Monday, December 27, 2010

Pictures From Magi Week

Mom and I ready for her first trip to the Dominican!

The kids at Acapulco school ready for Santa to come!

Two sweet little girls who loved their gifts!

The Princesas decorated me like a Christmas tree!  It was so much fun!

I love these boys.  They are so much fun to be around, and they always put a smile on my face!

This was our whole team for the week.  We had a blast together!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A "MAGI"cal Week

This past Saturday, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic with my mom.  The Dominican is a place I've always wanted my family to be able to experience, and to have my mother come with me was such a blessing.  It was so wonderful for her to finally be able to meet all of these people I had told her about and see all of the places I had tried to describe to her.  We had a wonderful week together, and I'm so glad she now knows why I want to move there.

Our week was spent dropping off Magi boxes for the kids of the Dominican Republic.  We did four separate drops, and each one was a blast.  All of the kids we saw and interacted with were so sweet and grateful for the gifts we gave them.  There is nothing like playing "Santa Claus" and seeing a kid's eyes light up when you hand them a present.  While Magi was a blast, it is also sad to think that this might be the only present these kids get for an entire year.  It really serves as a reminder of just how blessed we are.

Seeing all of the kids I got so close to this summer was probably one of my favorite parts of this trip.  They have all grown up so much in just a matter of a few months, but they are still the same kids at heart.  Jordan, a boy I interned with this summer, and I got to lead singing Sunday night at movie night, and it was so much fun!  I love spending time with all of those kids and just playing with them.  On Monday night, we had a Christmas party for the Princesas and Pescadores, the older boys and girls in Rio San Juan.  It was a blast!  We played games, gave out gifts, had ice cream, and I even got decorated like a Christmas tree.  It was hysterical and probably one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Jordan, Jarred (Jordan's brother), Mom, and I were able to walk through Bobita one afternoon and visit with all of those amazing people.  I think we literally drank our weight in coffee, but it was worth it.  No matter how many times I go to the Dominican, I'm still amazed at how gracious and hospitable the people there are.  Each person we saw invited us in and genuinely wanted to catch up with us and wanted us to stay for a while.  That's one of my favorite things about the people there.

Leaving the Dominican is always tough, but this time seemed a little bit easier.  I'm grateful for this trip, and I'm so happy my mom was able to experience it with me.  I'm excited about moving to the Dominican, and this trip just further confirmed that that is where I need to be.  Please keep Rachel, Evan, Porfi, Carla, Abi, Dani, and Norm in your prayers as they'll all be traveling the next few days to be with their families for Christmas.  Also, keep Chad, Ronald, and Rosi in your prayers as they are staying in the Dominican and will be away from their families for Christmas.  I'll try to post pictures of our trip soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What The Lord Has Done In Me

Well...I'm back to writing a blog after about a five month hiatus.  For some reason, I don't feel like my life in the States is blog-worthy.  However, though I'm still in the States, I finally feel like I have something to write about.  As some of you know, the Lord has placed it on my heart to move to the Dominican Republic and teach at Manna Christian School which will begin in the fall of 2011.  As of now, the plan is for me to move at the end of June and stay there for two years.  I am so excited, and I feel so blessed that God has shown me how I can serve Him and His people doing something that I absolutely love to do.  I feel honored to be joining the Manna team, and I know this experience will shape me for the rest of my life.

I am currently in the process of fundraising which has proven to be somewhat stressful.  Pray that I will trust in the Lord to provide as He has done time and time again.  I also ask that if you are interested in helping with this effort that you will contact me.  My email address is and I would love to hear from you!  And as always...prayers are much appreciated and needed.

My plan is to use this blog to keep friends and family up to date on my life as I prepare to go to the Dominican and while I am there for a few years.  I will try my best to keep everything current and exciting.  Thank you all for your love, support, and encouragement.  Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this next phase in my life.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saying Goodbye

I cannot believe the summer is over. It seems like just yesterday I was packing my bags and preparing to leave. God has worked through me and in me this summer, and words cannot express how much I will miss the Dominican Republic and the people there. I have learned so much and have truly come to know God and the power that He can have in our lives. I have learned the importance of prayer and inviting God into every situation we encounter. I have seen the Holy Spirit at work in my life and in the work we did this summer. I have met and formed relationships with some of the most incredible people on the face of this earth. I know God is at work in my life, and I pray that I will be able to hear His voice and see where it is He wants me to be and where it is He wants me to serve.

This summer was the most incredible experience of my life. Thank you all so much for the prayers, messages, thoughts, and kind words that you sent throughout the summer. You do not know how much I appreciate each and every one of you and I am so grateful for each of you. Please continue to keep the missionaries in your prayers that are still there. Thank you for keeping up with my adventures on this blog. I pray that it blessed your life in some way. Love you all so much.

Westminster at Work

Me and Patricia, a sweet little girl I met at community day.

Some of my favorite girls in Rio San Juan. They greet me every time we arrive in Rio San Juan, and I love it!

Me and Ranger.

My incredible group for the week.

The wonderful group from Westminster.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cloverdale Captured on Camera

My favorite girls in the DR...Rosanni, Estefani, Yerdali, and Migelina.

Dylan, one of the kids from Cloverdale, did a magic show for the kids at the VBS. They loved it!

Me and sweet Keiri.

The incredible group from Cloverdale! I loved this group so much!

My amazing group for the week!

Luke, me, and Jeremy after a tough day of work!

Me and sweet Glenn.

All of the interns on our last day at the beach together. Glenn, me, Jordan, Audrey, Carter, and Nikki. These people have changed my life.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Goodbye Glenn

Well, this past Tuesday we had to say goodbye to one of our interns. Glenn, who is from Jackson, TN, had to go home early because he has pneumonia. It was so hard to say goodbye, especially when it was so unexpected. It just made the fact that we are all leaving soon become that much more real. It's going to be so hard to leave this place I have come to love so much. Please keep all of the interns in your prayers as we prepare to say goodbye.

