Thursday, December 9, 2010

Josiah's arrival

On September 23, we welcomed Josiah into this world.  His arrival started in normal way.  Around lunch time I went into labor, things progressed normally through the afternoon and evening and around 9:30pm we headed to the hospital.  While I was pushing, I was experiencing a lot of pain even though I had an epidural.  (Yes, we have epidurals here.)  And then Josiah's heart rate dropped.  I was rushed into surgery for an emergency c-section.  Once in surgery the doctor discovered a tear in my uterus originating from my previous c-section scar.  Then when removing the baby my uterus ruptured, a rare but potential life threatening complication when attempting a vaginal birth after a cesarean delivery.  Josiah emerged a bit sluggish but after 30 minutes or so of oxygen,  he was fine.    My doctor, and also great surgeon, was able to repair the ruptured uterus after a couple hours of surgery.  I lost a lot of blood during the surgery and so the following morning I received two pints of blood (one pint from my loving husband).  After four days in the hospital, I returned home with my new baby boy.  A couple days after that I returned to the hospital for a outpatient procedure to treat the spinal headache I had been having.  In the following days, I began to feel sick and called my doctor and let her know I thought I had a bladder infection.  After a few days of antibiotics, I felt worse and returned to the hospital.   I was diagnosed with a bladder infection, as well as an infection of the endometrium and anemia.  I was admitted to the hospital for a few days during which time my mother-in-law returned to the US leaving Ryan alone with the two boys.  I was anxious to get better to return home to my family but once I was home, I still was not well.  At the time I did not know that I had an abscess growing inside of me.  After about a week more, the abscess ruptured causing my c-section scar to open.  So once again I returned to the hospital.  Upon admission, I was diagnosed with severe anemia as well as the ruptured abscess.  Due to the anemia I received two more pints of blood (one pint from Victor Jimenez, the pastor at La Romana).  During my hospital stay my mother arrived from the US.  After a few days, I returned home again.  After all the complications, I am enjoying being at home enjoying my family.  Josiah is a precious baby and I am thankful for his health and good temperment.  In general, Micah has done very well adjusting to a new brother during all this other craziness.  And Ryan and I have been blessed by seeing God's love for us through the body of Christ here in the DR and those in the US that have lifted us up in prayer.  It has been a long, difficult couple months.  But I have been encouraged to see God's faithfulness in action and in a personal way.                              

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Great Summer of Teams

We have had a great time hosting work teams over the summer.  Here are just a few pictures from Colonial Heights, Plum Creek, River Valley, Central Christian and New Hope.  To see more pictures, check out Eastern Dominican Christian Mission on facebook. 
Alisa from Central Christian Church with some children from Punta Cana

Colonial Heights work team in front of the clinic in La Romana

Youth from La Romana and Plum Creek leading games at Punta Cana

Jessica from River Valley providing dental care in La Romana

Monday, August 9, 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day is celebrated the last Sunday in July here in the Dominican Republic.  The Saturday evening before Father's Day, the ladies group of the La Romana church had a special dinner for fathers at the York's home.  Then the youth of the La Romana church planned and carried out the Sunday morning service.  Here are a few pictures from the morning service.
Ricardo Luis shared a touching message about God's greatness as our heavenly father as well as a few musical specials.

Many dance and musical specials were shared in honor of our earthly fathers, glorifying our heavenly father.
Link to Father's Day photos on Eastern Dominican Christian Mission on Facebook

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mother's Day

RL and Sharina singing a special  about mothers
Some of the girls recited a poem  
Mother's Day is celebrated in the Dominican Republic the last Sunday in May.  The church in La Romana had quite a few special activities during the service to celebrate Mother's Day.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

A panel of mothers entertained questions from Victor and Ric as well as the church members

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mother's Day Beauty Salon

To celebrate Mother's Day, the Ladies' Group at the La Romana Church offered a free beauty salon to the women of the church and nearby community.  The ladies offered pedicures, hair color and cuts and of course new styles.  A few professionals helped but most services were offered by the women of the church.  It was a great way to make moms feel special for their special day and reach out to the community.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Before we left the US I probably could have counted on one hand the number of times I had eaten a mango.  While in language school in Costa Rica, we bought mangoes at the local market.  I would make a mango salsa that was a variation of a recipe from my dad.  When we moved to the Dominican Republic in January, someone pointed out to us the mango trees in our yard.  Since we share a yard with two other families, I had hoped that there would be enough mangoes for us to have a few when the season came.  Well, the season is here and we are up to our eyeballs in mangoes! I had no clue how many mangoes a tree could produce! So we have enjoyed mangoes in many shapes and sorts over the past week.  Our 3 year old son enjoys eating them chilled and then peeled.  He usually takes his shirt off first as the juice runs all over his hands and down his face and neck.  I have made mango juice, mango salsa, mango cobbler and a mango oatmeal breakfast drink (my least favorite recipe).  I suppose I'll keep trying new recipes as the mangoes keep coming.  The tree is still full of mangoes that aren't ripe yet, so I think we might have a few more weeks of mango madness.

