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