Category: Missionary life

The Heideggers and Niños de la Luz

Our time that we spent with Niños de la Luz was some of our greatest spent in the Dominican Republic, so when our friends the Heideggers were looking to go out on the mission field, we made sure they knew about Niños de la Luz and so they met up with Jon and Shannon to see what it was all about. Needless to say they loved what they saw and now have been there since 2017 serving.

Please pray for and support the Heideggers as they serve. They are a family committed to Christ and who love people. Here is their website: https://www.heideggerfamily.com/

 

Update on the Van

I realized that we never gave the final update on the van that was purchased partially with donated funds. We put the van to good use while we were working in Villa Mella. Many trips to the capital and back (about 1/2 hour drive each direction.) This allowed us to also get away a couple of times as a family for short stays in Sosua and even a resort stay for some needed rest.

When the decision was made to move back we had to sell the van. We felt guilty at first knowing we had others help us get a vehicle and we felt it would be wrong to keep the money that was donated. God provided the perfect opportunity to not only relieve us of that guilt, but get the van sold. This also provided a way to bless a local missionary whom we have known since my first trip in 2003.

We sold the van to her for just our personal portion that was spent on the van. We passed on your generous gifts as a gift to support this missionary and those she works with. It was a huge blessing just to tell her that we would sell her the van for about half the price she was expecting and I explained to her why. That this was money sent to support us in Missions and how it was best to pass that on to her.

So thank you from us, the Oliveria family, and from our friend, a wonderful missionary in the Dominican Republic!

 

Heather and her Kona Outreach

Heather has been in Kona for over a month. She has been very excited with all that has been happening and what the Lord has been doing in her.  Here is what she wrote on here Facebook page:

This Performing Arts school is amazing. We are always busy dancing or singing or acting. In the mornings we have worship and teachings. It’s like living in a big singing, dancing, dramatic church.
And God has been changing me. No, I cannot say I am positive on what I am going to do in the future, but that doesn’t matter so much right now, I realize. This is a time in which I am being drawn closer to know and glorify God, and to know how to glorify God. Some updates: I feel called to stay here after this DTS is over, and also…Europe. Crazy, no? But in order to stay, I need to be able to pay, right? So, pray, and if possible, support and download my CD!
Thank you!

http://heatheroliveria.bandcamp.com/

We are very excited seeing what God is doing in our daughter and hope that if you think about her that you would pray for her.

P.S. you can follow the link and download her music for free as well.

Thank you!

The Journey Session

The Journey Session

Sending Heather

Heather

Heather

Now it is that time. We are sending Heather off to see the world!! (or something like that.) She has been accepted to a YWAM Performing Arts DTS which starts April 4th. We are very excited about her decision to go this direction and at the same time sad to see her leave already. I know God has plans for her and this is just another part of her training. Please keep her in your prayers.

She has been asking for support and since we no longer need support as missionaries, we are asking you to support her financially if you feel led. Since this is a school any support sent direct is not tax-deductible. There are two phases to the DTS, the first being 3 months of a lecture period and then followed by 3 months of outreach. The plan is to go to Israel and South Africa on the outreach phase. She has raised about half of the support needed for the lecture phase and still has a ways to go to completely raise the funds needed.

We also would like to say thanks to all who supported us either by finances or by prayer the last couple of years and we hope to share what God has done with each of you.

 

Thankful

Thanksgiving in the USA is coming quickly. Time moves at an accelerating pace.  This last few months have been somewhat overwhelming, with many new things on our plate.

As I am typing this, my lovely wife Jessica is teaching English to our 8 Dominican boys who are living with us at  The World Grace Mission Center. Samuel is helping, Josiah and Silas are probably lost in a world of legos, Heather is baking brownies, and our 2 Korean kids are doing their studies.

Oh, did I mention we have 14 kids here?

Our boys in English class

Our new boys learning English

So, as you can see our world has changed some. The Lord is stretching us in many different ways and in ways we didn’t expect at all coming to the Dominican Republic.  One thing I have learned living as a missionary is expect everything and in everything grow closer to the Lord.

We knew coming here we would be learning a new culture, we knew there were going to be things that may be hard to adjust to, but we didn’t know He was going to add a second culture for us to adapt to and learn. We are working with a Korean ministry with many other Koreans visiting. Whether they are on short term teams, part of YWAM, other missionaries or business people who live here, we are being surrounded by Koreans. God is teaching us how our culture causes us to think differently. I am learning that all of our cultures have good, bad and ugly in them but that we need to be adjusting our culture to that of one like Jesus.

