Our good friend, Joel, told me about the joy, junk, and Jesus time of reflection that he and his co-workers shared at the end of each week at Camp Hebron this past summer. I thought it was an awesome way to categorize things so I am stealing their idea. I am pretty sure that Joel will forgive me for being a thief.
As I reflect over the past month of activity here in San Juan and within the ministry of Solid Rock, I share with you my thoughts:
Our family had the privilege to serve beside and meet new friends with 3 “new to us” teams over the past month. We made friends with longer-term volunteers. The teams provided an in-measurable amount of assistance to the physical needs of so many. I was able to see some cool (to me, gross to others) pathology that I had seen several times before on ultrasound but never outside the body during the 2 surgery weeks. One team got to use the newer donated laparoscopic tower for the first time since serving at the clinic. They have served for 13 years. They cheered and celebrated at the end of the day! We found special needs cases in the barrios and made referrals to the clinic and to specialists. We financially helped some that had no resources. Miriam spent a no-school day with me in the barrio and was super helpful and well-behaved. We saw many team members fit more comfortably in the back of the trucks where Jason and Euclides installed benches. Jason continues to build more for the rest of the fleet. We visited a youth service at the church we used to attend and were able to hug all our friends there. We paid special attention to how many hours we were working and made sure that we took advantage of family time when we could. Cora supported us in this by offering to stay at the clinic super late so I could skate out earlier. The kids played games with others kids who came to serve and created their own fun at home.
My in-laws are coming to visit over Christmas and we are going to the mountains of Jarabacoa. I may need my snowsuit!
Two weeks of surgery in a row made us all feel a bit tired. It stretched us. I spent long hours at the clinic and my family missed me.
I found myself randomly screaming for several days in a row until we finally caught the rat that entered our house.
Big groups make a lot of dishes!
There are moments where you know that you just can’t help everyone.
There is a family that lives about 1 block away from us that has great needs. The kiddos come to my house often for food in which we are glad to share. I often feel like I don’t know how to help them best.
I saw Jesus in the hearts of every person that came to serve Him by providing for the needs of others by giving up their time, resources, and hearts.
I saw Jesus in the teamwork of the Solid Rock staff. We pray for one another and we teach one another. We understand that our ministry would not function without one another. I watched our Dominican ministry assistants protect and assist our American teams through their knowledge of their people. I saw tremendous growth in new staff and developing leadership skills. I saw grace and forgiveness.
I saw the Word of God being shared with others.
I saw the Word of God being lived out through actions. I watched a case in which a lady was being dishonest about her financial resources (most likely out of fear of not being able to receive surgery) and instead of our team getting angry at her, we gracefully got the whole truth from her, talked to her about what the Bible says about lying, prayed over her, and helped her pay for her surgery. We sent her home with the love of Jesus.
It’s the JESUS category that makes me smile the most when I reflect over the last month of ministry here. After all- isn’t that what it is all about?
Many thanks to all of you that prayerfully, emotionally, and financially support our family here.
I see God working in the lives of so many and it is absolutely beautiful.