Well, here we go again. Traveling. This time much lighter, much more of a shortened trip but once again, a whole new world. Or is it? It’s time for us to head back to the states. We’re leaving our mission field in the Dominican Republic and we’re heading back to home? Not necessarily. Yes we have our two oldest sons in the states, our extended family is in the states along with many dear friends, our sending church is in the states…but what is the ol’ saying? Home is where the heart is. And for our family, it’s here in the Dominican Republic.
Again, being a missionary in the Dominican Republic-there are quite a few things that we have gone without. The fall, winter, certain foods that we’re used to having access to, consistent running water, consistent running electricity and certainly many other things. In fact, that is why it’s all the more such a wonderful blessing to have as many financial and prayer partners that we have working TOGETHER! Remember, with Project Mañana, we value “Working Together Today for an Eternal Tomorrow”.
Most recently, we’ve been able to welcome in three different teams from the states- a family of friends came in to celebrate a quinceañera of their sponsored child, the Younique team from our sending church, Center Pointe Christian, came in to offer their class which included encouragement and support for some of the men on our staff and the board of Project Mañana came in for a visit as well. There were other blessings for the ministry as well- health and safety materials for our nutrition center, school and our church, all from The Lords Food Fund and supporters. We reached a 1,000 book goal for the Project Mañana school library and more dresses and accessories for our Princes Project were sent down. And a HUGE praise to God- more children within our program continuing to gain sponsors!
Our ministry is thriving! It continues to move, grow, breathe and rest. But please, don’t think for a second that it can’t be challenging as well. Believe me, there can always be challenges! And why you may ask? Because…we’re human and because the devil himself has nothing better to do than to try to tear apart the one group of people that want to live, serving for the Kingdom of God. In our own flesh, we can become blind and sometimes feel invincible. We come up with schedules, we get into routines but then, life as we know it always arrives in the nick of time. Sickness, exhaustion, impatience, stubbornness, much much more but possibly the most difficult challenge……the Coronavirus!
Now some might not know this, but our ministry at Project Mañana provides for it’s missionary staff, the ability to travel to the states as part of a benefit within the support that is raised. For our family, we can go once a year but we thought best for our family, every other year would be better. Our first month living in the Dominican Republic we took temporary residence in the mission guest house (this is where most of our mission teams stay) and then once we were able, we settled into our apartment. I’ll never forget the conversation that I had with our 12 year old son Colin. This was shortly after we were able to paint our apartment in the midst of the quarantine-
“Mom, I really like our apartment now.” “Oh yeah, why’s that?” I said. “You know, because we finally have some different colors on the walls, you put some pictures of our family up with decorations. It looks nice in here. It feels like a home.” It was so sweet of him to share this and we hugged right after in this now permanent memory. This was a huge moment of us. For him, our kids. Each step, each move we make here, we can continue to strengthen our roots by the help of so many that believe in the mission.
We can never forget. God called us to this country. God has brought us alongside Project Mañana. He is faithful. Which is why we will always move forward. Spanish lessons, building relationships among the people in the communities where we serve, joining our church here in the community of San Pablo, working for our King, His Kingdom. What do we have in the states? Well, it’s funny when we started to think about certain things upon arrival…
Where are we going to stay? We sold our house. What winter clothes do the kids have? They’re all almost a half a head taller. How will we get around? We sold our cars. We really need to get the kids into doctor and dentist appointments if we can. Well, this is going to get tricky….but again, the beauty of Gods love, it extends over all the world. He lives in us, those who believe.
For so many of YOU who pray and walk alongside us, our trip to return to the states is coming together well and with joyful anticipation. We have beds to lay our heads, vehicles to get us by, clothing provisions offered to our children and the access to medical care…whatever we can end up working out, we are only humbled all the more. For many in the country of the Dominican Republic, healthcare is still very much behind the vast options of care you can receive in the United States. As we hope that we can get things in order for our own children, it only brings us closer to remember- continued prayers for safety and well care for our loved ones here in the DR.
So we’ll step into another new world. Right now I can’t even imagine the reaction that our six year old twins are going to have as they see snow again. I’m not even sure they remember it. As we stay in the states, the thought of taking a consistent hot shower, let along having consistent running water, being able to flush toilet paper down a toilet?! It’s really going to be interesting. We are beyond thrilled for the opportunities to see so many family and friends! Gathering together once again, our relationships surpass any of the comforts of materials. Even more so, the opportunity to share in the wonderful work of the ministry.
As much as we can write, share pictures and videos- nothing compares to actually being a part of it in person, on the field. Our family has been on the mission field in the DR since August 2019, we serve to share the love of Christ and we now go to the states to do the same. God knows the heart of every person. Those that know Him, those that haven’t yet accepted. We thrive better, TOGETHER. Always have, always will. Rooted in Christ, extending His love all over the world, being able to share first hand with those that haven’t experienced it for themselves….well maybe not yet, but we hope, we believe.