Sunday, December 4, 2011

I believe in Santa Claus

Fairfax Church of Christ has always been a huge support to us here in the Dominican Republic. They have brought many many groups here over the past few years. One just left yesterday.They were terrific. I was extremely encouraged by them.
For me, and I would say that most of the full time missionaries here would say the same thing, the most successful part of the week was seeing how the group and our Discipling Program kids worked together. They did the carnivals at each of our Magi drops together. They ate together all week. They played together in their free time. They were always talking with each other. It was truly a success.
I want to say thank you to the Fairfax group for all that they did. You were all awesome.
Thank you to Sam, Ronald, Erin, Kennedy, the Wornocks family (who is actually from Searcy but came in and participated and were a huge part of the success of the week), Sarah, Rebecca, Amie, Laughton, Barbara, Angela, D'Ivone, Josh, Lauren, Ken, Ryan, and Lydia.
And I want to give two special thank yous.
One to Mark Gibson. Mark led this group and did a fabulous job at it. Mark is part of our Advisory Board and is always a humongous support to us.
Mark, you are awesome and I appreciate what you did for us this week.
The other one will go to Shack. From the moment Mr. Shackleford got here he was a huge uplift to all of us. He also played Santa at our carnivals and the faces that were lit up because of him were incredible. Everyone wanted a picture with him, including all of our kids.
Thanks to all of you for a great week.

PS- I say that Shack "played" Santa at our drops but to be honest, I think he is the real deal!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Honoring our staff

Every year we have a Christmas party to honor the
people that we work with here in the DR. It was especially special this year.
Fairfax Church of Christ has brought in a group for the past 4 years to come be a part of our Magi week and part of that week is our Christmas party.
This Christmas party reminded me of just how far we have come in a year. Since last Christmas we have had 4 new missionaries come in to be a part of our team. We have added 21 members to our Dominican family in our disciples and students. We have almost finished a full semester of school. We have had 5 new additions to the Children's Ho
me. Amazing.

Our staff has also been incredible. Just the fact that abo
ve I did not mention that we have had to change any Dominican staffing is a huge accomplishment. Esteven, our facilities manager, has taken on incredible new responsibilities. Jasmin, our school keeper/cook/house keeper/Connor's baby sitter runs around daily from place to place helping make all of our lives a little easier. Onesimo and Alex are now full time grounds keepers. Marta now has a house of 7 boys at the Children's Home. Lydia now has a house of 8 at the Children's Home. Ada, our school cook/Children's home sub runs around everyday splitting her time between the school and the Children's Home. Carmen, who has cooked hundreds of pounds of food for the 15 groups we have had over the last year. DarlĂ­n, who watches over our houses and helps keep us safe here.

Just typing that makes me thankful that we can not only have all of those people doing all of those necessary things, but that we can keep them and over the past year not one of those positions has had a personnel change.

Our party this past Sunday was to honor them. First, we presented all our staff and their families recognizing them for all the work they have done and sacrifice that they have made for us. Then we had some time to eat dinner. Dinner included
3 roasted pigs, 30 pounds of rice, 25 pounds of green peas, 3 full cabbages, 25 pounds of yucca, almost 50 bags of candies, 80 chocolate covered cherries, and to top it all off 4 cakes for dessert. Then we were able to have some fun at camp playing games.

It was a terrific party and an honor for us to honor those who work closest with us.

We are truly thankful for all of those people. They are a huge blessing to us and to all that we do here. Thank you for letting us honor them again this year and I know that it is a small token to them because we do not say thank you to them enough. Bless all of them and their families.