Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thanksgiving family picture
Overlooking the Jarabacoa Valley
At the Jarabacoa coffee farm
Makarios girls: left to right
Camille, Robin, Cara, Sharla, Jennie, and Kate
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Miguel's appointment date to retrieve his passport landed on Oct. 31st right in the middle of tropical storm Noel where all of Santo Domingo was flooded. Needless to say he couldn't go that day but went on the following day only to find out that was a day where they don't give back passports. He would have to return on a Monday or Wednesday. Since the following Monday was a holiday it had to be the following Wednesday.
The time allotted for picking up passports is between 3 and 5. Miguel arrived and found a line of waiting people leading down the street and around the corner. As they organize people, they put the people who were there but not on their appointment date at the back of the line and say that if they don't have time to attend them before 5, they have to come back another day. You have to understand, for us to take a trip down to the capital takes all day and money to get down there and back. Its not that fun of a deal travelling down there.
So at 4:30, Miguel starts pounding on the window of the embassy and asks for his passport back. After a few reprimands to sit down and him refusing they say they are going to kick him out. Fine, he says," just give me back my passport first!" In the end, he left being escorted out by the security guard, but with his passport in hand.
Its not an approach I would recommend, but sometimes it just is what you have to do to get what you need. If only other countries used the mail system like the States....how lovely life would be.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Today is Halloween or better known in our family as my brother Cody's birthday! Happy Birthday Cody! We are so proud of you and think of you so often. We look forward to seeing you when God so chooses, and pray that will be soon.
You wouldn't know it was Halloween today unless you were in the big city like Santiago or Santo Domingo. The Dominican Yorks brought the holiday down from New York, but its not typically recognized here in this country.
I am glad the wind is blowing today. It does make it feel more like fall around here. I was reminded of the fall looking at all the pictures of pumpkins and pumpkin patches that my siblings have posted up for all to see and enjoy. Thank you all! And thank you dad for sending down a miniature pumpkin. I look forward to getting it every year, and it reminds me of home! I love you, my dear family!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
It is a sort of fundraising project to help support Miguel and I as we serve here in the Dominican Republic, but might also serve as Christmas gifts for your friends and family.
Here are a couple sample photographs found in the calendar.
If you are interested, they are $15 dollars each and we can mail them directly to you. My parents are going to be helping me out with all the details of mailing and receiving money orders. So here is how it will work. Just respond in an email to Jennie, email@example.com, with your order and mailing address. Slip in the mail a check made out to Jennie Morel with the total number of calendars ordered written on the check and also include $1.75 shipping for each calendar. Please send all checks to Jay and Pat Fisher, 504 Dairy Way, Buellton, CA 93427. And as soon as the check is received, the calendars will be sent straight out to you! For those of you who live in the Dominican Republic, I have a stash here that I can deliver directly to you. Just email me the best way to get them to you and it will be done! In pesos they are 500 RD each.
Miguel has been winding up with the little finishing projects at the new school house in Tamarindo. Its definitely looking more "cleaned up" as they have been busy clearing the rest of the property from unnecessary trees, shrubs, and other stuff. It will serve as a playground for the kids and also have a garden area with some banana trees for the feeding program as well as some other choice selected plants.
The school has been active to say the least with about 150 kids pouring in and out of it everyday. There are two afterschool programs as well as a pre-school program currently running. A couple of weeks ago, there were two young students who had been attending the afterschool program throughout the past few years who expressed desire to become Christians and start to go to church. So that was a huge encouragment and boost to the teachers and those involved with the school project. That's why we do the things that we do!
By the way, I'm not sure that I've mentioned the rest of the staff that we have working down here this year.
- Sharla Megilligan is the director of Makarios and is spending most of this year DR side as she is in the process of adopting Haitian twins.
- Camille was with us last year and is back again for another year of teaching in a real schoolhouse.
- Robin we've affectionately labeled as school principal and is the invaluable help to the rest of the teachers as she has a background in bilingual education.
- Weston is also new this year and is teaching the physical education and outdoor recreation part of each session.
- Kate is also a teacher and jumping right in with her Spanish and enthusiasm.
- Cara and Elizabeth have been with us since the end of August and although are only here through November and December have both been invaluable help with cleaning and taking care of the feeding program and anything else that needs an extra hand.
So that about covers them all!
Miguel is looking forward to phasing out with a lot of the finishing touches at the school and is ready to restart his electricity classes with the boys in Caraballo as well as starting up again the Bible class in Arroyo Leche. Hopefully we'll be able to iron out some of these schedules within the next couple of weeks.
