Sat Sep 2 14:50:02 2017
I am excited to communicate to you all about a change in ministry focus. While I will continue to be supported and serve through First Love International Ministries, my focus will be recruiting staff for Faith Academy Philippines. This is a newly created position by the school.
I will be sending this note out in the next couple of days and am asking you to cover it in prayer. Please read through it and be praying about it. Since we came to do Stateside ministry, our support has decreased through attrition.
Please pray that the Lord would raise up individuals to partner with us.
Thanks for all you do! Don
Sun May 21 15:01:30 2017
Wed Feb 8 15:15:05 2017
Tue Nov 15 12:13:20 2016
Sat Jun 4 10:36:45 2016
Sun Feb 21 16:55:02 2016
Mon Jan 11 18:20:51 2016
Sat Oct 3 15:33:05 2015
Mon May 18 20:33:00 2015
Sat Apr 18 17:54:03 2015
Mon Feb 16 15:35:57 2015
Tue Oct 14 15:57:37 2014
Mon Aug 18 08:09:48 2014
Fri Feb 14 20:15:28 2014
Fri Jan 24 22:19:15 2014
Mon Dec 23 14:34:17 2013
Tomorrow at this time I will be at the airport waiting to board the first leg of my very long flight home. I cannot wait. Woooh Hooo!
This last month and a half have been a blur of activity, details, and communication, since Typhoon Yolanda ripped open a gash in the central Philippine Islands. When we saw the incredible damage and suffering, the Lord compelled me to plan a trip back. With Kristen's blessing and the encouragement of our mission director, Tom Clinton, we put the challenge out to our Facebook community and email friends. Through God's blessing and your generosity we were able to raise $25,000+ to help in the recovery efforts in Tacloban City.
Four great guys answered the call and planned to come with me. Ward Rau, a retired school guidance counselor, and long time friend/mentor from FBC Wheaton, Steve Clark, my bro in law, and IT Director, Daniel Laidig, Faith Academy grad of 2002, and colleague, Leo Mendoza, Faith 5th grade teacher. At the end of our time in Tacloban, someone asked how long we all knew each other . . . Even though the answer was just a week and a half, we were an awesome team that were just like old friends. We worked really hard together and laughed really hard together. Yeah Baby!
An inside recurring joke was that everything was flawless . . . Because what could possibly go wrong . . . but amazingly things were just that . . . Flawless! Not because of us, but because of your prayers and the grace of God who cares for us. Over and over we marveled how details came into focus and worked out so well. 5 of us with different flight plans . . . Thousands of dollars in tools and supplies . . . 3 generators able to be purchased in the 2 days we had in Manila and delivered to Tacloban on time safely. Truly amazing!
Our on the ground team in Tacloban were also great! Clod Tiamson, a First Love Missionary mate that partners with Dan and Tori Beaver in Boracay, was the Tacloban leader. He managed logistics and people. Keith, Jomar, and Joseph, Filipinos from Manila and workers with First Love projects, helped guide us in construction. Jerry, a coach allowed us to stay in his and his aunt's home. Of course without electricity and running water.Aki also helped with logistics and was a true servant. 4 expats also assisted. Kevin, a retired shop teacher from Ohio, gave great construction leadership. Olivia, the only female on the team from upstate New York, was driver and deliverer and helped assist in the feeding programs. Malcom, from Ontario Canada worked along side of us in church reconstruction. And then Andrew. Andrew was watching television in England when video came on from the typhoon. A man was carrying his dead baby girl. Andrew has a little girl about the same age and he felt compelled to go. He left behind a life of daily marijuana use, bar fights, jail time, repeated over and over . . . He sold his only possession of a laptop, bought a ticket and went. He did not know what he was going to do or where he was going to go. He met Kevin on the plane down to Tacloban.. Kevin invited Andrew to join us. God did a miraculous thing in Andrew's life. Andrew asked Jesus to save him and be his Lord. When we arrived at the airport in Tacloban, we saw the stripped large trees with little bunches of new growth on them a month after the storm. When talking with Andrew, I shared that these were like him. Stripped cleanly of the old, and the new life of Jesus living out through him. Please join me in praying for Andrew as he heads home. As he seeks to reconcile with his wife, find a healthy body of Christ followers, and lead his own daughter in following Jesus. We were privileged to work together.
The little church we worked with was full of motivated members that also assisted in the enlarging, cement mixing and pouring, sawing, tresses forming, and assembling a new roof. Please also pray for the Kalipayan Baptist Church as they continue to reach out to their neighborhood with the love of Jesus in teaching, feedings, medical relief, and spiritual encouragement.
Lord, thank you for the strength and hope in the midst of a terrible storm. Thank you for the opportunity to help lead and work in the city of Tacloban. Thank you for all the people that helped our team in helping others. Thank you that we were blessed so we could bless others(and be further blessed in the process.)
Thank you most of all for sending your Flawless son at Christmas, to live a Flawless life, to die by taking on all our flaws(sins), and over power death by rising so that we all one day will enjoy a Flawless Eternity.
To You be all glory! Amen!
Tue Nov 12 05:10:26 2013
You have seen the overwhelming disaster of the Central Philippines through news and youtube and FaceBook re-posts. Many are asking what they can do. I have asked the same. It is hard to see such suffering.
I am asking you to partner with me on an important trip. I have been given clearance and blessing from our Mission Executive Director, Tom Clinton, to book a trip, to bring relief supplies to some very hard hit areas. I NEED YOUR HELP. I will leave Chicago on Dec. 7th and stay for 18 Days. This enables the cheapest available flight near the Holidays, and I will be able to have direct hands-on direction to dispersal of funds. We would like to "go deep" with our help of people, so that it is not just a one time gift of a small amount of food, but a deeper commitment to assist as many as possible to get back on their feet over the long haul.
