Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
School here in the DR is going great. We have had a lot of great things happen. A lot of things that do not happen in normal schools, ranging from hilarious things to really deep things. Here are two.
I was actually not there for the first one so I will not steal Glenn's thunder but I will let you know what happened. We had a snake in the rafters of our classroom. I will let Glenn tell the rest of the story but I will spoil one for thing. They proceeded to dissect it and out pops a full size rat, pretty gross.
Another one was an experience that I had with on of my boys in our one on one time this week. His name is Anderson and is quickly becoming one of our best students. Not only is he very intelligent but he is a great student. (And there is a huge difference there and great students are much harder for us to come by). That is not why I blog about him.
The other day we were writing letters to our sponsors. Anderson wrote his and I helped him but after I wrote a response to what he had written. The whole meaning of what I was writing was telling the Winchester Youth Group (Anderson's sponsors) just how proud of him I was. I am so proud of how much he is growing and how much our relationship is growing.
Actually at the first of the year in one of our team devos I prayed about him because of how I was not seeing our relationship growing.
Well, as I was reading I looked at him and he had such a loving look on his face it made me cry. I finally made it through what I had written. He gave me a hug and told me that he loved me.
I am so excited about my relationship with Anderson and ask that you pray for us as we all continue in our relationships with our disciples.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Manna Christian School is now a reality.
Its sounds crazy to me to even say that but after a few days of school I have to realize that it is true.
On day one when our kids arrived they had a reaction I believe that
no one expected. They were excited but usually when our kids are excited it is hard to get them under control. Along with their excitement they almost looked scared or confused. They were so tranquil it was hard even getting some of them to talk (that did not last long but we had a few hours of peace). We are all entering into new roles as we start this school and we are all trying to get used to it.
Classes are going great. Our students are learning lots of English. They are seeing a new kind of education that is not just copying words from one page to another. Things are going amazing.
I can not thank all of you for what you have all done for us. Thank you all for the prayers. We have had so many encouraging words sent this way for our school and we are all so thankful.
I joked about only having a few hours of peace but I do feel a sens
e of peace among all of us. This just seems right for right now. And for that no obnoxious student, no unexpected challenge that comes up, nor any hard days can get in the way of the endless peace that God provides. No, we do not feel one hundred percent at peace all of the time, but we
do know that this project is protected and covered by the Holy Spirit and that is a peace that passes all earthly understanding.
Much love from the Dominican Republic,
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I have to admit. A lot of times we forget to say “thank you” to each other. A lot of times we forget to say “ I love you”. We get busy and forget that we have a team to take care of.
I am the worst at this, and I will be the first to tell you. I get focused on something and it might even be a great thing but I forget so much to take time for our team. When I do, I remember why it is so important.
This last week Jill and I took the Córdobas to Santiago to see the movies. We went with the plan of seeing Harry Potter but Abi and Dani had other plans. So Jill and I took Abi and Dani to see “Los Pitufos” (The Smurfs) in 3D while Porfi and Carla went to see Harry Potter.
We had a terrific time at the movies, at McDonalds, and just being together for a while. Time spent with each other. I remember a blog that Rich and Audrey wrote while they lived here called “Time Well Spent”. It was about them spending time with the Córdobas, getting away from “work” and spending some ti
me just went the team. At the time, I will admit I did not understand what all was meant behind that blog, now I do.
I love the Córdobas. I love everyone on this team. And it truly is time well spent when we spend time together.
Monday, August 1, 2011
At this point many of you have heard about it but we had a break in here at camp a few weeks ago. No one was hurt and everyone is totally okay, so do not worry. It came at a time that we, as a team, were really starting to see growth in the lives of our disciples. Of course, that is a perfect time for Satan to attack. And, he did. Things were taken, but we kept having to remind ourselves that things are things, whether we can physically replace them or not.
It would have been very easy to let this experience take someone out, to let them say to themselves that this is too hard. Yes, break ins happen in the United States but why does it have to happen here too and make everything so much harder? I do not pretend to have all the answers to that for every person that wonders is but I can tell you that some great things came out of it for me.