Just as an update, I'm really feeling fine with my pregnancy. Although, I have had some minor discomforts already. Thankfully, morning sickness hasn't been a huge threat, although the parasites have. Discovering that you have a parasite is enough to make you paranoid, but finding out that you are hosting 4 different species is quite the other thing. My only avenue of relief has been to joke about it. After all, what else can you do? I've been trying different types of natural remedies to rid them from my body and pray that they work as I can't take medicine. I was also put on bed rest this week due to some unexpected bleeding. The sack where the baby is looked like it may have been trying to detach from my uterus' wall. We hope that after tomorrow's Dr.'s visit all will look fine and the precautionary step in being ordered to stay in bed for the week will have paid off. I really do feel fine despite all the fuss.
Well, Miguel and I attempted to impress the Italians with the hopes of getting a visa for Miguel to visit Italy with me for Christmas. Unfortunately, the Italians didn't take a look at his paperwork, or what they did see proved to be "Bad" paperwork. It was pretty much a decision made on Miguel's age and the fact that he is a Dominican. I guess you have to understand if it were that easy to get into Italy...the whole country would be up and going. And the same goes for Spain and the US as well. So we're not sure what we're going to do at this point. We might try a different avenue, or we'll just spend a nice, warm Christmas here in the Dominican Republic!
For the moment that about wraps it up! Until next time....
Friday, September 21, 2007
- Praise that the school house is nearly complete and that classes have begun.
- Pray for new teachers and students who come through school. The majority of the kids are from very poor and rough backgrounds and come with some tough attitudes.
- Praise that Miguel's shoulder is feeling so much better. At times it still bothers him but he is doing a lot better with it.
- Praise that Jennie's residency papers are all deposited and is now waiting for them to be processed. If all goes well, she should have her official residency ID's sometime in October.
- Miguel's application for US residency was sent from the US embassy in Santo Domingo back to Imigration Services in the States for further review. Since it has already been approved by Immigration Services once before we think this is probably due to our change in marital status. Pray that the paperwork is approved again and that we can move forward with it.
- Speaking of visas, the Fisher family is trying to reunite in Italy for Christmas. Miguel has an appointment at the Italian embassy on Oct. 9th for an interview for a visitor's visa. Pray that they will grant the visa to him so that we can join the family at Christmas!
- In case you haven't heard....Jennie is pregnant! She is feeling great so far....pray that the pregnancy continues to go well. A cyst was discovered on her left ovary, but the doctors do not seem concerned as it is most likely caused from the rapid change in hormones from being pregnant. Pray that it goes away and doesn't cause any complications.
- Pray for continued patience for Vlady. His mother, Susa, just recently professed a newly found faith in Christianity. Pray for a genuiness of heart and a true change in her life from getting to know Christ.
- Finances: We are currently under supported. Pray for continued job opportunities that Miguel is able to do on the side while still working for Makarios.
- Catch up on rest as it has been a very busy summer with very little rest! The heat definitely takes its tole in this area as well.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Finishing up the details.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
....the school house opens tomorrow morning. More to come on that soon!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
These boys have been helping us out all along. They are the errand runners, little people with little hands that can squeeze into tight places, the sweepers, and doers of tedious things. We couldn't have survived without them! Their names from left to right are Nao, Dominguito, and Angelo.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Strategically I start to wade through the packed building.....for most, they will spend their entire morning and afternoon in this building petitioning for their documents and hopefully leaving with a little yellow receipt telling them when to come back and retrieve their document. I reach the information desk but I'm still about 5 people deep from the front of the line. People are yelling, arguing, cursing....just trying to get noticed by someone behind the glass pane. I try to catch the eye of a contact I have on the inside. (You quickly learn to make contacts...sometimes you need to give away a coke or sweet to get attended in a decent amount of time). Finally, Alex hears me calling his name. I quickly scoot to the front of the line and he takes my request. The fans are few and far between, the people are packed shoulder to shoulder, people wipe the sweat from their brows, vendors somehow squeeze their way in selling fried foods and juice. If you do manage to get a receipt the whole process is repeated when you pick up your documents. If you don't return on the scheduled day that is printed on your receipt, you risk the people behind the glass panes throwing your document away. But at the same time if you do come on the due date, its usually not ready. It takes persistance, money, time, and determination to be legal in this country. No wonder, most people don't even bother.
