asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

When it’s overwhelmingly hard…

10 Comments

Often, when we get away from our community for a break, I will post pictures of us relaxing on the beach.  It never fails that someone will make a comment like, “Oh yeah, your life is so hard”!

For the most part, we are incredibly grateful to be living here.  We have wonderful neighbors that genuinely love us.  We have numerous beaches within an hour and a half away.  We get to host so many fascinating people that come here to serve our community.  I love working with the kids in the library at the school.  Plus, we have really cute goats, chickens, and dogs.  Seriously, how can we not be grateful for all of those things…and more?

Yes, all of that is awesome.  And those pics on the beach…well…those don’t tell the whole story.  Those are pics of us relaxing…of us “checking out”…of us recharging.  You typically won’t find photos of our “real” life.  Those photos aren’t always very pretty, like when I am sending photos of goat poop to my goat guru, Arden.  Yeah, those would definitely not make for a nice glossy photo.

The thing about living in the middle of nowhere in a 3rd world country is sometimes…it’s overwhelmingly hard!  This week I have had a sadness that I cannot even put into words.  It has literally been a paralyzing sadness.  Sometimes we forget that we live with poverty.  Poverty is not just a state of one’s bank account.  Poverty is a way of life and a way of thinking.  Almost always…Poverty sucks!  Poverty breaks our hearts.  This week has reminded of us of how our neighbors, who have become like family, have lived their entire lives.

First, we are in one of the worst droughts they have had here in years.  When we are low on rainfall, the community typically does not have water.  For over a week, there has not been water in my neighbors’ houses.  Because our church had the money to put in a cistern, my family was only without water for one day.  My neighbors didn’t have that luxury, and we never heard them complain.  They were bathing and doing laundry in what little water was left in the river.  This is something that, because of poverty, they are accustomed to.  We were very glad that we were able to offer jugs of water to them.  However, it still broke our hearts that this is the 21st century, and people are still living, at times, without running water in their homes.

Then we had a situation with a family in the community.  I really don’t want to go into details to protect their privacy.  I will say that it is a situation that literally hurt our hearts.  Mo and the dad were able to sit down and talk, and, hopefully, find a solution.  So much of this could be different if poverty thinking was not in place.  As the saying goes,

“When you know better, you do better”

Please pray that this will be the outcome for this particular situation because our hearts are aching for them.

Then, we had 2 goats get sick.  One of them was our pregnant momma goat.  We have tried NUMEROUS times to find a vet to come out here.  Due to living in the middle of nowhere, no one wants to come help.  We have gotten by fairly well by using Google, books, and texting pictures of EVERYTHING goat to our goat guru in the states.  That was working fine until yesterday, when I walked into the goat house to see four precious little dead baby goats laying all over the floor, with my momma goat confused and trying to care for them.  Then she started getting sicker and sicker.  We frantically tried to get a vet to come help.  About 9:00 last night, a young man in the community found a vet that could come today around 8:30.  We woke up this morning to a goat that was progressively getting worse and worse…and a vet that never showed up.  We tried to call a few vets but they didn’t answer.  We can’t leave messages because our cell phones only work in certain areas in the community.  In order to receive calls, we have to be in those areas, which are not near our home.  We couldn’t take our goat anywhere because our truck is in the shop AGAIN.  We literally felt helpless.  It made me question how many times have our neighbors felt like this because options are limited when funds are limited as well.

The capital city is about an hour or so away from our house.  I asked Mo and Lauren, “Please go into the city and don’t come back until you have a vet.”.  Literally…that was the only option that we had!  After much begging and pleading by Lauren at the Agrovet, we had a vet at our house around 6:00 pm.  He was wonderful and helpful and kind and understanding.  He was our lifesaver…and quite possibly, Ribo’s lifesaver.  She is not out of the woods yet.  He said that the next 48 hours are crucial.  Had it not been for his willingness to come out here, she definitely would have died.

This entire week has been overwhelmingly hard!  This week I have had a difficult time finding the silver lining in many things.  I know God has a plan for everything.  I know that God carried me through the entire week because, honestly, I could not have made it on my own.  I am definitely a 1st world girl learning how to live through these 3rd world issues.   Along the way, my heart is being broken into a million pieces…not just for my family, but all of those that we are doing life with in this community.  My neighbors and friends that live this life every day of their life inspire me to lean more and more into our Lord and Savior for my strength every single day.  Please pray for our community and that our family continues to see life through their eyes.

Oh…and BOTH of our propane tanks just ran out of gas.

Oh my word…what am I going to do about coffee in the morning?…..

10 thoughts on “When it’s overwhelmingly hard…

  1. my heart hurts for those folks and bursts with pride also because of the enduring strength and joy they can find in the everyday.. I came from a poor area in the mountains years ago.. Not third world by any means but close as it can come in the US.. Years before welfare and food stamps… Folks would work in the woods falling trees during the good weather and in the winter it rained or snowed constantly… There was no work unless you owned the local store. We hunted, we cooked and heated with wood.. There were very few phones or tv’s.. Our nearest Dr was 40 miles away if the roads weren’t flooded.. So, saying that… I totally understand and pray for y’all daily! Hope your nanny is up and we’ll soon!

  2. oh child! oh friend of mine – how you are growing stronger and stronger withe very hardship that comes your way. thinking of you and loving on you all from Crossville. xo

  3. Tamara… You and your family are the strongest people inside and out that I know… People with hurtful comments obviously have nothing better to do but envy a TRUE GOD LOVING, CARING AND GIVING family. We don’t see them posting or blogging about how they have helped a community. I am so proud to say i have known you all for years and call you all my friends. Now, how is Riba?

  4. Tamara, your family’s story is an inspiration. Please know that your Christ family does pray for you. The Holy Spirit lays you all on our hearts at times you don’t even know. Be encouraged in the Lord. I was just sharing you story with a friend the other day. And what an incredible story it is! What a journey your children have taken and a legacy you making for them to carry on.
    Poverty is a state of your spirit and your spirit is overflowing!

  5. This post really strikes me today as I recently received similar commentary. My husband and I are missionaries serving in Elias Piña, Dominican Republic. I have quietly been following your blog for some time now, and I just wanted to say that I can relate. Life here is hard. Life for the local people is hard, sometimes unbearable. Keep on keeping on! And remember your love for your community makes our Lord smile. 🙂

    • Jessica, I am not familiar with Elias Pina. I will definitely look it up. You completely know what the daily hardships that the locals endure. So nice to “talk” to someone that lives it daily as well.

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