I got to see just how supported I am. So many people came through for me in so many ways. From my family back in the States, to our team of missionaries here, to Nubia, our awesome secretary, to Carlos, one of my boys I work closely with here. All of those people were huge encouragements to me and God provided ways for amazing conversations and new levels of Spirituality to happen among all of those people.
In some ways I hate that the break in happened but in some ways it has given me a new motivation and new vision for the kind of relationship I can have with the people around me.
Thank you for all of your prayers during this attack from Satan. I love you all.
Summer 2011 is coming to an end here with Manna DR. We are finishing up our last group and our interns will soon be leaving us. We have been extremely blessed this summer in so any ways. I, as the group leader, want to let you know some of those blessings.
8 amazing groups. Each one of them, in their own way, were a huge blessing to some or many aspects of our ministry.
Great groups leaders. Every one of them came prepared and were flexible with us. They challenged us in many ways and that will have as big of an impact here as anything.
Jeff Reese. As our lead intern this summer he did an amazing job. I can truly say that there were a few weeks there at the beginning of the summer that I am not sure what I would have done without Jeff. Even since that time Jeff has taken on a ton of responsibilities and jobs that have allowed me and the rest of the team to do things to get ready for our big project kick off coming up.
6 interns. Alex, Allie, Luke, Nikki, Sarah, and Savannah. From the beginning these guys took their responsibilities and ran with them with little supervision. They have been there for the eight groups and really gotten close the the Dominicans that we know and love.
Our team. As of just a few weeks ago we are all finally here. We are super excited about the possibilities of this year and I am grateful for their support and patience with me this summer.
This might have been a predictable thing to blog about but I am truly thankful for this summer. As summer ends this year there is one difference for me.
As last summer was winding down I was unsure of many things about how the next year would go. I did not doubt that God would reveal those things to me but I was unsure of what exactly that would be. God did come through and because of that I am not anxious about this year due to uncertainty of what I will do.
I am, as I believe a lot of us are, anxious about how this school year will go and for that I ask for many prayers.
As this summer ends we enter into a new stage of our ministry. No, we could not have gotten here without the many stages before but it is scary none the less. We need prayers and patience as we try to disciple the twenty kids coming into our Discipling Program.
This summer was a huge step in the kick off of our Discipling Program. Much thanks to all who participated in it and I ask for your continued prayers. I am excited for each of you to return to see how God continues to bless and grow these kids.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I do not really know how else to say this but kidney stones are awful.
I had already gone to the United States for a visit when I came back to the Dominican and was greeted by a fierce surprise. I guess that it was not a huge surprise, I had had kidney stone before but it had to come right when I got back home.
The attack was bad enough this time to go back to the States and see what the problem was and how I could fix it.
I appreciate so much the many prayers that were said and the many encouraging things that were said to me during this time. I was in a lot of pain and you guys really helped me out. I must say of all of you I am truly grateful to Evan Aldridge. Evan is a great friend and really helped me get through the worst kidney stone attack I have ever had.
I go to the States and I guess there is no other way of saying this either but I hated the fact the I was going back. I had so much to do here and I just did not want to leave home again.
God works in funny ways. Even though I dreaded going back to the States there were so many blessings that came out of it.
1. I was able to see my amazing Perry family because I just happened to be in the States when my cousin, Katie, was graduating high school.
2. I was able to see some friends that I did not see the first time I went
3. I went to the doctor.
I guess that last one might be obvious but the medical part of that was not the blessing. By the time I had gotten to the doctor the stone was all but gone. (At least, the one that hit me this time.) The amazing thing that came out of it was that the doctor that I went to see asked me what I was doing here and we got into a great conversation about what is happening here with the discipling program. He said that they had been looking for an opportunity for his kids to see something from a different culture and lifestyle and to give them an opportunity to know how blessed they are by being able to bless others.