Paul talks about being thankful in all things (I Thess 5:18.)  If we are thankful we can see better what the Lord might be doing in us. I am thankful for the time we have had in all the areas we have worked in this country. He has really opened up my mind to so much more that what I had experienced before. I am thankful for what little or how much I have had over the years realizing that so many are just trying to get enough food for the next meal.

Thanksgiving to me has a broader meaning to me than that of our country’s history. It is me giving thanks to GOD who loves us so much, thanks to friends and family who have supported us in so many ways, thanks to others for forgiving my shortcomings.

One last thank you – Thank you to all of our supports who have given financially or have prayed for us these last two years! May God pour out even more blessing on you.

 

 

The New Van

Many were probably wondering what ever happened with the vehicle fundraiser, whether we hit our goal, what we bought, etc… I will have to say it wasn’t easy. We searched and searched, called and test drove many SUV’s and vans. The problem was that so many I checked would have needed so many repairs that they weren’t spending the 2 times amount it would cost in the USA!

But now I am happy to report to you all that we finally bought a van. It is a low mile van the was brought over from the US 5 years ago. It is a 2002 Nissan Quest.

From everyone in my family to all those who had donated or helped – THANK YOU!!!!

Lord What Do I Do?

Today we visited a small “feeding” center run by a local. I don’t know all of the details, but I hear the land is hers. There is a small block building used for church services and attached to that is a wood wall kitchen. They have a couple of tables and stacks of plastic chairs. Pretty minimal and rustic in many ways.

Yet, Veronica feeds some of the children in the batey.

She only does it about 3 times a week and by the looks of it some of these kids don’t eat that much in between time. You can tell from the attitude of some of the older kids that this place is like a “home”, somewhere safe, where they know they are loved.

This was our second time visiting, but this time it was even harder. My heart was breaking at the sites of the wounds, the malnutrition and the hurt that they were experiencing. There was one boy there whose skull was somewhat deformed and it didn’t appear to be debilitating, but he also had an open wound on his foot that the flies were attracted to. This infection, if not treated, can lead to something much worse.

When you see children in situations like this, what can you do?

Please pray for Veronica and the feeding center. Another couple have taken on the role of having a new kitchen built and are working on raising the funds. Pray also for the money needed for the food. Praise God someone has stepped up to do something and through this many children will hear the gospel and see the gospel worked out in practical ways!

Eating at Veronica's

 

Moving in the Dominican Republic

Obviously it is quite the challenge to move to any foreign country. There are so many things that will be different making a transition difficult. We moved down to this country with mostly books and clothing (and a few kids.) Most of the houses in Sosua were foreign owned and were furnished or partly furnished like the last house we lived in there.

Moving across the country itself is a whole other adventure. First we tried to find a house on quick trips either by driving or by me taking a bus. That didn’t help too much except it helped me learn a few areas and meet the real estate agent that we eventually used. We finally just moved down a lived for a month in a vacant house used by missionaries that gave a place to sleep and eat during our house search.

We eventually settled on a 4th floor apartment with the 5th floor rooftop with extra bedroom. We thought this would be perfect (except all of the stairs) for our family and plans to use the extra room. We spent the next week waiting for “mañana” as the man in charge of the apartment was getting the papers ready. When we finally met with him, we had to walk away because of the contract. He wanted us to claim responsibility of the the taxes even though we “didn’t have to pay them.” We could not do this for 2 reasons, if we paid the taxes it was too much and if we didn’t we would be liars and damage our testimony.

After having that happen, we were put into a last minute cram, yet thankful God kept us from having been in a contract with a corrupt person. We also have our friend Miriam (March) who was a huge help in all of this as an interpreter and overall friend.

We then called the real estate agent I mentioned who quickly showed us another couple of houses, one of which we made an offer on. We then met the lawyer (many rentals are handled by lawyers here) who happened to be a Christian who goes to church with our missionary friends Kent and Janet Norell. Esperanza is here name and she has been a help and a blessing to us.

Signing the papers on the house led to the next adventures in houses in the D.R. First I try to get power, only to hit a roadblock because the power company says there are already two contracts with that address. Both Esperanza and Miriam made multiple calls to the power company to help get things straightened out. After a couple of weeks and us living in another temporary location, we finally moved in with no power on. Power in this country is different than in the states, were if the power is off, it is from a storm or maybe a traffic accident involving a drunk and telephone pole. Here, even in areas considered to be “24 hour” power, it can be off a few hours a week at best. Some areas are only on so many hours a week, usually in areas were no one actually has a meter or pays for the electricity.  Being without power wasn’t a huge shock, but it has it’s challenges. We were thankful to have a neighbor who offered to let us use an extension cord to plug in our fridge, while we waited.

