Friday, February 22, 2008

the visa saga.

So you all know that Miguel and I have to start over with the whole process of getting him a US visa. The paperwork is gathered, and now since I have my official Dominican cedula and residency card we can submit the paperwork in person to the American embassy in the capital. Our appointment date for doing that is March 6th. In talking with again another agent, I just asked to confirm that the process will take about a year, right? (thats what all the other agents have told me, except for one). She however said, "maybe less than that." I was so encouraged to hear those words. We don't want to get our hopes up, but please be praying for us as we go down to submit this paperwork. I know that every case is different and they consider each one seperately. So my hope is that we will be able to talk to someone face to face and explain the fact that we've already had a year and a half wait for a fiance visa, and to more or less explain our history with this process. Perhaps they will consider all of that in processing our case. You never know...but God does and He's the one ultimately in charge of all of this.

taking a vote.

Last Sunday, we went to spend the afternoon with Miguel's mom and family after church. Its our typical thing to do each Sunday. For a while now, Miguel's eyes have been burning or itching or in other words being bothersome. We've mostly attributed it to the fact that he is working around cement dust and sweating, etc. At one point in the afternoon, Miguel called me over to show me something. To me it looked like a fat tapeworm in a jar of water. I was a little grossed out by it, and asked what it was. It turns out to be part of Miguel's umbelical cord from when he was a baby. Ok so it wasn't a lock of hair from his first haircut, but it certainly was a weird kind of momentum. However, to my dismay, it turns out not to have the sentimental value to explain why Miguel's mom would ever keep such a thing tucked away in her closet for the past 24 years. In fact, Miguel proceded to wash his face with the water that the cord was soaking in. I have to admit that I was more than a little grossed out. Angelita, Miguel's mom, said that you save it for just that case the child one day gets an eye infection, the umbelical cord soaked in water is a sure cure. Of course she expects me to do the same with our children's cords. So what's your vote? Save the cord when baby arrives or not?

By the way, Miguel's eyes do feel better, and he says he is going to do one more rinse with it. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

weekend in las terrenas.

As a Makarios staff we were able to get away for
the weekend, and it was such a blessing.
It was a time for relaxation, discussion
as a Makarios staff relating to Makarios ministries,
time of worship together, and study in the Word.

Makarios staff from left to right, front table to back table:
Kate, David, Sharla, Becky, Laurin, and Camille, Weston (in corner)

Makarios Staff front table:
David (again), Anne, Garrett, and Robin, Miguel's hat (on side)
And then, as some of you have been waiting for.....
pics of Jennie and Miguel and baby in for a grander show.
Baby is 26 weeks old and more than half way there before
making it's grand entrance into this world!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

on the plate.

There are a few things that have come up within the past couple of weeks. Just some stuff to seriously think about and pray about.

After some more investigation and numerous calls to different government offices and conversations with different immigration agents, it appears that Miguel's visa is not coming up around the corner as once thought. From the information that I had received and gathered previously, I was led to believe that since his case was still kept open, we would receive a notice of additional information that we would need to send in now that we are married. Well, as it turns out, its just taken the different offices this long to inform us that his case will need to be terminated and that we need to start all over with the petition for a visa as a married couple. I was definitely very frustrated with all of this, and feel like we've lost the last year waiting for more information or at least direction. On the other hand, God is sovereign in what he orchestrates and we wouldn't change the events or our lives of the last year for something different. So here is what it basically looks like now. I sent in a letter terminating the other existing visa petition. I have gathered all the paperwork for the new petition, I-130 K-3 visa. Then as soon as I can pick up my residency card (God willing next week), I can deposit everything again at the embassy in the capital here in Santo Domingo. Because I am a resident here in the Dominican Republic I can send the paperwork directly to the capital which I am hoping will shave some time off the process. They still say it will take a good year to year and a half to process before Miguel gets his US residency and can travel to the States. So thats what we are looking at. Miguel is still really needed here by Makarios for the next year to year and a half, so this is perhaps how it should be anyway. We just have to trust God's timing in all of this.

Another thing that has suddenly come up is that we've decided to try to sell our land cruiser jeep. The thought really just came out of the blue, and we've been praying about it and think that it is just the right timing to put it up for sale. Honestly, I think it was spurred on by the rain (the jeep tends to be quite leaky when it rains). And then in thinking about the baby coming, we are all of a sudden thinking about safety straps and things that the jeep doesn't have....not to mention the fact that there exists a certain amount of deisel fumes that leak into the cabin while driving it. So being that the jeep is still in excellent condition for its year, '75, we thought it a good time to put it up for sale. We've been able to fix some of those leaks and its lookin pretty nice right now. We've had it up for sale for 3 days and we've already got at least 10 calls on it, so we are hopeful that the right buyer will come along. Pray that it not only sells at a good price for us, but that we'll be able to find something newer and more conducive for our needs that we can put some money down on. Cars are pretty expensive here, so it will need to be God sent. We are so thankful for all that He has blessed us with and trust in His timing, provisions, and guidance.

On another note, the Makarios staff is going on a retreat this weekend. On the agenda are some business things to discuss, team building to be made, and the spiritual focus of studying the Word together. We will leave Friday and come back on Sunday and will have meetings both in the mornings and evenings. We are all really looking forward to this time together and covet your prayers for us as we get on one page together and spend time in God's word. We'll be staying in a beautiful spot on the Samana peninsula, so I am sure there will be some fun photos to send your way after this weekend. I'll be sure to do some posing to show off my round belly for you all!

Monday, February 4, 2008

the last couple of weeks.

The middle of January rolled along, and in came a wave of busyness for us. Miguel and the crew started on the massive cistern for the new Makarios team house/conference center. When I say massive, I mean its about the size of an average house here, but under ground. The projected gallons of water it should hold is around 35,000. Because of the rain, we were able to see that more work needs to be done on leveling the ground before the foundation is started on. And you'll also see the cave-in that one side of the cistern hole experienced. It has made for some muddy, busy days, but they are thankful that it is coming to a completion this week as far as the cistern goes. The guys are working all day pouring the top on the cistern and hope to be done by 7pm tonight.
I on the other hand, have been getting bigger and feeling it! (more pictures to come soon). But aside from that I've been doing a lot of running around and errand running for the school. We have been able to, with more sponsorship money, start a little more sophisticated feeding program for the kids at the school. Up until now, we had been able to give an egg, piece of bread, and banana to the kids that come to school. Now, we are able to offer a warm breakfast for the morning kids, a hot lunch for the preschoolers, and a healthy snack for the afternoon kids. I have been busy buying the cooking utensils and kitchen supplies; organizing the cleaning and cooking ladies; and helping Robin (school director) to get it all organized. Last week was our first week of cooked meals and it went surprisingly very smoothly. Of course there are always a few kinks to work out, but we are excited to be up and running with this program. Although the food benefits all who come through the program in significant ways with added nutrition and food in the bellies, it has especially been noticeable in a few kids who come through and are literally scarfing their food down. Its obvious its the only food they have received all day. We are so thankful for the kid's sponsors who make this possible for us to do.

Some pictures of the massive cistern!
Lake after the rain.
the cistern with 2 rooms!