Published on January 29, 2021 by in Uncategorized

An absolutely beautiful day . . . a cool breeze . . . representatives from approximately thirty families all working together to clean up our ministry site . . . How could this past Wednesday morning have been any better?

As some pulled weeds, others macheted, picked up trash, raked, swept, mopped, scrubbed tables and benches and cleaned the bathrooms. And Carmencita . . .

Carmencita was not trying to set the red building on fire. She was getting rid of some bee (wasp?) nests with fire. I never cease to be amazed by their ingenuity.

It was the first time we have tried to gather as a community since last March. Very few wore masks, or wore them correctly. Even fewer tried to be socially distant. There is a mistaken belief in many poor communities that they can’t contract COVID from family or neighbors. They are much more careful if they go into the city. (Perhaps partially because people without masks can be fined.) We won’t be able to have other similar times again soon since so many were directly disobeying the government mandated COVID restrictions, but it was SO GOOD to see and hear our people together. It took everything within me not to run up and hug them all!

10 Lucky Winners

My friend gave me Sawyer water filters that were extras from their ministry here in the DR. A surprise raffle finished out the day and ten families went home with a water purification system that has been known to last for ten years! Thank you Terri Nelson!

But not to worry! All the other families left with bananas from my yard. (I’ve become a banana farmer during the pandemic. ). Our people like to cook with green bananas, so I’ve learned that I don’t have to wait for them all to be yellow to give them away.

Keep praying with us for creative ways to reach out to our community during these tough times. We continue to distribute food to our most vulnerable families and to produce Sunday School type activities for home use. Facing another camp-less summer is hard for our kiddos. Pray for creativity!

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Could we give an apple?

“It’s been such a hard year,” Marcelina said. “Do you think there is any way we could give an apple to the children in our programs? That would be such a special Christmas gift for them.”

How could I possibly say no to such a simple gift that brought such joy?

This very difficult year of 2020 ended with an apple for Christmas, some crafts, and a bag of candies for 3 Kings’ Day.

Even moms get involved when the weekly kids packet is delivered. I am now producing 80 packets per week consisting of a Bible story with coloring pages, word searches, mazes, and/or a simple craft.

I can hardly wait for the day we can all be together again!

“Do you think we could buys some chicks for the children in our programs to raise?” Marcelina said in early summer.

“We could have a raffle.”

How could I say no since some money had been given for chickens? Marcelina (pictured above in the pink shirt) independently handled the raffle and the purchasing of the chicks.

Valentina (pink shirt) delivering a weekly supply of feed
and a kid’s pack to a young chicken farmer.

We have continued providing food for 19 families who are not receiving the governmental help offered to others during the COVID crisis here. We are so thankful to those who have donated for this.

Most days my living room looks like either a stockroom or a food distribution center as I buy in bulk, repackage items and then fill grocery bags with an attached label for the designated families. I take the bags out to my leaders who take it from there. Our leaders have definitely taken on much more responsibility this year. A positive that has come out of the difficulties!

Not only have people given to provide food for our people and to support our ongoing ministries, they have also generously given so that we can purchase a Mission Base! The Mission Base will house staff, provide office space and storage as well as providing space for guests to stay. I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting to write about the Mission Base until everything has been finalized. (We aren’t in Kansas anymore.) We are still waiting on one more paper to be stamped by the appropriate Dominican government office. Therefore, I guess this isn’t 100% official yet, but maybe soon? As soon as the last “t” is crossed and “i” dotted, I will be sending many more pics and details!

A thousand thank you’s for all the prayers you’ve offered during this past year for our people and for me personally. We’re ending the year a little battered, but excited about what is in store for 2021! Happy New Year!!!

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