Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

While I was praising God for Franklin and Ilonka's new home, God was working through our "Big Brother", Jason to find us a home in Costa Rica. Jason notified us today, that a deposit has been made and we now have a home. We are so excited that God continues to make a clear path for us as we plan to start language school in just a couple weeks. The best part of the house is that we have an extra bedroom, so visitors are welcome! I hope we'll see some of you in Costa Rica.
I tried to put pictures on here but couldn't. If you want, you can visit the website set up by Jason. The passwords are both costarica. Creative, huh?!?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Costa Rica- My Home"

Recently we checked out a children's book from the library about Costa Rica to help facilitate our family discussion about our move. The book is called, "Costa Rica- My Home". Well, Micah immediately was drawn to the little girl in the book. In the story, the little girl lived outside of the city and helped her parents manage a small farm and family business. As I read the book to Micah, I explained to him that after Christmas we too would be living in Costa Rica. I told him about his new house, new school, new teachers, new church and new friends. After a few minutes I noticed Micah's attention span was fading fast, so I decided to quiz him. "So where are we moving after Christmas?" I asked. "Osta Ica, my home," Micah replied mimicking the title of the book. "That's right. And when we move there, there will be lots of new things, like. . . ?" "Animals," he answered. "Animals? Well there may be some animals there but what other new things will be there?" "New cows. . . ummm. . . new pigs. . . ummm. . . new horse. . . new animals. . . ummm. . . . . ummm. . . . . Mommy and Daddy," he stated proudly. Then I realized that Micah was reporting back the things he had read about in the story plus Mommy and Daddy. That's all he knew of Costa Rica yet he still was genuinely excited to go there. All he had to go on was the security of his mom and dad and a little bit more information and he was ready to go. Micah reminds me of how we should be as we prepare to leave for Costa Rica. We have the security of our Father and a little bit of information about what he has planned for us. Instead of worrying about the details of our house and what we should pack, we should be excited to know that God has lots of things planned for us as we follow His will. Please pray for our family as we prepare to move. Ask God to remind us that regardless of all the new things that may be in store for us and all the details that remain unknown, God will be with us in Costa Rica- My Home.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome Home!

When the team from NHCC left the Dominican Republic in November, the new parsonage was near completion. The team had accomplished a lot but there were still a few details left that prevented Franklin and Ilonka from being able to move in.

At the beginning of December, another team from Illinois arrived in the Dominican Republic to pick up where the NHCC team left off. I just received an update from Joni Colle, one of our board members as well as a member on the Illinois team. She was glad to announce that the parsonage is now occupied by Franklin and his family. Their first night in the house was December 11.

As Joni recalled in her email, the home is a beacon in the darkness of a developing town. A home built among the "plywood village" of transitional housing, it represents Franklin and his family's long term commitment to ministering to the people in Veron, Punta Cana. It draws people to the church and hopefully to Christ. How cool! And you thought it was just a house. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What a trip!

Well, we are back from our short-term trip to the DR and we had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday. I went to the Punta Cana church plant for one week with 14 of my brothers and 1 sister from New Hope Christian Church. We did major landscaping for the sight which was greatly needed. We made a vegetable garden, a beautiful back yard, flower bed around the church tent, planted flowers everywhere, electrical work, painted the entire house, and tiled both bathrooms. Yeah, the team worked their tails off and accomplished a lot. This team worked extremely hard and I was very proud to be a part of it. A HUGE thanks to all of the team members for working so hard and for accomplishing so much. God really used you and you had a major impact of the community of PC.
Franklin and Illonka seem to be doing well. They are incredible children of God and EDCM is blessed to have them as the ministers to the Punta Cana area. Please continue to pray for the Punta Cana church plant, Franklin's family, and the entire DR country. We look forward to returning to the DR some time next year, speaking Spanish!! Thanks for praying for us.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

They're back. . .

So Ryan and the gang have been home for almost a week now. He promises to update the blog soon. We've been busy enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with our friends and some out of town family too so no apologies, just excuses!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

They have arrived

I spoke to Ryan yesterday and things are going good so far. They arrived Monday afternoon without any major problems during their travels. The team had quite a few member that had not travelled outside of the country before and they were all settling in and busy at work. They were a bit disappointed to discover the house wasn't as far in completion as they hope so they will not be able to move the family in this week. However, there still is plenty of work and they are excited about serving. God has really blessed the team by sending a professional landscaper, Jason Lucas with them. It appears that landscaping around the home will be a large part of what they hope to accomplish. I will continue to keep you updated as I am updated too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Headed to the DR

In just five days Ryan will be departing with a work team from New Hope Christian Church to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The team is excited to be working on the final projects for the parsonage located on the new church site in Punta Cana. Please keep the team in your prayers as they travel to the DR to serve the people there. Please also pray for Franklin, Ilonka, Christopher and Alondra, the family that will be moving into the new home so that they may better serve the church of Punta Cana.
Ilonka and Franklin with their children Alondra and Christopher last year.
Ryan ,Micah and Christopher at the construction site in August. - Plans for the work team this upcoming week include the completion of the house and helping the family move into their new home.
We will update you with more pictures after Ryan returns.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Last week, I (Erin) wished my co-workers farewell as my part-time position as a parent educator with First Steps ended. This is an exciting time for us as we go out in faith that God will continue to provide financially for our family since we no longer have an outside income beyond the support from churches and individuals giving to EDCM. I am surprisingly calm about our finances. I guess it is because I look forward to seeing the way God will meet our needs. Please pray specifically for our finacial needs as we are still waiting replies from a few churches as to if and how they may be able to support our ministry. Love, Erin

Friday, September 12, 2008

EDCM at Work

Here are some pictures of the work of Eastern Dominican Christian Mission: 1. Construstion Picture:The construction is our church plant in Punta Cana where Franklin and Illonka are ministering. This particular building will be the parsonage that they will live in while ministering in Punta Cana. 2. The Map: This map just gives you an idea of the the location of La Romana (where we will be living) and the surrounding cities. 3. The Man Picture: The men in the picture are the elders at the La Romana Church. These are Godly men that see through the eyes of Jesus. Please pray for these men as they try to lead their congregation to Jesus. 4. Party Picture: This pic was taken the last night we were in the DR in August. We had the elders and Victor's family over to Rick and Suzanne's to celebrate anniversaries. We had a great time!
Please continue to pray for EDCM and the work God is doing through them in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Hello readers and welcome to the VandeLinde Family blog!! We are new missionaries serving the Dominican Republic and we are going to use this blogspot to keep our friends, family, and partners informed about how God is moving in our lives and in our ministry. We are excited about where God is taking our family and what He is going to do through us in the future. We thank you for reading our blog and being interested in what God is doing in our family and in the Dominican Republic. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!