image2 (1) I just wanted to share these pictures with you all! Here is the sample of what the girl’s uniforms will look like at Paglaum Preschool. Isn’t it adorable?? In the Philippines every school requires a uniform, even the public schools. At first I did not think the preschool would need uniforms and we could save some money but after talking with different people, I have learned that it is important that the kids wear one because the parents and the children will take it more seriously and will think of it as a real school. Because of this, we have designed the cutest little uniforms I have ever seen. 🙂 image1 (1)Cha Cha, the girl in the pictures, tried the uniform on at church and refused to take it off the rest of the day because she liked it so much! She felt like she was already at preschool while coloring during my Sunday School class. Thank you all for your prayers as everything is moving forward!


And the Preschool Has a Name!

Everything is happening very fast with the preschool the last week or so. The goal date for the first day of class is July 6th! Usually most schools in the Philippines start the beginning of a new school year beginning or mid-June, but because we are getting most of the preschool supplies and furniture shipped on a container that may not arrive until mid-June, we will need time to set up the classroom. Speaking of this shipment, if anyone has anything they would like to donate from shelves to toys to any kind of school supplies, the shipment will leave from my house in Kansas. My dad is in charge of gathering supplies to ship for the preschool and the other ministries in Mindanao. You can email me at madibennett11@gmail.com or email my dad at dougbennett@kidsim.org.

It looks like we will have two classes three days a week. Probably the three year olds in the morning for three and a half hours and the four year olds in the afternoon for three and a half hours. I have met with a preschool teacher/ administrator here that has a lot of experience with starting preschools and she is going to help the teacher I hire with some specific training for center based and play-based preschool teaching. She is also going to help with future permits and all the paper work that entails because paper work is so not my thing even though I am sure it will need to become my thing soon. IMG_2985

The most exciting step forward right now is we have decided on a name for the preschool! The name will be: ‘Paglaum Preschool.’ Paglaum in Visayan (the language spoken here) means hope. A few months ago I was really trying hard to think of a name for the preschool and the only word that ever came up was the word hope. I have prayed about it and the word hope just keeps coming up all the time from my daily devotion to sermons. For me, it is the perfect name for the preschool because my goal from the start for this preschool is to give the children hope for a better future. Hope that their education in this preschool will help them for the rest of their school years and for the rest of their lives. Hope that they have an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and I pray that every single little child that comes to Paglaum Preschool will have hope in Jesus and will know His never ending love for them.

Birthdays and Hospitals

So this last week I was in the hospital for four days with some stomach infection and a fever… the good news is it is not appendicitis like the doctors were pretty sure it was. I am recovering now, but am still experiencing some stomach pain that will hopefully start to go away soon. (This is seriously a good excuse for not writing a blog in a while, right?) Anyways… IMG_1272

Before I got sick, I had the opportunity to have a birthday party for one of our girls from the children’s home! Since we had a new baby brought to the children’s home in November, I have been spending a lot of time there almost every day helping out with the baby. This has allowed me to get closer to the other kids, especially the toddlers and older girls. Since our children’s home is outside of town and there is no real budget for birthday parties for each child, I decided it would be easy for me to use my house in town for a party for one of the girls. Turns out, girls that are turning 13 like celebrating their birthday with all their friends and eating all the sugar they can possibly eat. The requested snacks were chips, no-bake cookies (that they helped make), cake, and soda. Not the healthiest things in the world but hey, it’s a birthday party! The younger girls watched movies while the older girls helped make cookies and had a fun time being noisy while chatting and taking a million selfies on my phone. All the girls seemed to have a great time, and even though it was a little stressful for me to IMG_1271get ready, it was well worth it to see the smiles on their faces.

When I moved here I did not think I would spend much time at the children’s home because of everything else I had plans to do, but I am so thankful for the relationships I have built with all the kids. Everything might be a little crazier than I had pictured but that’s what makes every day all the more fun.