Hola All! It’s Mo…
It has been a long long time since I shared a blog with you all. I am not the best at expressing myself with the written word. Here it goes anyway. Tomorrow my bride and youngest daughter leave our home of 4 1/2 years . We are closing a season of our lives to begin the next season that God has in store for us. We moved to the Dominican Republic with no clear cut plan and no real guidance on what to do. Our family moved because the Lord called us to do so…..specifically me. We had a fairly comfortable life back in Murfreesboro, TN. Moving and leaving that life was questioned by many, but not by my wife. She said, “If you feel that you are being called by God to serve, then let’s go serve.” (I think most of you know it wasn’t THAT easy……but pretty close). Now, mind you, we were moving to a different country with a different language and a different culture with no plan. If you know my bride, then you would know that she does not roll that way. Normally, we have a plan and possibly another plan. But, with this move….we had no plan!
So, we move, and the adventure begins. Nothing went how we imagined it, and we were immediately challenged with a bunch of stuff that we “North Americans” are not accustomed to. (All of that for another day!) Through all of those initial challenges, my bride was actually our rock. I crashed and burned daily with our challenges here. (Also, another story for another day.) We pushed through and with God’s help, after we let him, each found our gift to give the community. We, in return, received our greatest gift, the people here in our ” barrio”. Once again, there are many, many stories to tell, and Tamara will probably be telling them for us because she is better at it.
Let’s get to why I am posting this blog.
My wife is my hero. She has supported me, our family and this community with not a lot of fan fare. As a matter of fact, while our interns and I were getting all of the accolades, Tamara just quietly served. She served our family, and she served everyone around her. The legacy that she will leave with the women here is hard to describe. She has helped our ladies here know their self-worth. She has taught them that studying and learning about God is beautiful and fun. She has had my blind side and helped me with all that I do. Our primary job here was to manage logistics for short term mission teams. Not an easy task to insure a safe and event filled trip with little to no problems, but we did. Tamara helped serve close to 30 mission teams with joy in her heart. Now, if you know me, then you know that I am a hard worker but not always the most organized. Our mission team trips were organized ( do you get the picture ) ?
Hermanas en Cristo was started to give the ladies here an opportunity to meet and learn about the Bible. It has become so much more. At the risk of offending some people, here goes a layman’s explanation of the culture here. Women are treated like 2nd class citizens, but are given the challenge of raising their families for the most part. This takes a toll on them physically and mentally. Tamara saw this and created a safe environment for them to come. With her, they were able to share with each other their challenges. They were able to pray for one another. They created a way to supplement their income by making jewelry that Tamara helped design. By the way, did I mention that she got no financial help from anyone for any of this? She managed it, and then she taught the women to manage it. If you all could see what all of this has done for the self-esteem of the women, it is beautiful! All of this because she wanted an environment conducive to learning about God.
My bride is leaving a few days before me, and I tear up every time I think about it. I am proud to call her my bride. She gave her yes to come here with no pretext other than to be obedient to God and whatever plan he had. Her life here has been like the avocado tree that she planted from a single seed and is now bearing fruit. I guess, if we have to leave, its when the seed, that you planted, starts to bear fruit, which in turn creates other seeds.
Honestly, I have some fear in moving back to the US, and all that it entails, but I know that, with God and his plan, we will be OK . I say OK. I think it will be great, and I am excited to see what kind of seed my bride will have bearing fruit. Thank you, Tamara, for being a great example of a servant of God. The service that you have given to me, our daughters and this community is way beyond attaching a dollar value. Muchisimo gracias!!!