Category: Dominican Republic plans

Our Next Chapter

Missionaries SosuaWow, we have hit 2013 running! We currently have 37 people from Kona-YWAM doing their outreach at the center. They arrived the third week of December and leave in a couple of weeks. It has been great to meet this “all generations” group. Each came to do their DTS (Discipleship Training School) for a variety of reasons. Many of the group will return back to regular living in their countries, some will head to new territories, others will go back to Kona and work with YWAM there, a few will feel that quiet nudge (or loud push) to head into missions full time, and all will have a new perspective on life and deeper understanding of who the Lord is, wherever they may go. Watching this group has opened up our eyes and hearts to see some new things. For starters, YWAM has always been a part of us here. It would’ve made sense for us to go into YWAM and do a DTS from the very start of our mission journey. Yet, as much as we thought about it, and prayed about it, we never felt like that was what we were supposed to do. Even along the way, during our many transitions, we never had a peace about taking this step. Many of our friends here have suggested it and questioned us about it and each time we have taken note but still we were not convinced the time was right. Now as we sit back and watch this group and others that have come and gone our hearts are feeling pulled, a fire is beginning.

Secondly, we are learning through our adventures what our passions are in ministry. We love watching young people come alive in the Lord. Our desire is to help them and encourage them on that journey. As well as, share with them our hearts to live a life of serving wherever the Lord leads them. We have so much yet to learn in these areas and fail in so many ways, but by God’s grace He can use even the most broken to bring glory to His name.

This journey has been a rough one with its windy roads. Yet, God has been so incredibly faithful to meet us in all circumstances. It has been a desert experience in many ways. But then again, the living water has always flooded the dry ground. All the above is to say, that we have made the decision to go back to the states for a year. Primarily to regroup, refresh, and reconnect with family and friends. Also, Heather will be turning 18 this May (absolutely unbelievable how time flies) and our desire is to help launch her into the next phase of her life well. Many of you know and have been praying about Heather’s back, her scoliosis, during the last year. This too is one of the many side reasons for choosing this time to come back. We are not finding the help she needs here and want to help her find relief and to get her back stabilized. Unfortunately, it seems to have gotten worse in the last few months, with the pain increasing and back/ribs twisting more. God has given us our children as a treasure and a blessing, our job is to take care of them and give them all the tools we can as they step into adulthood, including good health.

After this next year of rest (yeah right), the thought is to do a DTS with YWAM either in Mexico or Kona or……… At this time, that is what is on our hearts.   We consider this the first of many missionary journeys. We have just tasted and it has forever changed us. There is so much more to do.

We cannot begin to express how blessed we have been with the many people that have stepped into our lives. There are so many that we hope to cross paths with again. If not here, in heaven we will have quite the reunion. Others have supported us in prayers, encouragement and financially. We couldn’t have made it this far without you. We know our journey has looked a little odd at times, we have changed our status from missionaries to gypssionaries (it fits right?), but we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for sticking with us. It has meant more than any words could possibly say.

We are grateful to Island Light Ministries, Niños de la Luz, and World Grace Mission for allowing us the opportunity to serve with them. We will take with us a little bit of each of these ministries as we move forward to what lies ahead.

The plan is to head back the end of March or early April. We ask for your prayers as we pull away from things here and get ready to reenter the states. Below are some of the specific requests listed. We love you all and thank you again for sharing in our lives. You are all awesome!

In His Love,

Shawn, Jessica, Heather, Samuel, Josiah, and Silas


Prayer Requests:

Transition here at the center, please pray for the right people to step up and take over where there might be gaps, specifically a facilitator of the property and/or an outreach coordinator, as well as a person who has an interest in the aquaponics system.

For the baseball ministry here – we have really connected with the guys and we will miss them. Pray that God would use us in their lives this next couple of months. Also, there are a couple of them that have the possibility to be signed very soon to pro-teams locally, in the states, or in Korea. It would be an awesome opportunity for them and we would love to see some of that take place before we leave.

Good price on airfare (why does flying into Medford have to cost sooo much?)

Transition for us reentering the states , we will need to find housing, some basic household items, car, etc…..(if anyone has a lead on any of the above for rent/sale, let us know by email or message us on facebook)

We would have wisdom for Heather’s back and what direction to go with her care

For reconnection with family and friends, especially for the kids

That God’s grace would be over all the planning (the comings and goings)

Unity in all things during the process

Future ministry

Harvest Connections – Connecting Missions

While we were living in Sosua there was a group started to help bring together the different missions that operate in that area. The group is called Harvest Connections.

