2017: Year in Review

In an ideal world,  we would send you a photo collage of all the people, places and things from this past year.  It would arrive on time, maybe in your mailboxes (yes, snail mail) complete with handwritten or even laser printed labels, and you could even post it on your fridges, mantles, or anywhere else for you to see.  Back to the real world, we are now 8 days away from Christmas, and with a few more days until the year’s end.

Our family (aka, Team Chang Lopez) wishes to invite you on a small photo collage “journey” of this past year.  Instead of one Christmas photo, we thought that you might enjoy more than one photo.  While some of these photos were previously posted on Facebook or with our quarterly newsletters, we tried to find new ones to share from our virtual family albums.  Taking cues from many news outlets that will release a similar “Year in Review” in a few weeks, we like the idea– and hope that you do too!  Who knows, maybe we have started a new tradition for this blog!

With deep gratitude, we’re thankful for your being a part of our team, through your prayers, cards, care packages, emails, Facebook posts and messages, and financial support, all to partner with us in ministry here in Southeast Asia.

March: March 8 marked “International Women’s Day” as well as my and our daughter’s first protest march.  Too bad the heat and humidity were too strong for her.  “Solidarity against exploitation of women” is emblazoned our T-shirts and never too young to teach anyone
March: March 17 marks the death of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Flor Contemplacion, twenty-two years ago.  Each year many remember her death and call attention to those OFWs stlil on death row, as well as the many abuses and exploitations that many still endure.
April:  Visit with the key leaders of TADI, one of the only anti-human trafficking ministries based in an UCCP local church.  TADI is housed in the UCCP Dumaguete city church, in Negros Oriental.  During this visit, the pastor also invited me to preach for their November Annual Thanksgiving worship service and share more about my work


June:  Parents of Jennifer Dalquez share a message to advocates and supporters during a celebration-gathering, because of being freed from death row in the United Arab Emirates.  Sadly Jennifer still must serve 2 1/2 additional years for theft
June:  Flying solo during brief visit to Lake Huron Presbytery (Michigan) and Grace Presbytery (Texas).  Grateful for the extra efforts to keep our family and our partners, in the minds and hearts of supportive churches
September: First days of the Presbyterian Women Global Exchange in Jakarta, with U.S. and Indonesian sisters eager to learn about one another.  At the GPIB national office and guest house
More questions and answers with a prominent Muslim feminist scholar
Learning how to play marimba-style instrument called “gambang.”  Young performers were extra patient with us, after their top-notch performance that included audience participation with us singing “This is the Day”


Enjoying the view and victory of traveling up hundreds of steps at Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple
While in Jakarta, one of our speakers was an anti-human trafficking advocate.  While we only spent few hours together, maybe there will be more opportunities to serve together in the future
October:  Participants from Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Thailand share brief reports about the situation from their respective countries
October:  During our family’s first return to the U.S. after moving to the Philippines, we began our jet-lagged days with breakfasts at the Princeton Theological Seminary cafeteria, during the Women in Ministry conference.  Serving as panel discussion participant and workshop leader requires a strong, healthy breakfast
November:  According to the UCCP church calendar, November 19 is designated as Migrant Worker Sunday.  While I crafted a liturgy for all UCCP churches, UCCP Bacoor invited me to preach and share more about Migrant Ministry.  **Some of you might recall the same sermon title from before, but I assure you that I re-wrote many parts of this sermon for my Filipino brothers and sisters!
December:  Our daughter began taekwondo in July and participated in her first poomsae tournament.  Thankfully her grand master is Korean, so she can learn more Korean beyond the simple meal prayer that I learned from my grandparents and we sing almost every day

2 thoughts on “2017: Year in Review

  • O my! What wonderful emails. You speak so clearly of your experiences, it is as I am sharing them. I must say that I will not visit in your mission land, I truly hope that I may see you in theUSA. I know that you probably will spend time with friends and family when you and your family when you are in the USA. Mississippi is a great deal different than the rest of the US and the rest of the world. Please consider visiting with us! With love. Martha Heffner.

    Sent from my iPhone



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