Published on May 3, 2018 by in Uncategorized


January – Maryville Baptist from Maryville, Illinois sent a team to train six of our village women in Community Health, First Aid and CPR.

Learning CPR
Practicing  CPR
Learning to take blood pressure.  I must admit, I was surprised how quickly they learned this skill.

                        Learning to take blood pressure manually.                                 I must admit, I was surprised how quickly they learned this skill.

All good workshops in the DR end with certificates!
All good workshops in the DR end with certificates!  

 February – First Baptist Church of Kahoka, Missouri sent a team to build a bathroom.They are looking a little dirty and exhausted in this picture because not only did they complete the bathroom project . . .


Toilet that flushes with a bucket of water and space with a drain to bucket bathe.


Part of the thankful family.












… They trimmed a LOT of branches and cleaned leaves that were causing damage to our tin roofs . . .


… extensively cut back one large tree . . .



. . . to make an extension on our red building.   We are hoping that this extension will allow us to use the red building on rainy days.

working on red bldg extension

They also cleaned up all the downed branches, which was no small task!  Besides helping with the cleanup . . .



. . . the ladies of the team taught some of our women how to make a simple, cool house dress.  They also helped me prepare some teaching materials.


This was the first international trip this church has undertaken. Quite a successful one from my perspective.  (By the way, they are from the church I grew up in, one that greatly influenced my life.)







The QUEST team and a Gordon College team came to Cercadillo this spring for some day trips.  They finished painting the completed extension to the red building. . .

Red building extension

. . . so it’s a building built by folks from Pennsylvania, extended by a group from Missouri and painted by two groups from New England!

February through May – TUTORING & SUPER SABADO

I have spent a great deal of time with three of our village women to train them to be tutors.  I’m so proud of how they’ve grown and the way they are working with our children!

Aurelia teaching addition doubles.
Aurelia teaching addition doubles.
Marcelina helping with a letter/word/syllable sort.
 Marcelina helping with a letter/syllable/word  sort.
Carmencita leading a listening/letter identification practice.
Carmencita leading a listening/letter identification practice.

 During Super Sabado we work with the same students in larger groups and with the very-much-appreciated help of college students from Santo Domingo.  Students rotate between stations of reading, writing and math.

Volunteers teaching 5 Star Writing.
Volunteers teaching students to use 5 Star Writing.

Yagelis - bottlecaps back

Crismeiry u Bienvenido bottlecaps





Thanks to folks from Seacoast Community Church in Portsmouth,  New Hampshire for saving bottle caps for our children to use to spell words, separate syllables, etc.  And thanks to Jean Smith for making cute drawstring bags to contain the alphabet sets!


Another wonderful addition to our teaching times this year is the reading program Estrellita.  I am thrilled beyond words to have found these sequential, systematic materials!  It is the reading program I have dreamed of for years!   And listen to this . . . the folks at Estrellita donated the curriculum to us!  A thousand thank you’s to Karen Myer for writing the program and to CEO Steve for sharing it with us!  (Feel free to go to and thank them again for us!)

Using sombreros to teach the letter "s."

Using sombreros to teach the letter “s.”   (Students are holding their take home books.)

Juan Gabriel winning at concentration

Yirelis y Adison #2




Our children love the games and activities!






Notice the boy with his hand up?  He WAS one of  our most reluctant leaners!

Notice the boy with his hand up? He WAS one of our most reluctant leaners!

I’m thrilled, thrilled, thrilled with how much progress our students are making!  And I’m thrilled to be teaching others to teach!

Using their new reading comprehension skills to trace Paul's journeys during Sunday School.
Using their new reading comprehension skills to trace Paul’s journeys during Sunday School.

Isais reading - Paul

Angel and Adame - Paul


Marcelina confidently teaching a small group on Sunday.
Marcelina confidently teaching a small group on Sunday.


A school has always been part of the vision I’ve had for Cercadillo.  (I always say, “Not just a school.  But the BEST school on the island!)  Is it time to officially start?  These last months of concentrated tutoring and Super Sabado have me itching to begin!  We would most likely start with a preschool and add a grade each year.

Our open-air buildings on leased property have served us well, but do have some limitations.  Rainy days can be tough.  Without a secure storage area all materials must be brought out to the village for each activity.

Is it time to pursue securing land to build a block building for a community center?  A building that could house a school, church, space for our sewing/crafting initiative?

Pray with me that my advisors and I will hear clearly about the next steps.  And as always, I so appreciate all of you who support me and the various activities in Cercadillo.  Eleven years later and still so much to do . . . so many exciting things lie ahead!

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Celebrations, Sewing and Super Sabado Training

Published on January 29, 2017 by in Uncategorized

December was full of celebrations in Cercadillo.

Epifania at CyC Christmas Party

Children's Christmas Party

Angel at Children’s Christmas Party

Youth Christmas Party

Youth Christmas Party

Yes it’s true that all three events have the same decorations.  Having the parties three days in a row at the TIME Center meant I could decorate once and party thrice.  I’m getting wiser in my old age!   And speaking of getting older . . .


My ladies gave me a surprise birthday party. Notice all their work to make the blue building look festive.

Of course, our biggest December celebration of all – Christmas morning.



January started off with a Three Kings’ Party.


Limbo, musical chairs,  and corn hole for the children.  Crafts and parachutes for the preschoolers.  Approximately 175 children participated in the fun.



Cindry modeling the half apron she and Ricki made.


Mayleni modeling the apron she and Yaquelin made.


Some of you have been waiting a long time for this.  Aprons!  We’re FINALLY making aprons!


Three “Maine ladies” returned for a week of apron and jewelry making.  What an impact these women have had in the lives of Cercadillo!  Jean and Janie were two of the original four who started CyC with necklace making in 2009.



 On January 21 we had a training event for our Super Sabado volunteers.

IMG_3217 12IMG_3224 2IMG_3232 Super  Sabado (Super Saturday) will begin February 11.  For 14 Saturdays children will be engaged in meaningful reading, writing and math activities.  So thankful for these young people from IBI and our four brave women from Cercadillo!  (Our Canadian friends will be joining us later in February for crafts, English and games.)  Saturdays are going to be SUPER!


I was in Orlando last week for a children’s leaders conference and am now at a friend’s guest house for a week of writing the Cercadillo stories of the last 9+ years.  Will you please pray with me this week as I seek to communicate the powerful work of God in the lives of the people we’ve come to love so deeply?  


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