Friday, February 28, 2014

Glory Story II

So last Thursday and Friday we had our first Recollections (retreats) with the 3rd and 4th year students from Holy Rosary High School where we are teaching. Our first retreat was with the 4th years on Thursday. (The 4th years are graduating at the end of March; these are what Americans would call “sophomores”). I thought that all of these kids had a pretty good grasp on English since they’ve been learning it since elementary school… well, I was wrong. They really don’t understand too much and the little that they do know is not spoken much because they are so shy. At the recollection we split into small groups and NO ONE would speak. It was very broken English and I don’t know any Visayan and my spirit was just really down. I tried to speak as slowly and clearly as I could and kept asking if they understood and I think they did but they are just so shy. Well, my teammates had wonderful small groups that spoke and understood English and shared a whole bunch and even cried a little. So I was thinking that I just didn’t have the gift of small group leading. I couldn’t get across to them and nothing I did or said would plant a seed in anyway. My group was fruitless.
At the end of the retreat we went swimming with the kids, which was SO fun and we really got to know them and they became less shy so it was all fun and games. I had a talk with Fr. Joe and he said that it looked like the recollection went really well and he said that there is a boy whose mother is Catholic but his father is some other thing (I didn’t really catch what he said… Fr. Joe speaks faster than you trying to understand Gilmore Girls while fast-forwarding it). The boy was previously interested in becoming Catholic but he still had a lot of questions and wasn’t really sure. Well, after our recollection – he told Father that he would like to start the processes of becoming Catholic. He felt like all of his questions were answered and he is really excited! So of course we were all excited and then I asked if we could know his name. Well, his name is Ricky and come to find out, he was in my group!!! There was fruit bearing in my group!!! Praise the Lord!

Even in the times where I feel like I am speaking to the wall or not being understood, the Lord gives me the little gift of knowing that maybe I am being heard. Maybe I am a good instrument!

Me and Ricky after the School's "Fun Run" at 4AM
4th year pool party!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How are you feeling?

So I am just feeling so excited and happy and joyful and blessed! I really don't know how to put feelings into words sometimes.... so this little girl will tell you how I feel: (click the link below to watch)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Picture Update!

Since I typically write very very very long blogs, I've decided to take it down a notch for this post to show y'all that I really am multidimensional... so here are some picture updates!

WE HAVE AN ADDRESS!!! Praise the Lord, send us letters and fun things! (it takes about 3 weeks to receive)


Breana Olivier  Family Missions Company
c/o Holy Rosary High School
Sagay Camiguin Island
Philippines 9103

This is my life.
The sunsets here are literally indescribable and are this beautiful every single night.
The water is right down the street from our Cottage.

Me and Genevieve rode on one motor and Alex and Rebecca shared the other for our trip to the opposite side of the Island for our day off! (yes, we are wearing linen, flip flops, and no helmets...Filipino style)

Fr. Joe's monkeys at his Convento (rectory)

Fr. Joe administering First Communion at a Barrio (small chapel in Sagay)

The missionaries playing games with the Altar Servers at our house after mass on Sunday!

Having too much fun marching in the Torch Parade with the students of Holy Rosary
Cheering on the Seniors! They graduate in March!! (I feel like I am at a Thibodaux Mardi Gras Parade)
Holy Rosary high school Torch Parade and Living Rosary to celebrate their High School Anniversary

This is Romel. He is a part of the group of men that volunteer for the Church! We woke up one morning to see a group of men building a fence for us. They have become our "Heaven's Handymen" and we appreciate them so much!!! Romel has taught us the true meaning of being a missionary. He serves others the best way he can by using the gifts the Lord has given him. He told us that he is poor, but the Lord served EVERYONE in need and so that is what he has to do as well because he loves Jesus.

After building our fence, their next projects were building a house for a family whos house had burned down in the Typhoon, then they will be expanding the cemetery, then they will expand the church garden, and much more.
They are the Saints of Camiguin!

showing off our new fence!

We love our precious little cottage!

Shout out to the Quinns in Mexico! We are praying for you and for all of our fellow missionaries in the field and those who are stateside and especially those working very hard in the office at Big Woods!

Our new dresser that hold all four of our clothes!!! We have FINALLY unpacked! And we found a little rack for our books, yayy!

This is Rebecca (the one standing). She is the ultimate "server" and is the perfect balance of Mary and Martha (high five yourself if you get the reference)! She is full of wisdom and cute skirts. Visit her blog: Finding Pasture

This is Genevieve Reardon. She loves to pose for pictures, take pictures, laughing out loud, singing opera, and talking in fake languages expecting everyone to understand. She knows how to project her voice and she is a LOAD of fun. Visit her blog: Jesus is the bomb .com

This is Alex Vidos, my team leeeeeeder. She is tall, chill, hilarious, full of movie references, and the perfect leader for our team! She was a missionary in Mexico last year for about 6 months. Visit her blog : Alex on a Mission

This is us on a small fishing boat. This man, Richard, saw Genevieve read her Bible everyday by the ocean and was impressed and said that he loves to read the Bible too! So he invited us for a boat ride. It was so cool!!!

boats and volcanoes

SOOOO incredibly honored to have the Blog of the Month for FMC!!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mission is surely not glamorous, but dang shoot – it’s glorious!

Mission is surely not glamorous, but dang shoot – it’s glorious!

