March 20, 2012

It's time...

I've found the pieces to my last few posts somewhere
in my blog draft file, waiting for the final edit and publish.

This morning, I found these,
just a few black and white memories from last Summer,
asking for narration of some sort.
The last unfinished post in my drafts...
and what I feel is meant to be my last post here too.

No, I still love telling stories.
My life still abounds with inspiration,
and I'm not tired of writing. 
(Small chance of that...)

But it's time. 

I'm continuing to snip the Internet-related strings from my life,
as I'm led to limit the distractions,
and focus attention where it must be.

Life here is so very short you know.

So thank you faithful readers!
I will be leaving the archives so you can still
come and "visit" now and then.
Leave a comment if you would like to contact me,
I will still get them. :)

"Only one life,
'twill soon be past,
only what's done for Christ
will last."

C.T Studd

January 30, 2012

Our New Lambs...

While playing with our camera, and my video software, I came up with this little glimpse of our sheep herd. :) It was mainly supposed to be an experiment to figure out a few things for another project I've been working on, so I only spent about 15 minutes on it - but it turned out to be a good way for you all to see how cute these little guys are. :) (Please excuse the mud. They do have options of drier places to's just that their favorite patch is pretty waterlogged after these days of rain we've had.)

January 24, 2012

Going Back.

I fell in love with the Dominican Republic the first day I spent there. (And that day was just a little over two years ago now - one week after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.) I think it might often be shrugged off as just a tourist spot, a cruise ship stop; I know I was guilty of thinking that once. It is truly an amazing place - banana trees, ocean, a rugged mountain back drop, and a fascinating eclectic mix of Spanish and African culture, in the food, music, and even the distinctive look of the people. I felt so blessed to be there once, and hoped, but hardly expected to go back. But I did.

My Grandpa, little brother, and I just returned this past weekend from 10 days there.

Our mission was to finish up construction on a local church building.

In a funny twist of providence that only the Lord could
have planned -
it turned out to be an enlargement project on a church my
Grandpa had helped build 35 years earlier. 

He hadn't expected to ever find that church again,
let alone return to work on it once more with 
two of his grandchildren. 

It was amazing to be able to work alongside
the pastor, and even his own small grandchildren,
as we improved and repaired their home and church.

l-r: Missionary, my little buddy- Aylin, and I.
I knew absolutely nothing about tile and grout;
but after three days of non-stop tile work,
I feel pretty proficient. ;)

Despite the fact it's a country hidden in the Caribbean mirage,
it's still a hurting place. 

As much as I struggled with the Creole accent last time,
I truly didn't expect to understand much of anything -
(I certainly haven't studied any Spanish in the past two years.)

So it really struck me as a blessing from the Lord
that my comprehension, and even ability to have basic
conversations was so much greater this time.

I love it when the Lord makes it so obvious that it's Him.
Not me. 

My brother and I found photographer backdrop heaven...

And we found the propane guy again...

And we still complain about gas prices?...   ;)
(That may or may not be in Pesos...)

The increased ability to communicate, along
with lots of insight from a local missionary couple
helped to expand my understanding of this beautiful place. 

In the area we were working,
the clinic down the road receives several
cholera cases a week.
Sanitation, especially unclean water, contributes to this. 

"Dengue Fever" and other mosquito borne illnesses are also
a somewhat common issue.

The Haitian communities especially, are struggling.
Extreme poverty continues to hide in the shadows
of nearby resorts. 

And yet...
The Church is alive and well there.
What a blessing it is to worship alongside Dominican Christians.

Their joy is vibrant.

It doesn't matter how little they have,
or what struggles they are up against.
They testify that their God is greater -
and He continues to show Himself faithful.

A little friend at a local Haitian Church.
And as I've said before -
it becomes more and more evident,
it's when you have nothing else -
that you discover that He is truly all you need.

A 3rd trip seems unlikely, but my Grandpa's been back
8 times...
So we'll see what the Lord does in the future.

On the tearful morning we all parted,
the message exchanged was:

"No Adios, Hasta Luego!"
(Not Goodbye, See you later!")

10 year old Aylin, (pronounced Ilene) and I.
Work buddies. :)

We're back home;
 at the moment. :)