Josh mentioned in his last note that our final spring team is gone. We are now in a transition stage from one season to another. The spring and summer schedules are quite different from each other, the summer is more routine, but longer and more tiring. We are excited for our break to rest and prepare.
So you may know that Josh and I have moved. It is interesting what we have noticed in this new house as a comparison to our old house... here are a few observations.
~ We don't have to lean against the wall in the shower to catch the few drops that leak from the shower head, we have full water pressure now!
~ There aren't swarms of bugs flying around at all hours of the day and night
~ There isn't dirt, leaves, dead bugs/lizards, other misc items falling from the ceiling panels
~ Once I sweep the floor, it stays clean for the day instead of 30 minutes... maybe
~ When we turn the lights on, they light up the room
~ When someone flushes the toilet or turns the faucet on while someone is in the shower, the water continues to flow into the shower while accommodating the other action that has taken place
We are grateful that we had the experience in the other house because we are now thankful for these things in our new house.
Other noteworthy items:
For my devotional times in the morning I have been reading from the book of Ezekiel. I am not very far along yet, but it has been an interesting read. Reading about Ezekiel's obedience to God when God instructs him to lay in the fetal position for 390 days in public! CRAZY! I really don't think I would have said "yes" to God if He asked me to do that.
Easter was an interesting experience here. It's not celebrated at all like we celebrate it in the States. Good Friday is a big deal here. Large groups of people gather together and walk long distances while carrying life sized crosses. While they do this, they are reading through the events in the Bible up to Jesus' Crucifixion. When they walk they sing, pray, or recite phrases. It's quite interesting to see. Saturday then is a day of fiestas and parties. Family and friends get together and BBQ and have games. Almost every business in town is closed for the whole weekend. There are town festivities too like races for people, bikers, and horses. On Easter Sunday, our big day in the States, nothing special happens. No more events, no more celebrating, in fact, in church, most pastors do not even talk about Jesus' crucifixion or resurrection. It is so interesting to me how all cultures have their own unique and different way of recognizing (or not) different events.
My final note.... some of you may know that Josh and I had been praying for a way to use our house for some kind of ministry. We asked others for advice and prayer and received all kinds of suggestions and words of wisdom. One day Josh came home and said to me, I think we should ask Raul, the guy who runs the sport ministry site, if he would be interested in living with us. Raul has begun to build a home up here in Jarabacoa, but right now he commutes on his moto from another town further down the mountain, and it takes him about 40 minutes to get here. We thought if we could offer him a place to stay, free of rent, he would maybe be able to save up the money from no rent and less gas to finish his home by the end of the summer.
We prayed about this idea and asked for some advice from others here, and it was received very warmly as a great idea. We prayed about it some more and felt like God was leading us to ask Raul if he would be interested. It just so happened that he was very interested and was planning on moving to another apartment the same day we were moving in. So he moved in the same day we did. He helped a lot with lifting heavy furniture items, and cleaning up the yard which needed a lot of help. He is so grateful and doesn't take anything for granted. He offers to pay for his own food or to pay me for cooking for him. He takes Snickers on walks, and offers to help us with our Spanish, as we help him with his English. So far (all 2 days) everything is working out very well. We are really excited about this opportunity to help him in this way.
Raul is lately married and his wife just found out that she is pregnant. The down side to this story is that she made a commitment to her parents that she would finish studying in the states. So, on Friday she flew back to New Jersey to finish studying. Raul says it is likely he wont see her until after she has the baby, which will be born in the states.
During this time of change, transition, and new a house mate, Josh and I would like to add this to our growing list of prayer requests. We don't foresee any problems, but I'm sure some will arise as our "home-sharing" days continue. Please pray that God's hand will be upon this partnership and that the three of us will only grow more in our knowledge and understanding of God and in our language.
God Bless You and thank you for being a part of our lives!