Month: December 2010

Christmas in Paradise

Christmas with Cooper family

We just returned home from an evening with the Cooper family. In the Dominican Republic Christmas eve dinner is like an American Christmas meal and we were invited by the Cooper’s to have this meal with them. It was such a nice and peaceful (with exception of Silas) evening in Paraiso. It seemed many were just having a nice calm evening.

Our family has somewhat connected with theirs and I say “somewhat”  due to the language barrier as we are still learning the language and we don’t always understand all that is said. One of the interesting things is for our family to fit into the dinning area of one of the houses with another large family.

Christmas with Cooper family

Jessica and Samuel

Oliveria family in Paradise

Joshua, Samuel and some of the Coopers

Christmas Dinner

Josiah and Mr. Cooper

We also had some of the typical Dominican food:

Christmas food

Christmas Dinner Dominican style

Christmas Dessert

And Desserts made by Jessica and the kids

The kids said they had a great time and I heard them all (sans Silas) speaking in Spanish. We hope that the Cooper’s enjoyed our family as we did theirs. We also want to say to all our family and friends back in the USA – Merry Christmas! And we love and miss you all!

Houses for the Poor

Many of you know that we are working in a village called Villa Paraiso. It was built by the Samaritan Foundation here in Sosua. The homes are given to some of the poorest in the area and for us Americans this would be beyond poor in the USA. Villa Paraiso is a village built for Dominicans while some of the previous projects were geared for Haitians in the area.

Los Algadones is a village named after the cottons, there is a large piece of machinery still rusting in its place that was once used for the cotton industry.

Los Algadones Villa

Original houses in Los Algadones


Inside of house


Inside of house 2

Basic living


Old houses in Los Algadones

Shacks not worthy of living in


As you can see the living conditions can be worse than what we would allow a lawnmower to park in. Dirt floors rusty and holey roofs. Rotting wood for structures with plenty of insects throughout.

Here is the new section of that village:

New houses in Los Algadones

These houses are still very basic compared to the standard North American living. These houses have 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom with toilet and area for showering, but no running water. It has a room for living and kitchen area and most bring in water via buckets from water taps on the sidewalk. A nice smooth cement floor and a roof to keep out the rain, these houses are a huge upgrade and because they do not pay any rent, they are able to spend that money on food or other necessities.  One way to look at the type of living is that of tent camping in the U.S., cooking over open fire or propane stoves, dirt or mud everywhere, mosquitoes, flies and roosters (well, I guess maybe not the roosters 🙂

We have had the blessing of eating with a couple of families in their humble homes and are welcomed with open arms. Very few have luxuries or even a vehicle, but I find that there are many who are at peace and are praising God for everything they have. So the next time you find yourself complaining about a scratch on your car or the size of your house, take a moment and thank God for what you do have. I know that I have been humbled by what people will live with or without here.

Find yourself at the mercies of a loving Father who has given you much or little, yet use all that He has given you for His glory!