Tuesday, March 30, 2010


When this last group was here from Freed Hardeman they did a Dominican style home makeover.

Norm has been taking care of the work projects for the groups and been doing an awesome job. Well, this past week we had two days of work projects, one full day and one half day. For the half day we went to Acapulco school and painted the outside. For the full work day Norm decided to transform my house.

Jean Carlos and I moved into our house in January when I got back from the United States. It was the old Juaquine house and has been inhabited by some other people since then, but it has not been well taken care of since Juaquine left. There was a room full of

wood from where the tin roof had been taken off, and old car had been parked in the car port, a car that does not work, it had been partially primed to be painted a while back but never got finished, and so on.

Anyways, Norm decided to do a transformation on it while this group was here. It looks awesome. They painted the outside, cleaned out all the wood from the old tin roof, and pushed the car all the way to camp so that it was out of the house.

To be honest, I was a little worried about what the group would think about working on my house. Not that it was my house but normally groups do work projects to help out the Dominicans. I had even told

Norm that I think we need to make sure that we work on something for the Dominicans also during the week. He heard me but being the huge support that he is to all of us he decided to take the half day and help me out.

He started out the day by saying what Beacon Lights Ministry used to be, an organization he worked with. Their full purpose was to support missionaries while they were on the field. It might sound weird but it is something we are all grateful for.

To Norm: thank you so much for your support and your desire to be that support for all of us.

To Sigma Rho: thank you for taking time in your week to help out someone like me. I know you came to encourage the Dominican people, and you did, but you also encouraged me. Thank you so much.

Dear God,

thank you so much for Norm and this group. I am not just thankful to Norm because he cleaned out my house, but because of the huge support that he has been to me in my short time here, and because of the strong desire he has to serve you and help others do the same. Thank you for everything this past group did, and for the encouragement they were to me.

I Love you everyday!

Monday, March 29, 2010

another great group

This past week we had another great group. This is a group that always comes on Spring Break, but this is my first experience with them. They are from Freed Hardeman University. They did great things this week and were a huge encouragement to all.
A few highlights:
1. We had the Daihatsu the whole week!!!
2. Brian Wallace came thru for a night as he was traveling back to the United States
3. The Beckham family came for a visit. On top of being a huge support and encouragement to me they were able to see Rosmery, the child they have been supporting for a very long time.
4. Great singing every night
5. Lots of involvement from some of the Dominicans I am very close too
6. Dr. Pepper
7. a newly painted house (pictures coming later)
8. so many awesome people. these people that came were just awesome people. I know that they are a shining light on the campus of Freed Hardeman just as they are here.
9. teaching children to be "orgulloso"
10. continuing our relationship with the Acapulco school
To Blake: thank you for being such a great leader and an awesome friend. Keep bringing great groups and encouraging Sigma Rho to be a huge part of what goes on here.
To the Beckham Family: Blake, Katie, and Mrs. Jan, I love you guys very much. It is going to be hard to start groups without having so many people I know. You have been a huge part of my life and I am grateful for everything that you do.
To Sigma Rho: I pray that you continue to be the shining light on Freed's campus like you were here. You were great. We love you. And keep coming back. Oh yeah, and win Makin' Music!
Dear God,
thank you so much for terrific groups. Thank you for the opportunity to work with these groups. It is truly and honor and privilege to work with them. And the ones likes Sigma Rho make it so much easier. I love you every day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tennessee Tech, Florida, Harding, Chattanooga

This past week we had an unbelievable group here. They were a mix of people from all over the place. Most of the were either students from Tennessee Tech or from the University of Florida. The others were the Reeses, my dad and sister, and Kyle Farmer.

The week started out for me with quit the surprise. We were in the airport waiting on the group to come thru when my cousin, Weston, shows up. I was very excited to see him, especially with his new look.

As it turns out, there was definitely a plan God had in mind when Weston got the opportunity to come here. He was a huge instrument in the lives of so many, I am sure, but especially in the life of a boy that used to live here in the Children’s Home, Antonio de Pena. Antonio is the brother of Jean Carlos, the boy who lives with me, and he came to us for a visit. While he was here, Weston was a huge part of being a major encouragement to him and being a mentor to him.

Weston left a huge impact on the heart of Antonio. He also left a small piece of his leg at the children’s home.

With this group we mixed over 40 bags of cement, did 3 Bible classes for children, painted three houses, visited the houses of many Dominicans but spent hours in the houses of 4 Dominican families, visited the sick in a hospital in Rio San Juan, visited the workers of a dump in Puerto Plata, went to the beach, and did so much more.

