Month: September 2010

Hit the ground running

We arrived September 5th and it seems like that was months ago. The process of finding a place to live, a vehicle to drive and how to even shop takes a lot of effort and lends to so much frustration. Stores are not set up in the way we are accustomed to in the U.S. and cars cost about twice as much. The cost of fuel leaves us with the option of buying a vehicle with a four cylinder diesel engine, which is actually fairly common when it comes to vans anyways.

Now beyond the practical, day to day living necessities, we have the village we are working in – Villa Paraiso. Here we have seen a number of people desiring to come to the church and not sure if they are allowed to come.  I have found that many more can read than I initially thought; however, there are still many who cannot.  Jim has stepped out of his comfort zone and has preached a couple of times in Spanish, which I am sure has helped him learn even more.

Our children have played a part in bringing families to the church, they have been a type of bridge in the community. When the children of the village see the gringitos arrive, they come running to play with our kids. An aspect of the culture that has sort of caught us off guard was the violent aspect in how the kids will play or fight. So often a teased child resorts to anger followed quickly by punching and kicking and then even rocks being picked up to be thrown (and believe me there is no shortage of rocks within reach.) As we interact with the children and something gets a little out of hand we become the peacemakers. Don’t let this come across as a negative comment, what we are seeing is what the Lord will work on as people come to know Him, the fruit will be revealed in time. Also, we get to experience little things that are blessings. As an example, one little boy who Silas has befriended went after a child who took his toy, which, by the way this toy was a moped tire that he rolls around.  The little boy Yannay (said the same as Johnny) took a rock to throw at the boy who took his toy. Silas grabbed his hand and said “no Johnny, no!” and held his hand until he dropped the rock. I think that Jesus spoke of these “peacemakers” if I am not mistaken.

There is so much to learn of this culture and of the people in the village. There are boundaries to get beyond, there are walls to be torn down and there are areas where we will have to be like Paul who became like those who he ministered to (maybe that is why God provided us the van that we drive.)

We are excited about what God is doing here and we are blessed to be working with Island Light Ministries, knowing Jim and Debra Tunnicliffe and even some of those back in Medford Oregon who play the “behind the scenes” roles. We have a vision of revival for God’s people and a great harvest that the Lord has been preparing.  The prayer God has put on my heart is for His people to come back to Him and fully love Him.  AND if you are one of those whose walk has been on the fence, come, return to the Father who is waiting for you with open arms!


Our Guagua

Feeding His People

Lately Silas is constantly hungry, always wanting something to eat. Most parents probably remember a time when their children were like this, one hour after eating complaining about being hungry. So, going up to the village we have been bringing something small like bread for him to eat if he gets to the point of complaining. We leave it in the van and take him out to it, so as not to create hunger pains in anyone who sees him eating.

Saturday I handed him a piece of bread and told him to eat it before going back towards the kids, however his little friend Johnny was right there. I told him that many of them are hungry and don’t have much food so it wouldn’t be nice for him to walk over to where they could see it. He then took a piece of the bread and handed it to his friend. This was heartwarming to see Silas understand enough that he wanted to share.

Now yesterday we had a similar event where I reminded him that many are hungrier than him and some may have not eaten anything that day. He then said to me “we should bring enough food for them” which I said “yes, we want to but we don’t have enough.” I could see his mind working on it, and he had a sad expression while pondering these thoughts.

The need is great; we have plans of having lunch served there which is their main meal. It would most likely consist of rice and beans (Dominican style) but God will have to do a miracle. You see, we don’t have the money to do this yet.

We hope to help in changing this need over time as we teach different skills to the men and women in the village so that they can earn enough to provide for their families. The trade school is scheduled to be finished in February and the plan is to have a woodshop and 3 other trade classes in the building. The Samaritan Foundation has the finances being given to them for this building praise the lord.

Please pray for the finances needed to bring food to these people. I was challenged to pray for this need after what Silas said. To him it was a simple solution of just bringing more food. Where is my faith to ask the same of our Father who is so good!

 Keep in mind that this food is our earthly food, while we feed their stomachs, we will be feeding them God’s Word.

Living in Paradise

We have been in the Dominican Republic for a whole 3 days now and are experiencing all that paradise has to offer! This morning’s power outage and water outage topped off the night of thunder and lightning and heavy rain. Since we have been here I have joked about being in paradise. The warm weather is great and the green is beautiful, but compared to what God has in an unfallen world, there isn’t anything here to call paradise.

If we are hung up in this world searching for the place of peace, retirement, relaxation in the tropics with no cares, we are only fooling ourselves. This world is in a fallen state. It is deteriorating and corroding (come here if you want to see corrosion.) If you are a child of God, I don’t believe you will ever find peace in this world. You will never find a place you can fully relax and enjoy. I believe God will have you stirred to do. To do things He planned for you long before you were born. Things that bring Him glory and you the fulfillment of following your King and Saviour. The rest we as Christians will experience is a rest in Him no matter what we are physically being challenged with. Our peace is from Him through events that no earthly peace can exist. Our paradise is not found here on the earth, but with Him!

Take courage my brothers and sisters, God does not overburden us. He allows us to find rest, strength, energy and peace while serving Him. Take your burdens to the cross and carry His burdens because they are light.

May our Lord and Savior grant you His peace today.