Following our calling to the Dominican Republic



As we have written in other blog posts, many of our neighbors have given us chickens, as a way to say “thank you”.  Until now, they have been in our storage building at night (with a concrete floor), then transferred to a cramped little makeshift “house” during the day.  At that time, we only had 2 chickens.  Then another friend gave us another chicken.  At this point, we knew that it was time to build an actual coop for them.

It was time to make a plan.  I went to the most reliable source on the internet to make our chicken dreams come true…Pinterest!  (Talk about setting the bar WAY high!!!)

We decided that this would make a good project in which the girls could help for homeschooling.  We measured, and planned, and planned some more…and finally decided it was time to start!

The planning stage

The planning stage

It turned out to be a great Math lesson for them…and many other lessons for me.  I won’t lie and say that they enjoyed it.  It was definitely a “character building” event for all of us.  Mo, the girls, and I started with the base of the coop.

The base of the coop

The base of the coop

Very quickly, we realized that we weren’t quite skilled enough and needed help.  So we hired Chicho to finish that part of the plan.

The finished structure minus a little bit of chicken wire

The finished structure minus a little bit of chicken wire

Then the girls and I got to work on the hen house.  This was so exciting for us because this is where the eggs would be laid!

Lauren and Lexie hard at work

Lauren and Lexie hard at work

After a loooonnnggg day working, we had the base of the hen house.  We were so proud of this because we did it all by ourselves.  We just kept having to remind ourselves that it was only a hen house and did NOT have to be perfect.

The base of the hen house

The base of the hen house

While the girls and I were outside working on this structure, many of our neighbors dropped by to help.  Some gave us advice, others literally took tools out of hands to help, and none of them quite understood what we were making.  Most of them thought that we were making a table.  (After seeing the picture above, I understand how they could think that.)  I kept explaining that, as much as we appreciate the help, we needed to do this by ourselves.  I kept explaining how this was a project for the kids’ homeschooling…and we did not need any help.  I KEPT saying this over and over in my most broken Spanish…that did not translate well…and just came off as a little rude.  By the end of the day, I was just downright angry…and frustrated…and discouraged…and grumpy.  The girls were extremely grateful when I called it a day!

This is where I was taught a lesson…

That night, as I recalled the days’ events to Mo, I heard my own words.  I was able to see things from the perspective of my neighbors.  It probably seemed very strange to see females working with hammers, nails, and power tools.  They were curious, and just wanted to help.  That day, I continued to send the little girls in the neighborhood away because I was scared that someone would get hurt.  The only way that I knew how to use those power tools was because my dad taught me how to use them.  He didn’t shoo me away because he was afraid that I would get hurt.  He thought that it was important to share his gift with me.

The Sunday before, Mo was sick so he asked me to give his “sermon” at church.  The “sermon” was on sharing your gifts!!!  Wow, talking about needing to practice what you preach!  God really convicted my heart on this one!

I am happy to say that the hen house is still not finished because…now, when one of my neighbors comes by to see what I am doing…I invite them to help.  I share the little gift that my father passed on to me.  I am by no means an expert…and my work is not perfect.  However, it is giving something to my friends, as well as giving a lot to me.  There is so much that I would have missed if I would have continued to refuse help.

I would have missed this sweet little smile…

My neighbor, Rocielle

My neighbor, Rosielle

The amazement and seriousness of a little girl understanding how to use a leveler…



The laughter shared by two women while using power tools…



…and this precious shy boy feeling pretty special and proud of himself for hammering the nails



There have been a few more along the way but we didn’t get pictures.  Some neighbors have dropped by just to inquire about the coop.  They have voiced how they would like to raise chickens for eggs, how their chickens are getting killed by other animals, etc.  Mo and I have discussed how this may be one of those things that God puts in our path in which to help our neighbors.  (I laughingly thought to myself, “This is like that movie ‘Field of Dreams’…if you build it, they will come!”)

I love how, in everything that happens here, we can see God’s work.  He has such a subtle way of orchestrating His will and His plan into our lives.  I just love that about Him!

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”~1 Peter 4:11

*I want to share more photos of our chickens, the coop, and the progress of the hen house on the next blog post.  I am completely in love and obsessed with these crazy chickens!

7 thoughts on “Gifts

  1. God bless you all I am so proud of you and what you are doing

    Love you Phil & Betty

  2. Happy Anniversary! you are in my prayers.

  3. Pingback: What’s up, chicken butt? | asurprisecalling

  4. Merry Christmas and a purposeful and fulfilled New Year!!

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