After stepping off the plane in 2007 into a hot, humid, new and different world, we have been forever changed.
(Vicki's perspective of Josh's changes)
Josh was changed within the first week of our first visit. The 200 mosquito bites (not repelled by the repellent) did not detur his interest and love for this country.
(Yes, this is really a picture of Josh's leg from the summer of 2007)
After we returned from that 2 week trip Josh told me about everyday for months that he wanted to sell everything and move back down to work in the D.R. After some "rational" thinking, we decided that the next best step would be to try out the internship.
(Our team of summer interns 2008)
A little history lesson on Joshua Andrew Mathews... when I first met him (and the man I married) he was very quiet, shy in groups, and NEVER spoke in front of groups of people. Well... after our first week of interning, he was talking with everyone, joking, initiating conversations, and once an outreach helped lead a small group through a poverty activity. He was changed. I remember asking him a few times, what's going on? You're different.
(Josh with the boys in Haiti)
Final thoughts - Other things that have changed... he likes driving, he loves reading the Bible, he has a huge heart for discipling, he's flexible when it comes to schedules
(Josh's perspective of me)
Josh said that I am more relaxed. I used to be obsessive about being punctual and would get very stressed in relationship to time. However now, I am much more relaxed about time... much of that is just related to the culture, people here run about 15 minutes later than the time given.
Another change that Josh has seen in me is my love for baking. Since being here I have taken an interest in celebrating people's birthdays with a fun new dessert. My grandma told me last year while standing in her kitchen that she wasn't going to repeat another recipe... that for the rest of her life she was going to try new things everyday. I have carrierd this into my baking. My friend Chastity and I used to bake every weekend and we would make something new every time. (I must admit that it surprised me a little when Josh mentioned this because he wouldn't eat like half of what I made... his excuse would be that it looked weird, that he was allergic, or "wasn't hungry". That said, I should add in that Josh has - lately - been trying new things... awesome right?)
The last change that Josh mentioned was my love for hosting. We host people all the time and it used to stress to me out with making sure that everything was perfect, but now it's such a joy. And I have my wonderful dogs to keep me company.
Final thoughts that Josh shared were how, especially over the past 3 months, that I have been loving my daily reading in the Bible. He also said that he never noticed before the passion I have when praying.
(This picture is really just here b/c I think Wally is so great! This was from our last house)
Well - there you have it... the D.R. has been a transformational time for both of us. God has been teaching us so much.