I am hoping to connect Faith Academy Students/Staff and organize a trip at the beginning of Christmas Break to go to one of the affected areas.
I have a personal goal of raising $25,000 for this Relief Trip. This will take a supernatural effort to raise in 25 Days. Will you give serious consideration to whatever you could do? Any amount will help!
We will purchase supplies on the ground in Manila and bring them down to the affected areas.
Please Pray! Please Consider Joining Me on this Trip! Please Pray that God would be honored despite this terrible disaster.
Sincerely, Don MacKay
First Love International
PO Box 15836
Loves Park, IL 61132 USA
Mon May 6 01:07:34 2013
Tue Mar 12 22:26:19 2013
Thu Jan 31 22:56:54 2013
Mon Sep 10 15:07:02 2012
Welcome back to school! It's that time of year again when those of us in education breathe the sweet scent of fresh notebooks and Elmer's glue. We've been back to school for several weeks now and would like to share with you some of what's been happening in our lives and ministry here in the Philippines.
We've attached our latest news letter as a pdf file.
Mon Sep 3 17:33:20 2012
Tue Jun 5 20:35:30 2012
Mon Apr 23 12:14:21 2012
One of the joys of working with Threads of Hope ministry in Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines, is getting to participate with their annual anniversary and baptism service. Twenty-seven men and women, from teenagers, to a married couple in the 70’s, displayed their identification with Jesus Christ, and followed in the public step of baptism. Tourists, children, beach vendors, and resort workers watched as the crowd sang songs of praise, and celebrated the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
I will give thanks to Thee O Lord, among the people. I will sing praises to Thee among the nations.
Thanks again for being a part of the team that allows the Gospel to go forth in South East Asia through Aninuan Christian Church. Let His Glory be over ALL the Earth!
Mon Apr 9 15:11:19 2012
Mon Apr 2 14:30:40 2012
Mon Feb 13 14:36:56 2012
Thu Dec 8 21:26:40 2011
Thu Nov 3 16:12:54 2011
Mon Oct 3 13:06:16 2011
Sat Sep 24 17:47:22 2011
Sat May 14 17:37:11 2011
Sat May 14 17:22:42 2011
Mon Mar 7 17:52:30 2011
Sun Jan 30 20:45:19 2011
Mon Dec 6 18:45:18 2010
Urban poor are an ever present reality of life in a mega city, with more than 20 million people. At intersections, we have several small children walk along our car with outstretched hands. Their tear and pollution stained faces carry tales of difficult lives lived from moment to moment. Some will try to sell fresh flowers; others will wash and squeegee our windows in the monsoon rains. Adults too are on the streets trying to forage out a living through begging. Blind are led by relatives and the lame limp along on make-shift crutches that looks like they were designed by Dr. Suexx.
Mon Nov 8 13:55:01 2010
“All ready? Because the kids are here and they are ready…” is how we started our Sunday morning with the 80+ Staff and students ready to start another season of “All for Jesus” also known as ‘A4J’. We had a line snaking around the corner of children from 4 different squatter areas within a kilometer of our school. The staff was poised with 400 ‘4-12 year old ‘sized T-shirts that would be the kids’ ticket into our weekly Bible club.
At the end of last school year we only had 3% of our operating budget. What a Joy that 2 large donations virtually covered the needed expenses. Please pray that the kids that attend will be attentive to hearing and responding to the truth of God’s Word. Please pray that our Faith students will catch a vision for reaching a lost world. May many more enter the Kingdom after coming through the gates of our campus. Thank you for your continued partnership as we siik to minister at Faith Academy.
Blessings, Don and Kristen MacKay
Tue Nov 2 00:22:43 2010
Mon Oct 11 13:40:08 2010
Well, our High School just had its annual ‘retreat’ which also defines as ‘moving back’. This retreat was a great challenge to our students to grow like fire in their spiritual lives. We had a special speaker come from Los Angeles and he encouraged our students to make Christ the center of all. Students were challenged to live as Christ by serving others in the future.
So our retreat was Back…to the Future… Please pray for our student body, including our 3 sons that they may grow like fire and shine for Jesus in this present darkness. Thank you for your continued partnership as we seek to minister at Faith Academy.
Blessings, don and Kristen MacKay
Wed Sep 1 18:17:28 2010
Kristen and I had the privilege of helping lead worship at out Staff Retreat for the last three days. One of the songs we sang and helped lead was written by Michael Frye. It is out desire to make this true in our ministries for the coming year.
Jesus be the center, Be my source, by my light, Jesus
Be the fire in my heart, Be the wind in my sails, Be the reason that I live,
Thanks for your support for our family and ministry. We really appreciate you! Pray with us that we all will make Jesus the center.
Blessings, Don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Aug 9 14:08:03 2010
Sun Jul 11 13:36:08 2010
Mon Jun 7 14:33:05 2010
Mon Apr 12 15:06:12 2010
What an amazing outdoor Ed we had the privilege of helping lead on the peninsula of Bataan, a very important WWII historical site. Don was in charge of our base camp, and it was there where we focused on our ministry segment of the week. We literally marched in the shadows of where our US and Filipino soldiers had 60+ years ago. Our march was only about a mile, and we trekked to a public school in the town next to the camp.
Each day, we took 75 kids to the school where we met with 1/3 of the student body. We shared music, the story of Jesus, and then broke into class groups – each with one of our outdoor ed squads. We shared the gospel with our Wordless Book Bracelets and nearly 150 kids came to Christ. It was a bountiful harvest. The Pastor/Manager at the camp has a church across the street and will host a VBS to follow up. Praise God for His faithfulness and great fruit.
Blessings, Don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Mar 8 14:55:53 2010
2010 has already moved into its second month. Kristen has fully dived into 5th grade for the second semester. She loves her class and the feeling is mutual. The High School starts this month with their Spiritual Enrichment Week. Pray that god’s Spirit will challenge our students. Caleb and don spend the second week of the month at outdoor education. Don is leading base camp and Caleb will be in one of 21 squads that rotate between a beach site, base camp and Corregidor, an island at the mouth of Manila Bay and steeped in WWII history.
