Thursday, July 14, 2011

In His Arms of Love

Late last week our faith was tested.  While sitting outside with some of the interns, Chad’s house was broken into.  A few of the boys we work with here were in his house watching a movie when someone came in the open back door, took Chad’s backpack with his wallet and a few other items, and ran away before anyone could catch him.  The boys were scared and all of us were as well that someone would be so bold as to come in with people in the house and the rest of us sitting so close by.  We were all a little shaken up and continue to be as we try to figure out what to do and where to go from here.  
Satan has been attacking us in full force here in the Dominican Republic.  With the recent break-in that we had, there have been a lot of emotions and feelings that the missionaries, interns, and people here are experiencing.  Some of us are scared.  Some of us are frustrated.  Some of us are angry.  Some of us are confused.  Some of us are tired of thinking about it.  While all of these emotions and feelings are raging, there is one common feeling that is prevalent among each of us.  We are choosing to walk in faith.
While we don’t always understand the things that happen to us, I do know one thing for sure.  God is in control.  He is watching over us and taking care of us.  Yes, Satan is attacking, and why wouldn’t he be?  God is blessing the work here each and every day.  I know that despite Satan’s attacks, God is here.  I see Him in the way our disciples are opening up to the groups coming in from the States.  I see Him in the progress we are making with starting Manna Christian School in September.  I see Him in the work people are doing in the States to get us supplies and textbooks and other materials we are needing.  I see Him in the way the people of the Dominican have responded to the incident we have had here.  I see Him and feel Him through the joy I experience every day by living and working in a place that I love with people that I love.  God is here, and we will continue to fight our battles with His help.  
Since this happened, a song has been running through my head.  It has been a source of encouragement to me, and I pray that it will be that for you all as well.
I sing a simple song of love to my Savior, to my Jesus
I’m grateful for the things You’ve done my loving Savior, oh precious Jesus
My heart is glad that You’ve called me Your own
And there’s no place I’d rather be
Than in Your arms of love, in Your arms of love
Holding me still, holding me near
In Your arms of love
I pray that each of us will find strength and peace in the loving arms of Lord.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back to Blogging

As most of you can probably tell by my lack of blogging, things have been super busy here in the DR!  The second I got back from language school, each day has been full of different challenges and exciting opportunities that God is putting in my path.  While it did take me a few weeks to get back in the swing of things, I feel like now, more than ever, that God is working through me in this place.  The summer here is always full of activity, and this summer has not been an exception.
Each summer is filled with groups coming in from the United States to work with our ministry.  These groups are high school age kids along with a few chaperones who give generously and freely of their time, energy, and love to help further our ministry here.  Specifically this summer, we have made the focus of our groups the students of Manna Christian School.  The students have spent so much time bonding with the groups, helping the groups with various projects, and creating positive relationships.  I have been so proud of each of our students and how they have been able to bond with the many different people who have come our way this summer.  I know God is using this to prepare these students for the school and specifically the discipling aspect of the school.  I am so thankful for these groups, and I ask you to pray for the next four groups that are coming our way this summer.  They include Clear Creek from Tennessee, Carbondale from Illinois, Winchester from Tennessee, and Lake Jackson from Texas.  Pray that God will prepare their hearts and allow them to be a blessing to this country during the weeks that they are here.  
Another amazing aspect of this summer has been our summer interns.  This is the role that I filled last year and made me realize I wanted to do mission work, so it is very near and dear to my heart.  The seven people we have chosen for interns this summer have done nothing but continue to impress us.  They have flawlessly completed every task given to them while also creating and maintaining relationships with the Dominicans and the group members.  They are an excellent group of people, and they need your prayers as we move into the final half of the summer.  This great groups of people includes Sarah Gary, Luke Hoffman, Nikki Mynatt, Jeff Reese, Savannah Rutledge, Alex Samuel, and Allie Wasmer.  Please keep each one of them in your prayers.  Pray for continued strength, energy, and excitement about the work being done here.  I am so thankful for each one of them and the help they have been to us thus far.  
Finally, in the midst of all of this summer activity, there is still the school that we are planning for.  Each of the missionaries have been working hard in various areas to make sure things are getting done that need to be done.  Seeing all of the kids here on such a regular basis with the groups has made me even more excited about the school than I already was.  While there’s a lot more to be done, I feel like we’re well on our way to being ready for Manna Christian School to start on September 5.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we make plans and prepare.  Pray for each of our students and each of the teachers and administrators.  Pray that God’s hand will be in all of the plans we make.  Pray that we will be able to help each of our students enter into and grow in a relationship with God.  
Sorry for the lack of blog posting!  I will try to be a little more consistent in making posts and keeping everyone up to date.  As always, continued prayers are appreciated and needed!  I love you all!