Kelsi Smurr | Solid Rock

Kelsi Smurr | Solid Rock

Spring Update

At the beginning of March, we started with three barrio teams coming to serve. One thing I love every week is when team members get to see their sponsored students. When I packed my bags to come in January I wasn’t able to bring anything for my sponsor students, but the First team in March from Fort Wayne was able to bring items to me. So, I got to see my sponsor students in March! What’s unique about one of my sponsor students is I used to sponsor her older sister. I was lucky enough to stay with the same family to continue my sponsorship. Meeting this family, and being able to play a small part of their lives for the last 4 years has been so special!

Jeff gave us some manual driving lessons, but I think it’s going to take a few more times before I’m comfortable driving. I also have started Spanish lessons, and as we all know learning a language takes time.

With the last team in March, Katelyn had to go home to be with her family after the passing of her grandpa. That meant I was the main guest house host. That week was kind of a blur, I lost count of how many pitchers of tea and sweet tea I made. Thankfully, this is a team full of people who have served with SRI before, and they were so helpful and encouraging.

My living space is starting to feel a little more like home! The middle of March I had couches delivered from Ikea, and Sara was kind enough to help me put them together! Having them allows me to use my second room as a living space. I’ve slowly been purchasing things to help keep my closet space and desk organized and tidy.

This is the last week of a four-week break, during that time the Buchers, and Sarah went home to see family for two weeks. So, I got to hang out with the dogs! I also spent the week cleaning, organizing and inventorying the pharmacy. Katelyn came home the following week, and we continued to work on organizing and cleaning up the kitchen area for the next round of teams.

Katelyn and I made an Easter dinner, all the fixing from home to have a little celebration after going to church Sunday morning. Then on Tuesday, we were able to go to the clinic and donate blood! The blood bank is something new with the new clinic, and I’m happy to support their efforts!

During our break, I was able to travel with Mennonite Central to El Cacheo and El Hoyo. It’s important to me to find a way to be involved with Mennonite Central even if it is only during our off weeks, so hopefully going along on these visits can be a way for me to be involved. El Cacheo is the place where my home church Pine Hills is partnering with MC to start working and sharing the Gospel.

This past weekend I traveled into the capitol with the Bucher family. I needed a night or two away from the guesthouse to disconnect before our next group of teams. I enjoyed sitting poolside and swimming with Brantley. I even watched my first-ever pickleball tournament.

This morning, I was able to visit a school in La Jagua where Hector is a teacher and help him share some education with his students! I’m so thankful he asked, I’ve known Hector since my first trip in 2019! Now, we work together behind the scenes to make sure our teams have approval from Public Health. I enjoy supporting friends in their work at home, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do it in the Dominican.

I’ll be honest in sharing that I’m starting to miss some things from home. I’m very thankful for technology, but it’s still hard to not physically be with friends and family, I miss being in community with them. Over the last several weeks I have heard news from loved ones that made me wish I was home with them, to help them through their situations. I was encouraged to remember that even if I was home, it didn’t mean the situation would be different or that I actually could help.

I’m looking forward to welcoming teams back to the guesthouse and seeing our Ministry Assistants again as they also have been off for four weeks.

Prayer Requests:

  • God to reveal why he called me to the Dominican.
  • Continued progress in Spanish lessons.
  • Rest through the weeks to sustain the next season of teams.
  • Continue to build relationships
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