Home Sweet Home?? ...almost!
Well, we moved! For months, we had been looking for a home with at least three bedrooms to rent in the little town of Consuelo. When we happened upon one in a quiet neighborhood, with a great "yard" and an apartment-hotel next door where teams and visitors can stay, we jumped on the opportunity.
We moved in on January 4th, received our first guests (friends visiting from MN) on January 7th, and then we welcomed a small mission team from Resurrection Lutheran Church in MN on January 9th. We may not have known where all the light switches were yet, but we figured it out together.
We have pretty well adjusted to the regular power outages from 2-6:30pm and again from 3-7am every day.
Joselo's mom had an inverter she wasn't using, so we've installed that. This will allow our lights, fans and internet to run on battery power while the power is out. It's not working properly yet, but it has helped some.
It took several weeks longer than I expected to get our washing machine and kitchen cabinets installed. I washed many loads of laundry by hand and was really eager to get our kitchen boxes emptied. Both have been installed now, and I am so, so grateful!
We're still trying to figure out how to make sure we always have water in the house. The house doesn't have a well, and there is no cistern. The city sends water every 2-3 days. On those days, we try to get our the small tank on our roof filled. If the power is out or we are not home, we can't run the pump and everything is a bit more challenging. It's tough without water to bathe, wash dishes, flush toilets, clean up after little boys, etc.
1 Thesselonias 5:16-19 says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
If I'm honest with you, this isn't always easy for me. I've found that challenges surrounding our move and a few of our Dominican friends have been great teachers, and I can see God is helping me to grow in this area.
It's easy to compare my current living situation to the homes and comforts I had when I lived in MN. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out, or I strive to make things nicer, cleaner, better for us and our kids.
Then I meet or visit friends here in the Dominican Republic who live in conditions in which I'm uncomfortable spending just an hour or two.
It's common for people who visit to see the harsh living conditions, meet people who live in them and then comment, "they're so happy."
Living in the Dominican Republic, I've gotten to know some of these people. The thing I notice and admire about them is that they wrestle negative thinking to the ground and live in constant prayer and worship. It's not easy. Their lives are not easy. They are not always happy, but they chose to thank God for everything. They thank Him for the good, and they thank him for the not-so-good.
God has revealed the depth of His love for us in sending His son to die for our sins. He is good, faithful, gracious, kind and has proven that He is worthy of our trust. Regardless of our circumstances, we can have joy and peace in Christ.
The parts I love about this house - the yard, the little gazebo where I can sit outside and watch the boys play, lots of neighborhood kids with whom the boys are playing every day, a tree swing, the mango, avocado and cherry trees, the shade and cool breezes. It's a beautiful, peaceful neighborhood.
Is it "Home Sweet Home"?....Almost!
The important thing is that I remember to
Be joyful always.
Give thanks in all circumstances.