Their family has now accepted the opportunity to help out some kids here but what the Spirit did here was absolutely amazing. The Spirit turned something that I hated doing into a way to bless so many.
Reflecting on this story I have many prayers
1. That I, nor any of you, ever have kidney stones again.
2. That we learn to let the Spirit guide us and not convince ourselves that we are in bad situations
3. That we let God reign and pray for forgiveness when we think we know what is going on but yet God has so much bigger plans.
Much love to you all!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This Easter really was fantastic.
Holy Week in the Dominican Republic is r
eally a country wide celebration. They are not used to our Easter traditions but because all of the kids in the country were out of school we were able to spend a lot of time with all of them.
We had Easter celebrations in Rio San Ju
an and in Bobita.
In Rio San Juan we dyed eggs. They loved it. Evan and Rachel were not back yet from Santiago (
WELCOME CONNOR!!) so Jill and I were able to do the Easter celebration with the Princesas and Pescadores.They loved it a lot, but I think the thing they were most excited about was eating the boiled egg after.
In Bobita we had an egg hunt. We actually waited until the Wednesday after Easter to do it so that all of the kids would be here but it was great fun.
They do not usually do egg hunts but we combined that typical tradition from the United States with a typical Dominican Easter food “habichuelas con dulce”. These “sweet beans” are an unusual food but the Dominicans love them. Carmen, our summer cook, made them for us and the kids had a lot of fun finding eggs and eating their sweet beans.
The most touching experience during all of this Easter celebration came in Rio San Juan. The kids had dyed their eggs and were ready to eat them. But there was something missing. Dominicans really love salt on their boiled eggs. Some of them had already eaten an egg when Anderson and Yanifer come back into the Outreach Center with a huge jar of salt to share with everyone. Anderson is on of our Pescadores who will be attending Manna Christian School in the fall and Yanifer is his little sister, one of our Princesas. It was a sweet (and salty) thing to experience. These are the kinds of things that makes our work worth it and allows us to see the potential each of them have to grow.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
If someone asked you “What is a chwall?” W
hat do you think y
our first response would be?
Well, in my case let me tell you what a chwall is.
First of all, I understand that “chwall” is not really a word bu
t solely a name given to the new addition to my house.
This Spring Break one of the groups left this huge box of sidewalk chalk. I did not really know what to do with it but it has been put to good use. Rachel Aldridge had brought back some stuff from the last time she went to the United States that I really wanted to try. It is this paint that supposedly works as a chalk board when painted on the wall. Well, she did not buy a lot and I was extremely skeptical of how it would work. Well, when I saw this sidewalk chalk I really wanted to try this stuff.
So, I put up about a 2’x 3’ rectangle, followed the instructions and tested it out. IT WORKED!!! Not only did it work but I realized that it is nothing more than regular acrylic paint, of which we had some lying around.
I took the paint, painted the entire wall of my extra room a
nd created “the chwall”. You can decide for yourself why that is the name but it has a few different possibilities.
The ChWall has many purposes.
- It is great fun.
- It is a great way to brainstorm on things that we are doing.
- It is a great teaching tool.
- The kids love it. They love playing on it, just drawing things and having fun.
Not that it was a struggle to get kids to come over to the house ever before but I am always looking for new ways to keep them involved. The ChWall serves a great purpose in teaching these kids so many things. We have had so much fun and it has been a great way for us to get to know each other even better.
I am really excited about how God can use the ChWall. That might sound silly but I am a firm believer that God can and does work through our everyday lives and that he opens up doors for us using things that we might never expect.
Thank you for just being you. To a lot of people being thankful for a “chwall” might sound really silly but I am excited about the possibilities of what you can do through such a simple thing.
God, use me in your service to the children of the Dominican Republic. Help me not to just look for fun things for us to do but to use those things as a way to teach them of your love for th
I love you everyday!
