Saturday, January 12, 2008

As I sit here to write this next entry I have mixed emotions. Being both joyful and a little sad. Why would I be sad? We are leaving to head to Florida tomorrow and then on to the Dominican Republic which means that once again we must say so long to family and friends. We are all ready to get back home and get settled back into life in the D.R. (that's the joyful part). Did you just see that? Yes, we called the Dominican Republic "home". God has made us feel at home there and while everything is not as fast or easy as it is here in America we love it and the Dominican people just the same ~ though you may not want to ask us that in the middle of August after running around town ALL day just to get one thing accomplished. lol

We are also joyful because we have seen God at work in our lives and in the lives of so many others on this trip back the the good 'ole USA. I seem to stay amazed at all that God is continually doing around us, in us and through us when we open ourselves up to trust Him to be used by Him for His great purpose! I want to share with you a few of the things that have happened while we have been here the past several weeks...

First of All...we have had several opportunities to share what God is doing in our lives, at Restoration Ranch and in communities all over the Dominican Republic. We have had several, what we call "divine appointments"! We have made new friends and been able to spend time catching up with old friends. We have had opportunities to hear what God is doing in the lives of others from stories of God's amazing healing power to His faithfulness during financial struggles to His preparing others to go on the mission field. God is always at work! God doesn't just provide...He will bless your socks off! He has done that for us over and over!

He provided a car for us while we have been here, actually he provided 4 different cars while we have been here all in His perfect timing and because we trusted him to provide. It is nothing that we could have done on our own, it was God moving on the hearts of others and then those people were willing. We are going to "toot their horn" for them. Our first car was provided by my sister Angela and her husband Dennis, our second car was provided by Land Rover ~ thanks Doctor Frasher, the 3rd was for our trip to New York and 4th was for the last week we have been here ~ thanks John & Martha Woods!

God provided places for us to stay each night. Some may not think that this is a big deal but try going to another country away from home and see how important this becomes. :-) This list is a little longer... of course our parents, David & Yvonne, and Robert & Kitty and Sandy as well as other family such as Meg & Dave, Angela, and Laura. Others who were kind enough to open their homes us were Charles & Sara Stephenson, Billy & Lisa Ward, and Jason & Cheri Golden, Mr. & Mrs. Don Golden and Gigi and Lynda Crosswell. While we could go on with a list of thank yous we will spare your eyes of having to read it all. :-) So to those of you who know that you have blessed us...THANK YOU!

We were blessed with money to buy Christmas presents, gift cards for Dick's Sporting Goods, and money used to purchase a laptop just after we learned that ours had died. God also blessed us through the willingness and obedience of others to provide us with the money that we needed to purchase 5 airline tickets back to the D.R. after the Agape plane crashed into the ocean just off the coast of the Bahamas a few short weeks ago.

We were also blessed to be able to make a trip to New York for New Year's. Honestly that was our first family vacation since 2004. A great trip which included being able to play in the snow and have a snowball fight with our kids which hasn't happened in about 5 years! We were able to drive down, with Jason & Cheri, from Oxford, NY to New York city to bring in the New Year. We had God's timing all the way! We left Oxford about an hour later than we planned because of the 6 inches of snow that fell overnight. We had a safe and clear drive down and arrived at our hotel at 3:00pm just like we had wanted to do. We checked into our rooms, which we got 2 rooms for less than the price of one room, put on a few more layers and headed out to the train station. Once we arrived in Grand Central Station we walked right up to see the "Ball" rise at 6:00pm.

We then spent time walking around the city to see the sites which included the Empire State Building, Rockfeller Center with it's giant lighted Christmas Tree, Central Park and of course, a trip to a small Pizza place for New York style pizza and a Canolle! Mmmm delicious! We also ran into a Dominican family that we know from our church in Santo Domingo when we were heading back towards Times Square. Can you believe what a small world it is?! To run into Domincans that we know from our church in the D.R. and to see them in New York City on New Years' Eve amoung thousands of other people! After the ball dropped we were able to get through the crowds back to Grand Central and walked right onto a train that departed 2 minutes later! God's timing and favor during the entire trip including clear weather back to Oxford.

Shortly after we made it back to Oxford it snowed again! We were able to spend one day relaxing, and freezing :-) while playing in the snow, riding sleds and tubes, walking across the ice frozen lake and having more snowball fights with our kids.
Thank You, Lord, for such precious memories

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