Saturday, July 18, 2009

Excursion Improvised

Yesterday was excursion day for our teams. We send them out white water rafting or hiking to a waterfall. However for this outreach we have a man in a wheel chair, which makes these activities a little more difficult. Josh and I had been brainstorming some fun ideas and thought of taking Brian and his wife Barbi to Jamaca De Dios. The pictures will help to describe the beauty of the place. It's the top of a mountain that overlooks our valley... our town, Jarabacoa. The top of this place happens to be the top of a very expensive and new housing development, which means not just anyone is welcome to this view. We made reservations at the restaurant up there, which gave us passage to the top.

We spent a little time at the very top and then went down a little to the restaurant - which sits right on the side of the mountain... so we received an amazing view from there as well. The chef at the restaurant is a retired chef from the states, and actually cooked/baked at some of the nations finest restaurants including (I can't remember the name) the bakery/pastry shop at the top of the World Trade Tower. He is a really neat guy and treated us very well.

Josh and I with Brian and Barbi. They are from Bakersfield, CA. They brought a team from the their church. So while their team was out hiking through the forest to a waterfall, we enjoyed amazing food, company, and a gorgeous view! I ordered the prime rib with mashed potatoes. It was amazing!!!

This was Josh's desert, chocolate mousse... it was fabulous!

This was my desert... chocolate ravioli (the name on the menu sounds more amazing than what I wrote... but who cares... it was SO good!!!)
We had an amazing time... and the food made me feel like I was in the states for brief moment. It was a great time and if you ever come to visit us we will take you to this restaurant!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I miss...

So Josh and I were calculating yesterday and realized that we have been here for just over 5 months now. It's gone by so fast in some respects... and others, it's gone by so slow. Since our trip back home for Melody's wedding is drawing nearer, I can't help but think of the things that I am most excited to taste and see.

Guacamole (and lots of it)
Mexican food
Maple boy (from Sluys bakery in Poulsbo)
Kettle Chips - black pepper flavor
Cheese - Tillamock cheddar, medium and sharp :)
Dreyers Ice Cream - cookies & cream, choco-chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, etc...

Family - especially Melody and Adam's wedding
NKBC - our supporting church and family
Beautiful Poulsbo - it's gorgeous this time of year!

So a note for those of you I am going to get the chance to see and visit with... most likely I will require that part of our "together time" include one of the mentioned "tastes"; I don't have very long before I go another long period of absence with said items :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Much needed joy

Quick update... on Friday Pat had been safely transferred to a Miami hospital where he was waiting for an MRI and another CAT scan. He was very comfortable and much more happy with the familiarity of American doctors, and pain medication :) I am hoping to post a web site soon where anyone who would like to keep up-to-date with Pat can log into to view his own posts :) When it's available to me, I'll post it here.

What's up with Josh and I?

This past week was very crazy with running teams and driving back and forth to the hospital to see Pat. We were so happy that we could be there for Pat, we wouldn't trade that for anything. Through the exhaustion God showed me glimmers of joy and happiness that glowed with his love; for example - on Friday morning Josh and I drove out to one of our pre-schools and picked up 11 little kids between the ages of 3-5. We piled them into the van and drove them into town for a special ice cream treat. As they got into the van I could hear precious giggles and jokes being shared by the kids. As we drove down the mountain to the ice cream store, the kids would shout "adios" at everyone we passed... literally everyone. After they exclaimed their farewells laughter would fill the van again - beautiful, pure, innocent excitement. It was so precious... and brought me so much joy... truly this was the bright spot of my whole week.

(This photo is of the class we took to get ice cream, and their teacher, Johanna)

He also taught me where I really find my strength... definitely not in me. Sometimes we were getting back as late as mid-night from the hospital and waking up at 6am to get ready for the day. With this happening day after day, I was wearing out for sure. One morning I just didn't know how I was going to make it through the day. Josh and I were 3 days behind in our paperwork/admin stuff. That morning Josh said he would go to the hospital and I stayed behind to catch up. I knew for sure I would fall asleep on my desk... but God not only gave me the energy to make it through (without a nap), I was so happy, bubbly, and full of life! Honestly, I was shocked! I know God can do anything that we ask of Him, but I didn't expect to be blessed even more than what I had prayed for... AMEN!

Yesterday we said good-bye to our 4th outreach groups and arrived at home by lunch. We rolled our t.v. into our room, brought in our lunch, and watched movies almost all day. It was just what we needed... rest and escape from thinking. Today we are wrapping up work from this last team and preparing for the next team.

For those of you interested in challenging yourselves... read these lyrics - World Apart - by Jars of Clay... if you really do pray them, I know that God will begin to challenge you.

