Fall has arrived in the DR. Sunday, October 21 the children from the school attended church. Though only 5 families were able to attend, the church was truly blessed by their presence. Four of the students got up the courage to stand in front of the congregation and sing a song they had been working on the past month as well as recite one of the weekly Bible verses they are learning in their class. The church was exceptionally proud and blessed by the fruit of the school.
Last week Tropical Storm Sandy hit and brought a weeks worth of cloudy days. Temperatures dropped to the low 70s which for us here means jackets, beenies, and long pants. Thursday, after all schools began at 8am, the government decided to cancel classes at 9am. Classes were canceled again on Friday, this time before classes started. Other than flooding in the usual areas in the south, the country enjoyed a week of cool temperatures. Saturday the sun came out and we had a gorgeous day.
Friday, Sairy invited me to Radio Emanuel, the local Christian radio station in Santiago to talk about mission work. Sairy is live on the radio every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:25-10am. Friday we spent the day talking about the importance of relationships and education in mission. It was cool to hear the reactions of different people and God’s call for us to serve.
Sunday, Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana (IED) churches from all over the country traveled to Santo Domingo to celebrate together 90 years of ministry. The IED church was founded 90 years ago by the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, and the Moravian Church. As a missionary it was exciting to see the ministries of missionaries from 90 years ago…still going strong. Church members sung praise and worship music, old hymns, and performed many different dances. A choir of 90 voices from various different churches sang and a slide show of pictures throughout the 90 years of ministry was played. It was a wonderful day worshiping with churches from Sabeneta, La Romana, Barahona, Santo Domingo, Monti Cristi, San Pedro, Santiago, and many other locations around the country.
This week in the school is our final week of the theme “My Body.” The students have spent the month of October learning that they were created by God and that their body is a temple. In November we move into the theme of “My Family.” We continue to work not only with the children in the school but also with their families. Today we met with the parents and were blessed to hear how happy they are with the school. They feel the teacher is a huge blessing to their children and their families. They love that their children come home singing the songs, telling their parents they can’t use that type of language, and boastful when the children receive a gift at the end of the week for their good behavior. It is amazing to see the difference in the children from Day 1 until now. They are growing so quickly and learning so much!
We continue to have needs:
This past week we learned of a family that needs a new washing machine. For those of you that know the story of Juancito, you know he is a child that at 10 years old has had a rough road. Orphaned almost 2 years ago, his aunt and uncle that took him in are struggling. The washer they had broke and a new one costs $200. His aunt struggles daily to wash the families clothes without a washer while suffering from back pain. While talking with her last week, she was in tears over her desire to provide for Juancito when the family was already struggling to get by. They know it the best place for Juancito to live and are sacrificing much to continue to care for him. If anyone is interested in donating the $200 for the new washing machine, please send me an email.
We are also looking for churches that would be able to do a toy drive, spanish book drive, or a school supply drive. I would like to send a shipment of supplies to the DR in December before Christmas. Thought the school is open, we opened with the bare necessities. There are not any outside toys and few inside toys such as cars, baby dolls, etc. Though the kids do not know the difference, we would love to fill the school with supplies before Christmas. See the wish list located on the Updates portion of the website. We still have lots of children that have not been sponsored. Pictures of the children still in need of sponsorship can be located on the website under Pictures. Please let me know if your church is interested in getting involved.
In the upcoming weeks, we hope to complete the uniforms and distribute them to the children, as well as restart construction on the water project. With the system in place we will be able to run running water to the school. (As I said we have the basics, 4 walls, ceiling, and floor. We have been without running water and electricity.) A huge thanks to everyone who has continued to pray and support the school. Know the parents are incredibly grateful and are already talking about the future and the upcoming school years.