by Original Author on May 10, 2008

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

Dear Friends,


Thank you for your prayers, encouragement in emails, phone calls, and “old fashioned mail”. The adjustment of our move from the Philippines to America has been so much greater than I ever anticipated, especially for me. I keep admonishing myself that I am to be contented in whatever state I find myself. I have to admit that I have not been submissive to the command.

Everything here in America is very unfamiliar. Some of the culture that is familiar also saddens me. Too many people are in too big a hurry, I call “busyness”, to involve themselves in activities unrelated to reaching out to others… self denial is foreign to so many of us. Oh, how I remember in the 1940’s my Granddaddy saying to my Grannie as he would drive down the road in his old car in what he considered heavy traffic, “Ella, where are they going? All these people, where are they going?” Granddaddy, I wonder the same thing in 2008. Lydia August keeps asking me, “Mama, where are all the poor people?” Oh, I know they are here; maybe the Lord will guide us to those that are “poor in spirit”.

I am continually torn in heart over settling the adopted children here in America, trying to regain lost years with birth children and grandchildren, and my longing to care for our many children and church family in Philippines. Sometimes the burden is so great. I try to hide it from the children, but I will be reminded in a moment of loose threads in our lives and burst into tears. God has been merciful to always direct us, bring us into submission, and hold us tenderly in His care.

I speak weekly on our Vonage phone line in the Philippines with the children and Annie, our social worker for Beauty for Ashes. The children tell me of the fish they catch daily and eat from the farm. They love farming and harvesting the fruit and vegetables. They speak of the little games and activities under the mango trees. “Mama, we planted sunflowers for you (my favorite flower) we place a sunflower on the table in front of the church every Sunday for you.” They then sing to me “You are my sunshine”. I know that the Lord has blessed us and lead all these children to Beauty for Ashes… Lord willing there will be many more to come. They would not have had homes and land for expansion and self sustaining activities had you not helped financially. I am very thankful and humbled that Beauty for Ashes is such a bright spot in the terrorist island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

In your letters and emails you have inquired how you should continue to send in your financial support to help in this ministry. Please continue in the same manner that you have given in the past years; mail to White unto Harvest and designate the contributions you are burdened to send for the children of Beauty for Ashes. Your constant support has been a witness of God’s blessings on this work and His direction without the aid of a Mission Board or Foundation. Now, as in the past, it is important that you know that the funds have only been used for the ministry in the Philippines, even though our personal finances are great, because of the adoption of our 13 children, we have not used the funds designated for Beauty for Ashes.

Our desire is to visit as many of you as possible since we are now living here in America. We have had numerous “set-backs” since our arrival here. I have been hospitalized, two of the children have been hospitalized, and my ability to do what I need to do just on a daily basis has been a great challenge because of my back surgeries and Lupus. We desire to visit you and let you know personally how much we appreciate your support. Lord willing we will visit with you.

I am including recent pictures of the children in various activities on the property; farming, schooling, playing enjoy!

God Bless,
Mom Betty
Photos BFA Children Farming Time

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