A Long Post

Published on April 9, 2020 by in Uncategorized

Let’s start a long post with a little fun, shall we?

During our last Sunday School lesson before we began social distancing and staying in our homes, the students were given a pile of newspapers to dress the characters in that day’s Bible story.

Queen Esther and King Xerxes

Queen Esther and King Xerxes






 Notice the details of the “Queen’s”  little crown, the bow on the front of her dress, and her bracelet and train in the picture above.

I love watching my kids be creative!








And now let’s turn the calendar back to January . . .

IMG_8318The medical team from First Baptist Maryville, Illinois returned to train leaders from our communities in basic health, first aid and CPR. The team always does a good job of reviewing what was taught the previous year and addressing specific concerns of our folks.  Of course, in January we had no idea just how important the review of thorough hand washing would become!


And in February . . .


 QUEST, a New England youth development program, returned again this February to work with us and Alberto Felix’s ministry.

IMG_8326Recently termites found the rafters of our blue building to be quite tasty.    Thankfully the “QUESTIES”  and TIME staff were able to replace all the rafters for us so we can continue using this building that was constructed by a team from Colorado in January 2008.   Yet another example of how people from many, many places have been involved with us in Cercadillo.


This year two of our youth spent the weekend with the QUESTIES.  Edwarlin is fourth from the left.


Valentina is in the center of her new friends.

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The week with QUEST ended with quite a surprise . . . a check from Questies and Leaders throughout the years.

And in March . . .

Like the rest of the world, all of our “normal” activities ground to a rapid halt.   Social distancing, stay at home orders and a curfew from 5:00 PM to 6:00 AM have become part of our daily lives, just like so many of you.

As of this morning there were 2349 reported cases and 118 deaths here on our side of the island.  I would imagine that there are actually many more cases due to the expense of the tests.   Starting at the end of this week the tests are being made available without cost.

Please pray with our leaders and me as we strive to find ways to meet the physical needs of the people in our communities.   We have always tried to follow the “Helping without Hurting” philosophies of development, but circumstances have changed and we are moving into relief mode.   There are very, very few people in our communities who are still working.

We are trying to research what help is available.  The government seems to be trying to provide for those who have ID cards, but the process seems quite confusing.  And just like in the States, it’s taking some time to iron out the wrinkles.   A few of our people have received some help.  Others with ID cards haven’t and don’t really know if they will.   And of course, we still have people in our communities who don’t have ID cards.  It seems that they will not be receiving help from the government.  This may be where we will need to concentrate the most help.  I’m so proud of our ladies who are trying to determine where the greatest needs lie.

Several of our sewing ladies are using fabric from our supply to make and give face masks to their neighbors.  Love that!  They told me this morning that they are going to begin making smaller ones as well since we have had two children die in the DR from the virus.

Between phone calls with my ladies in Cercadillo/Vietnan and researching assistance, I have been busy developing more tutoring curriculum, organizing materials, and planning future activities when we are able to be together again.  I have also been baking something every morning to have the freezer stocked with banana bread, mango muffins, cookies, etc that we will use in our various future gatherings.  So rest assured that even when I am not able to be IN our communities, I am working WITH and FOR them from a distance!

Mission Base Update

In December I told you that we found land to build a mission base with plenty of room for future expansion.  That fell through in mid February when we learned of increased violence in the area.  We have continued looking with no real contenders at this time.  Of course, our searching has stopped and all offices where we would need to check titles have closed.   I trust that when life returns to whatever the new normal is, that we will find what we need.  Please continue praying for this.

And a personal note before closing this very long post . . .

My sister Kim died on March 17 in a hospital in St. Louis.  Although it was very hard to not be able to go due to the pandemic, I am thankful that several family members were with her until the end.   And I’m so thankful for Easter . . . that this life isn’t the end.




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Challenges and Opportunities !!!

Architectural Rendering of Phase I of our New Mission Base

As you know, we began to raise money to build a Mission Center (including a first-class school, community center and church) in Cercadillo last year.  Since then, I’ve investigated a range of land options to house the new Center – but, despite my efforts, none of these options have been right for our needs.   Keep praying, my friends!  The good news is that we now have $63,800 of the anticipated $150,000 needed to complete the Mission Center!

At the same time, I’ve been looking for a new Mission Base (my home, office space, storage, staff/volunteer quarters) to rent when my current lease expires in January 2020. (The owner has been gracious to allow me to stay here until June 2020 due to some health issues I’ll discuss below.) Finding a new place was not on my radar at the beginning of the year.  I would have been most happy to continue here.  However, it’s not an option.   And finding a similar place in this area that is large enough to meet all our storage needs also does not seem like an option.    So now what?

I believe that God is opening up new opportunities, beyond even those we anticipated last year.  I believe it is time to BUILD a Mission Base!  A Mission Base would lay a foundation for future growth of The Cercadillo Project; it would relieve the urgent need for a new home and office space for me, provide space to store all the Project supplies and create a studio apartment for long term volunteers.   Also, by purchasing 1/3 of an acre here in Villa Mella we will have space to build additional housing for new staff and for the future teachers of our school.

Total estimated costs are $130,000: 

Land acquisition $55,000

Three bedroom house $75,000  (including office space for Project administration, storage, studio apartment

If you would like to help meet this urgent need you may send your tax-deductible donation with the designation :

“Build with Cercadillo 4126A”

Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators
6739 Academy Road NE, Suite 320
Albuquerque, NM 87109

The Quinleys

The Quinleys are coming!  The Quinleys are coming!

RYAN QUINLEY interned with us several years ago during college and after completing seminary studies is now planning to return FULL TIME, along with his wife Cayla and their two little cuties!!!  Ryan’s main responsibilities will center around church planting/pastoring.  More information will be coming shortly, but for now please pray for this family as they make plans to be with us by the beginning of summer 2020!!!

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It’s been a rough few months, but I’m still here!


And on a personal note:

A friend suggested that this picture and caption summarized my last few months.  She may be right!  🙂

In early September I had a non-cancerous tumor removed from under an old appendectomy scar.  There were some complications that resulted in another surgery in mid November and then a few other complications.  However, I’m on the mend now!  It’s been hard to be sidelined this long, but I hope to be back in full swing very soon.

I have been well-cared for by medical staff and dear friends here in the DR.


I know I say this every time, but I am truly thankful for all of you who are in this adventure with us through your prayers and your giving.  Merry, merry Christmas and the very best 2020 to you!

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