Migracion in the capital, Santo Domingo, where I needed to do my residency paperwork was no different....except for the fact that the lines start at 6 in the morning and Miguel and I had to hop a bus from Puerto Plata at 3 in the morning. I've made up my mind that the only way to wade through the lines is by trying to find humor in the situation....if you don't you'll end up in a frustrated state. In one line that I was in, lawyers openly strategized on how they could get up to the front of the line. For the pregnant lady it was easy, you just automatically walk to the front of the line and say you're pregnant and that it would be a detriment to you and your baby's health if you had to wait at the back of the line. Some people stategically tried to confuse the army guards into asking the supervisor to deal with the "confused" person before they actually made them crazy with all the questions they don't know the answers to. Yeah, I too was a little confused with that one. One woman lawyer pushed passed the guard and walked straight into the supervisor's office, stuck her hand on the guy's shoulder, and shoved the papers in his face. He attended her right then and there. So you see...many strategies do actually work. Its clear you have to have a strategy or know someone who does because posted on the walls of the building are signs saying that no money gifts would be accepted to get what you need. My stategy was persistence and a happy face.....most times you'll end up getting rewarded by a friendly official.
So, all of that to say.... the last of my paperwork is supposedly deposited for my Dominican residency. The only snatch we have had is that yesterday we found out that the laws have changed and we need another legalized, notarized, document from Miguel on my behalf. We have less than a week to get that done and submitted before my legalized police record certificate expires.....its good for only 1 month and our month is up on the 23rd.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Well, this is my first summer experiencing the lights or I should say lack of lights in Montellano. Most small towns function this way especially in the summer when the main power generators overheat and people are trying to run their airconditioners in the bigger towns. As they say.....there are just not enough lights to go around.....llego la luz....se fue la luz.....light arrives....light goes away.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Be harder than you can handle on your own so as to make you more dependent on God.
Give you enough disappointments to make you humble and break your spiritual pride.
Be difficult enough to make you weep for others that you might become more compassionate.
Have enough demanding, insensitive, ungrateful people in it to teach you to love like Jesus loves.
Have enough impossible, insurmountable obstacles in it to teach you the goodness and power of God.
Teach you how to love when you’re tired, give when you’re spent and pray when you’re weary.
Teach you how to turn your mourning into dancing, your sadness into joy and your sorrow laughter.
Teach you the power and truth of God’s word, the strength of His voice and the might of His commands.
Teach you to love the only One worthy of all our love; the One who became poor that we might become rich; the One who became sin that we might become the righteousness of God.
…..A true ministry is the ministry that helps you become:
more like Jesus Christ
more in love with God
more in love with people.
I ran across this in one of my files today. And it turned out to be just what I needed to read again. Sometimes I can forget what it means to live life here on this earth....that its not easy but that we are called to find joy admist the trials.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 1:2-4.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Habian dos buenos amigos que se amaban. Eran como hermanos. Pero un dia mientra estaban en la playa un amigo le dio una bofetada a su otro amigo. Ese amigo que recibio la bofeta estaba tan triste y lo escribio en la arena. Despues, este amigo se fue a banarse en el mar y estaba ahogando en el agua. Su amigo se tiro al agua y lo salvo. Cuando su amigo salio, el escribio en una piedra. “Hoy, mi mejor amigo me salvo la vida.” Su amigo pregunto, “Porque, cuando te golpie lo escribiste en la arena y ahora te salvo y lo escribe en una roca?” El contesto, “Si alguien te ofende escribalo en la arena para que el viento de olvido lo borre, pero te pasa algo bueno debes escribirlo en cosas fuertes para que jamas se borren de tu corazon.”
- strength and endurance especially during the VERY hot season
- Miguel's shoulder - he is going on two months with a shoulder/bicep injury that is making it very difficult for him to do anything at all using it. The Dr.'s advice has been that he needs to do NOTHING with it...so far, that's been a challenge too difficult for Miguel to consistently accomplish.
- school construction project- safety in work and efficiency to its completion
- daily spiritual growth and maturity
- Miguel's US residency paperwork
- Jennie's Dominican residency paperwork
- Vlady-he is the son of Miguel's cousin, Susa. Susa has basically abandoned her 4 children and has taken up drinking a lot. Vlady's dad is a drug dealer and is currently on the run from the police. Vlady gets shuffled back and forth from family member to family member and he is quite aware that nobody really wants to take care of him. Miguel and I are trying to step in and take him under our wing...but need prayer for wisdom in knowing what our roles need to be in his life. He is six.
- Our general finances in living and working here in the DR
- Work relationships and opportunities to share God's love with whomever we encounter
Well, Miguel and I are currently trying to wade through that paper jungle. There are basically two things that we are working on right now. One, is getting U.S. residency papers for Miguel so that he can travel back and forth with me to the States, and the other is getting Dominican residency for me so that I can legally live here in the Dominican Repubic. Because Miguel is Dominican and I am American, we can both petition for each other and know that eventually we will get both residencies. The unfortunate unknown is being able to calculate the time it will take to get either one.
