Friday, December 9, 2011

Celebrate Jesus- Merry Christmas

     A couple weeks ago our family decorated the Christmas tree together.  Well, actually, Ryan, Micah and I decorated the tree while Josiah took everything off.  After the tree was up, I spent the first few days trying to teach Josiah not to touch the tree.  But after I realized I was fighting a losing battle, I put all the fragile ornaments up high.  Now the bottom of the tree is bare and there are always a few ornaments lying around the house.  I decided that "Peace on Earth" (and in our home) was more important than a nicely decorated tree.   Josiah also has enjoyed stealing the pieces from the children's toy nativity just after Micah has it set up just right.
     But despite all of this, Micah is really excited about Christmas this year.  He has enjoyed making cookies and gingerbread houses, Christmas ornaments and even a nativity out of toilet paper rolls.  (I know you want a toilet paper roll nativity too.  But this is one of a kind.  You can't have it.   Don't be jealous.)  Micah looks forward to visiting family in the US, having a little break from school and going to Disney World for the first time.
   With all this busy-ness it is easy to forget about Christmas.  How complicated can we possibly make Christmas?  How simple was that first Christmas? Jesus, God in flesh came to this earth as a baby, a naked little baby.  He lay in a manger, a animal's feeding trough, and was wrapped in clothes.  And though angels filled the night sky with song, it was the simple shepherds that took note of them and came to see the baby.  Why didn't anyone else come? Maybe they were too busy to notice the angels or just too busy for their message.
   I love celebrating the ways I did when I was young and I love making new traditions with my children and husband.  I just think that we need to be aware that sometimes we are celebrating our family, our childhood, and our friendships when we say we are celebrating our Lord.  I pray that our family despite our busy-ness will be able to celebrate Jesus this Christmas.  I pray we will not be too busy to join the angels in sharing the Good News.  I am not exactly sure what that looks likes to celebrate Jesus at Christmas without busying myself with another activity.  But I pray that I will be able to figure out what it means and be able to teach it to my children.   I pray while we host teams, hop planes, visit family, go to amusement parks, build gingerbread houses, decorate cookies and open gifts, we think of a simple Christmas and we learn how to celebrate Jesus.  I hope the same for you and your family too.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, August 19, 2011


We have been busy hosting teams, squeezed in a little vacation and even managed to move since I last blogged.  This evening we will welcome Andrew Butz to the EDCM team as he will be heading up the new camp project.  Sometimes we are too busy living life to blog about it!  But I will be blogging really soon.  Well . . .maybe not THAT soon since we still don't have internet at the new house.  But the next few weeks look a little less hectic and I will try to share with you all a bit more about what God is doing in our lives here in the DR.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ryan Hospitalized

I can start out by saying that we can praise God that Ryan is back at home and taking it easy.  But the poor guy has had a rough few weeks.  It all started three weeks ago when after returning from Punta Cana he spiked a fever.  Through the next few days his fever came and went and he developed a hacking cough.  After weeks of misery, he finally gave in and went to the doctor.  The doctor ran a few tests and determined that he had bronchitis, a urinary tract and kidney infection.  Further tests ruled out malaria.  (Praise God!) He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday morning and was released this afternoon.  We praise God for a good doctor, Dr. Chalas and the staff at The Good Samaritan Hospital for caring for Ryan.  But we also are thankful that he is well enough to be back home.  Please pray for Ryan's continued improvement as he still is recovering.     

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thank You Suncrest!

Children's Activity in Higuey

Breanna sharing the story of Joseph

Dominican and Suncrest youth with a group of children in Punta Cana

New friends working together in Punta Cana
Thank you Suncrest for your time of service here in the Dominican Republic. You all are a great group. You guys stepped out of your comfort zones to serve the Dominicans.  First at a VBS with over 100 kids in Higuey and then at camp with the La Romana youth.  You fought through language and cultural barriers and made new friends.  Suncrest youth and La Romana worked together beautifully to offer an activity to large group of children in Punta Cana.  I hope that you will continue your attitude of service now you are back in the USA.  I pray that you will each be bold in your faith as you face your own challenges at home.  I am proud of what you accomplished here and I know that God will continue to work in you as you become the men and women God created you to be.   

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thank You Central Church of Christ!

Painting in Villa Hermosa
We kicked off our summer of work teams with a team from Central Church of Christ in Streator, IL.  They arrived the week we acquired a new site for the church in Villa Hermosa.  God's timing was perfect.   The team spent their first two days painting and hosted a children's activity the second afternoon.  It was a packed house and a great way to introduce the church to the community.

Full house in the new building in Villa Hermosa

The team also carried out children's activities at the churches in La Romana and Punta Cana.  Their time flew by and we are thankful for their time here.  We look forward for a continued partnership in the future.

