Thursday, May 27, 2010


This Tuesday four of our interns arrived for the summer: Audrey, Carter, Jill, and Nikki. We spent some time together Tuesday night but they were pretty tired and off to bed right after dinner. Wednesday was a day of cleaning, and that we did. The dorms were cleaned before lunch. After lunch we had a pretty nasty task to do: cleaning the cistern at camp. Water here is precious and it is not always easily available. We are blessed enough to have a water pump. It uses solar energy to turn on the pump to give us water. When we have filled up the tank the overflow water gets pumped into the cistern so that when we have a few days with no sun we have reserve water. The cistern was very dirty so we cleaned it out. We all got in there and got our hands dirty but we are so grateful that got done. Today, Thursday, we all headed to Puerto Plata. We had lunch there and did some shopping then picked up Glenn, another intern. We headed back to camp for dinner and some quality time together.

It has been some incredible days here with the interns. We are so blessed and expecting a terrific summer. God has blessed us with these guys and two more who will be joining us later.

Keep them in your prayers this summer as they take on a lot of responsibility and are working very hard. Please, even more so to keep them in your prayers as they use this summer to grow spiritually in their relationship with God. It gets hard when things get so busy to keep your focus on growing spiritually. We all need that prayer.

Luckson and Jordan will be joining us later to keep adding to our amazing team.

Oh, and I know this is random and unrelated but best of luck to the Boyd-Buchanan soccer and baseball teams on Friday, who will both be playing for state championships.

Lord, thank you so much for these guys. They are awesome and are going to be awesome. I know that my summers here as an intern truly changed my life and I pray that it can do the same for them. Help us all as we get really busy here really fast to keep our focus on you and to see you in everything we do and do invite you into every interaction, every step, and every breath that we take. I am just so grateful for the opportunity to be the best I can be. I love you every day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


There are always firsts in life, and today I experienced a first.

I was at Carmen’s house, one of our Dominican friends who, I might add, is one of the most hospitable people I know. Well, we were drinking coffee one of her neighbors called her and told her that there was a cow trying to give birth but was having problems and to call the vet in Rio San Juan to come out and attend to it. Well I decided I wanted to see it and to see the vet deliver this baby calf. We, Chiquito (Carmen’s husband), Porfi, and I, went to see the cow and wait for the vet to arrive. He finally arrived about a half an hour later. The problem was the calf was trying to come out feet first. So the vet, with some very large gloves helped the poor little calf be born.

Wow, it was so interesting and so weird. Never seen anything like that before, but I guess there is a first time for everything.


wow. What a weird experience that just seems so normal to so many people here. I know it is natural but for me to see it was definitely a first. I love you everyday.


I am not really sure what that word “home” means any more. I have always been from “5713 Browntown Road Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415”. I have had that memorized for as long as I can remember, and for a long time that was “home”. When I went to college at Harding University that sort of became “home”, but even when I returned to Chattanooga for a holiday or just for a long weekend I would say that I was going “home”. But it was that time in school that the term “home” began to change and take on a different meaning. And now that I live in the Dominican Republic it has taken on a whole new meaning yet again.

For my whole life this meaning of home has been thrown at me.

We had this thing in my house that I think my mom made that said “Home is where is heart is”.

I remember the hymn that says “This world is not my home, I am just a passin’ thru...” and along those same lines but a different song sings, “I am a poor wayfaring stranger just traveling thru this world of woe...I am going there...I am only going over home.”

My home now is in the Dominican Republic and that is where I feel at home because that is where my heart is. Though I am so thankful for all the friends and family that welcome me back to what was once my home and make the United States at homey as possible when I come to visit.

And even though I say that Bobita is now my home I realize that I am just passing thru this place called earth waiting to go home and no longer have to wander around here as a stranger.

Guide me here and help me to remember that I am just a stranger. Help me to stop looking for home here and realize that home will be the reward at the very end. Help me to keep that quote from my mom in the front of my mind “home is where the heart is” and to always have my heart and mind focused on Jesus and the home he has created for me and for every child of yours. I love you everyday.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


The weekend before I went to the United States for Trent and Micah’s wedding our team went on a retreat in Puerto Plata. Even though we had spent some time together, it was a time for us to really understand each other and to become the team that God wants us to be in the Dominican Republic.

Norm, our director, did and amazing job of putting the retreat together. Our theme for the week was all about the battle we are in. We were joined on our retreat by some members of our team that live in the United States. Tommy and Jill Reese and Mark Gibson are three people that have been a part of what is going on here on this island for a long time and they are huge people in our lives as a team. I am so grateful they were able to come and share in our weekend and help us be a team.

The first part of the retreat was spent getting to know each other. That might sound silly but it really was an amazing time. We did a personality test and within each personality understand how to interact with it. No one test came out the same, and I am thankful for that and I pray that we can learn to understand each other and our personalities. After learning more about ourselves we spent some time talking about the battle and what that means. We can not sit back and lie to you or ourselves. Being on the mission field, where ever that might be is a battle. It might look romantic at first but we must be honest, that romantic view goes away pretty fast. When it does go away you are faced with a bloody battlefield ahead that so many times looks so incredibly scary. But that is what we are here for we are here to fight for a cause we believe so much in. We watched the first scene of Saving Private Ryan and made analogies from the movie to the battle field that we are on. If you have watched that movie you know just how intense it is. As christians we are all on that battlefield, running on to that beach trying to take the front away from Satan. We know that God has the war won, but living day to day with so much war going on around us is oftentimes discouraging. Please continue to pray for us as we are on the battlefield and we will continue to pray for all of you as you are on the battlefield, fighting the same enemy, just in a different part of the world.