This is progress

This large dirty, rocky area once was a pool.  If you have even been to the community center where the church in La Romana meets, you've seen this HUGE pool.  The shallow end was over six feet deep and I have no clue how deep the deepest end was.  It was deep enough that a tree had gown in it.  The pool was closed after the first season in use due to numerous deaths.  So the empty pool has sat behind the center for decades now, still a major hazard.  A few previous attempts have been made to fill the pool but because it was SO deep a concerted effort was needed to get the job done.  After 25 truck loads of dirt, the pool was finally filled!  We now can make plans to use the area behind the center to serve those using the clinic and the community around it.

We celebrate new believers! May 2, 2010

On May second following the morning worship service at the Christian church in La Romana, six people dedicated their lives to Christ and were baptized. Due to the logistics of it all, we are unable to keep a baptistry filled with water at the church. So a large kiddie pool was brought in for the special occasion. Before the service, the pool was inflated and set up outside on the front lawn of the church building. During the service a large water truck arrived and filled it. After the service the congregation moved outside for a time of devotion and prayer before the baptisms. Then together, the pastor and two elders of the church baptized our new brothers and sisters. Following the baptisms we sang songs of praise as we welcomed our new believers into the body of Christ. My heart always rejoices when people come into the saving grace of Jesus.


Sunday, May 2, 2010


April 1-4, 33 youth and young adults from the Christian Church in La Romana met up with hundreds of other Christian brothers and sisters at a camp in western part of the country. Together we worshiped, studied and just had a good time. Ryan had the opportunity to teach a class to the youth on worship. And to fill a unexpected need, I translated a class for married women. Minta, a sister in Christ from Virginia, taught about marriage one day and prayer the next. We were blessed by the work team from Winchester, VA that offered activities for the children while the adults and youth had our morning classes. Our son loved the attention and enjoyed making new friends that speak English. Throughout the weekend, we enjoyed meeting new people that are from our home state as well as people from all over the country of the Dominican Republic. The final night, some of the youth from La Romana cooked up a traditional Eastern Dominican Easter dish of dumplings. However, these dumplings were NOT like any I had eaten before. These were served up with sardines and tomato sauce. It was a "cultural experience" for sure. Overall, the extended weekend was a great opportunity for all present. Ryan and I got to know the youth better and see many of them demonstrate their great strength as leaders. It was exciting to see the youth in action as many of the youth at camp are those we hope to become leaders in the churches as the Word is spread throughout the country. Easter morning worship at camp.

For more camp pictures, check out our album on facebook.

Leadership Graduation

To wrap up a busy weekend, on March 21 a group at the La Romana church celebrated their completion of a 12 week leadership course. The minister, Victor Jimenez taught the class "Purpose Driven Leadership". The celebration took place during both the Sunday school and church hours. It was a VERY big deal. All participants dressed in official graduate cap and gown and were issued a certificate for their completion of the course. Their first responsibility as new leaders was planning and carry out the Easter weekend services. I am sure that God has plenty more in store for these leaders. Congratulations Leaders! The class of graduates with their teacher, Victor Jimenez (pictured to the right in a suit), and minister of the church in Punta Cana and event MC, Franklin Francisco (pictured to the right in a white shirt)

Check out more pictures from graduation on facebook by clicking on this link

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vision Clinic

On March 20, a vision clinic was held at the Centro Mutualista where the La Romana church meets. In previous days, tickets were passed out to church members and member of the community that were interested in having their vision checked and/or in need of eye glasses. Minister's wife, Yudermy (pictured above in brown shirt)played a large role in organizing the event. A local eye doctor volunteered her services for eye exams while numerous church members helped organize and distribute the eye glasses that had been donated from the US. People got to try out their new glasses by reading scripture and information about church ministries was also passed out. Almost 100 people were seen just that morning!It was a great opportunity for the local church in La Romana to cooperate with community center in which they meet. It was also a wonderful way for the community to be blessed by those in the church willing to volunteer their time and help others.