There are a couple of goals within this group, one being that each mission group knew about the others. This in turn can help them share resources, which this has already taken place in a couple on instances. Another goal was to help connect those wanting to serve in the area with the mission groups already working there.

Well, I volunteered to build the website at which is finally ready to show others. There are some further plans for the back end of the website to help the mission groups communicate needs to each other, and on the front end to help categorize in different ways.

Take a look and let me know if it has any errors or if you have an idea that might improve it.

Harvest Connections



Project Guagua

Project Guagua

The Goal: Replace our vehicle in 2 weeks!!

The death of our guagua (van) is imminent! It has gone beyond small repairs and is becoming a hindrance to our ministry here on a weekly basis.  We need your help!!!  We are asking for 1000 people to give $10 or for 100 people to spread the word by getting 10 friends to donate $10 each. This vehicle will give us the ability to reach more people with the gospel, as well as offer practical help to missionaries all over the island.  Unfortunately, cars are not cheap here.  They run 2 to 3 times what they are in the States. We desire to have something that is reliable and economical.  We have consulted with a local mechanic who has worked on the island for years.  He has given us a list of what he thinks are the most reliable, economical (gas is over $5 a gallon), and inexpensive vehicles to repair in the DR. When we think of the cost as a whole and all the logistics it is overwhelming, but we are trusting God and His plan for us in all things.

$10 x 1000 = 100 people asking 10 of their friends to donate $10 = Reliable vehicle used to bring glory to God wherever it goes!!!! (Click here to print the flyer out – PDF of Vehicle Fundraiser)


The Dying Guagua

Possible Replacement Van


To Give: Tax Deductible donations can be made to Alliance Bible Chapel with a note in the memo “Oliveria Vehicle Fund”

Mail to: Oliveria Family
c/o Tiffani Ghiglieri
1462 Beekman Ave.
Medford Or 97501

Donations can also be received through PayPal (donations through PayPal are not tax-deductible) on the Support page

PDF of vehicle fundraiser


Seasons of Change

Niños de la Luz boys

Everyone knows those times when things just change. Everything seems to be out of your hands and there are a lot of unknowns. Well, we are in that season now, but we have some things we can share with you about those changes.

Niños de la Luz boys with Summer and Hannah

Niños de la Luz boys (with Summer and Hannah)

Currently we are volunteering with Niños de la Luz up in the hills. It is a ministry here in Sosua that has a heart for street children. The family-like structure there combined with God’s amazing love has drawn us all to want to serve there. There are two areas of ministry, first is to younger street kids whom they take in as family and the other is to older boys who are at the age of graduation and need to be taught life skills. Currently they are building a new home to house the younger boys and until that is finished the life skills portion is on hold.

This ministry started in Venezuela and now is also in the Dominican Republic. The focus there are the boys, bringing them up in the love of Christ, and the hope of someday these boys having families of their own in which they will be equipped to lead spiritually and physically able to provide.

Pray with us as we ask the Lord for continued guidance as we desire to follow Him.

Just our little time spent so far visiting the Ranch has grown our love for these children. We have seen the love between those there to work with the kids and the kids. It really feels like a large loving family up there.

Besides helping some with staining boards for the ceiling in the new house and helping build some bunk beds, I was able to put to use skills from the past in wood working by replicating a table and a couple of benches to match.Table and Bench

Seeing the Need

The last couple of days Jessica and I have been talking a lot about a specific need for this area. This is something others have been seeing as well. The need for an orphanage.

We are not sure if this is something God has planned for us, but it has been weighing on our hearts. There are children getting help medically and some of those children are simply in need of basic nutrition. They are starving to death or have diseases related to malnutrition and once they are well enough, they go home to the same. Some of those mother’s will abandon the child especially if they believe the child will be helped. The Transformation House near here has been left with 9 children from these types of situations, yet they are not set up to house children, they are more of a hospital.

What is need is prayer. Pray for an answer, for the place, the people, the funding, etc… It is needed. These children need to be raised up right, fed properly, parented, taught, and most of all they need the Lord!

Seeing a 10 month old in the arms of a family willing to take him on even when he barely weighs 12 pounds can really open your eyes to the need. Pray for the Luther family who has taken in little Franklin.

