Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
This Bible verse comes to mind daily. Enough light to move forward, even if I cannot see far down the path with all its twists and turns. This verse was our mantra while raising initial funds to support our family in the Dominican Republic. It has shown up time and time again here- painted on school walls, referenced during sermons, and painted on churches in the middle of the countryside. It’s a reminder. We only have to take one step at a time and follow God’s light that is on my path.
We have started the journey down the transitional path. We were very reluctant to put our toes onto this path, let alone our entire feet. Being on this path carries so many emotions and internal struggles. We feel them every time someone asks us why we have made this decision or what is next for us. We have had many conversations within our family and with God about it. We have had many conversations with others about it. It all feels a bit surreal. But here we are, taking one step at a time and following God’s lamp along the way. He knows what is best for each and every one of us and we have to trust that.
Our family will be transitioning our lives to the United States in early July of this year.
I always find myself describing it like this: There are 2 doors. Through one door is life in Pennsylvania. Through the other door is life in the Dominican Republic. Both doors are filled with amazing things. Both worlds offer US so much. We have learned so much from both worlds. Both worlds are GOOD. God IS WORKING in both worlds. I would like to take these two doors and their worlds, morph them together, combine them, and make them one. But the truth is that I can’t have BOTH worlds in the SAME place. I can’t combine the doors no matter how hard I try. The only thing that I can do is enter through one door, pick up and hold on to as many GOOD things as I can, and take them with me through the other door. I can’t take the people. I can’t take the views. I can’t take the church buildings or the congregations. However, I CAN take the life lessons. I CAN take pieces of the culture. I CAN take my relationships and continue them from a distance. I CAN take MYSELF through the door and I have been SHAPED and CHANGED by these people. I CAN share this world with others through my words. I can PRAY for each world. That’s what we can do… one step at a time, following God’s light on the path.
Thanks to our generous donors, we are fully funded for the rest of our term of service with Solid Rock International. We have decided to designate any “extra” support that comes in earmarked for our family to the Child Nutrition Program and the Student Sponsorship Program. We encourage all our supporters to explore options for future contributions on the Solid Rock Website. We believe in this ministry, and we appreciate all the ways that you have supported us along the way.
We do plan to continue to do agricultural ministry in the Dominican Republic. Specifically, Jason will be making 3-4 trips per year to train farmers in syntropic farming methods. He will also be setting up demonstration test plots and assisting in local farm equipment development. His first return trip is planned for November of this year. We will be reaching out to individual supporters with more information about this part time ministry.
Now that the most difficult part of this blog is written, I’ll move on to the easier items. Life has been very full and busy with lots of teams on the ground. There are always opportunities to jump in and serve. Jason can now add prosthetic and orthotic assistant to his job resume. Ethan and Miriam have been called upon to translate a few times over the past several weeks as our Dominican staff have been working long hours as well. We spent the last several days with a large group in celebration of the Revolution clinic. The inauguration ceremony today was very special to so many!
Our house has been filled with….. coffee! That doesn’t mean that we have been drinking coffee nonstop. Nope! Instead, it means that we have been filling little bags with dirt, planting coffee seeds, and taking care of coffee plants. All of these plants will be taken to new coffee farms. Jason also purchased some coffee beans and walked through the process of cleaning it so that he could take some green coffee back to the states. If you are a coffee roaster and want to try Dominican coffee- let us know!
I ask you to pray for Chantal, an almost 3-year-old girl that is part of our Child Nutrition Program. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon was able to repair a fracture in her leg that she had since birth and the prosthetic team is making her a brace that will be placed after her cast removal. However, she has a medical condition that makes her leg bone very brittle. Therefore, it is probable that she will refracture at some point in the future and she will eventually need to be amputated. Pray for a miracle for her.
We thank you for your support, encouragement, and prayers. Many of you have shared encouraging words and prayers with us over this busy season. Please know that we APPRECIATE those words and intercessory prayers so much.
Dios les bendiga. God bless you!