This summer has been a busy summer for our family. Even though we are still here in the DR, this was our summer of goodbyes. We have said goodbye to close family friends we served with here that returned to the States, said goodbye to our house of the last two years, said goodbye to our dog Sunshine who we had for almost 14 years, and not only said goodbye to the school I served at the last few years, but also to being a classroom Computer Science teacher where I've ministered to students the last 14 years. Goodbyes are hard, but without them, you don't get to the new beginnings that God has in store.
After all the goodbyes, we have now found ourselves with exciting new beginnings.
A new home: God has blessed us by helping us find a new house in a safe neighborhood only minutes away from the community center in Pontezuela where we are serving. Major differences for us have been that every night people are out walking and kids are riding bikes. Our kids have gotten to talk and ride bikes with some of the neighborhood kids already, and we've met more neighbors on our nightly walks then we ever got to meet in our other neighborhood. While electricity and water isn't as consistent as in our other home, we've been able to figure out how to call water trucks when our cistern is low (pic below) and our electric inverter for emergency power definitely gets it's work out here. We are so thankful for this house we get to call home.
New ministries: While we have been involved with Jubilee Community Center and our church ICM the last two years, we now have the opportunity to focus more of our time into working more closely with them and helping the Haitian immigrants here in the DR. Diana and I have had the privilege of launching a Micro-finance ministry where we approve small $300 business loans and help mentor people in the community in starting or growing their businesses. We launched last month and currently have 4 people in the program.
Over the last year, we have helped build a laptop computer lab for the community, and in September will begin offering basic computer skills courses to people in the community. Simply learning how to type and use Microsoft Office can provide skills needed for someone to get a better paying job.
Last semester, Diana and Avery had the opportunity to get together twice a week with girls in the community who were making handicrafts to sell. They plan to get involved in working with, loving and mentoring these girls again as the school year here gets started.
We are also praying through and exploring some other ministry opportunities such as teaching in the prisons. I was able to visit two different prisons over the last two weeks. I had the opportunity to participate in a graduation ceremony for prisoners who had completed Biblical courses, and in a Bible Bowl type competition between two prisons. I was struck by how open and receptive these prisoners were in their classes.
New School: We decided to move the kids to an online school this year. Julian (9th grade), Logan (7th Grade) and Avery (4th grade) are attending Acellus Academy, an online K-12 school out of Kansas City. They love the freedom of getting up and being done by 11am each day and having the afternoon free to hang out and serve at the community center. Logan has enjoyed playing basketball, and Avery has enjoyed soccer, so we are hoping to enroll them in sports beginning in September. The hardest part for them has been losing some of their friends that returned home to the states (a normal part of missionary life), and not having the consistent everyday friendships that in person school provides. Please pray for good, meaningful friendships for the kids.
New Way To Pay The Bills: When Adam left SCS, we stepped out in faith trusting that the Lord would provide for our needs if he was calling us to stay here. We are so thankful for how many of you reached out with monthly and one time gifts. The Lord was also faithful in providing Diana and I the opportunity to find part time contract jobs as adjunct teachers working for online schools in the States...Diana teaching Spanish and me teaching AP Computer Science. These jobs will allow us to work in the morning and have the afternoons free for serving here. Our pay does depend on student enrollment in these classes, and we won't know how many students we will get yet, but we are trusting that between your faithful support and these part time positions that we will have enough. Please be in prayer for enough student enrollments over the next few weeks. Also, we would love for you to prayerfully consider joining our financial support team by clicking here.