September ’20 in Pictures

Days turn into weeks turn into months… Can September be over already? Thirty photos from my home to yours!

Truly thankful for each day the Lord allows us to share in His work in this broken and hurting world. Bring on October!

August ’20 in Pictures

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!

September, here we come!

July ’20 in Pictures

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!

Enjoy these 31 pictures of our July!

We’re ready for August!

Unexpected blessings

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?

Leo

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.

June ’20 in Pictures

We’ve crossed the halfway point of 2020! This past month, our team was excited to get back out to the villages as restrictions have begun to lift oh.so.slowly. I personally spent most of my time behind my computer screen as lesson planning continues, but the boys have been in the bateys each morning helping with school – social distancing style, of course. Here’s our June in 30 photos!

Looking forward to July!

February ’20 in Pictures

One sixth of the way through 2020! Here’s a small peek into our February!

Thanks for continuing to pray for us! See ya in a month!

In His presence…

Not long ago, a missionary here asked me, “What do you really enjoy about your job?” I talked a bit about the teachers and the blessing it is to be a part of their lives. While that response is absolutely true, I think I’d expand my answer if I had the opportunity for a “redo”.

I’ve had the incredible privilege to work in several areas here at Freedom over the years. And with each passing day, the Lord is teaching me that no matter what I’m doing, keeping in step with Him is the most rewarding and precious experience this world has to offer.

By nature, I’m a perfectionist. Taking risks is hard for me. To fail is one of my biggest fears. And yet I’m learning that God, while He wants my best, is ultimately responsible to work out His perfect plan. I’ll give an example of how this recently played out in my life.

This past December, I was sitting in Jason’s office one afternoon, brainstorming some fundraising ideas. We’re behind financially in regards to sponsorship numbers, and we hadn’t met our end-of-the-year goal. Our “Change a Life” program is super important for us. It essentially keeps things running at the school. We’re able to bus in our 410 students because sponsors’ monthly donations cover costs like food, transportation and teachers’ salaries. How in the world were we going to find so.many.new.sponsors for the new year? As we bounced around a few ideas, this campaign push just kind of popped up. We thought a good goal would be to find 60 new child sponsors in these first three months of 2020. It was a solid direction, but instead of running after it, fear of the unknown initially began to creep into my mind. Are there really 60 (!) new people out there, willing to give their time and money to this cause? I started to think about all the ways a campaign like this could fail, and I shied away from the idea of putting together anything at all.

But as time went on, God quietly and consistently whispered to my scared little heart, “Just trust me.” I thought, Ok, Lord! You’re giving me this opportunity to walk with you. Even though I think this goal is terrifying and ambitious, You’re in charge…

Well, here we are. Halfway through the campaign. (The Lord has provided about 20 kiddos with new sponsors! That is amazing!) To be honest, I still wonder if we’ll actually hit our goal. I pray we do. It’d certainly be amazing to see this campaign successfully finished on March 31st, but ultimately I’ve been trying to allow the truth that God is in control to soak down deep in my heart. The Lord is doing a work in my life, and I’m doing my best to simply rest in Him. I really don’t have to worry so much when I choose to abide.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 16:11

There is this beautiful balance to be enjoyed in my relationship with Jesus: my humble efforts combined with His perfect plan and powerful provision produce such bliss. Joy to the fullest is found in walking with Jesus – no matter my weaknesses, no matter the circumstances, no matter the outcome.

January ‘20 in Pictures

While these photos certainly don’t capture everything, here are 31 pictures from our January in the DR!

July, August, September 2018 in Pictures

It’s such a privilege to be a part of God’s work here in the Dominican! Enjoy these pictures of our last few months at Freedom!

July

August

September