Many things have happened since we last shared with you all. For one, we are finally here in the Dominican Republic! We praise God for His amazing blessings and protection! Our family woke up at 3AM in Cincinnati, OH on August 19th, 2019 and arrived in Santiago, Dominican Republic at 1AM on August 20th. What an adventure! It started with saying goodbye to some of our dear friends and family. We are so incredibly grateful for everyone that was a HUGE help with getting 15 pieces of luggage, 13 carry ons and 5 family members to and through the airport check in. It was amazing for those that could come out so early in the morning!
August has been such a whirlwind! From last nights hanging out, to going away parties and everything in between, we cherished every moment and second with so many that we love! God has truly blessed us with amazing people…YOU! All of our partners, prayer and financial, we look forward to growing our relationships and sharing the moments where our Father will bring us. He moves each of us with His Spirit to walk alongside each other living for Him. Our life with God is relational through Christ. We look forward to building more relationships with Him with the people of the Dominican and the hearts of many back home…we work together in prayer to lift up the work ahead. We are so thankful for ALL the moments we had to get together with ALL our family and friends.
Now in the Dominican we begin to settle in and adapt. Experiencing many soon-to-be new normals. First as we arrived in the airport, the language barrier began. As we gathered all of our luggage at 1AM, at the same time attending to the needs of our 3 children, not too many people were around to help push 5 carts loaded with 5 crates each. Thankfully though, God provided. Out of nowhere several men came and helped us finish getting through customs. Even though we could hardly understand each other, the gentlemen understood “HELP” when they saw it. The Dominican people we have met so far are always very friendly and helpful.
Once we left the airport our life here began. Project Manana picked us up and have been walking alongside our family ever since. From getting our kids registered in school, translating for our family, teaching our family new customs, we have been extremely thankful that we have a team of support in this new land.
Trying to get settled in is certainly time consuming. Add in the heat from the bright, bold sun- when we used to be able to stay up late, we are now in a routine that is beginning to start earlier. That old saying “the early bird catches the worm”, well, down here the saying should change to “the early bird catches the coolest part of the day”. One day our 11 yr son asked “Dad, why are you sweating so bad?” Rick replied, “Because I’m doing the laundry.” (It was hilarious- working the washing machine and hanging clothes to dry with what we have for now can take some time, but with the heat of the day, at least it dries pretty quick!)
New accustoms here can only be taken in with allowing the fruits of the spirit to take root. He moves within us daily to fight against our flesh and choose to live out in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. When cleaning our apartment , where we will soon live, (right now we are living in the Project Manana house), it required walking back and forth to a well to fill buckets of water 20 times. The apartment has been out of water for awhile but we are hopeful that it will come back soon. The power and water sometimes turns on & off multiple times a day everywhere. One fun morning the kids were helping Rick with trying to find a new friend (La Cucaracha:) that was hanging out in the bedroom. When it raced across the bedroom floor right by our sons feet, we all busted out in laughter as he shrieked out loud. When we’re out shopping for a new car or appliances to our new home, Google translate and Google maps become a close friend. Translations + no vehicle = slowly but surely we are getting there.
Sometimes we can tend to grow weary in our physical state but we do not grow weary in our hearts. God has brought us here. God is faithful. We press on and adjust and continue to lean in on the Holy Spirits direction. We know we are not promised comfort. We hold on to the truth with His understanding, guidance and love. He has done more than enough for us, so in our minor circumstances, because they are extremely minor, we will continue to press on.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Paul 1 Timothy 6: 6-7
Our hearts are full here! So many prayers have been answered. All of you supporting us has helped our family to get where God wants us. Spanish lessons start on Monday and will continue on 3 days a week. Hopefully by next week we can get a car and officially into our apartment, our new home. Praise God that hurricane Dorian went directly above us, though the people here were thankful to finally get some rain. However it came in fast and it came in hard. Life can sometimes happen that way too. For us, with God by our side, we’ll just continue to embrace the changes and new patterns and we’ll be good to just go with the float…flow;)