Monday, July 19, 2010

Changes coming to SIDR

Transition and change, whether painful or wonderful, is a necessary part of life; it keeps things fresh and aids against complacency. Working on the mission field where people are coming are going all the time, transition and change has become normal. Year round we see around 500 short term missionaries here for 1-2 weeks; interns giving a summer of 10 weeks; semester students who live here for 4 months; and then our 2-year missionaries. Change is a normality that, like everything else, is something that we get used too; it’s a part of our life. There is a transition coming in the lives of everyone here at SIDR (Students International Dominican Republic) that was very unexpected, and while so amazing, it’s going to be very difficult. I have been saying good-bye’s a lot over the past 2 years – between school, family, friends, and now to all the teams – that this next good-bye will be the hardest since we moved here. We found out a little over a week ago that half of our leadership team – Lowell & Cheryl and Nate & Maggie – will be moving from SIDR to begin a new country with SI in Nicaragua. Lowell & Cheryl have been our biggest support network here, not to mention tremendous friends whom we consider family.

They will (thankfully) be making this transition over a period of 12-15 months so it’s not super sudden, but now begins the count-down of “lasts”. We are very excited for what’s in store for them in their new future of developing a new SI base, but we will miss them dearly. A bright spot in the midst of this shocking news is that the future directors of SIDR are Brian & Sissy who were our supervisors when we were interns here in 2008. Many people here know them well and are excited for their transition back to SIDR.

What else is happening?
~Our summer program ends in 3 weeks.
~We are excitedly waiting for our friends to come and visit – Cindy & Russell & Cole (a family I nannied for in college) are coming mid-August; and another great friend Michael Martin is coming in late August for a visit as well. These will be the first visitors ever to visit us in our own town since we have been here in the D.R.
~Sept 1 – Dec 16 is our semester abroad program – there are 15 students this year
~ Late Oct – early November my whole family is coming to visit! I am so excited to see them and for them to see where we live.
~Dec 16 we fly home for Christmas break!

Since the break-in

Since our home was broken into we have received enough extra donation money to each purchase new laptops and some friends bought us a new DVD player. Some other friends bought and sent down to us “mock security cameras” for our home, hopefully to scare potential burglars away. We are no longer hiding a spare key around the house, and we are no longer going to leave anything valuable looking within view of the front door, so if someone actually does walk up to our front door and looks in, they won’t see anything. We are also going to avoid at all cost leaving our laptops home while we’re not there, and if we have to leave them home, we’re going to hide them.

All the strange feelings that we had following our brake-in have, thankfully, gone. We pray daily for our safety and trust that God will protect us. We are however, looking to move. Even though we only live 5-7 minutes from the base, Josh really wants to live right next to the base. So we’re not in any rush, but he’s keeping an open eye for homes close by that are for rent.

Well, I think that just about sums up what’s happening here.

(This photo was taken by one of our interns at our beach trip with them)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Latest news... robbery

I have been thinking about writing a blog for some time now, wondering what to write, wondering what you want to read about. Writing this can be a challenge at times because writing about my life is not something I've ever done before, let alone journaling. So any tips or ideas would be great!

My topic for today I guess will be on the most recent activity in our lives... the robbery at our house. Two Saturday's ago now, Josh and I left our house at 8am and went to the base to say farewell to the teams that were leaving. Following that we went to play tennis with our friends. We arrived back at home around 12pm to find that our house wasn't locked and the door slightly ajar. As we walked into the house we noticed things had been moved around a bit and key items missing. My first thought was that someone was playing a prank on us, but as I walked into the bedroom and saw the contents of my purse everywhere I knew that it wasn't so simple.

As we surveyed the house we quickly realized that the person who had broken in was someone we knew as they had used our spare key that was hidden outside the house. They had kindly left it sitting right on our table. We felt lucky that the intruder had been kind to our dogs and house - the dogs were fine, and our house was not left in shambles. Things were a little messy, but easily re-organized.

Right off we noticed that my laptop, skype camera, $15.00, DVD player, Josh's deodrant and toothpaste had been taken. A few days later we realized that my ipod and Josh's electric razor had also been taken. We feel fortunate that everything is replaceable and that we are all safe. We have since changed all of our locks and have tried to mix up our schedule a little. Lowell told us that because we have a similar day-to-day schedule (easily learned from someone watching) that we need to try and mix it up. We don't hide a spare key outside the house anymore either.

Despite the fact that this is totally a bummer, we know that the events of the past month have prepared us for such a time as this. So instead of feeling horribly disappointed, we are happy to know that all that prayer for patience is working. We trust that God is looking out for us and it is encouraging to know that we are experiencing trials and trouble because Satan is trying to distract us and discourage us from the work we are doing here.

Since the break in we have already been given a new DVD player and money to purchase not only my stolen laptop but money to replace Josh's which broke down a few weeks ago. God is good, all the time. He is just waiting for us to lean on Him and to trust Him.

Other news...
I am heading up a new outreach - a music outreach. With each team we do an evening outreach specifically geared toward sharing the gospel message. We have a sports outreach, a kids club outreach, and now we're introducing the music outreach. So on Wednesday we're going to one of the communities that we work in and we're going to put on a praise and worship time in their park. We are going to conclude with two people sharing their testimonies. The local pastor has given us her consent and is really excited about it as well. I can't wait!!!

Thank you everyone for your prayer and support, as always, we REALLY appreciate it!