We are about to enter Holy Week here in the Philippines. This is commonly our busiest time of year. Today, we are taking a bit of a day off. I (Bob) have a bit of a cold and Celia needs her rest after a big week.
1. Clinical Pastoral Education, Summer Intensive, is in its 2nd week and going well so far. We have 12 trainees… which is plenty. We have maybe another 8 or 9 who MIGHT join us for the half unit after Easter. Not sure whether we hope they join or not. We have a moderately diverse group for CPE right now. 4 are PBTS students. 1 is a Baptist missionary. 1 is a nurse who ministers with a Christian hospice/palliative care. 1 is a recent seminary graduate who wants to work with us for a year. 1 works with a drug treatment center. 1 works with a street children ministry in Manila. 1 is a nurse and a member of our counseling center staff, 1 is a nurse and coworker in the church we attend, and 1 is a Catholic nun. It has been a rewarding first two weeks.
2. Celia has been doing a lot of counseling lately. A lot of people with deep spiritual and emotional needs. Our counseling center is losing some staff members in the next few weeks, so we are hoping that some of the CPE trainees will be able to work with us this next year. The local barangay (neighborhood government) has been asking for our help as well.
3. I have been doing a lot of typing. Some of it is for the policies and standards of CPSP-Philippines. Some of it is for two textbooks— one on Christian cultural anthropology, and one on Pastoral Care. The first one was tested with a class this year. The big change recommended was to give more examples in the text. The other book is at about page 112. It is slowing down a bit… but hope to have it mostly done by the time Summer Intensive is over.
4. Big events coming up. Disaster Response training with Dean Miller of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board is scheduled for May 13-16. It is a partnered effort between PBTS and Bukal Life Care. Near the end of May we will be doing a medical mission in Kibungan, Benguet. It has been about two years since we have done a medical mission (although we sponsored one last year). Frankly, medical missions are expensive and tiring… but we know the local pastor there and believe we can genuinely help the community. Added to this is the fact that that community has a high rate of suicide… so as a Christian counseling center we want to see what we can do to help.