Thursday, April 24, 2008

All is well...

Just an update to let everyone know that all is going well with the Burge family in the D.R. We are busy as usual. I did want to give you a few updates on Praise Reports and Prayer Requests...

We are asking that you pray with us as we are facing some big decisions on how, what and where God is leading us for the near and distant future. We know that we are in the right place - working on the mission field of Santo Domingo. As many of you know we have been working with Restoration Ranch (a children's home that is under construction and we hope will be open and housing children by early next year) as well as working with Agape Flights (a ministry that brings in mail/cargo to and from missionaries). We have been working with Agape for almost 2 years and we were recently faced with a small dilemma.

Let me share a little more... while we were waiting to find land for Restoration Ranch (henceforth referred to as R.R. since it is easier to type =) ) we decided to help several missionaries in the work they were doing here in the DR. Not only would this help them in what they were/are doing but it would help us to get to know the missionaries, use and learn more Spanish, and learn more about Dominicans and the needs we may be able to help meet. Any who, when Agape said they needed a Field Director to do exactly what we were doing we felt it was a great match. We never gave up on R.R. and we have watched God's timing be perfect in every way! Well, just recently we were told by the Executive Director of Agape that we needed to be Agape 100% and only Agape. There are also several other things/new policies we are struggling with at Agape one of which is the way they want us to go about raising our support funds.

As many of you may already know we have always relied on God to be here. When God called us to the mission field he made it very clear to us where He wanted us to go and how and when. We have shared our experience as part of our testimony. When we came to the DR we came with money in savings and support promises of just over $300 a month. Yes, we live in a third world country but, $300 doesn't even cover our grocery bill much less any of the other monthly bills because things cost double to triple what they do in the US. =) Have we ever missed a payment or a meal?? No, God is faithful! He has always provided everything we have needed and even some of our wants as well! I, Melynda, keep the books and I like to see things match up on paper and I feel like I am limited to what I can see - you know the old saying," continue

We understand that Agape is trying to make a standard for all who may come after us, but we just don't fit inside that box. The policy would cause us to leave the mission field as early as August and we would have to stay in the US until we raise the entire amount of the Agape approved budget which is close to $60,000 a year. For one, we don't agree to the budget amount and secondly, we don't think we should leave indefinitely. We feel that doing it that way takes God and our faith and trust for His provision out of the picture. We know that it is hard to walk by faith...some of you may be going through that growth period in your lives right now - hang on! God is faithful - but we know it is the right thing for us. It is hard to explain but it just fits.

We have prayed hard about this and we ask that you join us in prayer. As it stands right now we have been put in a place of making a decision between Restoration Ranch and Agape. Our leading is, of course, to go with Restoration Ranch, as that is the reason God brought us to the DR in the first place. Yes, it has taken a long time to come to fruition, but we all know the our time is not God's time and God's time is always perfect!
We still hold out hope that God will touch the Executive Director's heart and that we can continue to help both ministries but ultimately we want to serve God. We know that working with Agape has been a blessing to their ministry growing here, the missionary community has been blessed and we have been blessed and learned so much through it all. It has been God's timing. If it is only for a season then we will all depart stronger because of it. God is so good!

Next is a Praise Report and prayer request all in one... it has to do with my knee. I broke my knee cap after falling off of a ladder in April of 2007 and it has not fully healed. I was talking to a missionary here who leads 50+ teams a year (most of them a medical teams as she is a nurse) and she told me that she has an Orthopedic surgeon coming in June who may be able to help me. Yeah! I have already been in contact with him and he believes that he can do an arthroscopic surgery on my knee and help me. That is the Praise part! Now the prayer part is that we will be able to go when he comes and that all will go well with the surgery. =)

Last, I ask that you pray for the missionaries here in the DR as there seems to be a greater spiritual attack against us than there has ever been before. We knew coming to the mission field that we would be on "the front lines" but this is stronger than we have experienced to date. Just pray for protection, wisdom, and strength.

Thank you all for taking the time to read our blog, pray for us and support us. We cannot do it without you! We need you! Thank you again....until next time...

Dios les bendiga richamente and Vaya con Dios! (May God bless you richly and go with God)

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