Where is my faith

I was doing a little pondering today while driving back from Puerto Plata to Sosua. It was about 3 years ago that Jessica and I first met up with Jim and Debra here in the Dominican Republic and they took us to a few places to show us around the area, not knowing then some of the things God had planned for us. It was during that visit that God was putting in me the vision of working with Jim and Debra in the Sosua area, yet before that trip we did not know anyone in this part of the country, however, we did know a few in Jarabacoa and in Santo Domingo.

What struck me today was my lack of faith. I keep finding myself questioning what I am doing here. We are spending time looking for the house to live in as we try to get started working in Villa Paraiso (Paradise Village.)  God was showing me and reminding me of all the things He has done already – from putting it on my heart to move here in 2003, meeting the Tunnicliffes, seeing God take us across the country and to fly here with a number of things timed that we could never have seen beforehand. God was reminding me that trusting in Him has always come to the result of what only faith could see. The visions He gives to us sometimes seem impossible and that is why I believe He does just that. How does our faith grow without the impossibilities to get beyond? If we could see how it would work out it would not take faith.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  God puts in us the vision and the faith of that vision. I know that over the last few years it has been challenging to even explain to other believers what God has called us to. And it took even more faith when it did not happen in our timing to continue to tell people what we were going to do. I can’t imagine what Abraham went through when he kept on getting older and not yet seeing the fulfillment of the promise of a son.  To believe and hope for something he knew was improbable and was only becoming impossible.  God uses the impossible to show us who He is. Thank goodness we have no say in who God is!

Be encouraged my brothers and sisters, God is not finished with us. He will continue to work out miracles as we look to Him. His ways are not our ways (thank goodness) and He has a plan with all the details already perfectly worked out. I challenge you to be stretched and that thing He has been prompting you with, trust Him. Accept that it is impossible for you and not for God. Let God grow your faith and take the first step in what He is asking you to do. Be blessed by allowing Him to take reign in your life and know that a perfect Father in heaven loves you and wants you as His devoted child.

Revival of His people

Here we are in a hotel in Cape Girardeau, Missouri having jumped in the pool at 10 PM and ready for some rest. This was a short 7 hour drive (with stops) from our last stop with Shane and Kami who blessed us with their hospitality and the privilege of doing a presentation at their church and Jeremy did some music. As usual, the Lord moved and people were blessed and touched. It is so cool to witness God using the music to reach deep in the hearts of His people.

Back to the title of this post – Revival – I believe that God has us on this trip across the states to be part of an ushering in of a revival. The same themes are at each church so far, from Medford Oregon to Missouri. The Holy Spirit has been moving and just seeing what God is doing in the three young men with us has been inspiring. Jeremy, Sam and Matt have all been great to be with on this trip and I know God has great plans for them. Please keep them in your prayers. We are asking for safe travels and for God to continue to use them mightily.

If you haven’t been experiencing God in a deeper way lately, start asking for Him to draw you closer. God wants all of His children close to Him, asking Him for all things, and dependant on Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to enter in you fully and flow out of you, touching others and connecting His people together.

Also, keep my brother Garth in your prayers, I am not sure how He is at the moment, the last I heard was he fell about 15 feet off a ladder and was unconscious for a minute and may have some broken bones.

God bless!!!

On Our Journey

We were a bit too busy to post some updates, but here is one from Parker, Colorado near Denver. We spent the last two days driving the new shuttle (used, but a perfect vehicle for the drive) to Colorado. There are two shows for Jeremy scheduled in Colorado and we will be presenting the ministry as well.

We are asking God to be the one to move in the hearts of His people as we make this journey across the U.S. and then off to the Dominican Republic. We are excited about all He is doing in us and through us.

I was encouraged again with the faith of the young men with us. Jeremy, Sam and Matt are all a blessing. The Lord is working through these young men, praying that the Lord will use Jessica and I to impart some of the Lord to them as they travel with us.

A show tomorrow in Grand Junction (if I am remembering the correct city for the night.) May the Lord be glorified!

Benefit Dinner Tonight

Some families here in Medford have set up a benefit dinner this evening to help bring in support for Island Light Ministries. This will help raise money for the feeding program, scholarships for the trade school and more. If you are interested please give us a call or write on my FaceBook (email program is locked up for me.)

Please pray as we finish packing our bags into the shuttle today, try to sell my desk, move a few items to our storage, etc… we still have so much to do and so little time.

Also, I wanted to thank all of those who have been praying and encouraging us, this really has been hard but the Lord is seeing us through each step of the way.

I will try to post on the drive when I have the opportunity – God bless you all!