Sunday, August 29, 2010


“God’s Message:‘Release my people so they can worship me. If you don’t release my people, I’ll release swarms of flies on you, your servants, your people, and your homes. The houses of Egyptians and even the ground under their feet will be thick with flies...And God did just that...All over Egypt, the country ruined by flies.”

I am not sure what that was like, having the ground “thick” with flies and to have so many to ruin everything, but it sure does seem like we have been going thru a plague here in the Dominican Republic.

The flies are out of control here. It is okay until you try to get out any kind of food, then the game is over until dark. No matter what you do, they will not go away. It is so bad that when I let them sit for a minute on a table then run my hand over the table my hand runs into many flies at once.

Last week Carlos, a good friend of mine, gave me some stuff his mother had bought to kill flies. He put in on my table and for a week I was sweeping thousands of flies out of the house four or five times a day. But when I went to his house is when I thought of the plague in Egypt when it says “even the ground under their feet will be thick with flies”. They too had put out that stuff to kill flies. Carlos step-dad, Juan, makes cheese, so there is constantly milk and cheese in their house. When I went to their house Juan was sweeping and in their kitchen, I could literally not see the floor for all the dead flies, it was incredible.

I can not imagine what those Egyptians were going thru.


These flies are extremely annoying but I have learned to realize from the people here that there is really just nothing we can do about it, but be patient. Give me patience to not let Satan get a hold of me, thru the little things, like flies. I love you everyday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


“Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.”

This summer was an amazing testament of what God has done and can do in this place here in the Dominican Republic. And as has been true of all four summers I have experienced here, we had some health issues. I am not sure if it was extreme as the summer of 2008 when five of us got dengue fever, and that was after a case of staph, a urinary tract infection, boils, lots of stomach issues, and more, but it was close.

This summer we had eye issues, some bug that was going around that caused a high fever, more stomach issues, and we actually had an intern leave early because of pneumonia.

I stayed fairly healthy throughout the summer. I did get a bad fever, but luckily it happened to be when no groups were here and I got to sleep it off for a few days. But one small issue has presented itself this summer. The first time it happened it was actually in Rio San Juan because Nikki was really sick. I woke up around seven in the morning with unbelievable pain on the left side of my lower stomach. It was incredible, and probably the most painful thing I have ever experienced, but after an hour, it was gone. Then a few weeks later it happened again, this time on the right. I went to the doctor that time to confirm or deny my notion of what I thought it was. Then just two days later it happened again. Luckily, the second and third time it happened I had medicine to reduce the pain.

It turns out that this problem is becoming very common for missionaries, at least the ones associated with Manna Global Ministries. Norm suffers from the same issues and has for a while, but typically only when he is outside of the United States. Brad Gautney, of the board members for MGM also suffers from the same thing.

The diagnosis: kidney stones.

They are no fun, I promise. But since summer has ended I have gone to a kidney specialist in Santiago to get them checked out. The bad news is that I have quite a few just waiting to stick a sword in me. The good news is that they are very small, unlike Norms, and if I drink lots of water and some acidic drinks like lemonade, Sprite, and things of that sort I should be able to pass them. The doctor did not even give me any medicine.

The story of David and the smooth stones he took now has a whole new meaning (except my stones are not smooth at all). When it came down to it, David only needed one stone to kill that giant, but he picked up five. And within Manna Global Ministries and its workers, five stones would not be hard to find at all.

I pray that I can have the faith of David to walk up to my enemy with no sword in hand, nor any earthly protection, only the protection that I know God will give me. David, a young boy was able to walk up to a giant with shepherd’s clothes on and in the name of his, my, and our Great God kill him.


Give me the strength, courage, and confidence to walk up to my enemy with nothing but the faith that you are going to take care of me, just like David did.

God keep us healthy. Be with Norm, Brad and I as we continue to fight kidney stones. Help give us the discipline to drink lots and lots of water even when sometimes we just want to chug a big coke.

I love you everyday.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hide and Seek.

These past few days I have been able to basically not leave Caraqueña. To some that might sound like not so much fun, but I have loved it. It is so nice to just be able to stay right here, get a lot done and at the same time not have to go far. I love it out here in the country and I love the people out here, especially the kids.

The boys from the Children’s Home have all come back from vacation now and are in the home. Wow, how I have missed Wilson, Randy, Ariel, and Adolfo. What amazing boys who are such blessings in my life, and what an amazing opportunity God has given me to be a part of their life and their growing experience.

I have also been able to spend a lot of time with the kids from here in Caraqueña. I love just being able to play with them, but I pray that I am being a good example to them and using the opportunities God has given me to teach them about what God has done for them. They spend a lot of time here at the house and today we even went to the river to play for a while (the only two hours in the past three days that I have left this little town).

Tonight we played hide and seek here at the house. It was very fun, probably the most fun I have ever had playing that game.

I do want to mention some specific names of people in Caraqueña that I am praying very hard for. I am praying for them all but these are some of the ones that I feel like God has really put on my heart to try and disciple and tell them the good news of Jesus Christ.

Jean Carlos. I can not imagine most people who know me not knowing who Jean Carlos is. He is the boy that lives with me. He is the boy who God used to open my heart to move to this place.

Carlos. Carlos is someone who I have known for a long time, but recently things have changed with him. He has really started taking an interest in the Lord. We have talked about it some but we are spending a lot of time together. This summer he was spending more time with the groups than he ever has before and thanks to a friendship he had with on of our interns, he has started to come to church. I am looking and praying for those situations to talk to him more about the Word and his faith. Pray for him and pray for me to take advantage of every opportunity I have with him to bring him closer to God.

