Getting rich is not what work is for. Paul said we should not steal. The alternative is hard work with our own hands. But the main purpose is not merely to hoard or even to have. The purpose is to have in order to give.
Ephesians 4:28 says “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”
I have been reading Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper and this segment reminded me of something that I said recently to guests that were staying with us. When asked about the “cost” of the stay, I responded, “You could just give us an offering towards food and utilities. We certainly are not doing what we do to get rich.” I remember when God called Jason and I to let go of the American dream. I confess that the process took time and it confused a lot of people on the outside looking in, but the more and more that I serve in the DR, the more and more I realize what God was up to. This culture has taught me so much about sharing.
Our summer days continue to be occupied by ministry tasks. Last week we hosted a couple in our home and partnered with local pastors to provide some mini VBS sessions. We also did community visits with SRI, preaching the gospel in a community outside of El Cercado. Jason took them on 2 different agricultural trips. On their final day in San Juan, we gathered supplies/ingredients for another missionary family that was working with a group/local orphanage. They had a fun day at a church camp just outside of town for the children of the orphanage in ValleJuelo.
Jason, Euclides, and Tyler also continue to work on the guesthouse. It seems that there are always repairs and improvements to be made. Team preparation, meetings, and planning have also been ongoing. On Tuesday, I helped Euclides teach an English class in a local church.
We are anticipating the arrival of our next team today. It is a small group, and we plan to be working out of the clinic in San Juan to provide medical care, doing community visits, and visiting/ministering with a Christian drug rehabilitation center.
Ethan continues to play baseball practically every day with the neighborhood kids. They also enjoy riding bike, playing cops and robbers, flying the drone, and playing Wii together. I usually only allow them to play Wii when it is raining outside.
Miriam continues to play with her newest friend, Ana Camila, who lives in our neighborhood and is part of the ballet studio. Last night was their first show of their end-of-the year performance and like all the other years, I was extremely impressed with the artistic ability that the studio provides to the community of San Juan. Miriam will have performances today, tomorrow, and next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We have also been deepening some of our relationships with members of the Central Mennonite Church. Usually, we do not have a whole lot of time to involve ourselves in other ministries, but it has been a blessing to get to know our brothers and sisters there on a deeper level and to serve together. This photo is from a “bridal shower/bachelorette party” for a church member.
- Pray for our team week this week. Pray for God to be glorified both by our actions and the actions of the team members.
- Pray for family members that are facing some health difficulties.
- Pray for Juana (patient that I spoke about in previous blogs) that is supposed to be receiving another orthopedic surgery in this coming week. We have worked hard (especially George) to get her to this point. Pray for a successful surgery and recovery without infection.
- Pray for our residency process.
- Pray for a ministry called My Brother’s Keeper (the drug and alcohol rehab facility that I mentioned above. Drug addiction is not as much of an epidemic here as they are in the US, but this facility brings people in from all over the island and other countries as well.)
- Pray for Haiti. Our neighboring country just lost its president to assassination. There is a lot of uncertainty, conflict, mistrust, and chaos there.
We thank you all for your continued prayers, support and encouragement!