Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tropical rain and electric fiasco

Today is another rainy day in Jarabacoa. Usually the rain is welcomed by all to cool us off and refresh the earth... however, it's been raining quite a bit lately so we'd really like to see it go. So here I am, sitting on my couch during lunch break listening to the sound of pounding rain on the tin roof and watching as it drenches the earth, leaving puddles all over our dirt driveway and watching the dogs perform "muddy-paw-print" art all over the white patio tile, and I thought that it would be a good day to write a blog.

It's been a peaceful few days, not to much out of the ordinary has happened, that is, aside from Sunday's 2:30am power transformer explosion. (Can you sense that a story is on the way?)

So there we were sleeping peacefully in the wee hours of Sunday morning when to our shock and surprise we heard a very strange and loud sound coming from outside. As we turned our heads toward the window we saw a brilliantly bright light, almost like fireworks. I opened the shutters and out by the street we could see sparks flying everywhere and a giant glowing yellow light. About 10 seconds later the light went out and so did our electricity. We laid in bed for like an hour afterward, just laying there. Neither of us could sleep after that, not to mention the room got a little stuffy without the fan on. About an hour later, much to our astonishment, the electricity came on, but only for about 2 hours, when it went away again. When we woke up later that morning, we were delighted to find that the electricity had restored itself once more. When we walked the dogs we stopped by our electric post to find the entire thing covered in black smoke and a rather important looking piece melted on the wet ground below. We were relieved to see that it hadn't been the fault of our neighbor trying to steal electricity again, but then we couldn't figure out what had happened. Later on that morning as we were preparing to get showered, we came to realize that, while we had electricity, something had happened to our water, as in, it wasn't working. So we quickly grabbed all of our clothes for church and shower supplies, and headed off to the base where we were able to grab a quick (but ice cold) shower just in time to get the group ready and off to church.

Now there are two things you should know about the DR: 1, customer service is not valued the same here as it is in the States; 2, Sunday's are a day when everything is closed, no one works. So, Josh and I thought we'd be without water until Monday when someone from the electric company could come out and fix the mess. However, Lowell, being the persuasive person that he is, got a crew to come out and take a look. It turned out they had to completely rebuild our electric circuit, it had been totally fried.

That was Sunday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Will Priase You in the Storm

Through the hoops and hurdles of life our character is refined and sharpened. We can use the challenges that come our way to grow and get stronger or fall into a pool of self pity and depression. Josh and I have been walking through a dark forest of despair, each day delivering to us a new mountain to climb. Every morning we walk the journey clinging to the hope that God will deliver us from what lays before us, praying that the uncertainty of the day will not bring anything more to push us down.

With each passing trial we can see God’s love, grace, faithfulness, and provision. God has been our joy, our energy, our strength, and our hope. Even though the world around us seems to be crashing in, God meets us each morning with the promise of His love for us. Each morning we are reassured of His goodness and glorious plan for us - one not to harm or hurt us, but a plan of hope and a future.

I have walked these past two/three weeks with so much joy and happiness that sometimes I forget what is and has been going on. While there have been some tears shed, we remind ourselves who is in control and who can use any and every situation for His grand purpose. We rejoice in our suffering, knowing that it is because Satan sees the work being done and wants to put an end to it.

Our affliction has been in all areas of life -
* in our minds through bad dreams giving us restless sleep
* in our bodies through sickness
* in our work place through conflict and discouragement
* in our finances through extra expenses (car repair, medical testing, both dogs sick)
* in our friendships through conflict (largely based simply in miscommunication)
* in our pets (sickness)
* in our relationship together (the stress of everything ripping apart our harmony)
Praise God that He deems us worthy enough to suffer for Him. Praise God that amist the storm we have been growing stronger. Praise God that we have been able to see His provision in a very real and dramatic way.

This blog is not an appeal for sympathy but to share about the Savior I daily follow and His provision and faithfulness to us during such trying times.

I want to brag a little about my God...

We just recently lost Josh's laptop and believed that we had lost mine as well (Ron was able to fix mine). The day after it happened I received an e-mail from the mom of a girl who is coming here on Monday and she asked me for any prayer requests. I had asked for prayer in health and for extra funding to come in for a new laptop. The next morning Josh and I spent some time in prayer together for everything that has been going on in our lives - including the laptop. Following that time of prayer I went to check my e-mail and saw that the mom had e-mailed me again. She had decided to send us $500 for a new laptop! Praise God!

Another huge blessing in our lives has been our 9 (soon to be 11) summer interns. So much of our ministry here is in short term relationships - every week or two saying good-bye. But we get to invest in, build, and grow in these 11 relationships for 8-10 weeks. Each and everyone of them is so unique, beautiful, and special. We get along with them so well and they're so great. We have already been blessed by them and I know that the remainder of the summer is going to be amazing!

As the past few days have come and gone, it seems that the hardships have been passing along with them. I think we have finally reached the the edge of the dark forest and see the light. I feel stronger, and more in love with God than ever before. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us recently, we have needed them.

Buenas Tarde - (good afternoon),