Monday, October 3, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This weekend we are taking our semester students on one of my favorite excursions. We're going to creek through the river from our town to a mountain community where our friend will meet us and cook us lunch! It should be a great time!
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Hope you are all well! Happy September!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Our interns and volunteers left August 10th after a good debriefing and re-entry period at the beach.
We were so blessed with a great group of interns - it was hard to watch them go.
We're in the preparation stage for our next program - semester students. They arrive Aug 31st. and will be with us until mid-December. This is our favorite time of the year; getting to devote ourselves to a small team of people for 3 1/2 months. This year we have 13 students (12 girls and 1 guy...pray for him!)
Last bit of notice - we went on a vacation with Vicki's family to Costa Rica for 5 days. Vicki's parents, siblings and grandparents (mom's side) all were there. Below is a family photo and some pictures from a boat tour that we did with grandma, grandpa, mom and dad.
|Not sure what type of tree this is... but don't touch it|
|Flying from Liberia to San Jose the boarding tickets they gave us were laminated tourist brochures... interesting|
Monday, July 18, 2011
|These are my summer intern/volunteer buds!|
|Rachel making us Egg in the Hole... it was so good!|
|Angie cut all the holes out of the bread for this breakfast speciality.|
Josh and I feel incredibly blessed - our group of interns/volunteers are amazing! We really believe in our daily investment in them and know that God has called us to work alongside college aged students; mentoring, discipling, and just experiencing life together. I can't believe they leave in three weeks.
Friday, July 15, 2011
We have 7 interns remaining (had 9 to begin with): Chris and Meaghan, they are from Louisanna and stayed for 6 weeks. Chris just began dental school and Meaghan is finishing up her senor year of college. One day they want to do dental missions. They are engaged to be married next year. They honored Josh and I by asking us to take them through pre-marital counseling.
Rachel - she's just graduated from Wheaton College and was a semester student of ours last fall. She has really connected with SI and the ministry here and is applying for full time staff.
Christine - she's from California and has been here since mid-January. She's been serving as an intern these past 6 months and also has felt a calling to serve with SI. She would like to work with special needs children and will be going back to the states to finish college.
Brittany - she's from California and has been serving in our women's sports ministry site. Brittany is a gifted muscian and has used her gifts to bless us and our teams every week. She's sweet and always smiling.
Kelly & Jesse - they are a dating couple from Long Beach, CA. Kelly is serving in our art site and Jesse in the men's sport site. Jesse is easy going, laid back, and loud (which is mean in the nicest way). Kelly is soft spoken, thoughtful, creative, and very go with the flow. They want to get married one day.
Ariana - she too is from California and is currently attending ASU. She's really fun and adds great personality to our team dynamic. She is working in one of our women's center's and is connecting well with the girls in that community.
Erin - she's from Colorado (went to school in CA) and just graduated from college. She's applying for medical schools as I type and is pursuing a career as a doctor. She's very joyful, constantly smiling, and has such a heart for serving others.
This picture is from the mountain restaurant - Aroma de Dios - it overlooks our town, Jarabacoa
Here is Chris and Meaghan - our Louisanna buds
Angie... she's from Bellevue which means we "get" each other :) She calls us mom and dad... something that started last year (can't remember why) but has continued ever since then. She's been living with us this summer as our little (or not so little) daughter... good times!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Josh and I feel refreshed and renewed and are having a wonderful time with our new team. Included in this team (of 61 people) is a woman who was a missionary in Mexico for 20 years. She has been such a light and source of wisdom, insight, and great stories.
Josh and I have been without our jeep for about 3 weeks now as our mechanic has been slow on repairing it. So we've become quite Dominican in these past several weeks as we've been carting our laundry in baskets, small matresses, 40 lbs bags of dog food, and groceries on the bag of our moto... we must be quite a site. We checked in on our jeep AGAIN today and it looks like we should have it by the end of the week... but who knows really, that's what he said every other time (sigh).
Monday, June 13, 2011
I have been reading the book “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan and have been intentionally wrestling and challenging myself with the things that he writes about. Grappling with these things has been so impactful and amazing to me that I really want to share them with you. If you haven’t read the book yourself I whole hardly recommend it.
“Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit” – is the tag written below the title of the book. Francis Chan sheds light on American Christianity and its lost condition from the Holy Spirit. The book was not written from a denominational bent; merely just a man seeking what Jesus meant when he said to the disciples that it was better that he leave so the Spirit could come.
“Without Him [Holy Spirit], people operate in their own strength and only accomplish human-size results. The world is not moved by love or actions that are of human creation.”
America breeds independent, individualistic, I-can-do-it-myself type people. Asking for help or relying on others is typically considered a weakness and not valued in our society. But that’s not how it was meant to be. We are to rely on the Holy Spirit for his guidance and assistance to accomplish greater things. Sure, as humans we can perform tasks and do things, but with God those actions are brought to a powerful level with larger impact.
