January ’23 in Pictures

Here’s our first month of 2023 in photo form!

Happy January!

“Though it linger, wait for it…”

Rome wasn’t built in a day. A watched pot never boils. We must learn to walk before we can run.

These well-known sayings hint at something – a virtue that we’d all say we aspire to have. And yet, the practical outworking of this character trait in our lives is definitely “easier said than done.”

I have two sons. One of my boys is working on developing some patience in his life. He has recently grown to love sports – particularly the Purdue Boilermakers. (Sorry, Dad. I tried my hardest to make him a Buckeye.) Any chance he gets to watch a basketball game, his face lights up. He has memorized players’ names and positions, and he loves cheering his team on to victory. Yet because of the busy schedule our family runs, there are times that we tell him that he’s got to wait to catch a recording of a game.

I tell ya – the moments we ask our son to be patient… they can be a bit trying for all of us in the Mitchener household. You see, my son wants instant gratification. He wants to experience the game as soon as possible. And the questions that ensue during these little seasons of waiting are… welll… incessant.

“Dad, when? When exactly can we turn on the game? Mom, are you going to watch with us? Can my friends come over? Are you finished with your work yet? It feels like it’s taking forever! Will we ever be able to start? What snacks can we have while we watch? Are you sure you can’t skip that meeting? I just don’t want to wait anymore!”

As a mother, I do my best to put myself in my son’s shoes – to understand that he is genuinely excited to share a fun experience with his friends and family. But after his third question, I’m sure that my son can often sense my own patience wearing thin. I wish that he would really hear me: we will indeed get to find out what happened in the basketball game. It’s simply a matter of waiting.

But waiting is so very hard, isn’t it?

In my own life, I’m noticing how I’ve recently been acting like my precious boy. Right now, I’m experiencing some situations that are downright painful, and I don’t know what the future holds. I’m confused and scared about the timing of things – of when and how exactly God is going to move. While I have been taking my concerns to the Lord, I think that I’ve been approaching my problems a bit like my son has been processing through his desire to watch his games.

“Father, when? When exactly are you going to answer my prayers? Are you even listening? Do you want to work in this circumstance? It feels like You’re taking forever. Are you going to come through? To be honest, Lord, I just don’t want to wait anymore!”

I believe that God is pleased when I take my burdens to Him. And yet, I also think that there are moments where He’s trying to talk to me, to comfort me, to teach me, but His gentle attempts of assurance are drowned out by my whining and impatient cries for help.

I recently started a devotional study by Dannah Gresh called Habakkuk: Remembering God’s Faithfulness when He Seems Silent. It has been an incredible reminder that I am not alone. Others have wrestled with these same feelings. With not having answers quickly.

Habakkuk was struggling. God didn’t seem to be dealing with the injustice and evil in his corner of the world. So Habakkuk opened up his book by crying out to the Lord. And God, in His patience and grace, answered His prophet:

For the revelation waits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

Habbakkuk 2:3

This wonderful verse tucked away in this tiny Old Testament book has been my lifeline these past few weeks – a precious reminder to my restless heart.

God gently reminded Habakkuk that He was, indeed, in control. He had a plan that would be brought to fruition at the perfect moment.

It was just a matter of waiting.

December ’22 in Pictures

Busy school days, birthday fun, Christmas program, spending time with family – all wrapped up in one month! Thankful for some time to relax and reflect on Jesus’ birth!

See you in 2023!

May ’22 in Pictures

May flew by! Thirty-one pictures from the month.

See you at the end of June!

March ’22 in Pictures

Enjoy 30 pictures of our March in the Dominican!

Thank you for your prayers for our family and for Freedom!

Is It Worth It?

Do you ever have those moments where you wonder, “Does my life actually have any kind of purpose? Is any of this even worth it?”

It’s probably not kosher for a missionary to admit, but over the last 9 years, I’ve asked myself, “What in the world am I doing?” more than I care to count. I’ve experienced a thousand and one occasions where I’ve absolutely wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits.

Yet at the end of the day, something – Someone – always pulls me back.

Tonight, it happened as I was sifting through months and months of old photos. I sat at my desk and reacquainted myself with a million precious memories from years gone by. And kind of like those weeks after childbirth, the painful remembrances started falling away, leaving these golden moments, split seconds of goodness forever frozen in time. Each photo roars back at me a resounding “YES!” It is absolutely worth it all!

I loved my bygone mornings of quickly chugging fresh coffee made by Marielis’ mom at our Cabeza bus stop
It was special to watch this little one share the Good News with this older gentlemen as she explained the gospel meaning of each of her colored beads on her bracelet
Talking to Reynabel about how to be a good gal at school – and watching the wheels turn as she considered whether or not it would be a good idea to obey. 🙂

Praise the Lord! Despite each moment of weariness, disappointment, injustice, frustration, loneliness, confusion, sadness, and pain, He is worth it all!

Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God’s eternal day.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We’re tossed and driven on, no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav’n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem – just go to Him in pray’r.

Life’s day will soon be o’er, all storms forever past,
We’ll cross the great divide, to glory, safe at last;
And we’ll all share the joys of heav’n – a harp, a home, a crown,
The tempter will be banished, we’ll lay our burden down.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

– Esther Kerr Rushtoi

June ’21 in Pictures

It’s heating up here in the DR! June 2021 in photos below!

May ’21 in Pictures

A months’ worth of photos from our May!


The little girl’s wild, wavy hair danced with the wind as she sat quietly on the sandbank. The gold in her locks glistened against the brilliance of the sun. A few feet away, the waves crashed, crawled slowly onto the land, and then retreated.

“Daddy?” Bluer-than-sea eyes turned towards her father. The girl looked up at the strong, wise man who seemed to always be there. To always know.

He knelt down beside her and gently tousled the unruly ringlets that surrounded her angelic face. “What is it, my dear?”

With a furrowed brow, she shook her head and looked down at her fist. Sand was spewing from both sides of her dimpled hand and from between each of her chubby fingers.

“Daddy, I don’t understand. Why can’t I keep this sand in my hand? I’m holding it as tightly as I can. But it just keeps falling away faster and faster.”

A rumble of laughter left the father’s wrinkled, smiling mouth as he watched his daughter do her best to clutch her little handful of treasure.

“That’s just it, darling. You’re trying too hard to keep it close.

The father reached beneath his daughter’s tightened fist. He cupped his two weathered palms together and carefully caught the glistening specks of dust that fell from her hand.

“You see? The more you try to control, to constrict, to constrain, the more you’ll lose. Instead, open up your hands like this. And keep them open. It’s the only way.”

The only way.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

April ’21 in Pictures

Our April in 30 photos!