Cristofer. This is a boy I have known for a while. He has had a very hard life but is begging for someone to love him. He will be in his first year of high school next year and still just wants a hug every time I see him.

Overlín. For those of you that have come here with a group, this is the boy that is very little for his age, he is twelve, but is extremely good at soccer. He is our secret weapon. Aside from that, he has a huge opportunity to grow in the Lord. I have said this to some before but of all the children in Caraqueña, I see more opportunity than most. He is a great kid but battling some hard battles. He is battling a family who will not let him come to some things, like church, because they do not want him involved with that. Pray that God gives me the opportunities to work around that and keep him involved. I do not want him to suffer just because his family will not let him be involved with a lot of our activities.

Wilson. This is our oldest boy in the Children’s Home right now. He and Porfi really have a great relationship that continues to grow but he is getting to the point of being able to make some big decisions on how the next phase of his life will be. Pray for him and us as we try to be there for him.

There are so many others here but these are a few that God has specifically put on my heart and that are at an age to really start making some big decisions for God.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the time I have had here in Caraqueña. I am so thankful to be able to be here and be a part of this little town. Thank you for all of these boys that I have mentioned. I want to specifically lift up these names to you. Jean Carlos. Carlos. Cristofer. Overlín. Wilson. They are all amazing boys with so much opportunity. Give me the courage to talk to them about you more and more each day and help them to continue to grow. Help me be the example to them that they need and forgive me when I fail in that role. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of their lives. Keep them safe. I love you everyday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

F*R*I*E*N*D*S in my house.

This past Spring Break when Freed Hardeman came they did some work on my house. I wrote about it and posted some pictures. Again, they did an amazing job. But when they were here one the many mothers God blessed me with was here. Jan Beckham was here and did an amazing job at helping out around the house. She also noticed something as she was working on my house. I have little to no furniture. So she took it upon herself to raise money in her Sunday Bible class to get me some furniture. I know it has been a while and I wish I could have gotten it so much sooner but logistically getting furniture down here to Rio San Juan is quit the challenge, especially when there are seven groups

here. And, it is really difficult to find good furniture here at a decent price.

Well, this week we went to Santiago to do some after group shopping. My decorator even went with me. I have no eye for things like furniture, basically because it make no difference to me, Rachel Aldridge was assigned the task of picking out my furniture. At PriceSmart, which is like a Latin American version of Cosco or Sams, we found some brown leather recliners. They were at such a good price I was able to buy two: one for me and one for Jean Carlos. They are excellent and very comfortable, not to mention they remind me of Joey and

Chandlers chairs.

To Jan Beckham, thank you so much for taking the initiative to do something like this for me. I am very grateful as is Jean Carlos and every other Dom

inican kid that comes over to the house. More than just having a comfortable place to sit, I am thankful for knowing that I have someone thinking about me and this work. I am so thankful for your prayers.

To the Bible Class at Red Bank who raised the money, thank you for your support. It means so much more to me to know there are so many people in the States that have a hand in this work than having some comfortable chairs.


Thank you for the many amazing people I have in my life. I am so blessed. Thank you again to the Spring Break group who came and did amazing work on my house. Thank you for people like Jan Beckham who continue to pray and support me. Help me to use these chairs not as an escape but as a way to relax at then end of the day, and a way to welcome more Dominicans into my house.

I love you everyday.

Monday, August 9, 2010

a week of prayer

Summer groups have ended and they were absolutely amazing. We are so thankful for how well the groups went and how much peace they brought us. Now as the groups are over we have come to a point of some critical decisions.

The big decision we are trying to come to is a discipling program. We have some amazing people here right now. And just for me to go on a tangent I am so grateful for Norm, Evan, Rachel, Ronald, Rosi, Porfi, and Carla. I love them all so much and could not be more excited about the team that we have here and even possibly the team that is to come.

Because of these amazing people that we have here we are looking for a deeper way to connect with the people here of the Dominican Republic. All the things that are going on here are amazing but we need a structured way of going deep with these people and spending more time with them in an exponential way. This discipling program would include so many things. It would pull all of the things that we already have here together: the children’s home, the children’s ministry in Rio San Juan, the adult evangelism in Rio San Juan, the group ministry, and we are looking at even adding more as a way to pull all of those ministries together.

We have talked about all of this for a long time now but have never come to a formal decision. In some ways we know what the decision will be but we are waiting on God to show us exactly what he wants from us. We have decided to take a week to think about the whole decision and not talk to each other about it, only to God. We have all been in prayer for a long time about this but this week is devoted to God and asking that he bring to us the decision that he wants us to make. Our other ministries will definitely go on but we will also be spending a lot of individual time in prayer about this decision.

Pray for us as we go thru this week. We are not promising that we will have a decision after a week, because we are trying to listen to God and if the time is not right after a week, we are okay with that. We also do not want to put a time limit on God. We are not giving him a week and then forcing a decision. This week is simply a week for us to devote ourselves in prayer to God with no human opinion involved.

Dear God,

This starts my week long prayer to you about our discipling program. I do not know what is going to happen in a week or what decision will be made but we just want you in the middle of everything. We know and realize that we can not do this without you and that you are the central and every focus of this program. Give us peace and guidance. Help me to block out every distraction from the world and from Satan and only focus and trust in you.

I love you everyday.