“But when believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in their lives is supernatural.”
What does that mean – live in the power of the Spirit? It means to allow the Spirit to fill you up, to trust in Him, and to give Him your life. You do this by reading the Bible, praising God, praying to God, investing your life completely in God. When you do this you will see a changed life. A supernatural life. A life fragrant with passion, joy, and purpose.
“We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God.”
How many times… how many times have the words come out of my mouth “I did, all by myself”? How many years have I spent relying on myself, doing it all myself without consulting God, without asking him for help? The difference is unmistakable when I involved God in my life. The burdens aren’t as heavy, I experience 100 times more joy, and the outcome is better. I do not want to do it all by myself ever again.
“If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?”
Ever since I read the story in Exodus about Moses having to wear a veil over his face because it was glowing after having spent time in the presence of God, I knew that I wanted that to be me. I wanted to glow. I wanted people to know that I had been spending time in the presence of God. To this day I still pray that. I know that I have fallen short of being a glowing light for God… many times. But as I read this it encourages me to push on and glow. I want to be different. I want people who don’t know the Lord personally to see that there is something different in me; and most importantly, I want them to want it.
This list isn’t exhaustive. But it’s a glimpse at the way that God is shaping, challenging, and stretching me.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Lots of rain (which means dirty water)
Lightning storms (gorgeous bright skies)
Booming Thunder (Lucy finds safe refuge in our closet during these)
New Interns/Volunteers (fun, great talks, desserts)
Summer Program (we're back in the swing of another great summer!)
The picture below is of our interns (minus one) for the summer. We're all doing great and having a great kick off to the summer.
The first day of each team is spent in orientation. We give them samples of Dominican coffee called "cafecito"
Below Josh is teaching them the Dominican greeting (for guys who know each other, they will rub each other's bellies)
Right now we have to volunteers living with us. Angie and Jeff. They're both wonderful people and we enjoy having them with us. Angie was an intern last summer for us and Jeff interned for us from January through April and now he's in the volunteer program through the beginning of August.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
1/4 pound of stress each week (x) 104 weeks = ... too much extra weight.
I hadn't realized how much I had been putting on myself. I didn't see all the little extra things being that big of deal. It wasn't until we landed in DC and hopped in the back of Melody's mini-coup convertable (with the top down, wind blowing in my face) that I realized that this was just what I needed.
I needed a chance to be somewhere with zero responsibility, no one calling me, and no one who knew me. It was the breath of fresh air and R&R that we needed.
We stayed with Melody and Adam in their cute town house like 4 blocks behind the Capitol building (amazing location). We had some time for ourselves to get out and be tourists, and we had lots of time with them catching up, getting to see them in their environment, and we got to attend the fairwell party that Melody put on for Adam. It was wonderful to see Adam's family again and meet some of Mel & Adam's friends.
Our trip to DC happened to be on a very busy weekend. There were hundreds of tourist and kids on school field trips walking around. It was not only the Cherry Blossom Festival, but some kind of "Kite Festival" as well. There were all kinds of parades, tents, booths, carnival rides, and people.
To the clicking sound of many cameras getting their visual proof of being a visitor in DC, we stood at the feet of Thomas Jefferson. Behind him on each side of the walls were snippits of remarkable things that he had once said.
Here is where Jefferson stands - looking across the basin towards the White House.
We walked through the Franklin D. Roosevelt twice once as the sun was setting and the second with a bike tour we took. It's a very calm (and for the most part) quiet place where one can silently think, read quotes, and see importants moments through his presidency captured through art or staues.
Eternal flame in Arlington Cemetary
Josh and I took a tour of the Capitol Building and here is a glance at the rotunda. The center painting is George Washington sitting with 13 women... and I wasn't listening to why it is that way b/c I busy taking the photo... so you might have to wiki that.
Standing at the Lincoln Memorial. The Washington Monument is radiant isn't it? And lit up next to that is the Capitol Building... my favorite!
Our trip was amazing. We had the best time and even with seeing a lot, I felt like it was quite relaxing. I returned to the DR feeling refreshed and renewed and ready to take on the rest of the year! The trip to DC was just what I needed.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This morning I was at the height of my flu while talking with my friend Alberto (he works as a teacher at one of our schools). He immediately caught on that I was sick and told me that I needed to drink "te de cebolla" (onion tea). I gave him a look of disgust and verbalized my thoughts by saying I was trying to get healthier. He laughed and told me that I needed to try it and that he would make for me if I would drink it. I figured I didn't really have anything to lose, so off he went to find the necessary ingredients: onion, sour orange leaves, and cinnamon. I was happily surprised that it tasted wonderful (although a tad sweet from the heaping amounts of sugar Josh added to it). With pleasure I drank the full glass of onion tea, which, if nothing else, made my throat feel much better.
It's days like these when I just love being in the Dominican Republic!