Sunday, April 10, 2011

After May 13

This weekend I sent out my latest newsletter, explaining a little about what I’ll be doing after I leave my job as Church Administrator on May 13.  I thought I’d share that with all of you, as well!
When I first said, Yes, to serve God in the Dominican Republic, back in November, 2010,  it seemed very far in the future.  Now, instead of months away, there are just weeks left before I leave my job as Church Administrator.  I wanted to let you know a bit more about what I’ll be doing after May 13. 

Before I head to Jarabacoa I will be preparing and equipping.  First is three weeks at the Mission Training Institute (MTI) in Palmer Lake, Colorado, where I’ll learn about the challenges and joys of serving cross-culturally.  I’ll learn about everything from spiritual care, to adapting to a new culture, to interpersonal relationships. 

If you are interested in learning more, check out  Friends who have gone through this training say it is excellent.  And, for this gal who lived in Calgary, Alberta, being by the Rockies again is an added blessing!

After MTI I’ll head back to Virginia for 10 days to finish shipping / storing / selling my things, and say my final goodbyes.  On June 25 or 26 I’ll fly to Antigua, Guatemala, for language school.  To serve in the D.R., I need to be able to speak Spanish with the women, teens and girls of El Callejon, and also translate for the students at our Social Work site, who come down from the U.S. and Canada on outreaches. 

So, for three months, I will attend Centro Linguistico Maya (website where I’ll have one-on-one tutoring five days a week.  I will live with a local family which will give me even more opportunity to practice my Spanish - and be fully immersed in the culture!  The Lord willing, I will start class on June 27. 

Students International has ministries in the area, and I’ve already been in touch with one of the missionaries there.  I hope to be able to do some volunteering as well as taking in the sites and culture of this beautiful (and impoverished) area. 

I’m a little apprehensive, but also really excited!  It’s going to be hard work, but I feel ready for the challenge.  As a dear friend reminded me just this week, the same God who called me is going to be with me every step of the way.  What a blessing to serve Him!!  And oh, how I look forward to the day I’ll be able to share my love for Jesus, and pray with the women of El Callejon – in Spanish!

I Invite you to join in praising God for:
†My trip to Michigan to visit my family was wonderful.  Along with my immediate family we spent time with cousins and aunts, and I also was able to connect with friends from college.
†Communication with missionaries with Students International in Guatemala.  What a blessing to know there is a community there I’ll get to meet – and hopefully volunteer with!
†My support-raising continues to go well.  I’m getting really close to 100% of my monthly commitments!
I also welcome your intercession for these prayer requests:
†For these final weeks of wrapping up tasks, saying goodbye, and becoming spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and even physically prepared for the changes and challenges of the next months.
†For the friends, family and staff I am leaving behind, as they continue answering God’s call to them to stay and minister here.

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