My prayer is that all of these people we came in contact with were touched in some way. I pray that they saw Jesus on the faces of every single group member. I know I did.

To the group: thank you so much for everything that you did. You were a huge encouragement to me and I know i can say the same for so many people.

To Jeff: what an amazing person you are. To lead this group like you did was unbelievable. We will very much miss you not being here in the summer but know you will be spectacular in Haiti. You are a huge encouragement to me.

To FeFe: do not ever change. Don't stop making people laugh and keep the joy of the Holy Spirit in your heart. Thank you for you leadership in this group. And thank you for always being there, even if you are a little late.

To Dad and Nikki: thank you just for coming. wow. I am so lucky to have a family that supports me like you do. Nikki, I am excited to see what summer has in store for us. I know it will be a blessing.

To Tommy and Jill: every time you guys come I never want you to leave. You are so encouraging, so fun to be around, but always have your eyes and heart on the things that matter the most. I love you very dearly and always look forward to your visits.

To Weston: what a surprise that you came. I think the staple of my week was our time with Antonio. I honestly believe he is a great kid, even though he is only 19 and been thru so much. You are in my prayers. Please keep him in yours. God planted you here this week for a reason and I one hundred percent believe it was for the counsel and prayer time and attentive ear that you have to Antonio.

I love you all.

Dear God, thank you for such awesome people. I am so lucky to always have the right people come at the right time. I end up saying that a lot that you always know exactly what I need and exactly when I need it and that absolutely applies to this group. They did so many great things and I was blessed to be a part of it. Protect them. I love you everyday.


Last week here in the Dominican Republic it was actually cold. We had a group here and they were prepared for very hot weather, as any group should be, with good reason. Well they got here and it was a cold ride back to camp and a cold three or four days. I do not know if they were as cold as I was but I know it was not what they expected.

In reality it was probably in the 60s or so, but for here, that is pretty cold. I am used to the hot weather and except for a couple of weeks in December I totally missed the winter in the United States. I also think they cold weather made me a little sick and that made me feel even more cold.

During those few days I asked most of the Dominicans I know if they had ever felt the weather here that cold and for the most part they had not. Jean Carlos, the boy that lives with me, said he had never felt anything like that and really did not like it at all.

It was kind of a nice change of pace around here to get some really cool weather during the day and cold nights, but to be honest, I am glad it is gone.

I guess to most of you, it would have not felt cold at all and you probably would have laughed at all of us who were freezing, but we do not get weather like that here.

Dear God,

thank you for that change of pace. It really was a nice few days. I liked being able to wrap up in a blanket and walk around in a hoodie.


Thanks to my terrific family I have a new computer. (They are not terrific because they helped me get a new computer). My other computer was getting weird. I did not think it was posting anything from this year because it would not let me see the posts. It turns out that I think they were getting posted I just could not see them. I do not know what the problem was but hopefully it is fixed now so that I can post and know that it is getting posted.
Thanks for you patience.
Dear God,
what a great family I have. Help me to never take advantage of the things that I have. Help me to always be grateful for the countless blessings I have, including a computer that does not always cooperate. At least I have a computer.
I love you everyday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

a good friend 2

Candido Canario, better known to us and to people from the States as Osvaldo, has left us. He has been married for some time now to Kayla Sparks and they have been trying very hard to get him a visa to get to the United States. After many months and years of trying, it finally happened.
What a blessing that they will finally be able to be together as a married couple, but we will definitely miss having Osvaldo around here.
He is a very good friend of Norms, and been an amazing help to him. He worked for a while with TJ and Holly and I am sure was a blessing to him. He was just an amazing person to work with.
I lived with him for a very short period of time this summer while I lived in Rio San Juan and I really enjoyed it. He was a great friend to hang out with but always but God in the middle of everything.
Osvaldo, you will be so missed around here. Come back and visit.
Dear God,
thank you so much for Osvaldo. Thank you for getting him safely to the United States, I know that is an answer to prayers that have been lifted up to you for a very long time. Keep your hand on him as he enters a new country and culture. Thank you for everything he did here and for all the help he has been to all of us. We will miss him but know trust that he is where he needs to be.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

something i really hate to do

One thing I really do not like to do is to not complete what I have said I would complete. Originally when I made this blog one of my goals was to write every entry in English and Spanish. That was when I had good internet service and the time to sit down and translate every word whether the entry started in English and I translated it to Spanish or it started in Spanish and I translated it to English. Due to no internet at my house and much less time on my hands I have decided to stop doing that.
I really hate doing that but I think I will be able to blog much more now that I do not have to translate every word.
Having said that some entries may now be only in English and some may be only in Spanish.