No matter how busy the school year becomes, we never want to forget to thank our Lord for our life and breath and health…And to you for empowering us to serve through your prayers and financial support. Thank You So Much!!!
Mon Jan 18 17:44:49 2010
Mon Dec 7 13:40:09 2009
The Lord certainly knew and prepared the way for us. All praise and honor to Him! Thank you for your continued partnership with our family and ministry.
Mon Nov 16 13:57:21 2009
Blessings, Don and Kristen MacKay
Sun Oct 4 11:56:08 2009
P.S. If you would like to send donations to help the thousands that are displaced around us, you can send checks to First Love, call them, or donate online. Be sure to include a note/email telling that they are to go to MacKays for FLOOD RELIEF, and we will be sure that the donations are passed on to those that need them.
First Love International
Mon Sep 14 14:03:28 2009
While we still do not know what is going to happen, we trust in the One who does… and we wait… Thank you for your continued partnership with our family and ministry.
Blessing, Don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Aug 3 21:51:54 2009
Mon Aug 3 12:06:29 2009
Mon Jul 13 12:24:36 2009
We flew out of Chicago on June 22nd. We arrived in time to do repair work on the apartment we rent near Faith Academy. Please pray for our entire family. These times of transitions heighten stress levels and cause patience to be challenged. Thanks for remembering us. We are so grateful for all you have done.
Blessings, don and Kristen MacKay
Thu Jun 18 15:55:23 2009
Mon May 11 13:17:39 2009
The last two months have been a flurry of activity. We are so grateful that the Lord allowed us to be Stateside for this year. While we may not have chosen the timing of our Moms’ home-goings, we see how His timing was planned. Their graduation to glory was chosen by our loving Lord. In February we traveled to Nashville for Kristen’s mom’s services and to spend time with her family. In March, Don spent two weeks staying with his mom before she died. We had wonderful services both in Wheaton and Tennessee.
We are so grateful for the prayers and kindness extended to our family. It is during times like this that we see the visual representation of Jesus Christ. Thanks you for all you have done.
Blessing, don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Apr 20 12:09:24 2009
Thank you for the beautiful flowers for our mom’s memorial service. The Lord has blessed us through your kindness. We’re so sorry we were not able to be there for Missions Sunday. We know you understand. Thank you so much for your continued support.
May you all know His blessings.
Love and prayers,
May kindness return to you in the same beautiful way that it was given.
We had a wonderful visit with the church family of Monona Oaks community church in Madison, Wisconsin. We were able to share in the adult Sunday School and during the worship Service. The members asked some insightful questions and we were able to share about the ministries we are involved with, including Faith Academy, All for Jesus kids program, and the Threads of Hope livelihood project from Mindoro Island. We were grateful for their hospitality and the opportunity to report on the Church’s ministry extension in South East Asia. Someone remarked that they had not considered how the economic downturn would affect missionaries, and was grateful for the reminder. As we are still in need of another $800-$1000 a month, we would appreciate your prayers.
The expressways were a bit treacherous on the way home with driving sleet and rain, so we were pleased to arrive back in Wheaton unscathed. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family.
Blessings, Don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Mar 23 12:15:06 2009
We return to the Philippines June 22, so hopefully we can arrange a time to visit Windy City. We are sorry that we weren't able to be there today.
After a 4 year battle with Cancer, Don's mom went to be with Jesus on Saturday at 3pm. Please see the following note
Dearest Friends and Family,
Mon Mar 9 12:36:22 2009
Blessing, Don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Feb 16 17:06:09 2009
Sun Jan 25 13:22:50 2009
Thank you so much for the generous gift you sent our family for Christmas! We appreciate you remembering us at this special time of year.
It was a joy to visit with the women’s guild in November. Thanks you for your encouragement and faithful prayers for our family and ministry. We hope to be able to visit you all sometime on a Sunday.
Thanks you for blessing our family through your prayers and faithful support. Love in Christ,
We have spent 13 years on the Mission Field and have built close friendships with many other missionary families. But because we are on a Home Assignment year, we have been able to spend extended time with our family. We traveled to Nashville this summer and again for Thanksgiving to spend time with Kristen’s parents and brothers and their families. We enjoyed their tradition of a deep fried turkey and many rounds of the carpet-ball game that her brother Dave constructed.
We have been also able to spend quality time with Don’s family in the Chicago area. One highlight was going to Moody Bible Institute’s Candlelight Carols with Don’s mom. We thoroughly enjoyed the music of the Season and being together. We have had fun celebrating birthdays and just being close by.
We certainly feel that the Lord has brought us back during this time to assist and spend time with our mothers. Please continue to pray for Niki Wills and Normal MacKay as they are both battling serious health issues. Thank You for you continued faithful support during difficult economic times.
Mon Sep 8 12:43:31 2008
We have had the joy of traveling through 21 States in the first 7 weeks of our summer back in the US. We are grateful to our Lord for the provision of a vehicle, safety in travel, and the privilege of visiting supporters and friends. It is a real joy to see friends who are walking with Christ and seeking to follow, and be obedient to Him. It is clear that we could not be serving Him in the Philippines, if it were not for the generous support and foundation of prayer, from friends like these. Thanks to each of you for the ongoing connection with our family and answering the call of Jesus.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Jun 2 11:56:03 2008
As most of you know, we have our tickets purchased, and will fly out in June, for our year-long home service in the States. We are grateful to be finishing up our 4th year of the term, and the 13th year of our Philippine Missions service. We look forward to seeing many, and sharing about our life and ministry at Faith Academy.
