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One of the things we are going to try to do besides send out our facebook updates, is put together a monthly blog to show a little deeper about our life here in the DR than a facebook post might show. This will be our recap of August.
It's been one month since we arrived in the Dominican Republic. It seems like so much more time than that as so much has happened as we've begun the process of settling into our new home. We've had our share of trials and difficulties, but at the same time lots of blessings and joy.
The morning we left for Santiago, I had my carry-on suitcase stolen at the airport check in counter in San Antonio, Texas. Besides clothing, we lost several hundred dollars of electronics that we had packed in the carry-on for safe keeping. By the time I got on the plane to leave San Antonio, I knew I had to make a choice of whether to let this sour the beginning of our journey to the DR, or whether I would trust God and "consider it pure joy" when I faced this trial. I decided that a stolen suitcase wasn't going to rob my joy, so we set off with 8 suitcases, 3 carryon suitcases, 5 backpacks, 5 family members and our dog to our new home in the Dominican Republic.
The Trials Hit
The lost suitcase was just the beginning. We arrived to our car we had purchased breaking down 3 days after we arrived. Diana and Avery both came down with urinary track infections, and I was bitten by what we think was a poisonous spider which I'm still trying to heal from 3 weeks later. This was all in the first two weeks. Just yesterday, Avery woke up running a fever. You can say it's been an eventful month for us, but we have decided that our trials will not define our time here, and through these are spirits are high and each day we are thankful for this great country God has lead us to.
Whether it is ordering our drinking water from the colmados, heading to the local propane station to fill our car with propane gas, living with no central air or washing our dishes in cold water, there have been lots of changes. One of the biggest is probably the driving here. I actually compare it to driving in Mario Kart. I knew there was a reason I played so many hours growing up...I was developing a skill. Just like in Mario Kart, you try to get where you are going, and lanes and rules of the road don't really matter, just avoid the other cars by getting around them however you can...it's also ok to pull out in front of them trusting they will stop for you.
God has blessed us with two vehicles, a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe and a 2006 Ford Explorer. Both run on propane which is the cheaper fuel here.
The kids have gotten used to turning on our small hot water heater before shower times and turning on their room AC units before bedtime. Being a Caribbean nation, the weather is pretty hot, especially in August, so having AC to sleep with is a blessing. The kids have decided to all sleep in the same room, Avery's room, for the first month since electricity is so expensive so we only have to use one AC. We look forward to going to our bedrooms and turning on the AC at night to escape the heat of the day. Things are different, but we have begun to settle into our new normal.
Our New Normal
School has started for our family, and with that comes routine. I've been busy as STEM Coordinator for Santiago Christian School and heading up CREATE Robotics for the Dominican Republic. It's been good to make connections with schools from across the DR, and excited about what God has in store.
Logan and Avery started school at SCS last week which they are enjoying. Logan has joined the school soccer team and Avery will be joining choir. Julian is being homeschooled and will be starting guitar lessons and will be part of the keyboard club at SCS. Diana spends the mornings working for VIPKID before homeschooling Julian and getting our house put in order.
With school starting, we've really been able to settle into a good routine for our family.
Many who have followed our story know how God supernaturally connected us with Stanley Phillipe, a missionary from Haiti who has been called to pour into a Haitian refugee community in Santiago called Pontezuela. We knew when we left that God had called us to engage the needs of the city, and still feel this calling is in Pontezuela. We are taking the first few months to walk alongside Stanley and his church to hear where exactly God wants us to serve. There are so many needs, it would be easy to just jump in, but we truly want to seek God's purpose and direction for us and not just get busy serving. The church community built a community center where a school meets, english classes take place, a feeding program happens, as well as many other things. Our plan is to spend time in the community of Pontezuela praying and building relationships, asking God to make clear the doors he wants us to step through. It's a huge blessing to have the support and community of Stanley and Iglesia Multicultural as we seek God.
These are prayer requests God has answered already
We appreciate your prayers and love having you on the journey with us,
Adam, Diana, Julian, Logan, and Avery
**Below are some pics of our first month here**
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Adam, Diana, Julian, Logan and Avery Clay. Our journey of following Jesus wherever he leads us. Currently serving in the Dominican Republic