Back to dealing with the power…. I ended up finally going down and trying to get the power on. The next hurdle was the address. The papers for the house have the address the community gave it when being built, but since then it has a street address that is nothing like it. I had to make a couple trips back and forth to get the papers changed and then stamped in a correct manner. Now, I finally had that and was able to get the account set up. They told me someone was coming out that same day to turn on the power and put in the meter. Not surprising it didn’t happen. The next day while still waiting, the neighbor said we just need to keep going down the office or it won’t happen, so taking her advise and went down again and returned home after they said someone was on their way at that moment. After waiting over an hour, they showed up!!! The technicians explained they were late after having the ladder rack re-welded to their van.  Needless to say, we had power on in about an hour after that!

Now we are in our own (rented) house and found some of the necessary furniture, minus some things I wanted to build. Praising God for guiding us through, for the friends and new friends who helped us and for the learning experiences we have had.

Now to get busy with our call…

Christmas Away

Christmas Ornament

Our family has been preparing our new Christmas tree. This is the first artificial tree we have even owned, but that is the option here. It brings that little bit of holiday tradition and warmth into the home. This year Heather, Samuel, Josiah and Silas are all making the bead covered ornaments that Jessica had made a couple of years ago. We have Christmas music playing and we are all missing family and friends.

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament

 

This will be our second Christmas away, but being over a year since we left and having both Joshua and Jeremy away, it makes it that much harder.  What we all know is that God is working in us and through us and that it is a small sacrifice in the big picture. We have taken for granted how easy it was to get together with friends and family. So this year as you gather, be blessed and remember how great of a blessing it is to have your friends or family close. And for those of you who have lost loved ones near the holidays, may God bring you His peace.

So celebrate this season, not for the things, but for the blessings God has bestowed upon you – for your families, for your friends, for those who are away from home (thinking about all those serving in the military.) Don’t let the gift buying get in the way of the “gifts” you already have. (I don’t want to keep sounding cliche, since this is spoken every year, so I will stop with this now.)

May all of you have an amazing Christmas season with many fond memories. May God fill you with His joy, that can’t be lost or stolen!

 

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree

 

Updates from the Dominican Republic

Oliveria family missionaries

This weekend we sent Heather, Samuel and Josiah back down to the capital to be part of King’s Kids again. We are seeing growth in their lives as they seek God and worship Him. They also practice the dances and dramas and are being taught by our brothers and sisters in Christ the things of the Lord.

Silas, however, is stuck with mom and dad at home. He doesn’t know what to do when the others are not around, but we hope to change this shortly when we move.

The boys at Niños de la Luz are enjoying the new home, just a few more things to finish, such as shelves for the kitchen. The house really changes the way they live together. The other building was more of separate dorms with a shared living area, this house is set up more like a normal house. We sent Jesse, who has been there for a few months helping, on his way to Buenos Aires. Watching the boys say goodbye made me not want to leave, but I believe God is calling us to move.

We were blessed this last week as Heather was baptized. Even though she was a few years ago, she felt that this was her walk and her faith and that she felt God tugging her heart to do so. This is a joyous time in a parents life whenever their children take ownership of their faith.

Please pray with us in these areas:

  • Adjusting to the culture, the language, different foods, new customs, and difficult climate.
  • Protection in travel, health, accidents, and dangerous situations.
  • Our concern for their children’s health,home-schooling, friendships. Housing accommodations, differences in living standards, and lack of accustomed conveniences.
  • Loneliness, homesickness, lack of accustomed fellowship with others
  • Interpersonal relationships, dealing with one’s (and others’) prejudice, selfishness, depending on the faithfulness of others to meet one’s financial needs.
  • Effectiveness in ministry, whatever the assignment.
  • Functioning of the tools of ministry. (computers, cars, cell-phones everything seems to break too often here.)
  • Lack of visible results; the “plowing, planting and watering” stages can go on for years! (Jeremiah preached for 23 years and no one listened. Jer 25:3)
  • The people being ministered to, the national Christians, other missionaries.
  • Need for encouragement, stability, wisdom, compassion, self-discipline, boldness, power, love, to be filled with the Spirit of God.
  • The vehicle fundraiser – that we meet the goal for a reliable vehicle.

We miss all of our friends and family and hope to visit soon. This has been one of the biggest challenges of being here, not having brought our friends with us! We miss so much the times spent fellowshipping at church or in your homes or ours.  Feel free to write us or call us anytime!