Both of us were thrilled to receive a return invitation from the Administration, for our jobs as Campus Pastor, and Elementary Literacy coach. Through God’s help, we have built several significant contacts with staff, and been able to impact them in positive ways. We are grateful for the Lord’s instruction and the empowerment that he gives, enabling us to serve other members of the body of Christ at Faith Academy.
Thanks again for your giving toward our family and ministry,
Mon May 5 11:58:48 2008
Last Sunday evening, many gathered for an old-fashioned hymn sing that Don led. The entire hour and a half were full of singing, praising, and giving testimony to the wonderful things that God is doing in and through our lives. The evening was held on Don’s father’s birthday and we sang “In My Heart There Rings a Melody” in his remembrance. Many responded with gratitude for the opportunity to sing meaningful and rarely sung music. Thanks you for your continued support as we seek to encourage others here at Faith Academy.
Blessings, don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Apr 14 13:12:25 2008
The Philippines has a history of political pressure bearing down on corrupt politicians through massive street protests. Two presidents have been forced to resign in the last 25 years. The people are marching again with the goal of forcing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign. This is due to another shady business deal that allegedly illegally benefits her family. Fuel is now about $4.40 a gallon, with cost filtering down and impacting all areas of everyday life. This hardship causes further unrest.
During these times of political and economic uncertainty, it is good to know that it is the Lord that has called us here to Manila to serve Him. We trust that He will be the one to watch over us and provide for our needs.
Thanks you for your ongoing prayer and financial support.
May you know Christ’s Blessing, Don and Kristen
Mon Mar 10 13:12:26 2008
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve those in need here at Faith Academy. Please pray that we will guide individuals to emotional and spiritual health.
Thanks for you help in supporting our family and Ministry,
Mon Jan 28 13:00:41 2008
Thank you for the warm Christmas wishes you sent us, as well as the very generous gift to our family. We appreciate your support and encouragement.
We were saddened to hear of the death of Lois Balzer. What a dedicated supporter to missions world wide. We will miss her.
Thank you to each of you who serve on the WCCC missions committee as you support us and other missionaries around the globe. Thank you for your commitment to us as a family and to the ministry here at Faith Academy in the Philippines.
May you each be blessed in the coming year.
Mon Jan 14 13:10:41 2008
Six days later, on Thanksgiving Day, my father died in his sleep. My mom called shortly thereafter. I was wondering inside…OK, now what Lord? I have just been gone, given much, and can’t afford to fly back…I heard His still small voice saying “Wait on Me…” I did not nave to wait long. Twenty minutes after first getting word, a good friend called and said they wanted to fly me home, back to Chicago for the funeral. I was able to have closure with my family and friends, and share an evangelistic and challenging message at the memorial service. The Lord was Glorified and Honored. What a blessing to serve our great and generous God!
Thank You for your faithful prayers for Kristen and the boys in my absence, and thanks for your ongoing support through another year.
Sun Dec 2 18:07:23 2007
As the rains begin to subside in the tropical Philippine Islands, we think about seasonal change. Manila’s biggest change is from rainy, hot, and humid, to hot and humid. Back in Chicago, the trees have turned to a brilliant explosion of red, orange, and golden yellow. The air now sports an invigorating bite, and the sky is clear blue. Don continues to assist his family. Seasons of life are much more challenging to pass through than a mere observation of nature’s annual transitions. We rejoice knowing the Creator of All, is still in control. Thanks you for your continued love and support for our family and ministry.
It’s hard to believe we’ve had more than twelve years of fruitful service here at Faith Academy. Last spring, we began to consider where God might be leading us in our future areas of ministry. As a result of much thought and prayer, advice and expressed need, both Don and Kristen have taken on new responsibilities.
The Administration asked Don to create a new position of ‘Campus Pastor.’ Don’s focus has shifted from working with students to addressing the spiritual needs of the faculty and national staff. These number over 200 individuals. He has already had opportunity to intervene and help build reconciliation amongst colleagues.
After three years of teaching computer classes in the elementary school, Kristen has moved into a new role of mentor teacher and literacy consultant. She works with the elementary division principal in the area of curriculum development and continues to assist teachers with integrating technology into their classrooms.
Our whole family considered, and decided to work together with many others, in a special outreach to 450 children from squatter homes in a nearby slum area. Don and Kristen have leadership roles, and our three boys help in primary and junior aged groups.
We are deeply grateful to all of you who have continued to uphold us with your prayers and financial support. We recognize that we fully depend to God to meet our every need, so we are asking for your prayers in the area of our financial support.
Mon Nov 26 12:55:00 2007
I am writing to let you know that I am flying back to Chicago tomorrow for my Father's funeral. He had many health issues so we are grateful for his elevation to Glory to be with our Lord. I would appreciate your prayers as I will be given the message from the Word at the memorial service. Thanks for all you do, Blessings, Don
VIEWING on Wednesday, November 28th from 4 - 8 p.m.
Wed Oct 10 13:43:36 2007
Thanks for your note and mission policy that you sent. Clearly this was a lengthy process with much thought and hard work. It looks very thorough. Well done to those who hammered it out. :)
I did make it home to assist my folks. Last Friday we brought my Dad home as there was not much more that could be done medically. Hospice will check in 2 times a week. Don Fiddler and another friend were recruiting teachers at Wheaton College yesterday, and came over to my parents Condo. It was wonderful for my parents to meet 2 friends and colleagues. Don led us in a special time of prayer at the end of our visit. Please pray with us that the Lord's timing will be perfect as He takes my dad home to glory.
My mom has a cutting edge surgical procedure Thursday at Northwestern Hospital in the City. They will implant Radioactive seeds directly into her liver to combat the cancer there. Pray for effective results and the stamina to deal with my dad dying amidst her own health issues.
