This year has simultaneously felt like the longest and the shortest year ever. With this “pause” to my “normal”, it’s as if I’ve been experiencing a strange alternate reality where everything is in slow-mo. On the other hand, November is upon us. What?!
While circumstances are offbeat, God continues to faithfully care for us and our students. Check out our October by looking back at these 31 pictures!
I’ve been pondering much on the fact that we’ve only got so many days on this earth. Oh, how I want to “make the most of every opportunity.” I pray I can always maintain a sense of urgency when sharing the wonderful, sweet Good News with those around me!
August flew by! We ended up extending our two weeks in the States by a few days so we could attend my Aunt Joy’s funeral. After our flight back to the DR, we experienced a tropical storm, Freedom inservice, Bible Institute, 2 kiddos’ birthdays, FOUR families moving to the field, a building dedication, and much more. Enjoy these 31 pictures from this past month!
I finished just one book last month, but I really enjoyed it! David McCasland traces the life of Oswald Chambers from his childhood in Scotland to his journeys around the world. In one sense, Oswald couldn’t “sit still” – he traveled to Japan, England, and the US (where he briefly taught at the Bible college my parents attended). During WWII, he found himself in Egypt where he served as a YMCA chaplain until his death. This godly man was certainly devoted to the Lord. His wife was completely committed too. Because of her tireless work, many of Chambers’ lectures and sermons are preserved to this day.
As always, some of the quotes that stood out to me this month are listed below!
“Hudson Taylor said last night that Our Lord’s words ‘Have faith in God’ really mean ‘Have faith in the faithfulness of God,’ not in your own faithfulness.”1
Holiness is not an attainment at all, it is the gift of God.... He makes holy, He sanctifies, He does it all. All I have to do is come as a spiritual pauper, not ashamed to beg, to let go of my right to myself and act on Romans 12:1–2. It is never ‘Do, do and you’ll be’ with the Lord, but ‘Be, be, and I will do through you.’1
The world is very wide and God is reigning.1
One of the blessed things about this life is that a man carries his kingdom on the inside, and that makes the outside lovely.1
He looms large tonight. Nothing is worth living for but just Himself. I see churches and... movemements all tagged with His name but how little of Himself? I wish every breath I drew, all speech I made could make Him come and seem more real to men.1
A man who would live for Christ in a turbulent world must draw his life from the depths of God himself, not from the froth and foam of surface experience.1
Oswald’s approach to the future was simple: “Trust God and do the next thing.”1
He sounded a constant warning to people who said, “Thank God I’m saved and sanctified, now it’s all right.” The result of resting on experience, according to Oswald, was “fixed ideas, moral deterioration, and utter ignorance of God’s book. Always beware of the danger of finality.”1
“What we need,” he concluded, “is to begin to walk in the way we already know.”1
“There will come one day a personal and direct touch from God when every tear and perplexity, every oppression and distress, every suffering and pain, and wrong and injustice will have a complete and ample and overwhelming explanation.”1
It is in the years of peace that wars are prevented and that those foundations are laid upon which the noble structures of the future can be built. But peace will not be preserved without the virtues that make victory possible in war. Peace will not be preserved by pious sentiments expressed in terms of platitudes or by official grimaces and diplomatic correctitude....2
1Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God, David McCasland 2Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert
Another month of photos coming at ya! July was… hot. Our team spent a lot of time in the villages over the past 4ish weeks as “village school” and modified VBS programs continued. The new school year at Freedom should start come the end of August. Stay tuned for updates on that front!
While we plan on waiting to take our normal month-long furlough until 2021, we’ve made a quick, 2-week trip back to the States to see our families. It’s been good to soak up a little time with them. Thankful!
We’re spending two weeks in the States with our families! We didn’t reach out to many people because of the quickness of the trip and the current state of the world. Whenever I’m back, I always make some store runs to pick up some items we can’t find in the DR.
My first stop this year was Dollar Tree for some teacher supplies! I like to hit up that treasure trove for items I can use as gifts/incentives for our Dominican teachers who go through the teacher training program we’ve started. As I was hunkered over in an aisle sifting through bulletin board border and classroom organizers, a lady and her two children walked by. A neat interaction ensued.
“Are you a teacher?” she asked me.
“Well, sort of! I’m a teacher trainer! I like to look for things my teachers can use when they have their own classrooms someday.”
She responded without hesitation. “Now, that’s something I can get behind. Let me help you out. I want to give you $20.”
“Wow! That’s so kind of you. How very thoughtful! I actually don’t live here in the States. My family has helped start a school in the Dominican Republic where we work with children who live in the sugarcane villages.”
A few more details were shared, and she left me with the money and some other kind words.
I had walked in for a routine shopping trip, and I left blessed by a complete stranger. Isn’t it amazing that the the Lord allows us to experience such unexpected blessings?
One year ago today, I was in Lima looking for some of our students’ parents. As I walked amongst the rows of identical, green houses, I saw this little guy, sitting all alone in the dirt. He had no pants on, and he was filthy. I asked some kids running by if they knew his name. Leo, they told me. I knew nothing else about him, but I remember leaving the village thinking how wonderful it would be to see Leo at Freedom one day.
Guess what? This week, Krista delivered Leo’s very first sponsor letter to him right there in front of his house! He didn’t completely understand what was going on, but he paused and gave the tiniest of grins when he saw the picture of his sponsor family.
I’m excited to see how Leo’s little life will be impacted in the months and years to come. While he’s undoubtedly endured some hardship already in the few years he’s been alive, he’s also got a lot of people in his corner. Sponsors, missionaries, and teachers are already advocating for him in some special ways.
Maybe in another year or two, I can share his adorable, round face again. We’re praying this sweet man learns what it means to love God with all that He has.
Sunday marked twelve years of marriage for Scott and I! Wow. My cliche saying of choice is “time flies,” and I use it pretty much every day. I decided to get out the family photos this year, and I thought I’d share a few here!
The following pictures may show smiling faces, sundry memories, and varying lengths of hair on Scott’s part, but there have been hard times, too. Both the good and the difficult have drawn us closer to each other and to the Lord. Looking forward to the next 12 years!
We’re excited to start a new series on the family blog featuring… the kids! We thought it’d be neat to show the world from their perspectives. After all, they’re just as much a part of the ministry as us adults. So without further ado, here’s Noah’s very first entry!
Hi! My name is Noah. I’m 9 years old, and I live at Freedom, a campus close to the town of Ramon Santana. I like living here, but sometimes I miss the United States. I’ll tell you the story of how I got here to the Dominican Republic.
I was born in Virginia and lived in the States for a year and a half. My mom and dad raised support and moved to the Dominican with me and my brother. Leyton was 4 months old when we moved.
We moved into a tiny house at first. It was hard work to move in. Our backyard was full of trash. Our bathroom was a mess. We fixed it up a bit and made it a home.
During the days, our family went out to the villages and played with the kids. I don’t remember it very much, but the kids liked to play with me. After that, we’d come home and play some more as a family.
I lived in that first house for about a year and a half until….
Check back for my next blog post to find out where we moved next!