I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tears
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
and wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
More and more I need you now,
I owe you more each passing hour
the battle between grace and pride
I gave up not so long ago
So steal my heart and take the pain
and wash the feet and cleanse my pride
take the selfish, take the weak,
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
the sin-soaked heart and make it yours
take my world all apart
take it now, take it now
and serve the ones that I despise
speak the words I can't deny
watch the world I used to love
fall to dust and thrown away
I look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
so wipe away the crimson stains
and dull the nails that still remain
so steal my heart and take the pain
take the selfish, take the weak
and all the things I cannot hide
take the beauty, take my tears
take my world apart, take my world apart
I pray, I pray, I pray
take my world apart


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Update on Pat Lynn

Hello Friends and Family, and others who are following Pat's condition...
Sorry I haven't been updating here... it's just been so crazy with leading teams, taking care of Lourdes and Pat's team, and driving back and forth to the hospital, I haven't even had time to sleep.

After two very long days of Brian (Pat's friend who flew in on Tuesday night) making calls and arrangements, we believe that Pat will be flying out of here (hopefully) some time this morning. They will first send him to a Miami hospital that has an MRI machine ready for Pat. He has not yet received an MRI because the equipment here is not appropriate for him. Once he receives an MRI and they can tell what the extent of the damage is (or hopefully NO damage!) they can better assess what hospital to send him too from there. Ideally his friends and family would like him in Seattle, but depending on his condition he may stay in FL. for a while.

As of yesterday evening Pat...
~ is still immobilized on an air mattress like hospital bed
~ has complete feeling in his body
~ he can move his legs up/down/and around, but cannot wiggle his toes
~ he can flex his biceps and butt
~ he can move his left arm from side to side, but he cannot lift it off the bed
~ he can speak normally, but he's been having a little trouble with breathing and therefore cannot finish a sentence in one breath
~ he still has his sense of humor... but he's ready to go home

Please pray that he will have a speedy recovery, that the insurance will cover all of the expenses, that he will be taken to Seattle soon, for his family but more importantly his Mom who hasn't yet been able to be with him, for the doctors and nurses who are treating him here and the ones who will see him in Miami.

I truly believe in the power of prayer and believe that God will answer specific prayers. Please be praying specifically for the prayers above... I know that God can answer them and will according to His perfect plan. God has done miraculous things in Pat's body already and I believe He will continue to do so, but please partner with me in praying for him.

Pat is a tremendous guy, I feel so honored to have met him and so blessed to have been given this opportunity to be by his side during this time. Thank you everyone for your prayers and I will let you know when he is in a plane bound for Florida.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


This is just a quick blog to update you on Josh and my past 24+ hours.
Yesterday morning a student (girl) began having seizures and tremors (not uncommon for her) but we had a lot of prep to do before we could send her down to the hospital with our doctor, Fernando. Shortly after Josh and I finally arrived home from that incident, we received a call notifying us that one of the leaders from a team here, and someone we know, Pat Lynn (Justin Lynn's older brother) dove into a river and hit his head on a rock, causing a serious head injury. We rushed to the hospital in Jarabacoa where he was being stabilized. They had stitched up his head and had him firmly secured to a gurney with a neck brace. Once we learned which hospital he was going to be transferred too, we got a few people together and sent them after the ambulance.

Josh and I had to stay behind but were receiving updates as soon as our people in the hospital could provide us with some. We were so thankful that Fernando was at the same hospital that Pat was being sent to, so he was able to assist in the process. Things looked very grim when we saw him off at the first hospital. Once we returned to the base, we assembled everyone, relayed the info that we knew and began praying. His mom had already been notified by Josh and she was calling people she knew to pray as well.

As the day progressed, little pieces of info would come in... but nothing concrete that could really tell us of his situation.

This morning I went to the hospital with Nate and the other leader from his team to visit and PRAISE GOD, he was able to move his legs, flex his biceps, and he speech has improved greatly from yesterday. He is in ICU so we can only visit for 5 minutes only 3x per day. I go back in 4 hours and will have more info then... but PLEASE PLEASE be praying for Pat. He is very strong and pushing through, but he is in a lot of pain. We are unsure of his spinal situation, they told him it looks okay, just very swollen... but please please pray for healing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

...a bit of randomness...

Have I mentioned recently how much I love the Caribbean?! Are you jealous now? Well, everything is going just fine here. We returned from the beach on Monday afternoon and had about 15 minutes to breathe before the first group arrived. Our time at the beach was very relaxing, and we got some much needed rest. I left with only a few little sun burned places on me where my swim suit had rubbed off the sun screen. I did however get one comment on looking tan... but my tan looks like most people's natural skin color. And of course when I stand next to Josh people wonder if I ever go out in the sun.

While we were at the beach we learned that there was a girl who attended the outreach and not only had she come to accept the Lord as her personal Saviour, but she was also baptized by her site leader! PRAISE GOD!!! It's so amazing to watch all these students and adults alike come here thinking that they are going to influence and bless the locals when in fact, most of them leave even more impacted or changed.

Josh and I are feeling quite settled into our roles and now we're starting to dream! We are coming up with new ideas for how this program can be run... what is a definite keeper, what needs to be changed, and what just needs a little more sparkle? We are really excited about tweaking the normal and making a program that looks a little different from the past few years.

Prayer Requests:
As we develop new ideas for the program that they will be from God