Since moving to Camiguin I have really been missing my family. I didn’t expect to have such a rough transition, but I miss those fools. Once arriving on the Island, I have been sick and hormonal which in turn makes me real emotional. Through all of this the Lord has really been speaking to me. My prayer time in missions has been phenomenal. The Lord has truly shown me that this is the exact place I need to be, that I will suffer, that he will never leave me and He will take care of me. He needs me to put all my faith, my trust, my worries, my fears, my emotions, my doubts, my joys, and all of my life into His hands. He doesn’t just want some of me - He wants all of me. I realize that I am holding on to some baggage from the past that is literally weighing me down and now that I am across the planet, I can’t complain to my family or my friends… I have to unload these bags on God (which I’m pretty sure is how He wanted it in the first place – bazinga!). I really have always liked the idea of letting God be my provider and relying on Him for literally all of my needs, but now that I am actually living it – woah, so overwhelming. It’s overwhelmingly beautiful and awesome and breathtaking and wild. He knows that I’m tired and that my stomach is ever so slowly adjusting to new Filipino foods and I’m hot and I absolutely hate lizards…but He also knows that I love sleeping on the floor, I love coffee, I love laying in the hammock on our bamboo porch with a book and an ocean breeze, I love the water, I love the joyous and precious Filipino people, I love my hysterical team, I love laughing so hard with them that I trickle a little bit (or maybe even a lot), and I love when I can clearly know He is taking to me when I read the Bible. The Lord has blessed me!!! He has sent me to an Island paradise amongst people who are so accepting and loving and so open to know the truth and to learn about Jesus. Even though my head wants to complain about all of my “sufferings” – my heart wants to leap with joy every time I wake up in this place. This place that the Lord has called me to by name! When He knit me in my mother’s womb He destined me to be in this place at this time serving his people in the way my gifts can be used for the salvation of souls for His kingdom. Praise the Lord!

This week my team and I have been talking a lot about our humanness. We all desire to be these wise and honorable young women who are on the straight and narrow path to sainthood, but we realize that we are also human and hormonal 20-year-old girls. The Lord has really been speaking to us directly about our humanness. Yesterdays reading from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 was soooo spot on to our exact feelings and prayers this week. I personally had been feeling an attack from the devil this week. I could feel the evil one telling me that I am not smart enough or good enough to teach people anything in the Philippines. This had me questioning what on earth am I doing here? I have never moved away from home, I have a terrible memory which makes me feel like I can’t teach anyone things that I don’t even know, and simply I just don’t have the wisdom and knowledge or the eloquent captivating speech to get a crowd pumped up about the Gospel. LIES. These are lies from the devil. In that bible passage (1 Cor 2:1-5) Paul says, “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” BOOM.
I literally know NOTHING except that I love Jesus and He speaks to me through scripture and I want to go to Heaven and I want everyone else to come with me. This week I have really felt my weaknesses and I for sure have lots of fears and I think I may have trembled once or twice…but praise the Lord, this means I am a HUMAN BEING – just like Paul! My team and I - we’re human beings. Ahh, such a relief!

Please continue to pray for my team and I as we begin our first full week of ministry. This month we will continue getting our house together and unpacking and really making our new home feel like home and we will also be praying about what ministries we feel called to. We started a novena to St. Anne a few days ago so we can find a housekeeper so it would be great if you could pray for that too! We would love to find a woman in need who can teach us how to cook Filipino foods, shop in the market, how to wash clothes efficiently and hopefully teach us the dialect!
We’re still not sure if there is a postal system here, it’s looking like there is not…but we will keep checking!

Thank you for your prayers and you will always be in mine!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I am a Missionary in the Philippines. Woah.

Today is Monday, Feburary 3rd and my team and I are on our 8th day of travel to our Island of Camiguin. All of our plane rides were incredibly smooth for traveling with 23 people (kids, babies, and adults). We waited in ZERO lines, breezed through security and customs, and immediately got all of our bags. It was a miracle! Thank you SOOOO much for your prayers!
Just to give a run down of our trip: we flew from Houston to Russia to Singapore to Manila(spent the night in Manila)- to Cagayan de Oro (spent 3 or 4 days here) and tomorrow me and my team of three other young women will be getting on a bus for 2 hours to go to the port to get onto a Ferry for 2 hours to get to our final destination - CAMIGUIN ISLAND.

This morning we sent off the Malabalay team. We prayed over them and stuffed their bags in a car and they took a bus to Malabalay. Their trip will only take a few hours by bus because we are already on their island of Mindano. It was bittersweet to see them go because they have all the cute kids and because this means we are literally the last missionaries to get to our mission post. We have been waiting so long for this day! The "waiting" really has been a penance, but praise the Lord for the 9th day! Tomorrow will be our ninth day of travel and we will finally reach our destination!!!

Our time in CDO has been really blessed and jet lag has been very present. We have been staying in the Convento (Rectory) next to the Cathedral. There are nuns, brothers, and priests who live here and we are just living amongst them. The place is really huge! Let’s just talk about Sunday…
Yesterday we heard the obnoxious bells around 4AM (or maybe 3:30am, not too sure). This was the first mass of the day. They had mass EVERY HOUR aaaand the church was never empty. It was literally overflowing with people. They had rows and rows of people standing outside of every entrance and even further into the streets for every single mass at every single hour the entire day!!! It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Thank God the windows are all open so the speakers can be heard pretty much everywhere. The Cathedral is very large with two sets of pews in the center aisle then a set on each side aisle and then two in the front facing the altar on both sides and then a bunch of pews behind the altar and even pews outside of the church! (how many times can you say “pew” in once sentence?)
The devotion of the people is really outstanding and so heartwarming.

Yesterday afternoon we took a little Pilgrimage to the shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We got to climb up the rays to the heart of Jesus where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. It was a very beautiful and peaceful place!

Jesus, I trust in You

Please continue to pray for our team as we adjust to the Filipino culture, foods, bucket showers, foam beds, temperature, time change, language, and all that jazz. Also pray for our continued good health and for continued safe travels and protection from all natural disasters and that we can clearly hear what ministries the Lord is calling us to in Camiguin.