Returning to the Dominican Republic
Getting back into the swing of things
We had a wonderful time in MN over the Christmas and New Year's holidays. It was so great to spend time with family and have a much needed break from life and ministry in the Dominican Republic. And, we were so excited that Joselo became an American citizen during the trip.
Upon our return to the Dominican Republic, we are thankful that we found things mostly in order. We've adjusted again to the weather, regular power outages, crazy traffic and to the cold showers!
We found our refrigerator had gone out - again, but thankfully were able to get that repaired. A big tree in front of our home had also fallen down while we were away. Though it left a big mess and some damage to the neighbor's front gate, thankfully, there was no major damage and no one was hurt.
The biggest adjustment is just being "on our own again". It really was a treat to be surrounded by family and friends in MN.
Upon our return, we met right away with the youth from Hato Mayor and heard all about their Christmas celebrations with the children in the communities and their first month with their new ministry assignments. We rotated the teachers this year, so they are all working in a different community with a different group of students. They are enjoying the change of traveling to a new community and getting to know new children.
The meeting was filled with excitement as we got "caught up" on year-end activities and continued to work out the details of our budget and goals for 2017.
We also got started right away with our discipleship ministry here in Santo Domingo. It was nice to see everyone and dive into the Word together. This week we will discuss another topic that is so important for all of us: Understanding Our Enemy and His Tactics.
We all come from different backgrounds and our understanding of who and how active Satan is may be different. In this chapter we study what the Bible says about Satan - that "he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44) and that "he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8-9).
We don't have to fear the devil, but we do have to be aware of how the Devil operates, so that we are not completely blind-sided. He wants to get us off track of our relationship with God and tear apart relationships with those we love.
One of the key things we talk about is taking our thoughts captive, rejecting the lies that come into our minds about God, others and ourselves and learning to replace them with the Truth from God's word.
It's a powerful study. Our thoughts are powerful - they influence what we believe, our attitudes and eventually our words and behaviors. If we aren't intentional about filling our minds with the Truth, we can find ourselves in a mess real fast.
Joselo has his plate full this term with classes at the University, an internship at a hospital here in Santo Domingo, English classes twice a week, and a theology class he is taking from another pastor. He's excited and motivated right now in all of these areas, and it's fun to see him enjoying it all.
Elliot has adjusted well to being back. It's always fun to watch his reaction when we walk back into the house for the first time after being away for several weeks. He has now graduated to a "big boy bed" and is working on potty training! Yeah Elliot! He is enjoying playing with all of his new toys he got for Christmas. His favorite is probably his fishing pole and magnetic fish set. He loved fishing with Grandpa when he was in MN over Christmas, and this is good practice for next time!
I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and Baby #2 seems to be happy and healthy - praise God! I've noticed a big difference in my energy level this trimester, so I've been resting a lot more. I sure am excited to meet our new son.
I also started attending a weekly women's Bible study with a couple of other missionary moms who live nearby. I'm thankful for the opportunity to get out of the house and converse with other English-speaking mom's on a regular basis.
Though I haven't been working at it very hard lately, we do need to continue to raise monthly support for our ministry.
After going over our ministry goals with the youth at our last meeting and looking at what ministry partners have pledged financially, we are still short about $500 in monthly support or $6000 in special gifts for 2017.
If you or anyone you know would like to contribute financially to support this ministry, please let me know! It's very simple to get signed up for monthly support. Your investment would be tax-deductible and make a difference in the lives of children and youth living in poverty in the Dominican Republic. We'd be so thankful to have you on our team of ministry partners!
We continue to trust that God will provide through the generosity of people like you and thank all who give faithfully each month or through special donations. Your contributions truly make this ministry possible. May God bless you more!