Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day Eight, Thursday, 7/28/11

 Abuela and I with her chocolate milk!
 Jen and I with Abuelas son and his wife.
 He actually rode off on the bumpy dirt road with this infant in his lap.
 Cam giving a piggyback ride!
 Little Yolandre.  We brought a bunch of balls for them to keep...he is sitting on one of them.
 A mom and her exhausted little one.  We also brought these Orange shirts for all of the kids...they say, Jesus te ama.  Jesus loves me.
 Yolandre ready to catch a ball.
 Abuelas outdoor kitchen.
Here is Abuelas kitchen....she is getting "Sopa" ready.

Today was an extremely difficult day. There were tears coming from everyone. Even the men. The day started out great. We headed out to Cerros de Mogollon around nine, and we did the first VBS for the day. It was the Prodigal Son. I was the pig. GO FIGURE! The morning was truly fantastic. I had more fun with mi abuela and yolandre. Cam hung out with Adrian and yolandre. There was no room going back for lunch, so Daniel and I had to sit on the sides of the truck. A little scary going down those dirt roads where potholes are everywhere. I was almost catapulted twice. We ate my new favorite meal, rice and beans. YUM! Jen and I took our daily siesta, but not before we had a good talk. By the way the rice and beans are special. They do their rice by putting oil in the bottom of a pan. Then they put rock salt in, then the rice and water. It is so awesome! As a side note....I have tried this since coming home...I cannot duplicate it...YET! I WILL keep trying! After siesta tiempo we got ready to go out to Cerros de Mogollon again. We did the story of Zaccheus. We had our craft and there was a fire in the bushes. I ran and got Dan. He talked to the locals and they said not to worry about it. Aparently since it storms daily, the brush is pretty wet, so fires don't typically get out of control. Sure enough after about five minutes, it went out. This country is so incredible and so different, I absolutely LOVE IT! I truly don't want to go home...I want my family to come to me here! Anyway, after crafts we played some more. We were able to bring our cameras today so I got all sorts of pictures and videos. Yolandre hung out with Cam and I most of the day. Yolandre really liked Cam. He would pretend to hit him and Cam would fall, Yolandre would laugh and laugh and smile SO big! Cam really enjoyed it. I had bought chocolate milk for mi abuela, so Jenn, Whitney, Cam, Tayler and Daniel and I went to her house to give it to her. She thought that was pretty cool. We took pictures with her and her son who is in a wheelchair becausee of a motorcycle accident. He never got any help after his accident. He can move his legs, but he can't walk. He needs physical therapy in order to walk again. After we left her house, we took Yolandre, his mother and Maria, his sister, home with Jen and Tayler. Tayler and Maria had formed quite a bond. There were massive amounts of tears from us all, even the mother and even Cam. I am not sure if I saw Daniel shed a tear or not though. We had to literally pull Tayler away. We prayed with them and then the team came looking for us. We hopped in. Cam, Daniel and I in the back. All of the girls were still bawling, I am talking massive sobs. Mark was in the back with us and he and I prayed for everyone including our friends in Mogollon. Even the men were crying. The people from Cerros de Mogollon were crying too. It was a very emotional goodbye. Some of the girls were still crying when we got home.

 Cam, Daniel and I.
 Yolandre and Cam.
 Yolandre with a soccer "cone" on his head.
 Saying goodbye.  Yolandre and Maria with their mom, and Jen and Tayler.
 Even Cam was is Tayler and Maria, Yolandre and Cam and their mom.
 Cam on the way home...flanked by Whitney and a tearful Maggie.
The young girls with the translators.

We had about an hour after we got home to freshen up and then the storms came again. We went to dinner about seven. We ate at a little restaurant that had just about everything. We had told them earlier this mornng what we wanted to have because restaurants here don't have a lot of food on hand since they don't have big refrigerators. Cam chose the Bistec. I chose the Hawaiian Porkchops. Both meals came with french fries. Dinner was on the church again. We all had to eat in shifts. It was kinda funny. The people who ordered chicken got theirs first, then the pork chops and so forth and so on. French fries came out for everyone as each batch would finish.  And the last two people who ordered pasta didn't even end up getting it because they ran out! It was kinda funny! I have to say though, the food was delicious! Quite possibly the best I've ever had! Scrumptious! After we were done eating, Miguel got us all up to do some dancing, it was so fun! A cockroach got on Serenity though and caused quite an uproar. We walked home and I had a really nice talk with Dan. His dad lives in Apache Junction. Small world. We had our nightly parent-child pow wow. I still don't get it. Cam just seems very disconnected, he still says he doesn't understand things. He wants to know what he is supposed to be looking for when God is talking to him. I've told him that he'll know and that He won't necessarily tak to him audibly, it could be in something that someone else says, or a thought. He just still doesn't get it. As I was sitting here writing this, Keri found a roach about two inches long, staring out of her face wipes container, peering at her. It was chaos. The whole room freaked out and Dan had to come upstairs and kill it. It was kinda funny....but only because it didn't happen to me! I guess last night Dave had a dream that bugs were crawling all over him, so his screaming woke up all the guys as he was swatting imaginary bugs off of him. What a blast we are having. This is a truly fantastic group of people.

 Eating out Dominican Style...with a wet tablecloth, under a thatched roof, outside, with lightning and rumbles of thunder all around us.
 My porkchop...YUMMY!!!!!
 The rain let here we are dancing off the food!
 Jen and my first born!
Cam....hiding from the owner of the restaurant who kept nabbing the young men for dances!!  :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day Seven, Wednesday, 7/27/11

 Here is Kelly washing his clothes in the bucket.
 The Dominican version of the Ice Cream Man...only it is Banana Man!
 Frankie, Daniel and Hector.
 Trevor and Cam...ready for the ride to Cerros de Mogollon.
Cam and little Adrian.

