university years to lead me into a personal relationship with Him.

    I was a missionary kid in Kenya for the first 8 years of my life. I was also raised in a Christian home where I learned who God was and started my relationship with him. As life went on there was an aspect of my faith that was borrowed, but towards the end of high school and into the first years of university I started to own my relationship with Christ. 
    From the time I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to be a missionary overseas. I caught the travel bug and the yearning to serve others through building relationships. Being an MK, I understand how even though parents may be missionaries and followers of the Lord, their children have to make a choice to follow God on their own. 

    90% of the student body at Faith Academy are missionary kids. They have such a rich inheritance in Christ, just like we did, yet many of them do not have personal relationships with Christ. Our hearts ache to think that any of them should fall away. The other 10% of the student body at Faith Academy are made up of children of business-people, many of whom are not believers. Our hearts rejoice at the thought of these students and their families coming to Christ. 
    Through our own testimonies, God has made His calling clear to us. He set our hearts on fire to help tend His flock at Faith Academy, so that none would go astray, and so that those who are lost may be found.

This 6 minute video shares some testimonies from the Faith Academy Community

    The Philippines' borders are still closed, and we are not yet able to physically be at Faith Academy. Even in this, God is faithful. Alyson's parents are still graciously sharing their house with us, allowing us to set up our home classrooms from where we record instruction videos and conference with our students. School officially started online on August 24th, and the first two weeks went really well. Praise God. Weekly student conferences and homeroom periods also kicked off on August 31st as a means to build relationships with our students, assist them academically, and check in on their mental and spiritual health. It has been great meeting the students and interacting with them in this way. God has also pressed it on the hearts of many people to partner with us in His ministry, and we are now 60% partnered with for this year. 

Prayer Requests:
For encounters with our students that will lead to spiritual growth.
For the Philippines' borders to open.
For more ministry partners.

November 2021