Friday, November 25, 2011


Happy day late Thanksgiving to all of you!

Thanksgiving is always a little weird here, and somewhat sad, because I am not with my family. But, as we have for the three Thanksgivings I have been here (wow, I can not believe that it has been that many) we celebrated with our Dominican team.

Everyone brought a typical Thanksgiving dish. It always consists of turkey and dressing and the usuals but we always have a little different flavor based on all of our family traditions. There was strawberry pretzel salad, sweet potato casserole, cheesy corn casserole, hash brown casserole, green bean bacon wraps, fresh bread, home made apple pies, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and more. It was a feast and we had a great time.

After we were all about to see our food twice we rested before it was game time.
We had a lot of fun playing "Scattegories" and "Hand and Food".

After I got back to my house I was able to Skype with Dad, Mom, Trent, Micah and Nikki.

It was a great Thanksgiving. God has given me so many things to be grateful for. Here are my top 5 for the year (in no particular order).

1. The trust that God has in me to give me the chance to make a small difference in the world. And the door that he has open for me right now is here in the Dominican Republic.
2. The Manna Team who supports and works with me.
3. The unbelievable support that I get from the United States.
4. The Perry family, who loves and supports me and has been a huge part of getting me here, even if they do not know it.
5. My immediate family, who supports and loves me even when I do not get to see them very often.

I hope that you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving. And get ready, Christmas is coming. (And if you were here, it had already come, starting November 1).

Thank you for all the many many blessings that you have given me in this life. I am thankful for all of them. I know that I rarely thank you for them. Thank you, at least, for the yearly reminder to think on all of those things. I do pray that you be with my family and pray that the time comes soon when we can see each other.
I love you every day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This past weekend we, as a Manna team, went on a retreat. It was a time to remind us of our mission here and to refocus.
I am personally extremely grateful to all of the people that were able to be on that retreat. It was a time of encouragement for me. I miss being able to sing in a large group. I miss those deep discussions with people with years of wisdom. And this weekend was a great recharge because of those things.
Along with the team that is here in the Dominican full time we were joined by most of our Manna DR team that is based in the United States.
We had our advisory board here which includes:
Tommy and Jill Reese
Chris and Angela Lowe
Cassey Gibson. Mark, we missed you a lot but are excited to see you with the Magi group.

We also had our communications director with us.
Doug Hurst, who acted as our MC for the weekend.

As we started on Friday we had two goals set out in front of us:
1. Get focused.
2. Get encouraged.

Each ministry within the DR had a chance to let everyone know what is going on in that ministry, talk about the future andwhere they believe that God is leading that ministry, and ask questions to get the wisdom of our advisory board.

It was an amazing time and we all left having accomplished those two goals.

1. Get focused- We must keep everything that we do focused on the ultimate mission of turning people to Christ. Everything we do has everything to do with that. Discipling is our mission and it must flow into everything that we do.
2. Get encouraged- We spent a lot of time reading from the Word, listening to the Word that God put on our hearts, singing together, and praying with and for each other.

I want to extend a special thanks to everyone that was a part of a very encouraging weekend. Thank you for helping us get focused and encouraging us with your prayers, wisdom, and presence.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A great week.

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.