Our whole family decided to work together with many others, in a special outreach to 450 children from area squatter homes in a slum area. Kristen and I have leadership roles, and the boys assist in the primary and junior aged boys. Our 'All for Jesus' program begins at 7am on Sunday mornings. The children come to our campus and we share the love of Christ through Bible stories, game time, craft or worksheet, and a nutritious piece of fruit as they go home. Please pray that the seeds sewn here will mature into authentic faith with these kids.
We certainly appreciate Windy City and all your care and correspondence! May you each know the blessings of our Lord and Savior. Don
Mon Aug 27 13:28:07 2007
It looks like I will try to fly home ASAP when we get a definitive word. Please be praying for Kristen and the Boys as they mourn from here and I head back. While we would love to them to all come, it is not economically possible, and school starts Monday. Thank You for Your Partnership in our lives.
Mon Jul 16 14:25:50 2007
The last month of the school year at Faith Academy was filled with intensity. Beyond the normal busyness of graduation and year end activities, several families were in crisis mode. In the span of one week, don was helping counsel a family learning their father had terminal cancer, several teachers dealing with the unexpected death of a missionary co-worker and friend, and a cross cultural family separating because of abuse. In the midst of trials we see God’s faithfulness. What a privilege to care for God’s children.
During all this pressure and in the middle of hot season, our refrigerator died. It took four weeks for the international company to find the fan part. The joys of living in a third world country…We were certainly grateful for friends that allowed us to salvage a few items. Just today the fan again started making the noise that preceded our breakdown…
Thanks be to God who provides us with a “cup of cold water” (Matt. 10:42) through friends like you, so we too can extend the same toward others.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon May 21 2007
It is because He lives that we will live eternally. Because He lives, we place our trust and faith in Him. Because He lives, we willingly and joyfully live our lives in His service, no matter how far from the county we call “Home.”
Thank you for your part in building the Kingdom,
Fri May 18 12:47:01 2007
This semester, Kristen has been released from many of her teaching duties to research and develop language Arts curriculum for the elementary school. Through this process, she had the opportunity to present a workshop on traits of writing to a group of Filipino teachers. She has also presented several after school staff training sessions on traits of writing and setting up a writing workshop in individual classrooms. Kristen has enjoyed this change of pace and the opportunity to mentor individual teachers as they seek to implement this approach to teaching writing.
In February, David, Austin, and the rest of the Middle School spent a week on their annual outdoor education trip. David had the following to say about this time this year:
What do Typhoons, Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Tornados all have in common? They are the names of the elementary basketball teams that played every Saturday this past quarter at Faith Academy. Through this parent sponsored sports activity, children learned some basics about basketball and had the opportunity to play games against each other. While Caleb’s team didn’t have a winning season, he learned important lessons about team work and sportsmanship. He also discovered that he might actually like basketball as much as he does soccer and football.
Caleb has also been part of puppet ministry this year. The team has performed at several churches and outreaches this year. Caleb greatly enjoys this opportunity to share Christ’s love through songs and puppets.
Thu May 17 19:06:06 2007
One of the joys of ministering to children of missionaries is to see how they are able to minister to those around them as they are challenged to live out authentic Christianity. Throughout this semester we have several opportunities to see this in action.
During spiritual Enrichment Week in January, the students were confronted with the imperative to live their lives with Identity Driven Purpose. This identity includes being aliens in the world’s system, ambassadors for Christ, and apprentices of the King. These themes were fleshed out and students went away with a renewal for living with authentic faith.
On Ministry Day, in February, 300 students and staff put actions to their beliefs by ministering in over 20 different locations throughout Metro Manila. Students helped in construction, painted, performed music and drama outreaches, assisted with agricultural livelihood projects, held basketball outreaches, led Bible clubs and more. Many students consider this one of the highlights of their year. If you click the following link you will see a short Ministry Day video of one of First Love's new ministry centers near Faith Academy.
In March the students were deeply moved and challenged after watching Invisible Children, the story of children traumatized and suffering from war torn areas of Southern Sudan and Uganda. They were further challenged to accept the command of Christ from Luke 12, to “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” Many students donated belongings. We are in the midst of auctioning off their goods to send the funds to Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that is working with these children.
Every year on Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, hundreds of thousands of Catholic Filipinos make a pilgrimage up to Antipolo City to commemorate the suffering of Jesus and Mary. This year, several students and staff handed out Gospel Bracelets with corresponding tracts to explain the meanings of the colors. Our friend filmed a portion of the pilgrimage and it can be viewed here at youtube.com.
It is a tremendous blessing to impact the children of missionaries and see them, in turn, impact the lives of those around them. Thank you for continuing to pray for us and our ministry here with missionary kids at Faith Academy.
Blessings, don & Kristen
Mon Apr 30 15:25:38 2007
Mon Apr 2 12:15:10 2007
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Mar 12 12:13:55 2007
During the last week of January, we were blessed to have Rev. Fran Sciacca come as out Spiritual enrichment Week speaker. It was evident that God’s Spirit was alive and working in both our students and staff. One student commented that she believed Fran had Googled her name and discovered just what she needed to hear from the Lord… He shared from Scripture that we need to live as aliens in the world, ambassadors representing Christ, and continually growing as apprentices for the King. The week was made even more special by a pancake breakfast for 300 (we started making them at 3am) and a pizza and pool party on Friday. Please pray that the challenges remain and lives are changed.
Thank you for supporting us so we can encourage and challenge others.
Love, Don and Kristen
Tue Feb 6 17:54:13 2007
Thank you so much for your gift to our family this Christmas! We appreciate your love and care for us.
We had a delightful Christmas break with our boys, enjoying time together and fellowship with friends. We had fun welcoming in the New Year Filipina style as we watched fireworks displays from all over the city of Manila.
God has blessed us so richly with a great family and fulfilling ministry here at Faith Academy. Thank you for being a part of that blessing.
