I am currently reading a book called “Loving People” by Dr. John Townshend. I am just at the beginning, but one topic that has come up thus far is that some people are move lovable than others, but we are called to love well regardless of how lovable somebody else is. I think about how many people the ministry of Solid Rock interacts with. We come in contact with all types of people. Some of them are very loveable. Others are a little more difficult to pour out our love on. But regardless of how loveable someone is, we are called to reflect the love of Christ Jesus, our Savior. It does not matter if the receiver of that love is a team member, a patient in our barrio clinic, a surgery patient, a sponsor kid, a co-worker, a pastor, a member of Central church, the water delivery guy, etc. We are called to love well. We are not able to measure the ripple effect of our ministry because when a ministry’s purpose is to spread the love of Christ Jesus and bring glory to God there is no earthly scale to measure this success. Only God can see the full picture. Sometimes, we hear stories and get glimpses of how meaningful the ministry has been for one particular person and those are the moments that we can share. Those are the moments that we can “measure”. Those are the moments that help us to know that we are doing God’s work. Those are the moments that end up in conversations, blogs, or on social media.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We do not serve in this ministry simply because it is something that we like to do, we serve in the ministry of Solid Rock because it provides us with so many opportunities to love one another and bring glory to God.
Over the no-team, holiday season, we did a bit of traveling. For Christmas, we picked up Jason’s parents, Kaye and Gaylord, at the Santiago airport and went to the mountains of Jarabacoa. We stayed at a beautiful place in the mountains where there are pine trees and very cool temperatures. We played a lot of games, relaxed, visited some waterfalls, and just spent time together. Miriam specifically enjoyed chatting with the caretaker and her 2 year-old-son that lived in a very small house next door to the place that we were staying. She is so social and comfortable in the Dominican culture that sometimes she gets upset with me for not allowing her to be out and about. We try hard to keep it balanced. From Jarabacoa, we traveled to Sosúa to meet our friends, the King family, that serve out of Santo Domingo. We rolled in the New Year’s with a lot of swimming, beaches, and games. Both Ethan and Kyla jumped into the pool at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It is not quite the same as the polar bear plunges that they have in the US, but they still thought that it was something to brag about!
We went directly from holiday travel into picking up the first team of the season in Santo Domingo. This is a busy time of the year for all of our staff, but I enjoy watching all of the interactions that have been happening within the ministry. I have worked with both our barrio and surgical teams. Last week, we did 54 surgical cases (ENT and general). I also have been working hard on the logistics for an eye team to come in May. There is such a great need for cataract surgeries here and it would be such a blessing to have this service available. I covet your prayers for everything to come together.
Jason has been busy with construction projects with the teams. This week, he is leading a group at the guesthouse. They are working on a dining room addition. When it is finished, the dining area will have more enclosed space to sit and eat. Those of you that have been in the guest house during a large team know that things can get very tight. We are looking forward to this completed project!
Miriam and Ethan continue with both their Dominican school and English homeschool. Overall, they are both doing well. They also have their extracurricular activities, neighborhood friends, and interactions with teams to keep them busy. Did I happen to mention that we bought a dog? They are beyond excited about the newest member of our family, Zane, a Shih-Poo. Ethan had selected the name Zane about 4 years ago when our family dog, Chilli, passed away. It was not long before we moved to the DR. Ethan said that our next dog would be named Zane and here we are- 4 years later. I am excited about Zane too. Really, he is the reason that I started to write this blog at 5:30 A.M. on my birthday. He simply was so excited to start his day and did not want to settle back down after his 5:00 A.M. potty break. I suppose that puppies are loveable because of their cuteness! It certainly isn’t for their middle-of-the-night and early-morning wake-up cries!
- We are in quite the dilemma with our residency process here in the DR. We have had an attorney “working on” the process for 3 years, but it really doesn’t feel like she is/has done anything for us. We already have some funds invested with her and really want to see her complete the job. We are starting to feel like she will never get it done and that we would be better to just start over on our own. I will be making a lot of phone calls over the next few weeks to do some investigation work. Please pray over this. We really desire to be legal residents here.
- For strength and energy during this busy team season.
- That we love well and bring glory to God through our actions.
- For the eye team that I mentioned above.