Thursday, February 21, 2008

Could it be TRUE???

Could it be...? Is it possible that after 2 and a half years on the missionfield that the Burge Family could be getting a car? While we are thankful that God has provided a means - actually it has been several different means - of transportation for us over the 2 1/2 years it may finally be the timing for a vehicle of our own!

For those of you who are not familiar with this whole issue here is a quick summary... We arrived in June of 2006 and we were totally relient on public transportation. Usually we took buses, some with air some without which gets pretty hot when the space is shared with up to 100+ other bodies in the heat of the Dominican Republic. =) We occasionally took a "publico" otherwise known as a public car. Some of you have been able to see these in person and were shocked that we rode in them. LOL Anywho, they are usually cars that are pretty badly beaten up but they carry passengers up and down a certain route (usually one particular street), they are pretty cheap but you may have to change to a few different "publicos" to get to your final destination. They are usually pretty crowded with 7 people sitting in a 5 seater. =) I will tell you that one time we were in one that the floorboard was rotting out of and I said to Greg, who's lap I was sitting on with my head partially out of the window and holding on tightly, I said," You know, a little more out of that floorboard and we could be like the Flintstones and use our feet to move the car along! Ha! Ha!" We have also been in a few where the front seats were being held up by a rope tied from one side of the car to the other. All of them run on a propane tank which is chained to the car in the trunk. Sounds like fun and adventure doesn't it?! Well, this was our transportation for a lot of the time.

God also brought us vehicles to use. We have several missionary friends here in the capital who have leant us their vehicles when they were going to be out of the country to travel elsewhere. A few of those we have been able to use more than once. There is also a family, who has been so wonderful in allowing us to use their van most anytime we have needed it. A special "thank you" to each of them. I will keep their names anonymous but they know and God knows who they are! =) for more about the car...
There is a 1999 Isuzu Trooper for sale that is in great shape, has had one owner (a missionary who has had to leave the field for a while to take care of family back in the US) who kept it up and kept the paperwork. It has 67,188 miles on it. It has good tires with pretty thick treads still on them. Now for the price...we need to raise $13,000. This amount will cover the total cost of purchasing the Trooper, pay for the Taxes (They are so much higher here than in the US), the Revista (which is our inspection and sticker), an oil & filter change, a year of Car Insurance, and it will give us a little to put into savings for future maintainence. I know that may sound like a lot for a 1999 that is in great shape, but you must understand that it would be more costly for us to buy one in the US and have it shipped here and pay Customs. We plan to keep it for as long as the Lord keeps it running. We hope it will be like the clothes and sandals that the Isrealites wore in the desert for 40 years without them ever wearing out! =)

Needless to say, we have both thought hard about it and prayed about it and we both have a real Peace about this being the right car. We have decided to step out in Faith once again and believe God to bring in the money neccessary to purchase and maintain the car. Afterall, He IS Jehovah Jireh - Our Provider! =) He has never let us down before!

Now is where you come in...we are asking each of you to pray about this with us and to consider being a part of getting a car for us, The Burge Family. If you wish to contribute to this an account is set up through Bethel Worship Center in Camden, S.C. You will receive a tax-deductible reciept for your donations. You may mail your checks to:
Bethel Worship Center
814 Fair Street
Camden, SC 29020
Please put "Burge" on the Memo Line of your check.

Thank you so much for all that you have already done for us by being part of our "Team" through your faithful prayers, support, and telling others about us. We love you! We can't wait to share with you as we watch God bring this all together. We promise to keep you updated so that you can rejoice with us in God's Blessings and Faithfulness!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Vid

Restoration Ranch is Going up, uP, UP!

Well, the team just left this morning and I know they are tired cause we are tired and they worked more days than we did. They worked so hard and accomplished so much! We were able to join them for several days working right along side experienced carpenters. Besides Brittany being our video and picture taker she and I were able to work together laying block. Britt and I learned a lot of construction lingo during the process. We learned all about "mudding" and "buttering". We learned the difference between "mud" and "soup". We learned the correct way to lay block using the line and a leveler. It was a lot of fun working on the block with Ronnie, Gary, and crew!

Matthew and I had the opportunity to work with Pastor Dale Blair of Cornerstone in Greenville, SC in tying on rebar. I never knew there was so much rebar in a building. It helps to give stability to the wall. Everytime we turned around someone somewhere needed more rebar. =) Pastor Dale is now a pro at rebar. Oops! I don't think that I was supposed to tell everyone. Just kidding! Thank the Lord for gloves right Pastor Dale?! =) Matthew was pretty jolted that he had an opportunity to work the Tamper machine. If you know what that is you will know what I mean when I say "jolted".

Isaiah helped to mix mud, carry rebar, bend the hooks needed for tying rebar and he had a shovel in his hands a large percentage of the time.

Greg, well...if he wasn't encouraging those around him and making them laugh then he was pushing wheel barrows full of cement (mud or soup) up the hill, carrying block, shoveling, translating for those around him, or running an errand for more diesel for the generator. He was always moving around somewhere. It was fun to watch the guys in the "assembly line" swinging the cement blocks from one person to the next from the bottom of the hill up to the top and into the building. There were 23 men in the line. They had it going on!

Oh, don't let me forget the cooks! They did an awesome job of feeding over 80+ people everyday. That's a lot of food! Can you imagine making three meals a day for that many people? I saw it and I still can't believe it. They were organized to say the least. Did I mention that the food was delicious? Well, it was delicious! A round of applause to the cooks. *Clap, clap, clap*

I loved the routine the team had of having a short devotional during the lunch break each day. A few people took turns sharing for the devotion and then they led us in a song or to of worship before heading back out to the site to continue building.

They were really working on two different kinds of buildings...a spiritual building in that they were building the body of Christ in faith and action and also building the physical buildings, future homes for children of Restoration Ranch. Children from all over Bani, who have been abused, neglected or abandoned will soon have a place to call home and the spiritual building will continue as God uses us and others to touch their lives and change their hearts.

You want to hear even more good news? The leader of the Team, Mike, was so touched and God moved on his heart to continue to help Restoration Ranch by going back to the States and working to raise more money to help to finish off the buildings that were started! God is so good!

That's not all...just before they left the team took up a collection for the daughter of a Dominican Pastor here who was blind in both eyes. **Notice I said WAS! She needed to have a cornia transplant but the family did not have the money. God moved on the hearts of men and guess what?! They took up an offering that paid for the entire surgery and the medicine needed after the procedure! As we like to say in our family....Aslan is on the move! (that is, of course, taken from the Chronicles of Narinia)

Thank you to all of those who were on the Carpenters for Christ Team!!! We love you guys! May God pour out His blessings on you to a greater measure than all of the cement that you poured during your trip. =)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Building Begins on the Ranch...

It is so exciting!!! After 3 years of vision, hope and too many prayers to count the buildings are going up! The Carpenter's for Christ Team arrives tomorrow, February 7th. We will work on shooting some video with a little camera and we will make sure to have pictures of the progress too!
Make sure to be praying for the Team...for safe travel, divine health, and no accidents on the job site, etc. Make sure to check back in a few days for the update and pictures.