Love, Don & Kristen MacKay
Mon Jan 8 12:56:36 2007
Mon Jan 1 15:18:27 2007
James 1:2-3 admonishes us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” We have faced a variety of trials over the last few months as we ministered at Faith Academy. We faced health issues, spiritual warfare, and natural disasters.
Don had some scary symptoms involving tingling on the right side of his arm, neck, and face that migrated and increased in intensity. Numerous doctor visits and a battery of tests were run, including a CT scan, EKGs and MRIs. The results were inconclusive, but ruled out any gross abnormalities. We are certainly grateful for this! At this point the symptoms have decreased and we are praying that the Lord removes them.
On our High School retreat we had two girls facing severe demonic attacks. It was only through intense prayer with several teachers that the Lord released them from the bondage. This really affected our student body as they saw and heard about these spiritual encounters. This summer Don had been praying about what to share in youth group for the year. The Lord kept laying on his heart, taking up the armor of God. This has become all the more important as the students see the pressing need. Please pray for him as he leads these studies from Ephesians.
At the end of September we braced for the strongest typhoon to hit Manila, since we arrived in 1995. Trees and utility poles splintered, leaving us without reliable power for five and a half days. We were grateful for some intermittent power with an old generator. Four days after the typhoon, the worst flash flood in 30 years hit our area. Don and a couple of others had to help rescue an older couple from our mission, whose car was swamped in 3 feet of water. Landslides, flooding, and trees snapping have killed more than 200 people. We are grateful for God’s protection in the midst of the storms.
Admittedly, we do not always consider it pure joy in the midst of trials. It is our prayer that we will remain faithful to the one whom we know is always faithful, and that we will grow in our perseverance.
Our Three Boys, Our Three Joys
After a whirlwind summer in the States, we returned to the Philippines to begin the 50th year of the school at Faith Academy. David, grade 8, and Austin, grade 6, are both in middle school this year. They are even serving together on the Student Senate this semester. Caleb, grade 4, is now the only MacKay boy still in elementary school and has been having fun learning to be part of a puppet ministry.
All three boys play defense on their respective soccer teams. We’ve been kept busy with games almost every Saturday. David loves singing in choir and Austin continues to expand his skills on the saxophone. Swimming, friends, and homework keep our boys busy, but we still find time together to talk, play games, and enjoy the pleasures of being a family.
As we begin our 12th year of missionary service in the Philippines, we are reminded of what it takes to remain as vibrant fruit. Our life source in Our Lord and your partnership helps sustain us. Thank you for supporting our family and ministry.
Mon Nov 13 13:59:15 2006
This week we have been through a lot of ferocious weather. A fast moving typhoon uprooted large trees and knocked down numerous utility poles. This was the strongest typhoon to hit Manila since we first arrived in 1995. We were without power for 5 ˝ days, but thankfully the apartment building we are living in had intermittent generator electricity. Four days after they typhoon, a flash flood hit our area. Don and a couple of others had to help rescue an older couple from our mission, whose car was swamped in 3 feet of water. Landslides, flooding, and trees snapping have killed more than 200 people. We are grateful for God’s protection in the midst of the meteorological fury.
Please continue to pray for us as we finish up the first quarter of the school year. Please join with us in thanks and praise to our Lord for safety amidst the inclement weather. We are very grateful for your continued prayer and financial support.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Oct 2 13:15:23 2006
In yesterday’s Chapel, I talked about falling in love… about the romance that blossomed with Keristen and me. Students enjoyed hearing the ins and outs of the start of our relationship. I mentioned how at first I was Captivated by her presence. I was the Motivated to know her and spend time with her. I eventually was Activated with a love that welled up within me and was shown with creative expressions of poetry and song writing. I challenged them that our relationship with Christ also needs to follow these actions and would be evidenced through total submission to Him (Mark 12:30), listening and obeying Him (1 Jn. 5:2-3) and loving others (Eph.5:1-20). Many students and faculty responded with appreciation and a new sense of understanding of falling in love…With Jesus.
Thank you for your continued support of our family and ministry!
In Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Aug 28 14:02:10 2006
Our arrival back to Manila was greeted with our 3 tanks of cooking gas having been stolen out of our walled-in yard. The price of gas has skyrocketed, and these full tanks were a greater temptation than someone could handle. This type of theft is all too commonplace in a country besieged with poverty. It seems almost ironic that the Student Council Don advises, had chosen as its theme, “stoked,” in reference to our spiritual lives… Thankfully the fuel necessary for this does not come in a 20 kilo container… It is with great joy and anticipation that we begin the 2006-2007 school year at Faith Academy. We celebrate its 50th year of God’s faithfulness.
Thank you for your generous giving and please pray that God’s Spirit Stokes our Passion for Christ and a true Love for others.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Aug 21 13:35:18 2006
Seven weeks down and one to go! We’ve traveled to Kansas City, Chicago, and Atlanta and Don drives to Minneapolis this Thursday for our final Faith Academy 50th celebration. We return to Manila on July 19th. It has been an exciting time of reunion and reflection of God’s faithfulness in Faith’s history, and the bountiful blessings that lie ahead. We have had over 600 attend the celebrations so far.
We have also enjoyed time with our extended families in Nashville, North Carolina, and Chicago during the midst of our hectic schedule. In Chicago, we had to rush don’s dad to the hospital. A system wide infection meant he was on a ventilator for three days and we thought we were going to lose him. God, in his grace, is healing him slowly and bringing him back. Don’s mom continues chemotherapy for colon cancer.
The boys have had fun reconnecting the spending time with their friends, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We thank God for our families and friends who encourage and support us in our ministry.
As we prepare for our return to Faith Academy and the Philippines, please pray for our families as we depart, and our school year ahead as we hit the ground running back in Manila.
