Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Little Bit of Heaven

We're having a wonderful time with the First Pres - Harrisonburg, VA, team!  It's been fun to reconnect with some of my friends from back home... and to be surprised at how grown up so many of the kids are!  It's great to see them jumping into ministry here. 

One of the highlights was having my First Pres family and my El Buen Samaritano family worship together on Sunday morning.  To have my church - and my church! together... a little bit of Heaven! 

I was the translator for the pastor's sermon, and while I was a little nervous, it went pretty well.  I only got stuck a couple of times.  I'd never translated for him, or for something as long and involved as a sermon before.  But, friends were praying for me and the Holy Spirit was right there!

Getting ready to enjoy a feast!
Another highlight was taking my 'holiday' sister and niece, Amy and Emily, to Mata de Platano to meet our family here.  Amy speaks excellent Spanish, and Emily did great, too!

We wanted it to be a special time, so asked our friend Margot to cook one of her awesome Dominican meals. 

As always, she came through big time.  Ensalada de Trigo (bulgar-type wheat with onions, peppers, corn, cheese & cilantro), Locrio de Pollo (rice cooked with spices and chicken so tender it fell off the bones), Ensalada Verde with Pico de Gallo (green salad with an amazing dressing of onion, pepper, vinegar and a bit of salt), and, of course,  her bread.  Ah, the bread!  She sliced it and broiled it with olive oil and garlic.  Yum!

It was fun to have Carlos' mom and dad, one of his sisters, one of his brothers and family, plus Margot and her family together with Amy and Emily.  Despite differences in language and culture, we were family in Christ who has made us all children of God.

My new favorite picture!  (Although I'm sad it's missing Amy.)
l-r: Margot, Yineth, me, Lydia, Emily
Emily and Amy enjoying the view from El Nido

After dinner some of the ladies took us for a walk to show us some of the beauty of the area.  Both Amy and Emily love flowers, and so it was perfect! 

Margot, Yineth (Carlos' youngest sister) and Lydia (married to Carlos' brother Georgie) showed us an amazing weekend home named 'El Nido' (the Nest) which Ramon, Margot's husband, cares for.  His gardening skills are amazing!  For me, watching friends who are like family from Virginia and here really enjoying being together in God's beauty was the best!
Can you see why everyone loves visiting
Mata de Platano?!

Today I headed to El Callejon with some of the students.  Amy, Emily, and two other Emilys from First Pres were there.  I hadn't been in El Callejon for a couple of months, so I loved being back.  Seeing all 'my' little ones was incredible.  I've missed them!
Our Chiquitas (Little Girls) with the First Pres Emilys
and Amanda, one of the missionary kids.

It's hard to believe the First Pres team only got a few more days left.  It will be hard to say goodbye, but oh, what a blessing to have this time together.  God is so good, and having my friends here has been terrific.  It's also been fun to have Carlos get to meet and interact with more First Pres folks.  (He met some who were here last fall.) 

We pray that at some point in the not-too-distant future, he can travel (with me, of course!) to visit my family and more of my friends in the U.S.  Until then, it's been a sweet, sweet time down here.

Just a quick note for those of you worrying about Tropical Storm Chantal:  We are keeping our eye on it, and expect a lot of wind and rain here in Jarabacoa, but since we are far inland and sheltered by mountains, we are not too concerned.  Please pray for the southern part of the DR as well as Haiti which are expected to bit hit hard.  Thanks!

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