Simple Stories, Sage Advice

Isn’t it funny how certain memories stick with you over the years? Often, the seemingly insignificant moments are the ones that resonate with me the most.

Growing up, I remember sitting in church three times a week listening to my dad preach. As a little girl, I was most interested in the illustrations he’d tell between the points in his sermon outline. One of Dad’s stories has continued to impact me throughout the years, and I draw on its principle often. It goes something like this:

A farmer was visiting his friend one afternoon, but he happened to stay at his friend’s house til after dark. As the farmer prepared to walk home, his friend gave him a lantern so he could find his way. The farmer stepped outside, but he quickly returned. He told his friend, “This lantern isn’t any good. I can only see far enough to make it one step.” The wise friend said, “That’s OK – take that one step and you’ll be able to see far enough to make the next one. Keep doing that, and pretty soon, you’ll make it home.”

This simple story has grounded me in the midst of uncertainty over the years.

Oswald Chambers once said something similar: “When you don’t know what to do, trust God and do the next thing.” What sage advice from a man of God who experienced life on several different continents during such a pivotal point in history.

Today, this world seems to be spinning right off its slanted, little axis. To look at the circumstances – in my home country and in my own community here in the DR – is unbelievably overwhelming. How do I respond?

I must remember: my sovereign God has a perfect plan that He’s allowed me to be a part of. And then I must take that next step and do the next thing.

Coming Home

Looking out across the great chasm that is the Grand Canyon. Following an overgrown, forgotten path through the woods. Walking across battlefields of wars gone by. Listening to waves crash against centuries-old rocks. God has graciously allowed me to take in many treasured moments like these over the years.

Traveling delights my little soul. To visit a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, to experience some new aspect of a different culture, to learn another piece of history – there is a certain elation that comes with each new adventure. But as thrilling as it is to wander this wonderful world, there’s always a point when it’s time to return from the vacation spot. The experiences become precious memories to look back on, photos on the camera reel of my mind.

For me, there’s something so special about coming home. Walking into the familiar, safe, known spaces of my house always feels like a breath of fresh air. I live for the sweet dreams that overtake me the first night I can sleep in my own bed again.

Since moving to the DR more than 8 years ago, the sense of having somewhere to call home has more or less been stripped away. Yes, we have a beautiful apartment here that is “ours”. But living in a foreign country brings to light the fact that other signs of home are missing. Family, friends and the familiar are more than a car ride away. This missing aspect of home has been one of the tougher pills to swallow as we’ve purposefully chosen this way of life.

Yet Jesus continues to teach me something so sweet.

The idea of home is not in a location. Instead, home is found in a Person. Jesus Himself is my Home. He is the rest my soul craves, the safe haven I need when I’m scared or tired or lonely. In Him, I find everything I need.

I want those around me to see how much He wants to be their Home, too.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, 
calling for you and for me; 
see, on the portals he’s waiting and watching, 
watching for you and for me. 

Come home, come home; 
you who are weary come home; 
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, 
calling, O sinner, come home! 

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, 
pleading for you and for me? 
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies, 
mercies for you and for me?

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, 
passing from you and from me; 
shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, 
coming for you and for me.

O for the wonderful love he has promised, 
promised for you and for me! 
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, 
pardon for you and for me.

Leyton’s July ’20 Blog – #1

Another installment from the kids. This time, it’s Leyton’s turn to share the world from his perspective!

Hi, my name’s Leyton. I’ll tell you 10 facts about me.

  • I’m 8 years old.
  • When I was a little kid, I was bald.
  • When we first moved here, I would take baths in my sink.
  • When I was little, I liked people holding me at the bateys.
  • I like living in the Dominican. It’s fun, but it’s hot.
  • I like playing with my brother.
  • I like to cuddle with my family.
  • I like to tell jokes.
  • We find a lot of creatures at Freedom like snakes and tarantulas.
  • I like to eat a lot because it’s fun.

Here are some pictures from when I was a baby here in the Dominican.

Next time, I’ll tell you about one of my adventures. The end.

– Leyton

Noah’s July ’20 Blog – #1

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!

– Noah

Ang’s September ’18 Reads and QOTM’s

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Another book finished. I had heard good things about Leadership Pain, but honestly, I wasn’t extremely impressed. Don’t get me wrong – there were great parts. I underlined a good bit. The concept of pain being an excellent teacher is a good one. But I feel like the actual writing was a little… redundant and all over the place. This book would’ve been a more effective read for me in about half the number of pages. I’m glad I read it, though I’m not sure I’d recommend it to my reading friends.

Some of my favorite quotes from my September reads are below!


Never trust a leader who doesn’t walk with a limp. – Dr. J. Robert Clinton ¹

Some leaders lose sight of pleasing God and, instead, live to please the next person who walks into their office… In our insecurity, we become chameleons, changing our attitudes, perspectives, and values to suit the person in front of us. Our life’s goal is gradually shifted from bringing glory to God to winning approval from others. ¹

Suffering so unbolts the door of the heart, that the Word hath easier entrance. – Richard Baxter ¹

By perseverance the snail reached the ark. – C.H. Spurgeon ¹

Shouldn’t we suppose that many of our most painful ordeals will look quite different a million years from now, as we recall them on the New Earth? What if one day we discover that God has wasted nothing in our life on earth? What if we see that every agony was part of giving birth to an eternal joy? – Randy Alcorn ¹

All the thrill of boyhood dreams came on me just now… I wanted to sail when I was in grammar school… Now I am actually at sea–as a passenger, of course, but at sea nevertheless–and bound for Ecuador. Strange–or is it?–that childish hopes should be answered in the will of God for this now? ²

The Lord has given me a hunger for righteousness and piety that can alone be of Himself. Such hungering He alone can satisfy, yet Satan would delude and cast up all sorts of other baubles, social life, a name renowned, a position of importance, scholastic attainment… Surely they can mean nothing to the soul who has seen the beauty of Jesus Christ…. ²

Would the New Testament answer the longing for the Quichua for freedom from fear, peace of heart, deliverance from evil spirits? The missionaries… felt themselves foreigners–felt they would always be foreigners. The Indian himself must be the answer…. ²

Jim, I’m taking the Lord at His word, and I’m trusting Him to prove His word. It’s kind of like putting all your eggs in one basket, but we’ve already put our trust in Him for salvation, so why not do it as far as our life is concerned? If there’s nothing to this business of eternal life, we might as well lose everything in one crack and throw our present life away with the one hereafter. But if there’s something to it, then everything else the Lord says must hold true likewise. ²

It’s hard to stay on top of it all, hard to keep rejoicing, hard to love those ungrateful Indians. It’s hard to keep our primary purpose in view when we get so swamped with secondary things. ²

“There’s glue in places that don’t need it…”
“It doesn’t bother me. The fabric will cover it.”
Franz’s father gave him a lesson. “Always do the right thing, even if no one sees it.”
“No one will know it’s there.”
“Fix it, because you’ll know it’s there.” ³

A Nazi was someone who chose to be a Nazi. ³

The more he read, the more Franz was bothered by the hypocrisy of the war he had joined – of people who believed in the same God, fighting one another. ³

As soldiers, we must kill or be killed. But once a person enjoys killing, he is lost.³


¹ Leadership Pain, Samuel Chand
² Through Gates of Splendor, Elisabeth Elliot
³ A Higher Call, Adam Makos