As most everyone knows, I went to Spanish school for 2 weeks in May and just returned from an additional 2 weeks. I had someone ask me why I needed to go to Spanish school when I am immersed in the language daily. Couldn’t I just pick it up from exposure?
One would THINK that I could!
Mo already knew Spanish when we moved here. Lauren and Lexie picked it up as quickly as they picked up swimming. If you have ever met my girls, you know that they have been little fish in the water since they were 6 months old. Yeah, they are crazy fluent in the Spanish language! It’s taking this old lady a bit longer to pick it up. This has been so frustrating because I am used to picking up things fairly quickly. I am speaking and understanding much more Spanish than I did 8 months ago though!
God is doing SO many amazing things in this community, and He is being so kind to allow our family to be helpers in all of this! Each time that I meet with a group, I realize how often my limited vocabulary is interfering with His work. There are many doors of ministry that are opening up, and my creative side is wide awake and ready for actions. It’s the verbal side that is problematic for me. The more Spanish that I can speak, the more that I see those doors of opportunity opening up for all involved.
Let me share some of the exciting things happening in our community:
Mo recently started a clean up effort for the trash at the river. The river is a very popular place for everyone to hang out and cool off on these hot days. Each weekend, there are buses full of people that come from Santo Domingo to hang out at the river. Usually, when everyone leaves, the beach is covered in trash and glass bottles. We have posted these signs and place two very large white barrels for trash. There are still many people throwing trash on the ground. However, each week more and more people are being respectful and placing trash and glass containers in the trash. Every thing here is a process! It’s awesome to see the community taking pride in their little “beach” and helping with clean up efforts!
In July, two young missionaries moved here from our church in the states. They are currently working in the school, one is teaching English & Special Education and the other is working in the brand new computer lab. They are actively involved in the “Jovenes Program” (young adults) in the church, and have started a bible study in their home for the teenage girls. They are a wonderful presence and example for them.
Due to a fabulous vision by a lady in the states, our church is about to start a goat project. This project is being created to provide financial support and nutritional needs to widows and their families in our community. Our family and one widow, Loyda, will be getting 2 dairy goats. We will learn how to care for them, milk them, and use their milk to make cheese and butter, and Loyda can sell these items as well. Loyda and our family will then train other widows on how to raise goats and benefit from the project for their family. We are very excited to get this started. Mo thinks its funny that an “old surfer boy is now going to be a dairy goat farmer”! God really does provide in mysterious ways.
About 2 months ago, God opened up a huge opportunity for the kids in the church. We now have Sunday School at the church here. This is awesome because the kids are now hearing about God and studying His word on their level. The first week of Sunday School, we had 23 kids. EACH week now, we are averaging about 55 kids! THAT’S 55 KIDS HEARING ABOUT GOD AND STUDYING THE BIBLE!!! The teachers are amazing and keep the kids engaged. We have taught them songs in Spanish and English. I love seeing the smiles on the kids faces every single week!!!
On Fridays, I meet with a group of ladies at the church to make crafts. Most of them enjoy crocheting. Some Fridays, we just sit around in a circle, crochet, and talk. I try to introduce different types of craft ideas as well, such as painting or sewing. This project is so heavy on my heart because we are learning various crafts so that the ladies can sell their products to provide for their families. When the mission team came in July, we had our first “market day”. There were only a few ladies that were able to sell their products at that time. We had one that made coconut oil from real coconuts to sell, one that sold crocheted pot holders, and one that sold coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon. It wasn’t a big event but my heart burst wide open for these ladies!!! God has really laid this program strong on my heart. I would love to have a location to store more craft items and for the women to come to make their crafts or purchase supplies. I often daydream about all of these ladies sitting around tables and letting their creative sides just explode! Lauren and Lexie will now be a part of this ministry. I cannot wait to see how God uses them in this.
GOD IS GOOD…ALL THE TIME!!!
These are just a few of the ministry opportunities in which God is using our family. THIS is the reason why I went to Spanish school! There are a few other opportunities that are opening up. We are crazy excited to see how these other ministries can benefit this community. We are seriously about to explode inside to share it ALL with all of you!!! As these projects progress, we definitely will. Until then, please keep praying for God’s will to prevail here in our community!!!