Please be praying for us as we try to gather the remaining few papers for my Dominican residency. It is our goal to travel down to the capital, Santo Domingo, within this next week to get my medical exam taken care of as well as deposit all the paperwork. We've already made one attempt to get stuff done in the capital and it ended up being a completely wasted day due to office directors not showing up for work.
As we currently stand for Miguel's residency paperwork, he has a case number and is on an appointment waiting list at the American embassy in Santo Domingo. His number in line is in the high 15,000's at this point. I had petitioned for a fiance visa for Miguel more than a year ago. We were told that because we chose to get married within the Dominican Republic instead of waiting to get married in the States, that the fiance visa case would be terminated and we would need to start from scratch as a married couple. Up until this point, his case is still open. We won't know if we have to start from scratch until his case is closed, and that is all the information we can get from the government offices dealing with cases pending in the Dominican Republic. Because the embassy has requested our marriage certificate and birth certificates, it is our hope and prayer that they will keep the case open and allow us to continue to send in the necessary additional paperwork.
Thank you so much for your prayers in this matter. We know that ultimately it is all in God's hands, and we continue to lean on Him and how he might direct the paperwork from this point. As the Dominicans say, "Dios sabe." (God knows).
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
If you are continuing to pray for Katy and her grandmother on a spiritual level, please also pray for her half brother Jean Luis. He is now living with them as well and is 11 years old. Katy and Jean Luis had the same father, which was the son of their grandmother, Wusne. Both Jean Luis' and Katy's parents have passed away and they are being raised by Wusne.
This picture was taken in the hospital before her surgery. As you can tell, we were trying to keep her entertained with whatever we could find!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Here it goes.....
Una vez un mendigo estaba en la calle con mucha hambre. En eso estaba pasando el rey y el mendigo penso se le pido algo el me dara muchas cosas porque el es el rey. Cuando le pidio,
"Senor deme una moneda,"
el mendigo esperaba mas, pero el rey le dijo,
“Porque tu no me das algo, Yo soy tu rey?”
El mendigo contesto,
“Yo no tengo nada.”
El rey respondio,
"Busca algo tendras por ahi."
El mendigo, enojado, busco y encontro tres naranjas, dos mangos, y poco de arroz y todavia estaba enojado. Tomo cinco granos de arroz y se lo dio al rey. El rey tomo cinco moneda de oro, una por cada grano de arroz. Rapido el mendigo dijo,
“Senor, aqui tengo mas!”
El rey le contesto,
“Lo siento, solo te doy que lo que tu me das a corazon.”
El conclusion, es claro que el rey representa a Dios y el mendigo a nosotros. Que aun cuando tenemos solo queremos que Dios no de mas. Pero nosotros no le damos tampoco.
One time a hungry beggar was on the road. Along came a king, and as he was passing by the king, he thought that if he asks for something from him, the king will give him many things because he is the king. When he asked,
"Sir, give me a coin,"
the beggar waited for more, but the king said,
"why don't you give me something, I am your king?"
The beggar answered,
"I don't have anything."
The king responded,
"look for something among your things."
The beggar, angry, looked and found three oranges, two mangos, and a little rice, and still he was angry. He took five grains of rice and gave it to the king. The king gave five gold coins, one for each grain of rice. Quickly, the beggar said,
"Sir, here I have more!"
The king answered,
"I'm sorry, I only give you that which you give me of your heart."
In conclusion, it is clear that the king represents God and the beggar represents us. Yet when we have only what we want, God doesn't give more. But we don't give to Him either.
Did your mom ever put those inflatable, yellow, tube like things on your arms when you were a kid to keep you from going under water and drowning? I can't say that my mom did, at least not that I remember. Or I'm sure if I had put them on, I would've rebelled against them. But I've certainly seen other kids with them on whether they liked it or not. At first I saw this kid up on a cliff carting two gallon jugs with him. I naturally assumed that he was coming to this fuente (spring)
to fetch water for his mom (I'm sure that's what his mom was thinking he was doing as well!) But then he decided to throw himself over the edge of the cliff with a gallon in each hand. After another couple of jumps, I realized that he couldn't swim and that the jugs were actually his security system. Why have I seemed to have lost all my creativity and ingenuity in my daily life? What a simple solution.
Meanwhile....during the time I was watching this little boy and all the fun he was having, Miguel was swimming down river at top speed to save a middle aged woman as she was literally drowning down stream. Thankfully, Miguel was able to do so and became her hero. Maybe we all should take lesson from the little boy next time.