Wednesday, December 19, 2007

the baby. making a presence known.

Just thought I would throw at you a recent picture of my growing belly! I'm still about 1 week or so shy of having 5 months. All of a sudden, and it literally seemed overnight, that belly of mine just decided to pop out!

Thank you everyone for all your many prayers on our behalf. I feel great these days and am so thankful for good health.

Monday, December 17, 2007

rain.wind.and more rain.

Well, we're keeping a little out of touch it seems. Part of the reason is that its been rain, rain, and more rain. Rain confines you to the house and sometimes puts work at a standstill. Sometimes you get to feeling like there is not much to report. Although last week we had a bit of a variation in the rain and got lots of nasty wind as tropical storm, Olga, came whipping through. Two days plus without electricity put our poor frozen turkey, waiting for Christmas, in peril. Always fun times in the DR!

Admist the rain this fall, there have been three teams that we hosted. One team came from Ohio, another from Austin, Texas, and the other was a YWAM, DTS team from St. Criox. Little by little the school looks better and better each day as more shelves are added, murals are painted on the walls, and some finishing touches are completed. Classes are going well and I think everyone was anxious and excited for their Christmas visit home and a break before January rolls around. Starting Jan. 1st, we have two back to back teams coming as well.

Thanksgiving was spent enjoying an American feast at the Makarios house with all the Makarios staff. And then that weekend we all enjoyed a couple of days away in the mountains of Jarabacoa. Jarabacoa is quite a different place than the sultry beach areas. The small town is nestled between large mountains. In fact, the largest of these mountains is Pico Duarte and We were able to pull our long sleeves out of the bottom of the dressers and enjoyed lots of hot chocolate. We were blessed to stay with and be hosted by a dear family that lives up there and runs a Christian school. They have a coffee farm that helps support their school and is the same coffee that Makarios buys to supply their coffee shop in Austin, Texas. It was a time to be thankful for eachother, the time away, the change of scenery in which God provided for us, and so much more.
Some people have been wondering what things look like down here, especially after last week's tropical storm, Olga. Everything in our area mostly stayed in tact. Last Tuesday night was an exciting night with a lot of heavy wind, yet although there was a lot of wind, there wasn't a ton of rain that could have come with the storm. In some ways, the wind is good as it keeps things moving right along. There were some fallen trees and debris littering the streets afterwards. Power lines went down, but other than that there was no treacherous damage done. There was a tragedy that did occur in and around the Yaque river that runs through Santiago. In anticipation for the storm, someone from high up decided to order to have the damn release 100's of gallons of water to minimize pressure put on the damn from the storm. What they failed to do though was warn all the people living along the river that a flood was about to take place, and as a result there are now an estimated 2,000 families that are reported missing. That news report is quite different than what you hear in the States saying that around 25 people were reported killed. Perhaps only 25 bodies were recovered and the rest were washed away or buried by the mud. Any way you look at it, it is a tragedy and in my mind quite criminal. Be praying for those individuals that are now displaced without anything or anywhere to go and also for those families who are missing loved ones.
Every day that passes brings along so many other things to be thankful for. We are so blessed and continued to be blessed in grand ways and proportions.

Thanksgiving family picture

Overlooking the Jarabacoa Valley

At the Jarabacoa coffee farm

Makarios girls: left to right
Camille, Robin, Cara, Sharla, Jennie, and Kate