I will try to post pictures soon from this past group from Cloverdale. Our final group is here this week! Please keep them in your prayers as we finish out the summer. Love and miss you all!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Random Photos From a Random Week - Highland View, Maricamp, Carbondale, and Clear Creek

Me and little Dominican bif. :)

A view of the fort where we eat lunch in Puerto Plata from the top of the lighthouse.

Me and Charleni, a sweet girl I met at the dump over spring break and she still remembered me!

Every kid loves a good foam visor.

Me and Bebon...I love this kid so, so, so much!

My awesome team for the week.

Our amazing group from churches all over the United States!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Making Sure I'm Not Numb

Wow! The Lord has truly been at work in my heart this past week. You would think that after almost two months down here you would start to become numb to some of the things we encounter everyday. The Lord has made sure that I am not numb to the things going on down here this week, and I am so thankful for that. Here are just a few of the ways he has been at work.

The group this week is an eclectic group from four different churches. They include Highland View, Carbondale, Maricamp, and Clear Creek. It has been so much fun to get to know everyone and to watch them bond as a group as well. I got to go with the group this week on Puerto Plata day. My group went through the women's ward and visited with the patients there. I met a lady named Dorotea. I figured out that she had been having some heart problems and was in a lot of pain. When I asked her if she had any family there, she told me she didn't have any family at all. My heart immediately broke for this sweet woman, and I asked if I could pray for her in English. We held hands and prayed together. Then Rosi prayed for the entire room in Spanish. When we opened our eyes, Dorotea had tears rolling down her face. I immediately started sobbing. I hugged Dorotea so tight and told her I loved her and would be praying for her. It was so tough thinking that this lady did not have any family and was all alone. I am so blessed to have family and people that care about me and are constantly praying for me.

Also, one of the little girls in Bobita, Andeli, might be coming to live at the Children's Home. She is absolutely precious, and while I am excited that she might be coming to live there, the situation makes me sad. Her dad's girlfriend left him, and he has no way to work and take care of his children. I pray that what is best for Andeli will happen, and once again, I am thankful for a family that loves me and can take care of me.

One final little story...we have started working with a lady at the hospital in Puerto Plata named Anna Brugal. She is trying to make some improvements to the children's ward. She told Norm a story the other day of a woman whose baby had been brought into the hospital. It was very obvious the woman did not want the baby, and after a few days it seemed that the woman had poisoned her baby. I just can't imagine hurting one of these innocent children.

I write all of this to say the people here so desperately need our prayers. The sadness and pain never stops, and while it is sometimes difficult, I am so thankful that God has reminded me why I'm here and has made sure I have not become numb to what is going on. Love and miss you all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The End of An Era

While the Clear Creek group went to Puerto Plata, Carter, Chad, Glenn, and I had the day off. The following pictures document what took place that day.

The beard in full bloom.

The beard was originally so unruly that we had to enlist Chad to trim it back a bit.

That chin hasn't seen the light of day in months.


Only half of a beard!!!

Side 1.

Side 2.

The mustache look.

We really liked the mustache look.

Maybe a little too much.

The Hitler look.

A little unsure about his face being naked and exposed.

The finished product! How handsome!

Clear Creek Captured on Camera

The amazing Clear Creek group on the mountain overlooking Rio San Juan.

My amazing group that Carter and I led together!

My group won the Cultural Safari this week! Woohoo!

At the beach, the Lord showed us just how powerful He is when it started to storm.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Well, the last few days have been incredible. The Clear Creek group left on Thursday after doing an amazing job serving here in the DR. I will try to post some pictures of their week very soon! However, after the Clear Creek group left, our group of interns and missionaries left for our three day vacation in Santo Domingo. We arrived late Thursday night in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. We got to stay in an all inclusive resort that had air conditioning and hot water showers! Woohoo!!! However, after more than a month of being without air conditioning, I woke up with a stuffy nose on Friday morning. Haha.

Friday was a really fun day! We got to sleep in and then after having lunch at the resort, we left to go into Santo Domingo to spend the day. Santo Domingo is one of the bigger cities I've ever been to and it was very American. It's funny because I haven't really missed a lot of things from home, but being able to spend the day and do normal things without having to worry about everything going smoothly was a lot of fun. We shopped at the mall, ate at Cinnabon, ate dinner at Quiznos, and got to see "Eclipse"!!!! Let me just say that Edward Cullen's hotness translates to any language. Haha! It was a wonderful day full of fun with some of my favorite people in the world.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the resort and then went back into Santo Domingo to go to PriceSmart to buy food for the next three groups coming in. Unlike my last PriceSmart experience, this one went much more smoothly and we spent only 3 hours in PriceSmart. We finally headed back to camp and arrived back last night around 9:30. As crazy as this sounds, it felt good to be back home and sleeping in my hot bed with my mosquito net.

Today has been a nice, relaxing day. We had church this morning and then watched "Glee" and the World Cup this afternoon. We even got to make some yummy brownies. Our next group is coming in on Tuesday. We have three more groups back to back and then the summer will be over. Please keep these groups in your prayers and please keep our team in your prayers as well as we prepare for these groups. Love you all and miss you all so much!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Noteworty Northside Pictures

Nikki and Audrey...some of the greatest girls I know!

Some amazing girls from the Outreach Center in Rio San Juan.

This is where I live :)

Could these sweet girls be any cuter?

This is Andeli and I want to bring her home in my suitcase.

Here we all are: all of the interns, Kevin, Chad, and Norm. What a team! :)

The fantastic Northside group.

The Dominican interns and the Haiti big happy family!