February 2016 in pictures

Time is flying! A few pictures from our busy February.

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We had a sweet time with Scott’s brother Ryan and his wife Erin for a week!
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Third quarter parent-teacher conferences went well!
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Miss Emma with her kindergarten kids in Village Lima
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A group of 5 visited and worked with us mid-February
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A neighbor’s brush fire got out of control and ran rampant on Freedom property! Students moved classrooms as a safety precaution, but no one was injured.
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It’s always a pleasure to share life each year with this group from North Carolina
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Independence Day in the Dominican
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Students marched through the streets of Ramon Santana
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The construction crew has been working hard on classrooms and bathrooms on the second floor of the school building
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Yuleisy made Leyton a special birthday dinner of bollo and salami
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Scott continues teaching music class in 3-week blocks
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Our apartment is getting closer! We now have tiled floors and a porch railing!
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Master bedroom
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Sillies with Noah
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Leyton couldn’t be left out!
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February was Caleigh’s 5th month

Furlough

Sorry for the hiatus. We’ve been in the States for a short furlough. We’re enjoying our time sharing what God is doing in the Dominican, but we picked 2 crazy weeks to come back – the cold and snow have been a bit of a shock to our systems. Leyton does not enjoy putting on his coat to go outside, and his teeth start chattering after just seconds in the freezing weather.

Pray for us. We have several more meetings before flying back to the DR on February 11th. We’re looking for more people (particularly school-year interns) who are interested in being a part of God’s vision for the DR. It’s been amazing to watch Him provide in His perfect timing. The adventure continues!

 

My Christmas Battle

Typical. Just typical. The power would go out on Christmas Eve. This is the one week we have to relax and just be a family.

The dangerous thoughts spread through my mind like poison as we sat there in the darkness.

So much for getting the boys to sleep. No fan to muffle the Christmas celebrations outside. And no blanket for Noah since the washer’s locked. This should be fun.

Leyton’s whimpering snapped me out of my selfish, gloomy reverie for a moment.

“Don’t cry, buddy – Daddy bought some new candles. We’ll be able to see in no time.”

Seriously. No electricity – tonight of all nights?! And right when I’m heating up dinner…

I listened as Scott fumbled in the drawer for the matches. And the guilt settled in.

C’mon, Ang. What a horrible attitude. You’re going to be mad about a simple power outage? This happens all the time. It’s Christmas Eve. Take advantage of these moments with your babies.

The match striking against the box brought me back from my raging, internal mind battle. A small light stabbed out into the night. I paused to stare at the tiny, flickering flame in front of me.

What verse have you been drilling into your kindergartners over the last month, Ang? Could you really have forgotten so quickly?

Then I almost heard the little batey voices shouting out in unison.

Luke 2:11. For unto you is born this day…

Scott lit another candle. Light radiated throughout the kitchen.

… in the city of David…

A third flame. More darkness obliterated.

… a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

Another shining candle. Each new light drowned out more of the shadows that had been lurking in the dining room – and in my heart.

The tea lights in the living room were glowing. I looked around at the bits of brightness that had collectively served to remedy my negative thoughts. My heart was humble and full. My eyes locked on my babies sitting patiently at the table.

“Wow, boys! Look at all the candles! Now we can see!”

“See!” Leyton repeated perfectly in his sweet, high-pitched voice.

“OK – sit tight! Dinner’s coming soon.”

My leftovers-in-the-microwave-for-dinner game plan changed to a gas-stove strategy. As I continued preparing the food, I was left to my thoughts once again.

Lord, are you really trying to teach me this simple lesson? Surely I’ve learned it by now. I know Christmas isn’t about the turkey dinners and the lights and the perfectly planned parties and the presents. I know tonight isn’t about my Christmas Eve plans complete with electricity. Or… do I?

The candlelight danced across the oven backsplash as visions of a tiny Baby in a dingy, dirty manger waltzed through my mind. And I thanked my Savior anew for setting aside His throne, putting on flesh, and willingly laying down His life. For me.

Breaking News – Freedom Missions Team Grows by One!

Introducing… our newest little missionary.

Leyton Reid Mitchener was born on February 3 at 8:59 am.
He weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 21 inches long.

Things are finally starting to settle down here in the Mitchener household.  There has been some adjusting to life as a family of four, but Leyton has been such a great baby!  We are so blessed to have another healthy little guy.  He has already changed so much in these three weeks.  Noah loves his little brother already, and minus the occasional poke in the eye, he does a great job “helping” with Leyton.  Thankfully we’ve had help from our small group from the church.  They’ve been bringing us amazing, delicious meals – and these couples have busy families and responsibilities of their own. Talk about being the hands and feet of Jesus to us right when we need it.

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It’s hard to believe we are three months out from moving to the Dominican, God willing!  We’ve gained a couple of new monthly supporters over the last week or so (yay!), but we still are in need of others to join our support team if we are to make it by our target date.  You can pray for us this weekend as we head to Illinois to present the ministry at a church there.

Scott and I are trying to learn more Spanish vocabulary and “basics” as we get ready for language training when we hit the ground at the end of May.  It’s been slow going, but we’re attempting to keep a good perspective on this area of our preparation.  Dominican Spanish is different in many ways from other Spanish-speaking countries’, so we won’t fully “get it” until we are immersed in it for awhile – this is another area in which we could really use your prayers and support.