Friday, February 25, 2011
This past week we had a group. Though, it was not a typical group. It was a work group and only consisted of five people: Lynn Mynatt (dad), Beth Knoll, Kenneth Dupree, Eddie Perry (Uncle Ed) and Trevor Hass.
These guys did a ton of work. They finished the roofing on our new school. It looks amazing. They did a lot of electrical work, plumbing, hanging doors, etc. They worked hard and went away having made this place so much closer to the reality of a school.
But more than work they brought a ton of encouragement to this place. I love every single one of those people and I am so happy that they were able to come. I loved the evenings especially when we were able to have dinner, and then visit, whether it be playing random card games, singing from the old hymnals, or just catching up on life. I loved it.
All groups are not like that because there were less people here. Don’t get me wrong, I love a group of 20 that comes in here and I can not wait another week for the Tennessee Tech group to show up, but those small groups are special. We were able to spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun and encouragement.To Red Bank: I love you guys. You have supported us in so many ways and I
am so grateful. This group was the perfect representation of what you guys have done for this ministry. You
send five people down to help us get our school off the ground. Yo
u are doing some amazing things and we love you for that. God bless every single one of you.
To KD: Thank you for coming. We have been excited about you finally seeing this place for a very long time, and we are so glad that you were able to finally see it. I pray that you were encouraged and I pray that you are able to come back and visit. Keep up the good work with Inner City, I know God is blessing that through you.
To Trevor: I think this week I enjoyed your company more than I ever have. You were a great worker and just a joy to be around. I know I told you this while you were here, but I thoroughly enjoyed hearing your work stories. Trevor, you are an awesome person, keep on track and keep your focus.
To Beth: What an amazing friend. I am starting to cry just thinking about you. I am so excited that I only have to wait until June to see you again here. You are someone who has always been
there for me and I love you so much for that. Thank you for being who you are and don’t change. You worked hard this week, but that was no surprise. You encouraged me so much, no surprise either. I can not wait to look at the stars with you in June when you get here. Thank you for the reminder of how lucky I am to be able to see the creation as I can here, sometimes I forget
. You are a special person in my life.
To dad: Thank you for all the work you did on my house. To be honest I was a little worried about all that I wanted to be done before I moved in, and you did it. You are the best. I am so glad you ar
e able to come here as much as you do. I so wish I could have been there at Christmas but having you down so many times this past year and a half has truly helped me feel at home here. Thank you for helping me. Happy Birthday this month. I love you a lot.
To Uncle Ed: I think that night we got to talk just you and me was truly my favorite time ever spent with you. You are one of my favorite people. I have been praying so much for you lately it w
as amazing just to see you. You worked hard this week. One of my favorite things you said was “I always knew I would work on your house at some point in your life, I just never knew that it would be here.” I always knew you would work on my house at some point too. And I knew it because you and your family have never failed to be anything but support to me. Uncle Ed, I love you very much and your are in my prayers daily.
Thank you so much for these people. They are special to me and th
is ministry. I can not thank you enough for bringing the right people at just the right time. Bless KD, Trevor, Beth, Dad, and Uncle Ed. Bless the Red Bank church as they continue to support this ministry in a way unbelievable to us. God, help us as we continue to grow and start this Discipling Program. We trust in you that it will happen. Help us to keep working but not get discouraged when things look gloomy. Help us to use that time to grow closer to you and be content with what we need and not what we want.
I love you every day.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
2010 is officially over. Happy New Year to all of you.
As 2010 ends I spend some time to reflect. It has been an amazing year and I have only God to thank that I am where I am today. Our team has come so far in a short year and we have even come to the point that we are ready to take on a whole new project.
As you start this year I pray that all of you are able to spend some time with the people you love and with the Creator.
Have a great start to the New Year.
Bring us a prosperous New Year. When the world says that they usually are speaking of prosperity in a economical sense. But, I ask for prosperity in the harvest of your Kingdom. Bring the rains of your Holy Spirit to water the hearts of the people of the Dominican Republic. Help us to be your hands and feet and to never take the credit for the work that you do.
I love you everyday!