Hello and welcome to the Burge family blog. For those of you who are just learning about us I am going to give you a little background and for those of you who are familiar with us or know us well...you may just want to skip ahead an entry or two. =)
My husband Greg and I, Melynda, have 3 children, Brittany, Matthew, and Isaiah. We have been serving the Lord as missionaries in the Dominican Republic for 2 and 1/2 years now. We arrived here in June of 2005. Time has flown by! Greg and I have felt God's calling for us as missionaries since 1993 when we took a youth group on a mission trip to Mexico. The desire grew when we brought a youth team to the missionfield of Dominican Republic in 1995. For the next 10 years God took us through many changes and trials which we now know were all to prepare us and our children for the mission field.
During the years between the mission trips with youth groups and us actually moving to the D.R. we were keeping in touch with friends of ours, Danny & Denise Stone whom we knew from Cornerstone in S.C. They had moved to the D.R. in 1997 and had asked us on several occasions to come and join them in the work they were doing. We continued to put it off saying that we didn't think it was time for us to go yet. Well, in 2003 they told us about the vision God had given them for what is now called Restoration Ranch. What is Restoration Ranch you ask? It is an orphange...a place where abused, neglected, or abandoned children will find a home and people to love and nurture them while teaching them to know and follow after God.
In 2004 we brought our children down to the D.R. for a kind of "trial run". We wanted them to experience life in the Dominican Republic just as they would if we lived here. Our prayer was that if it was truly God's timing that He would not only be calling us and giving us the desire and grace to live here but that He would also do the same for our children. Well, He did that and then some. They were not ready to leave at the end of the 10 day trip! They asked if they could stay and start school and live with Danny & Denise Stone (who I will talk about more in a minute) while we went back to the U.S. and packed up and moved back here to the D.R. WOW! God is so good! Amazing that our 14 yr. old, 12 yr. old and 9 yr. old were ready and willing to give up the comforts of home in America to go on an adventure with God into the mission field of the Dominican Republic!
We finally dragged the kids back to the airport and on the plane back to the U.S. Just kidding, though we did promise that we would begin preparations to move here...in God's timing of course! =)
With a lot of help, support, and prayers from our church family of Bethel Worship Center in Camden, S.C. we left S.C. and moved to the Dominican Republic in June 2005. It was an exciting AND scary time. We arrived with only my husband knowing Spanish - and his was pretty rusty since he learned it in high school some 20 years before. It was on...time to lean on God and trust Him to meet our every need. Oh, how comforting was Matthew 6:25-34 for us many times since we arrived. If He takes care of the birds of the air and the beasts of the field how much more will He do for us. We can honestly say that even in the tough times when we could not see a way God has brought us through TRIUMPHANTLY! He truly is a God of abundance! He may not bring it in the way you think it should come but He provides for your every need and even some of the things you desire as well!
That brings me to a quick little story that we so often share with others. You must understand that the Dominican Republic is a third world country and with that comes some adjustment. We don't have electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We don't have air conditioning. The sseasons here are hot and hotter. There are new and different foods and after a while you miss a few things from home. Well after a few months here I, Melynda, missed peanut buttter. Yes, penut butter! We could only find the small trail size jars here...you know the size that makes about 5 sandwiches and it is gone?! Well, that size jar is about $6 US dollars. I just could not bring myself to pay that for peanut butter so...I asked God for a jar of peanut butter. Your going to laugh but God brought me that peanut butter through a family who is now in Costa Rica in language school learning Spanish to come to the DR and work with us and the Stones at Restoration Ranch. Who ever said that God doesn't work in mysterious ways has not been working with God for very long. Anywho, they asked us what we missed about America and I blurted out, "Peanut butter!" After a few minutes Gwyn walked over to me with a HUGE jar of peanut butter. She explained that she was just going to buy one jar for her kids to eat while they were visiting the DR but she just knew she was supposed to buy a twin pack and when she heard me say that I missed peanut butter she knew why she had bought the extra jar. I cried when she handed it to me. I know, it sounds stupid to cry over a jar of peanut butter but when God is willing to put it on someone else's heart, whom you have never met, to bring you something that you asked Him in secret well, you just know that He is paying attention and that He is sending you a message that He loves you and He cares about the things that you care about!
I will end this with this passage Matthew 7:7-11
"Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened. Which of you, if if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how MUCH MORE will your FATHER in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! So in everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."