Wednesday, July 18, 2007

living for God ought to....

Be so unreachably big that you can only see it through the eyes of Christ by faith.

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.

James says,
"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

Dos Amigos

Miguel has titled this story....

Historia 2 (Story 2)-

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.”

There once were two good friends who loved eachother. They were like brothers. But one day, while they were at the beach, one of the friends punched the other. The friend who got punched was very sad and wrote in the sand. Afterwards, this friend went to swim in the ocean and was drowning in the water. His friend jumped into the water and saved him. When his friend got out of the water, he wrote on a rock. "Today, my best friend saved my life." His friend asked,"When I hit you, why did you write in the sand and now when I saved you, you wrote on a rock?" His friend answered,"If someone offends you, write it on the sand so that the tide of forgetfulness washes it away, but when something good happens to you, you need to write on strong things so that they will never be erased from your heart."

points for prayer.

  • 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 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

visas, and more visas.

I'm sure that for any of you who have ever needed to get a visa before travelling and entering another country, you can relate to the red, paper trail, jungle that you need to traipse through before arriving to your final destination.

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

under construction.

About a couple of months ago, Makarios bought a piece of property with a half built house on it. Its in the barrio of Tamarindo, within the town of Montellano. Its also within a hop, skip, and a jump across the river from Pancho Mateo. The vision for this property is to build a little school house and make it available for students who can't attend school because of lack of paperwork, and/or will probably never attend the local public Dominican school. The curriculum is still being developed, but the hopes are that it will be a bilingual school where kids learn to read and write, along with mathematics, Bible, physical education and some sort of vocational training.

Miguel has been in charge of this building project and they are currently in their fourth week of work on the building. As groups have been filtering in and out over the past several weeks, so have the helpers on the school.

But there are two specific workers that have been consistent since the beginning. Their names are Juan and Javier. Juan is the professional in that he knows everything there is to know about construction, and as you can imagine he is invaluable to the team. Javier is also invaluable as he is steady, consistent, and always has a smile on his face. They are all hard workers, and I am always amazed at how they don't complain even when some nights the work has taken them until midnight to complete.

As Miguel and I have the chance to work with these two individuals, we have been given unique oportunities to not only develop relationships with them, but also have the chance to serve them and talk with them about God. Keep us in mind as we continue to develop these relationships.





After Katy's surgery in March, I've been taking her for check ups and follow ups, and we've both come to the conclusion that we've just about had enough of the doctor's visits. Katy though is doing really well. She has healed from her surgery, and there are no signs of the cyst that was attatched to her pancreas. She's returned to her normal, onery self and we are all very thankful. We are continuing to monitor her nutrition, but are glad to give a good report of her full recovery! Thank you all for your prayers on behalf of her and her grandmother.

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


I know for some out there, trying to keep up with Jennie and Miguel can at times be a little confusing. For this reason I thought it appropriate to explain a little more about what we have been involved with over the past year. At the end of last August, and before we were married, Miguel and I both agreed to start helping out or working for the nonprofit, Christian organization called Makarios. It was founded about 3 years ago by a friend of mine, Sharla Megilligan. I used to teach Jr. High with Sharla at Santiago Christian School way back, and for some of you her name might ring a bell as she accompanied my family to Zimbabwe in December of 2001. Anyway, she's always had a heart for the children of the Dominican Republic, especially those who couldn't attend school regulary due to lack of paperwork or funds, etc. About 3 and a half years ago, while I was still living in the batey of Caraballo, I helped Sharla and a few of her staff members at the time scope out different needs here in some of the bateys of the north coast. Since then, they have settled into the bateys of Pancho Mateo and Chichigua teaching educational classes and Bible classes to the children living in these bateys. A year ago, Makarios' initial 2 teachers and in country staff members decided to go back to the States for a time, and that is where Miguel and I stepped in. You can find more information about Makarios at it's website address:

Miguel takes care of all the maitenance issues in and around the Makarios team house and school houses. He also started a water project in Chichigua to help them get water. (This project by the way is incompleted with the hopes of more funding to come in to complete it). He teaches electricity classes 3 times a week to youth in Caraballo, and we both had been teaching a Bible class to a little school in the campo of Arroyo Leche during this past school year. I, on the other hand, keep track of the in country finances for Makarios, and am the general gopher which has included working with groups and interns that come down, running errands, doing price checks, etc. etc. Keeping us both busy this summer has been the construction of a permanent school house in the hopes of having it ready for fall classes to begin. (More to come about this project).

Along with Miguel and I, there have been two other volunteers whom we work with. Alexia teaches english and literacy classes, and Camille teaches basic math, reading, and Bible classes. Alexia will be leaving us the end of July, and Camille will be returning for another year. In addition to Camille there are two other female teachers coming down to join the crew this fall.

So that's it in a nutshell. I encourage you to check out Makarios' website to get more of a general overall picture of what its all about.

Photo from left to right: Dudu, Camille (staff), Alexia (staff), Jim (intern), Jennie and Miguel, Latisha (bottom)