The book, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, is an expressive and poetic story written about a Dominican man who lives “two lives”. He has a daughter and a wife living in the Dominican Republic and he has a daughter and a wife living in the United States. Neither daughter knows that they have a sister until the end of the book. Fortunately, our family doesn’t have any “secret lives” going on, but I can totally relate to the idea of having “two lives.” Better put, God has blessed us incredibly by providing us with friends and family in the United States and the Dominican Republic.
We flew into Pennsylvania on Friday, July 30th and have been spending our days visiting family, completing medical appointments, and preparing for a fall ministry season and new school year. When we arrived at the airport in Newark, NJ, we were greeted by my sister-in-law, Joey, and my nieces and nephews that we had not seen in person for 2 years. They live in Wisconsin and were visiting Pennsylvania. Ethan and Miriam were excited to play with their cousins. Jason has been helping build a new shed at his parents’ house. Between all the kids playing and the construction project, Gram and Pap’s house was a busy place.
After visiting in Pennsylvania for a bit, we picked up my other niece, Lacie, and made the long drive to North Carolina to visit my mom and stepdad. We spent 4 full days there and the kids enjoyed swimming in the pool. One day, they also took us to a friend’s beach house. Lacie and Miriam adored playing in the waves and ended the afternoon with bathing suits full of sand. We were thankful for God’s protection on the trip there. We were hit from behind on the interstate near Frederick, Maryland. We were stopped in traffic and the driver 2 cars behind us rear-ended the car behind us which then pushed that driver into our van. Our van also tapped the car in front of us. It was a multivehicle accident, with no major injuries. Our van suffered minor damage. Ironically, as we were waiting for the state police to show up, we chatted with the driver of the car in front of us a lot. It turns out that he is dating a Dominican businesswoman from Santo Domingo and has spent a lot of time in the DR. We talked to him about the ministry of Solid Rock. He is a nurse and told us that he wanted to come and join one of our barrio teams. You never know what God is going to orchestrate!
We returned to Pennsylvania on Friday and are looking forward to having some time to connect with some of our close friends here this week. We will be sharing a 5–10-minute moment in mission on Sunday at Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren and have been thankful to be able to worship there each Sunday. Even with all the visiting, we were able to take time to complete a service project (preparing a meal for the band) and go boating with the youth group of BVCOB. We always appreciate being accepted with open arms into “life #2” whenever we arrive. Jason will continue to work with his dad on the shed and hopes to be able to get most of it completed before we return to San Juan. We fly back to the DR on Wednesday, August 25th.
- Continued prayer for Haiti. Our neighboring country has suffered so much devastation recently. Economic struggles compound the situation.
- Ethan receives his second dose of his COVID vaccination on Monday, August 23rd. Pray for minor side effects for him.
- Pray for the COVID situation. Pray that case #s decrease in the U.S. and continue to remain low in the Dominican Republic. Pray that the delta variant does not arrive to the island.
- Residency Process.
- New school year. Both Ethan and Miriam will be returning to Lucille Rupp (Dominican school) and doing homeschool in English in the afternoon. Pray for a smooth transition after the long summer break.
- Our travel day back to the DR.
- Juana’s recuperation. Juana finally received her 2nd orthopedic surgery about 3 weeks ago. She is recuperating well.
We appreciate your prayers, encouragement, and support.