 Mark and the pastors after a hard day at concrete work.
 Playing with the kids while the men are doing concrete.
 Little girl fetching water.
 Dan working concrete in the home.
 Dan and Pastor Rigoberto working concrete...the old fashioned way...

 Little boy looking inside his home....wondering what the white men are doing.
 The pregnant lady we met with.
We woke up really worn out from our day of fun. Not to mention Jen and I stayed up until 11:30 talking about Mops stuff....I am the coordinator of mops childcare....she is the co-coordinator of the whole group.
 Here is Tayler with Maria.
 Yolandri and I.
 Little Leti.
 Yolandri and Cam.
 Naked Yolandri with his mamma.
 Singing time!
Cam and Yolandri.
We all had a tough time rolling out of bed. We were on our way to Cerros De Mogollon at 8:30. But we ended up just going to Mogollon. We would be doing concrete work at a church members house (she had a dirt floor like many people there do). One team stayed at the house to do concrete and play with the kids, and two different teams went walking through the area speaking to people. Hector, Maggie and I were one team, Cam went with the other walking team. Hector was our only man, but we felt comfortable with him and safe. We started at one house, they were good Christians, but we still talked and and prayed with them. The next house were also good Christians, but we still talked and prayed with them. The next house had only men there, but since we had Hector we stopped anyway. There were two men there talking and working on a moto. One man was scarred up and missing fingers and half of an arm. Apparently he got into a fight and his arm was cut off with a machete. We asked them about heaven, and they didn't know, so Hector explained what heaven and hell was. We explained Romans 6:23 and Romans 3:23 and did the gospel presentation. I then shared my testimony. The one fixing the bike decided to accept Jesus. The amputee still did not. He said he wasn't willing and/or ready to give up his alcohol and women. We prayed with him and two more men walked over. We did the same thing, but they didn't want to either. I looked at the amputee and said, "Listo?"....which means "ready?". He said not yet. Then one of their mothers came out, and we did the whole thing again. She also accepted Christ. Then another came and we did it AGAIN, but he also did not want to. I asked the amputee if he wanted to yet, after each one, he smiled each time and just said, "not yet.". We left with two more lives ushered into the Kingdom of God....and we became pros at the gospel presentation after all of that. We asked Miguel, and he said that Dominicans will often tell you what you want to I am hopeful that they were truly being honest. We left and went back to the concrete house. Dan asked us to go down the dirt road to a pregnant woman's house...we would be staying about an hour later than planned. We went...she also had a dirt floor. She was eight months pregnant in this horrible heat! She had five other children. She offered us juice, but I didn't want to take something from her that might be hard to buy. We did the gospel presentation with her and then her husband came home. We did it again with him. Then I shared my testimony. We asked them if they wanted to accept Christ. She did but, he didn't. I felt an urge to figh for it so I said "por que?"....which means why. He said he could't go to church, he was too busy. We explained that going to church doesn't make you a Christian. He finally accepted Christ with his wife and they were so excited that they hugged and kissed eachother and us. It was great we went back to the concrete house. We waited for awhile in the shade while they finished. Then we came home and ate quickly because we had to get to Cerros de Mogollon. It was our Samaritan Man story. Cam was the guy beaten up and I was the good Samaritan. It was a neat story. Trevor was the donkey and I had to put Cam on his back. Yolandri was there, I just love that boy! His big sister Maria has become special to Tayler too. He spent half the day with us naked, but that is okay. I spent a lot of time with mi abuela and Daniel. Daniel was a big help with her. She keeps talking about chocolate milk. I might have to get her some. We went home for dinner. It started raining while we were out there and it was fabulous. It cooled us righ down.  It felt Fantastico! After dinner we took a walk to El supermercado. I exchanged $20 into Pesos, and Cam had to have Tostitos and dip of course. I got dad some coffee and me some crackers and a Twix bar. Dan bought all of us yummy ice cream on the church. Just with what I bought, it cost me $547 pesos. I know in the whole scheme of things that isn't much....but it sure seems like a lot. That was almost my whole $20 though! They charge 26% tax! That's incredible. It's no wonder no one can afford to live here! Just like with the dirt floors. So many people can't afford concrete floors.....but with dirt floors when it rains EVERYTHING in your house gets MUDDY. Can you imagine. YOUR PLATES GET WET, YOUR FOOD, your bedding....wouldn't that be awful.....anld it rains almost daily.
I have absolutely fallen in love with the Dominican people and the Dominican Republic and the Dominican Lifestyle. I truly don't want to go home....except to be with my kids...but I feel like I belong here.
Jen told me that Cam actually prayed with people and shared his testimony. I am so glad for that. Thank you Jesus...I want to raise my children to seek after You.

Happy Veterans Day

On June 2, 1995, U.S. Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady was patrolling the United Nations designated no-fly zone over war torn Bosnia when his F-16 fighter was struck by a surface-to-air missile at 27,000 feet above the Earth. He desperately pulled his ejection lever and was catapulted into the sky at 350 miles an hour. Remarkably, he managed to land unscathed in enemy territory.

For six incredible days and nights, O'Grady eluded capture by the Bosnian Serbs who relentlessly hunted him. Utilizing his survival training to the maximum, O'Grady said it was also his faith in God that sustained him. On his third day on the ground, he experienced the love of God to such a level that it took away his fear of death. On the sixth day in a daring daylight rescue, an elite team of marines moved in with a chopper, dodged enemy fire, and pulled the young American hero to safety.

At a national press conference following his triumphant return, O'Grady said, "If it wasn't for my love for God and God's love for me, I wouldn't be here right now." His inspirational and patriotic story is a brilliant testimony to Article Six of the United States Military Code of Conduct: "I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America."