Thank you so much for your partnership.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Jul 17 14:25:56 2006
This was the central passage of the commencement address that Don had the honor of giving at this year’s graduation service for Faith Academy. Nearly 80 seniors graduated and moved on to new aspects of life in their passport countries. About 12 hours after the graduation service, we began our journey back to the United States where we will be helping to lead four of ten anniversary celebrations for Faith Academy’s 50th years.
Truly the Lord has proven himself faithful in the history of Faith academy, in the lives of our students and in our own family and ministry.
Thank you for your role in our lives as we too seek to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Jun 12 14:12:16 2006
Please pray for Ryan and Zeb, and the other 70+ seniors that will graduate on May 25. May God protect them as they transition to their passport countries and move into college life.
We will be leaving shortly after graduation for the States. We still need some details to fall into place, so please pray that we will have adequate housing and transportation as we assist in the 50th year celebrations for Faith Academy. Thank You for your continued financial support and commitment to our family and ministry.
Love, Don and Kristen
Sat May 6 13:10:25 2006
Holy Week is an eventful time of remembrance and celebration in the Catholic nation of the Philippines. Every Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, dozens of thousands of people make a pilgrimage up Ortigas, one of the main roads leading to the foothills East of Manila. This Catholic tradition involves remembering the steps of Jesus called the Stations of the Cross. There is a strong emphasis on the suffering of Christ and the need for the common man to ritually also endure suffering annually, to make penance for ongoing sins.
During this mass movement of people, Faith Academy sends out students with tracts that tell of the completed work of Christ. We share that hope is built upon Christ’s victory over Sin and Death. We have a great opportunity to sow seeds as the world is walking by…It’s our Ortigas Blitz.
Thank you for your support as we seek to make an impact for eternity in the lives of MKs at Faith!
Mon Apr 17 12:37:33 2006
The Right Place and the Right Time
On February 3, I had the privilege of organizing the entire Faith Academy High School to travel to the middle of Manila near the Bay. This was not a field trip. No, instead it was a full day of intense work preparing a large portion of 120,000 documents for open air evangelism. The documents had been brought in, but all needed to be compiled into packets for the prepared counselors for this massive outreach. Our coming was a great encouragement to those who had sacrificed so much time and energy for The Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival. The Students worked diligently and joyfully as they got to be a part of modern day history and hope for an eternal future.
It was Franklin Graham’s first evangelistic event in Asia, and his largest Festival ever. The Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival, held Feb. 2-5, drew massive crowds totaling at least 317,600, including 125,000 on the final night alone. Throughout the event, 33,844 people responded to the invitation to put their faith in Jesus Christ. Saturday morning, 82,500 kids packed the grassy expanse, breaking the record for the largest children’s event ever held in that venue.
Crowds at the Festival heard Graham’s nightly messages in English and Tagalog, the two languages used interchangeably here in the Philippines. The event also featured a powerful local choir of 3,000 voices performing with other musicians from across the nation.
The Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival was a partnership between the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and hundreds of local churches from many diverse denominations. Manila was the first of eight Festivals, Graham will hold in 2006.
The Wrong Place and Wrong Time
On Monday night, March 27, two of our First Love Short Term Missionaries were involved in a very traumatic event. The two were coming home from a friend’s place and decided to practice driving a manual transmission vehicle that one was not as familiar with. After a successful bout of practice, they turned down an abandoned road to make a 3-point u-turn. At this time, an undercover police truck was patrolling the valley for a reported vehicle with gunmen inside. The police, seeing the girl’s vehicle in an inappropriate location, got out to investigate the vehicle. Our ladies saw non uniformed men with guns, in an unmarked truck. With visions of assault or kidnapping, not knowing them to be police, they tried to drive out as fast as they could. At this point, the police used inappropriate and excessive force and attempted to shoot out the girl’s tires. One shot hit the wheel rim and ricocheted off, and another hit the base of the door behind the driver and broke into several pieces. Three of the bullet fragments hit one of the girls. Thankfully the wounds were not too serious. In the attempt to flee, the girls lost their brakes and ended up crashing their vehicle into a subdivision wall. They then hid out with a guard until our Filipino workers from the children’s home could pick them up. As the Field Director, I have been working with the US Embassy and hope to have some appropriate resolution in the coming days. Please pray for all those impacted by this near tragic event.
The Right Time Quickly Approaching
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Faith Academy. We have already begun celebrating and praising God for the work he has done in and through this school for missionary children. Celebrations are being planned around the world to join in this time of praise and thanksgiving to God. Our family will travel May 25, the day after graduation, to the United States. We will be helping lead some of the 50th Year Celebrations for Faith Academy. The celebrations we will be helping in are:
§ Kansas City – June 17
§ Atlanta – June 24
§ Nashville – June 30
§ Chicago – July 7
§ Minneapolis – July 15
Please let us know if you would be interested in attending any of these events! We are also in need of a vehicle that we could use for travel, starting June 1, in Chicago. We will need a vehicle to take the 5 of us to Nashville and up to Minneapolis. Don will fly to the other two locations. If you have or know of vehicle we could use until July 19, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Prayer and Praise Time
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Praise God with us that Don’s mom has responded well to her chemotherapy. Please continue to pray for her strength and healing. Please pray for us as we travel this summer, for protection and safety. Pray that we will be refreshed and renewed and that we would be able to be a blessing to those with whom we visit.
Mon Apr 3 13:22:14 2006
And then there are days when…
Some days we wonder if we are truly having a positive impact on those around us. We face trials, discouragement and exhaustion. Yet in the midst of the circumstances of our lives, God continually draws us to Himself. We receive encouragement through His Word and through the love and care of those around us.
Thanks you for the encouragement you give us as you faithfully support our ministry here at Faith Academy.
