A few snapshots from the summer. What a whirlwind of blessings!
The Lord is so good. He continues to provide individuals to keep things moving forward here.
Some people volunteer their time from the States.
Others have joined our ground team for the long haul.
Some sacrifice by giving financially.
And others spend a short time with us here – usually just a week.
We’ve been asked before, “What good could someone possibly do in a week?”
“No offense,” they say, “but isn’t it a ‘waste’ of money, time, and resources?”
In July, a group from Illinois came to stay with us for seven days. A lady named Angel joined her church for their first trek to the Dominican. Angel admitted that the whole time leading up to the trip, she questioned why she was coming and what she had to offer. Even as she sat on the airplane, she was unsure of why she was on her way. But the Lord had been impressing on her to just “show up”. So she did.
She didn’t have to wait long for God to reveal Himself to her.
Monday morning, Angel and the rest of her team stood in the breezeway and listened as our principal, Toni, called out the names of the 3-year-olds they’d be working with that day. Suddenly, Toni paused.
“Guys,” she said, “I’ve got one little man here who needs some extra love and one-on-one attention.”
Without skipping a beat, Angel said, “I’ll take him!” As she looked down at the slip of paper that Toni had handed to her, she read the name of the little guy she’d be interacting with for four hours.
His name was hers. And she knew that he was her “why.”
Later, Angel poignantly shared with us that each moment in the classroom with Angel was such a blessing for her. She was able to interact with him in a special way. And he seemed to respond to her as well. When she was willing to let go and just show up, God provided a unique opportunity for her to see Him in a bigger way.
Angel plans on being involved in little Angel’s life in the years to come. I like to think that their relationship will deepen as time goes by. I pray that as Angel grows up, he’ll come to know the love of His Savior. He doesn’t yet understand the impact of that week on his life. He doesn’t recognize how the Lord miraculously orchestrated circumstances so that the two of them would meet. But what an incredible way for Angel to start his first year at Freedom!
So when people ask me if I think it’s worth it to come for a week, I say, “Absolutely.”
In our context, at least, a week can be worth eternity.
Apartment construction has been in full swing for several months. It’s miraculous to see the building come to life. Two work teams joined us this February, enormously boosting the amount of labor done in a given day. The first team built up the entire first level of block, and the second team poured a ceiling and continued the walls on the second level. It’s neat to see the physical results of their efforts.
When we’re finally able to live on the Freedom land, life will change drastically for us missionaries. We’ll be able to more effectively minister to our students and their families. I remember when we lived in our first house here in San Pedro. The school-day process was long and hard. We were lugging school materials over to the truck, driving out to the bateyes, picking up our students, setting up the school rooms, tearing down after school, and dragging everything home. Every day. That set-up/tear-down process took about 3 hours! Thinking about simply walking across campus to start the school day makes me absolutely giddy. It will be so much easier to invest in the lives of our sweet kiddos and their parents.
Our family will be living on the second level (left-hand side) of this 8-unit apartment building. The work crew that left yesterday made this “real” for us – they were mostly working on our home. I’m excited for all the new memories our family will be able to enjoy together. (And while I’m sure we’ll have some sort of critter visit our apartment at some point, I’m hoping the ant infestations, cockroach friends, centipedes, lizards, and mice that we “enjoyed” at our first house will be minimal. Either way, God is good.)
So without further ado, check out our new home!