Youth Fundraiser for Camp- A Concert

The youth at the church in La Romana attend camp each year during there Easter Break. This year the cost per person was about $55 and each person is responsible for paying his own part. For many of the youth that is an expense they cannot afford. So the youth came up with a number of ideas help defer the cost of camp. Two sisters baked cookies and sold them to the students at their school. A couple young men worked with an American work team that helped finance their trip. Others worked in peoples homes, cooking, cleaning and babysitting. The youth had a night at church when you could pay to make someone preform or you could pay to keep yourself from having to. (Ryan and Micah were paid to sing and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame") Over the months, the youth chipped away at the cost for camp. Then on March 19 they had "La Reunion", a concert. The youth themselves organized, planned and sold tickets for the concert. Ryan and I were concerned when we arrived at the church at 7:00, the time scheduled for the concert to begin, and no one was there. But an hour later the musicians began to arrive and by 8:30 or 9:00 there was music. Two youth were part of the talent line-up that included other Christian artists from the eastern part of the country. The style of music was rap and hip-hop. The church was packed with young people from all over. During the concert there was a snack stand that sold food and drinks also to raise money. It was a great success and the youth also had a great time. First picture is of youth sponsor and elder Wandy with youth performer, Marlen before the concert. The second picture is of youth,Ricardo Luis, performing at the concert.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bad Blogger!

I apologize that I have been a bad blogger. I guess it is a good sign that we have been busy. Keep posted, I will try to update you all this week and next.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thank you, teams!

This morning we said good bye to another work team from the United States. Though they probably have made it to Punta Cana by now, they will work there until Saturday before they head back to Erie,IL. They were a small team of just 6, but with a lot of great skills that were put to use in the medical clinic at the center where the La Romana church meets. In previous months since we arrived, other work teams have also volunteered their time and skills to serve the people of the Dominican Republic through Eastern Dominican Christian Mission. The mission has hosted, farmers, a doctor, nurses, salesmen, ministers, concrete layers, a horse trainer and students, to name just a few. And each person has offered something special that has touched the ministry here in a unique way. So thank you CCU, Cogan Station, Pomona and Erie. We thank you for your work here. We pray that you will continue to share in our ministry here in the Dominican Republic and that your lives have been touched as you have touched ours. If you have plans to be a part of the one of the work teams coming this year, we look forward to seeing how God will use your own talents and gifts to serve God here in the Dominican Republic. If you are interested in being a part of a team, contact Ryan at to discuss how your small group can serve.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We are connected!

Finally after much ado. . . we have internet in our new home in La Romana, Dominican Republic. We hope to keep you better updated as we begin our new ministry with Eastern Dominican Christian Mission.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Please pray!

Haiti: Please pray for the people of Haiti. My heart goes out to the people. However compassion does not help, only action. Please ask God to help us know what we can do to serve the people of Haiti, our new neighbors on the island of Hispanola. Also pray that God will lead you in helping you know what you can do to help. Our home: Please pray that God will bless our new home here in the DR. Pray that we are able to make an impact for Him in our new neighborhood, Buena Vista, our new city, La Romana, and our new country, the Dominican Republic. Our physical needs: Please pray that God will continue to bless us financially. We received a lot of financial support while we were in the United States from friends, family and churches. However, we still need to raise more support so that we will be able to buy a car and furnish our home.

What a week!

This past week began in the United States. Looking back, it is crazy that so much happened in one week! Sunday morning we were blessed to be in McCoy, Virginia where we had the opportunity to share with Community Christian Church what God is doin in the DR. By that afternoon we were back in Roanoke packing up to get ready to leave for the DR. Monday afternoon, my mom and stepdad arrived in Roanoke, not just to visit, but because they are actually moving to Roanoke! After pedicures with my mom, we met up for dinner with my brother and sister and her family. Then back to the house for last minute packing. Tuesday we packed up and just before we headed out to the airport in Greensborough, we heard the awful news of the earthquake in Haiti. For those that may not know, my family established an orphanage in Haiti. Unable to contact anyone we knew in Haiti, we prayed that the children and staff were safe. (We later heard that they were all okay. Wednesday morning we got up before the sun and ushered our 9 suitcases to the airport. We were blessed by the woman at the counter who did not charge us for overweight bags or our three extra bags. A savings of $400! She asked us to help someone in need in return. By that afternoon, we arrived in the DR. With all our luggage and without any problems. Wednesday night Ryan headed over to the church where they had a prayer meeting for the people of Haiti and Micah and I crashed at Rick and Suzanne's (our mssionary teammates)too tired to go out again. Thursday, we found an apartment, got health insurance and started to price our household furnishings. The apartment is in a great area with large homes and spacious yards. Our apartment is a duplex that shares a lot with another duplex. It has a large living area and a big back yard that we share with our neighbors. It is a great place for our family and we look forward to being able to move in. Right now we are staying with Rick and Suzanne until we are able to get it ready and buy the necessary furnishings. Friday, we signed the renters contract and received the keys. Saturday, we spent the day cleaning the apartment, and I spent the afternoon with some of the women of the church while Ryan cleaned some more. Ryan spent the evening at a men's Bible study. Today, we spent the morning worshipping with the Body of Christ here in La Romana and tonight we will prepare for the work team that will arrive tomorrow. Wow! What a week! I will keep you all posted as we get settled in and I hope to have some pictures of the house once we get settled.