Our next season in the Dominican Republic has arrived. We landed in Santa Domingo on January 4, 2012 with groups arriving a few days later. It was a crazy time of unpacking, restarting homeschooling, assessing the buildings and vehicles, shopping (cattle truck FULL) and enjoying seeing our friends from Hato Mayor. We entered a full month of ministry with short-term missionaries from America serving Jesus!
The first week was a hard on our family. Jen went home for her Grandma's final days and funeral while the kids and Brian began serving at MGM. It was a very busy time for Brian as he was not only meeting all the demands of MGM, but also homeschooling dad! The team came around our family and even Jim McDonald helped with Elliott's lessons! Imagine that!
Jen got a message while home that Brian got an unwelcome bite on his hand from a centipede that sent him to the clinic for treatment. Thank goodness he was okay. We have been told these bites can kill small children. Considering the size of these insects, not surprised! Brian was well-cared for by our incredible staff and all was well.
The second week Jen returned and hit the ground running with house guests. The kids and Jen got caught up on schoolwork and Brian got back to MGM maintenance. We had a HUGE team come in and mostly did construction. In just a week, a second addition of block was laid on the new MGM house. This addition will comprise six apartments to help house families who want to come for trips.
The team also was busy building a roof for a church. The team was so motivated they built furniture for the apartments and helped at Tito's house (our MGM door man) It was an incredible week of work. Along with all of that, the dentists, optical teams, and VBS teams did ministry each day in villages. The final day we went out to a small Haitian village where we gave out family bags (clothes, shoes, and toiletry items collected from the Americans) and rice and beans. It was a great way to end the week.
The third week we had a team of electricians come for the first time! We call them our Christmas present. Half of our house did not have electric. The guys spent a whole day trying to figure it out. After assessing it, the problem was that we needed our home rewired. BLAH! They worked on what they could and got more outlets working. We were thrilled.
Not only did our house get some TLC, but the electricians worked on the addition and another missionary house. We had a team of painters who used their gifts at Bralio's house, a prayer garden Murial and various other spots around the camp. A group of skills carpenters built a pulpit for a local pastor and shelves and desks for apartments. VBS, sports, optical, dental, and prayer ministry ran each day in local villages. The end of the week we went back to the poor village and gave rice and beans for each family.
The forth week we had a large medical team. Not only did the doctors and nurses work with locals, we also had optical team, dental team, VBS team, and prayer ministry team. At the camp we had another crew of painters putting on a fresh facelift to MGM and the new building. The final day we went to a poor village and shared family bags with them.
This was just the daytime... the evenings and early mornings were filled with dynamic teaching and preaching . God was at work. MANY Dominican and Haitian people got blessed, and we saw life-change in several Americans. Many hours were spent listening to Americans sharing how God had used something during that day to speak to them. What a privilege to hear so many stories and prayer needs of the folks who came into the center. The Americans come to be a blessing but find out quickly that they are the ones who got blessed!
Since the groups have returned to the States our work has slowed down,we are grateful for a tiny break. Brian is still busy working around the center. Jen and kids are working on school. Jen was asked to help instruct English at a children's school. Tomorrow will be her first day. She is hopeful this will not only help the students learn English but help her learn more Spanish.
Jamie reopened her camp store with William. Jamie and William earned enough money for our family to be able to purchase a scooter for him. Thanks to all the Americans who shopped at our store, we were able to bless another young man. Also, we had an addition to the store this year! Clinton Young sold ice cream and desserts! With the proceeds and Clinton's help, William will be able to purchase a freezer to sell ice cream at his village! How wonderful to help a young man support himself!
Our family is grateful! Thanks to all our family and friends who pray for us, keep in touch with us, and to help us with donations. We thank you for allowing us to serve Jesus! Dios te Bendiga!