Friday, December 28, 2007

We Made it Two and a Half Years

Wow! I almost can't believe it...we have made it on the mission field 2 and 1/2 years! It has gone by so quickly at times and other times seemed to drag on and on (those times were usually when we were in Spanish class. LOL!). No, really, it is amazing to look back on the time we have spent in the Dominican and see all that God has done in us and through us to change lives and to glorify Him! We want to share just a few of those with you now.

After arriving to Santo Domingo, D.R. in June 2005 we enrolled in Spanish classes at the Dominica Americano. While Greg caught back up with the basics pretty quickly I struggled. I am the type of person who needs to know "why?" something is the way that it is...there has to be a reason that you use a certain word here and you don't use it there. My husband, I love him, does not need to know "why" he just absorbs it as "that is just the way it is". Needless to say I was quite frustrated at times. When I felt like my brain could not absorb any more I literally felt like giving up and BOOM I wake up and I was able to form short sentneces in Spanish! Did that mean that I went around talking all of the time? NO! I let my wonderful husband, Greg, do all of the talking and I helped him with words that I knew when he could not think of them. *smiles* Many of you know that Greg is a laid back, fun-loving, people kind of guy who is willing to put himself out there even if it means he could be embarrassed and I am just the opposite - hence, opposites attract. lol. Anywho, when God provided the funds we were able to have a private tutor for about 6 weeks and that is when I grew in the use and understanding of the Spanish language because I got my "why" questions answered! Thank you LORD! Understand that we are not fluent by any means (that will probably take a few more years - God willing) but we are able to lead teams and do a little bit (un chin -pronounced oon cheen) of translating.

After being here for about 6 months, learning Spanish was just not enough for us to do. I am involved in a Ladies' Bible study and I asked that they pray with us that we would know where we could be used by Him until land was purchased for Restoration Ranch. Well...the floodgates opened with opportunities to help different ministries. We began working with several different missionaries in the ministries that they were doing here in Santo Domingo. After another 6 months of working with different missionaries we answered an email for Agape Flights who was seeking a Field Director for Santo Domingo. After several emails and an in person interview we learned that they wanted someone who would be "a missionary to the missionaries".
After praying we accepted the position with Agape Flights.

Our first trip to the US came after being here for 16 months. It was an awesome time of catching up with family and friends, eating American food and visiting Wal-Mart (since we don't have one here). The most enjoyable part of it all was sharing what God has done in us and in the Dominican Republic. We were able to share about how God has grown us in our faith journey with Him. How He has been faithful to provide for our every need! He continued to show His faithfulness as He opened doors and moved on the hearts of many to join in supporting us and enabling us to stay here in the Dominican Republic.

In January 2007, after a year and a half of house-sitting, God blessed us with a place of our own...I say that loosely as we rent it and a portion of the first floor of the house is used for housing Mission Teams which we LOVE to do! It is a beautiful house and we have had many people stay here in the last year. We have taken them out to help several different missionaries in everything from building projects to painitng a school to evangelistic outreachs to short VBS programs with other orphanages, etc. The list goes on and on!

Amazingly, just a few weeks after we got into this house Danny and Denise were able to find and purchase land for Restoration Ranch. YEAH GOD!!! We can't wait to get to work on it! We have already taken a team out to "prayer walk" the entire farm (Ranch). Another team went out for a day to pray and clean up all of the trash. That was a big job since it is about 20 acres of land with 4 types of Mango trees, avacado trees, banana trees, beans, orange trees, grapefruit trees, etc. It is surrounded on the sides with mountains. Gorgeous! God is so creative! It is amazing what He has created and all that beauty is contained in just a speck in comparison to the whole earth! Wow! I'm continually in AWE of Him!

Here we are in December of 2007 and having just spent Christmas back in S.C. for the first time in 3 years I can't even scratch the surface on telling you how God has blessed us. He has given us so many opportunities to share His love, grace, mercy and blessings! Too numerous to even count! Before we left the D.R. to travel to the States for the holidays my prayer was that God would keep me in "awe" of Him each day. He has answered that prayer and He answered in so many different ways. I have tried to keep a journal and I will share some of the entries with you throughout the coming year.
In the meantime...Dios les Bendiga Ricamente!! That means...May God Bless You Richly!
We love you all and pray that God will truly bless you in this coming year as you step out and follow Him and seek to know Him on a greater level! Happy New Year!
Be sure to check back with us soon!


Jonathan Wolfe said...

Glad to see you guys have branched out into the vast expanses of the internet.

If you all need any help getting something to work or adding/changing anything let me know.

Dios les Bendiga

Prem-aka-Prince said...

It's like one big happy story! It's nice to hear so much detail about your activities of late. I imagine Spanish is quite hard to learn, I'd begun French and Latin but even those were... uncomfortable. Well, I'll look forward to reading your next entry (alternate title: the exuberant escapades of the benevolent Burge Family & friends?)