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As we started to pack our boxes, one of our 13-year-old boys asked, “Do we have a new house yet?” I replied, “No, we don’t have a house yet.” His eyes wide opened in shock and he started counting the days left with his fingers. “But we only have 13 days left!”, he said in disbelief. I paused my packing, looked at him and simply replied, “God will provide. Please help us pack.”

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It all started back in the spring (quite some time ago, eh?). One of our boys, 15 years old, was dating a girl from church. Of course, this was destiny, the butterflies were floating through the sunbeams. Birds everywhere were singing their song. Soon, the boundaries we have established in the community center seemed overly restrictive, a hindrance to their love.

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In February of this year, the boys at the Nehemiah home still not in regular school took their national exams. For most of them, passing this exam means they would be able to go to formal school for the first time in many years. For one boy, it would be the first time in his life. For three months, we waited with bated breath and anticipation for the results to see which ones would be able to accelerate to formal education. We hoped that the results would be released by early May, giving us a month to fund-raise for school expenses before the start of school in June. But as the third week of May approached and the results were still not released, Chris and I, as well as our team, were all on the edge. Three weeks into May and we no longer had the time to do a fundraiser, and with each passing day our chances to get accepted into free public schools were growing slim. That would leave only private school as an option, and we didn't have the money for that.

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Each year, Chris and I leave the Philippines for our required exit visa trip. We take this opportunity to get away for a much-needed time to rest. We chose to return to Malaysia this year because it’s affordable and has plenty of green space that we don’t have access to here in Manila. On our third day in Malaysia, I found myself breaking down into tears. I didn’t realize how much pressure we were under until we left to a different environment and were able to decompress.

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