The last part of our retreat was focusing on our ministries in the Dominican Republic and how we are going to pull all of them together so that we do not have four or five separate things going on but that we have one team with one purpose working together for one goal and all of our works are working together for that one purpose and goal.

It was an incredible weekend together. Please pray for us as we learn to work and live together and as we try to be the team that God has called us to be.


Thank you for giving us this past weekend to be together as a team. We all believe that you have called us to this place to be a part of what you are doing here. Help us to be the vessel you have called us to be to bring the Spirit into this place. Thank you for winning the battle already. We have no doubt that the war is won but give us the strength to fight every single day to keep fighting. I love you everyday.

a whirlwind

It has been a while since I have written on this blog and I am sorry. It has been a month filled with many events and emotions.

Just thirteen days after my grandmother, Inez Mynatt, was diagnosed with cancer she died. I made an unexpected trip back to the United States to be with my family. Thank you all for your prayers for our family during that time. The day I found out I was in my house cooking and Norm came to me with the phone stretched out and I immediately knew what had happened. After talking to my mother the first person to come to my comfort was Antonio. I got so many encouraging words from so many people.

To the Manna team: thank you so much for being there for me during that time, and letting me get back to the states and be with my family.

To my Dominican family: thank you so much for your comfort and kind words. To my friend, Overlin, I know you might never read this but you told me you were praying for me and I melted. For an eleven year old boy to tell me that really pulled at my heart strings.

While in the States I did get to make a trip to Searcy, Arkansas and Harding University. It was a terrific day. I got to spend time with so many people who I love and miss.

To all of my Searcy/Harding friends: thank you for your time that weekend. I am sorry I did not get to see all of you and I wish I could have. I love you and miss you all.

When I got back home there were many things in front of me before my next planned trip out.

Two families arrived to join our team.

The first was Evan and Rachel Aldridge. The arrived on a Sunday afternoon and the next Tuesday Ronald, Rosi, and Kevin arrived. We have spent a lot of time together, eating together and getting to know each other and it has been incredible how we have come together as a team. Evan has said that the first time we ate together it was incredible how it seemed like we had all known each other for a long time. We are quit the mixture of people, but that is how amazing God works. He pulls people from different parts of the world, some from the United States, some from Costa Rica and tells them to work together. It is also incredible how God pulls people together who have grown up together but never knew they would work together in a different country. God truly is amazing and it is going to be amazing to see how God works in this team.

To Evan, Rachel, Ronald, Rosi, and Kevin: I am so excited that you guys are here. I am excited to see how God uses us to be a team and to bring the Spirit into this place. I love you guys.

After those two families joined us, one other family’s time ended with us. Kyle and Vicki Graham left to return back to the United States. They truly are amazing people and did amazing things in this ministry. They touched the lives of so many children in Rio San Juan, and even if they do not get to see all the results of the things they did, we will have the privilege to see some of them through our continued efforts in Rio San Juan.

To Kyle and Vicki: I love you guys a lot and will miss you. Your love for children and each other is incredible. I hope you know how much you mean to me and how much I cherish our time together and the advice you gave me. You will truly be missed.

Before I left again our team went on a retreat, of which I will have a separate entry for. But after the retreat, I returned to the United States. This trip, unlike the last one, was planned. I returned for the wedding of my brother, Trent and his now wife, Micah. The wedding was beautiful and a great celebration of the union of two great people. There was so much happiness surrounding the whole ceremony, even though the majority of the wedding party was crying.

To Trent and Micah: I am so happy for you guys. You are both very special people and are going to be a great family. Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day.

Now as I return home very shortly I am so excited to be home but am grateful for the time I have been able to spend with special people in my life. But as I do return home I am going back to the battlefield, where I am going to be making some big choices here in the next few short days and weeks to come. I ask for you prayers in making some big choices, even if i can not express right now what they are.

Thank you again for your support, encouragement, and prayers. They are needed and are accepted with open arms and an open heart. And thank your for sticking with me when I have not given you updates in so long and seeing me thru a whirlwind of events and emotions.


You truly are amazing. Amazing to give me friends and family that love and support me even when I fail to keep them informed of what is going on in my life. Thank you for an amazing family and team to support me when I seem to be always be on the move, whether it be within the country and out. They truly are amazing people. Thank you for the life Grandma lived. Thank you for the life Trent and Micah are starting together. I look forward to the day where I can hug Grandma again and I ask your prayers upon my brother’s marriage. I am thankful for our team for the ones who have left their final mark but whose mark will continue to make a difference long after they have gone, and for the ones, who like me, have just begun to attempt to make a mark in the Dominican Republic. I am thankful for the One who allows us to make a mark and be a part of the huge handprint that is the body of Jesus. I love you everyday.