Wednesday, September 22, 2010


“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“Tornado” is the term I would use to describe how our lives have been lately. I use this term not in the negative sense, but as a verb to capture the intensity and thrilling-ness of our lives; but in the eye of the tornado there is also a calm which, if even just for a moment, we have sacred moments of stillness where we can just exist in our world together.

Our lives have been consumed with our semester team. From simple tasks such as daily transportation and home visits to calls first thing in the morning with people who are sick and need transportation to the clinic, this is our journey for the rest of this 2010 year. Our favorite part of this particular program is our longer-term investment into the lives of the students. I personally get the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a particular female student each week and check in less frequently with another gal who is on an interesting and exciting journey with God right now. In addition to this we have been asked by others to simply hold them accountable. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and we know that God will continue to grow and teach us through this time.

Each Monday night Josh and I have two students over for dinner. It’s such a great time to get to know them better and just have a fun relaxing night away from everything else. Tuesday and Thursday evenings we host Bible study at our house. On Tuesday evenings I open with worship and Josh leads the Bible study. On Thursday evenings the student open with worship, then we share testimonies, and close with prayer groups. We absolutely love our time with the students; they are such a wonderful group of people.

Josh and I have really grown to love the ministry that has been placed in our lives. We get to invest in people for a short time during an experience, which for them, will remain in their minds and hearts for the rest of their lives. This experience can make or break their decision for a future in missions or even ministry. Additionally it shapes them for the rest of their lives. We enjoy the questions of what a life like this is like to the more deep questions about the purpose of life and “religion.”

The past year and a half has been such a remarkable journey. God has taken us and united us in more ways than we could have ever imaged. Before we moved here we were happily married and believed we were super close – but today is a different story. We are closer, stronger, and more united with God and each other than we have ever been. Our joy for live comes through amazing moments like playing with our dogs, going for walks, singing worship songs, and hanging out at the river or beach – but joy is also in the hard times – losing our first pet and second pet and being robbed. God means so much more to me now than ever in my life. I love having my “God Times” in the morning when I read through scripture and pray over the day. Jesus is now my source of peace, joy, patience, forgiveness, grace, and energy… I do not have to rely on myself anymore.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalms 100:5

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blue Thunder

Today is a rainy day… a very welcomed rainy day. We haven’t seen the rain in some time now and it’s been very hot.

We are just a week into the semester program and we’re having a great time. There are 16 students (14 gals and 2 guys) from 4 different colleges. Since their arrival last Wednesday, Josh and I had all day orientation with them Thursday and Friday and then we moved them all into their host homes Saturday morning. Everything has been going so well, we’ve been really enjoying getting to know them. Monday evening we had 2 girls over for dinner and then last night (Tuesday) we had the whole group over for Bible study. We are using the gazebo that’s in our yard as the study area – it’s so fun and everyone loves it.

Tonight we have staff Bible study and right now we are going through a series called “The Truth Project”. It’s a really awesome study where for 12 weeks we develop a biblical Christian worldview. We watch a video for 50 minutes and then break up into small groups for further discussion. Josh leads one of the small groups – I’m so proud of him!

Friday night we are going out with the semester team for pizza after Spanish class as a way to celebrate “survival of the first week!” Then on Saturday we are taking them on an excursion where we will creek through the river to get to one of the communities we work in called Los Higos. A woman that we know from that community is going to cook a huge lunch for us at the river – it’s going to be GREAT!

So… a funny story:
Yesterday I was driving in “Blue Thunder” (my favorite base truck… I named her) to pick up our students for Spanish class. As I was headed up the hill (just around the corner from the base) the hood of the truck flew open! It was so crazy... I couldn’t see anything! The rearview mirror on the right wasn’t at a good angle for me to see, and the hood was in my face, and there was a guardrail on the right hand side. So I had to drive the truck a bit further to get beyond the guardrail so that I could pull off the road. Once I stopped I got out to close the hood, but the latch was bent about an inch from where it should have been, so no luck there. My precious Blue Thunder suffers from old age, so even when I closed the hood, it still sat about 2 inches from where it should have been, due to this problem, I couldn’t continue to drive it safely to pick up the students. So I very slowly made the trip back to base (about ¼ mile) staying in first gear the whole way… it was a very sad drive home.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Vacation isn’t usually a term I would think about when I think about missionaries. I think about 24/7 work, jungles, and different languages. Well, Josh and I just officially had our first vacation and it was great! We had two different sets of visitors. Our first guests, Russell, Cindy, and Cole, were a family that I nannied for in college. The first few days were spent seeing our town, our home, local attractions like waterfalls, and a little of where we work and what we do. Following that they treated us to several days at the beach with them. During that time Russell taught Josh and I how to windsurf which was AWESOME!

Celebrating Cole's birthday (a month late, but who cares!) He decorated cookied that spelt out "Happy B-Day"

Cole was demonstrating his "Batman strength" by pushing Josh off his seat

Hanging out at one of the waterfalls

At the hotel where The Freeman's stayed during their time with us in our town

Our first night together eating dinner on the bank of the river and having a BLAST!

Russell spent two mornings teaching us to windsurf - Day #1

Day #1 - finding my sea legs - I did actually get sailing my first day... YEAH!

Day #2 - sailing together

Following their visit a friend that goes way back came to visit – Michael Martin! Michael stayed with us in our home and therefore got to experience a little Dominican living; meaning: times with no electricity (though we have a generator now), random people showing up the door, loud music through all hours of the night, roosters crowing at 11pm, among other things. We visited all 3 waterfalls, saw the coffee factory, visited the historical part of the capitol and stood in the tallest tower of the old fort contemplating if we could ride out any storm that came our way, went to the beach for 2 days/1 night and took on the waves in the very warm ocean playing all the silly games that Josh made up. But in all those things we talked… a lot. Catching up with a friend that shares so many fond and great memories can be one of the
best medicines to relaxing.

We spent this evening at a mountain-side restaurant in the hopes of watching the sunset... no such luck - rain and clouds

What now?
Tonight the semester abroad students fly in and thus begins our 4 month journey with a new batch of students.
What does this journey look like (from our side)?
• Hearing conversations about cultural differences (that remind Josh and I of how far we’ve come culturally - and how much we've forgotten)
• Learning about 16 new people and getting to invest in their lives emotionally and spiritually
• Regular conversations regarding “bathroom” talk
• Driving people around every day and having “car talks” with them; which mean very random and usually hilarious chats
• Seeing people change more into who God created them to be
• Watching their lives change as they re-evaluate what their future looks like
• Having the students over to our house 2-by-2 for dinner
• Leading the students through Bible study where they can express who they are
• Participating in small groups of 4 people and getting to pray for each other each week and see God move in each other’s lives

Interesting news about me: I just had my first dream in Spanish