May you be blessed,
Mon Mar 27 14:35:33 2006
Mon Mar 6 14:39:27 2006
This was the challenge given by our Spiritual Enrichment Speaker, Al Menconi. He told the students to try to live completely on Christian music for 30 days. His teeter-totter principle placed ‘deny Christ/live for self” on one side and ‘deny self/love for Christ” on the other. Please pray that God will do a special work in our Middle and High School Students as they consider the importance of making good entertainment decisions every single day. Thank you for your faithful support as we seek to encourage students in their faith.
Love, Don and Kristen
Mon Feb 6 12:57:56 2006
Thank you so much for your generous Christmas gift. We were able to get out of Manila for a few days. We went to a retreat center where the boys could swim. We sure do appreciate your kindness!
Sun Jan 29 20:04:19 2006
We pray the 2006 will be a year full of God’s richest blessings for you and your family. Thank you for upholding us throughout the past year in prayer and through your giving. As we begin this New Year, we look forward with eager anticipation to what God is going to do in and through our lives.
January 23-27 is Spiritual Enrichment Week, for high school students. The Rev. Al Menconi will be coming form the States to speak to the students about commitment and revival in their lives.
Mon Jan 16 15:19:24 2006
Don had the distinct privilege of caring out this Great Commission verse by baptizing our son David and 7 other Faith Academy students. On Tuesday, November 29th, our School gathered for a celebratory dedication of our new competition sized swimming pool. God blessed our school through a very generous church on the West Coast. This church actively gives to MK schools and chose to give Faith the funds for the pool. Faith Academy’s chairman of the board noted that the first two uses of the pool were to be a like guard training from 2-3:30 and the Baptismal service at 4:00. The first focused on saving lives, and the second was public testimonies—of lives that have been saved.
Thanks you so much for enabling us to work with Faith Academy students. Please pray that we will make an eternal impact with them. Thank you again for your generosity in support. Have a Very Merry Christmas!
Love, Don and Kristen MacKay
Mon Jan 9 14:14:34 2006
Christmas vacation is upon us, and this gives us the opportunity to reflect upon our ministry involvements of the last six months. We know God has called us to Faith Academy for this time and we are grateful to partner with First Love as we serve Him here in the Philippines.
Mon Dec 19 14:29:15 2005
Thank you so much for allowing us to represent you in the Philippines!
You have certainly made a mark on our family and for the Kingdom in Chicago and around the world!
Blessings, The Mackays
Mon Oct 3 15:23:43 2005
The start of a new school year is always an exciting time. For us, it signals the opportunity to once again reach out to students in a variety of contexts here at Faith Academy. The chaplain’s department, under Don’s leadership, provides many opportunities for students to learn, grow, and reach out to others in ministry.
The High School youth group, Oasis, meets every Wednesday evening for a time of worship and digging into the Word. This year we are implementing small groups for our students. The students are excited about this opportunity to receive encouragement and accountability while studying God’s Word.
Each Friday, many Faith students put their textbooks away, grab some puppets, and make their way to the First Love Children’s Home. Their mission is meant not only for the 17 children in the home, but for another 40 plus squatter children who live in a shanty village just across the street. They sing songs, present a puppet show with an evangelistic message, and let the kids play.
Early on Sunday mornings, over 1/4 of the High School students push sleep away and make their way up to our campus. The 7 a.m. start time does not deter these 85 students from ministering through a First Love sponsored kids’ club called “A4J,” (All For Jesus), or in Tagalog, “Lahat Kay Cristo.” The students, along with many adult volunteers, reach out to 450 children, all of whom live in shanty villages within a half mile radius of the school.
Whether they are receiving teaching and encouragement, or ministering themselves through sharing the love of Jesus, please continue to pray for our Faith Academy students. Pray that God’s Spirit goes before us as we seek to lead the students in ministry.
A Timely Phone Call
It was a Monday and classes were canceled for a teacher in-service. We were looking forward to sleeping in just a little since we didn’t have to be up at school until 8:30, (two hours later than usual.) I (Kristen) woke up at 4 a.m. and realized that we hadn’t put the garbage cans outside the gate. The garbage collectors come between 5:30 and 7:00 and I didn’t want to miss them. I decided it was still too dark for me to get up and drag around the heavy stinky garbage can. I didn’t want to startle the rats lurking in the shadows or wake up the garrison of neighborhood dogs.
I fell back asleep until the phone woke me up at five. No one was on the end of the line, but I thanked the Lord for the wake up call which allowed me to jump out of bed and make my way down to the garbage can. I had only just gotten outside the back door when the phone rang again. This time there was someone on the other end. A family on furlough was concerned for a student back here facing a crisis situation. Because of their call, we were able to get help and support for this student.
Even though I was a bit sleepy later that afternoon, I am thankful for that early morning call. Not only did it enable us to get the garbage out in time, but it enabled a student to receive needed intervention in their life. (As an extra blessing, since I was up early anyway, I had time to call my parents and talk with them before heading off to our meetings at school.) God is good!
Handle with Prayer
· Continue to pray for Don’s mom, Norma, who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
· Pray for 7 women from First Baptist Church of Wheaton, IL who will be coming to the Philippines October 26—November 7. They will be helping to lead two retreats for missionary women.
· Pray for power and strength from the Lord as we work and teach and live our lives here among this international community of missionaries.
· Pray for wisdom as we seek to balance our many responsibilities with times of rest and recreation with our boys.
· Pray that our family would be salt and light in our neighborhood and community.
The MacKays are thrilled to see how God will work in the lives of Faith's missionary kids as they are able to minister to some children of desperate need. The New Faith Family Children's Home is a vibrant ministry and is the second children's home to open in the Philippines. In March the Philippines Social Welfare Ministry assigned the first 7 children and by year end they are expecting their child population to grow to 30 boys and girls. After getting some much needed work done on our rental home(like termite abatement), I, Don am coming to the States for 3 weeks to be an encouragement to my folks. My mom was recently diagnosed with Colon Cancer. She had a resection and is now having chemo started. Pray for Don as he goes and Kristen and the boys as they stay in Manila.