Showing off their craft in La Romana
Coloring pages in La Romana

For more pictures go to Eastern Dominican Christian Mission on facebook or follow this link Central Church of Christ, Streator, IL

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cristo Urbano in the east

Cristo Urbano is a collaboration of Christian rap and hip hop artists that desire to bring glory to God by sharing their talents.  The group traveled from their home base in Santiago to share with us in the east.  Friday night they arrived in Higuey to offer a free concert at the new church plant there.  Unfortunately after a few hours of waiting at the new church site in the rain, they had to cancel due to not having power.  It was a disappointment for the few that had braved the storm.  However, the following night Cristo Urbano was able to perform at the church in La Romana.  It was an event that helped bring together young Christians from various denominations in La Romana to worship God while having fun.  We look forward to uniting together more with our brothers and sisters from the western part of the country to work together in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraging those that already know Jesus.        

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I know what you are thinking! Behind again! Mother's Day was a month ago.  But here in the Dominican Republic we celebrate Mother's Day on the last Sunday in May, so it was just last week.  And here it is a BIG deal! For some mothers, Mother's Day is a bigger deal than Christmas.  The stores are filled with special offers on everything from ovens to jewelery.  And the gift is a big part of how Dominicans celebrate Mother's Day.  A friend of mine received a new flatscreen television and numerous new cooking crocs for the kitchen.  I was given three beautiful house plants.

Micah's class presenting the solar system
Micah's school has a special Mother's Day program on the Friday before the holiday.  Songs about how mothers are pretty and loved made each mother beam.  Cake and snacks of empanadas, pimento cheese sandwiches and fried yucca were service after the show and each mother received a card made by their child.  
Me and Micah with my Mother's Day Card
Each of the churches that are a part of Eastern Dominican Christian Mission celebrated with the women of the churches as well.  In La Romana invited the church of Pica Piedras/Villa Hermosa to join together for the morning service.  Gifts were made by the children during Sunday school and additional gifts of baskets of sweets were given out to all mothers during the church service.  In Punta Cana, they celebrated the Saturday before with a special program.  In addition all mothers were photographed with their children and they will receive the pictures this Sunday at the church service.  In Higuey the children made a gift for their mothers and they has a special lunch for the mothers after the morning service.  
Special poem for mothers

Feliz dia de la madre!

Special music by RL and Marlene (see the gifts)

(And just so you know, we celebrate Father's Day the last Sunday in July.  So you won't be reading about Father's Day for a little while.  And sorry dads, it just isn't a very big deal here.  ;) )

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Ministry Launched in Higuey

Last Sunday, May 22 the new church in Higuey met for the first time for Sunday morning services.  The city of Higuey is located in the middle of La Romana and Punta Cana.  It is a city that is full of religious tradition much surrounding the catholic church. but very few know Jesus as their personal savior.  The new church plant is located on the edge of town where a more rural area meets the motorcycle filled streets.  On Sunday 230 were counted present during the service.  We celebrated the first service with brothers and sisters from the congregations in Punta Cana, La Romana and even a three brothers from the United States. It was a wonderful experience to worship together through singing, dancing and even mime! The minister Victor Hernandez shared a message about his dream for God to transform the community of Villa Cero in Higuey.  I pray that is your dream too. 

Pray for the people in Villa Cero, Higuey.  Pray that God prepares their hearts to accept the word of God.  Pray that God will touch the community and transform lives.  Pray that Satan will be powerless against those spreading the truth.

Please pray for Victor Hernandez and his family, wife Heidy, daughter Abigail and son Cristian as they are just beginning a new ministry.  Pray for the oldest son and his family still living in Costa Rica as they anticipate the arrival of a second child in January.  Pray that God will bless the entire family with friends. Pray they will continue to burn with a passion to reach the people in Higuey.  Pray they will have the discernment to know when to rest and when to press on.  Pray for perseverance to endure difficult times that are ahead.   
Pray when ever you think of it and about whatever God lays on your heart.
Pray. . .pray. . .pray!  
We rejoice in the beginning of a new church plant and can't wait to see how God will amaze us!

(Thanks to Greg Sexton for the photos.  My camera died right before the service began!)

A new start. . . kinda

I have been such a bad blogger! I have intended to back track and to share what has been going on (see last blog in Feb).  But I have been a bit overwhelmed so I am just going to start anew.  Sorry for what I failed to share in the past few months.  I PROMISE I will be better in the future! Starting today!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Back tracking a bit

When I first began blogging, I was much more faithful in sharing with you all our experiences as new missionaries.  Since I began blogging, we have left to the US to attend language school, completed language school, returned to the US before heading off to the Dominican Republic, headed off to the Dominican Republic, settled into our new home, hosted many teams, had a baby, celebrated Christmas in the DR for the first time and we are only into our third year as missionaries.  (Just to mention a few of the highlights.)  I have tried to blog along the way but have gotten terrible about doing it more regularly.  So I am going to do a little back tracking.  There are a few things we have experienced in the past months that I would like to share.  So please don't be confused as my posts will be about happening in December and January.  You're not behind, I am.