Man in Batey
3:5-6, 21-22a, 27-28
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take...My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul...Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don't say, 'Come back tomorrow, and then I'll help you...'"
I wanted to personally thank you for your friendship, support and continual prayers. I have returned to the Dominican Republic and am excited about all of the possibilities this new year holds for ministry here. Please continue to lift this ministry, my health and all of the patients we will see this year in prayer. For more information about how you can personally support my ministry and help me to stay in La Romana, please click on the following link:
A Brand New Day
What a year! So many amazing things have happened in my life, from being able to get a really good rest to meeting and working with some pretty amazing people in ministry. I have bee truly blessed, there is no doubt. Is that the way you feel today? For many people, seeing the "joy in the morning" or feeling any sort of hope, seems distant and almost unattainable. Maybe it's because of your financial situation, your health or maybe just because of personal hurts you've suffered this year. I don't know what your reasons are, but I want to give you hope today...
I have been in your shoes before and I’ve certainly worked with people who seem to be at the end of the line of hope (think back to the earthquake in Haiti, cholera on the island and the poverty of the bateyes). And yet, in the midst of each of these problems, the sun still rises each day (possibly shadowed a bit by clouds) but it rises still. The birds still sing, the flowers still bloom and children, even in their suffering, still no how to smile and laugh. I saw it over and over again with the earthquake relief…children who had lost everything, including their family, would still break out in a smile when you gave them a balloon or a matchbox car. They would laugh if they got tickled and a hug or a simple handshake would relax stressed bodies.
You see, I’m not a Polly Anna seeing everything with rose-colored glasses. I know there is hurt in the world and I have felt that hurt, myself. This month, today actually, should have been my mother’s birthday but she died of breast cancer back in 2003 way too young. I was looking at a picture of her today and remembering the blessing she had been in everyone’s life that she touched…a blessing even during her suffering. I also remember the faces of those we couldn’t help in Haiti, either because we ran out of supplies or just didn’t have the right supplies needed for their problems. I remember the faces of children dying of heart disease in the bateyes and waiting, so hopefully, for someone to say they would help. I get it…I know the world is hurting…and yet, I can’t stop hoping for something better.
I have been “accused” of smiling to much or being too nice. Well, guilty as charged. I can’t stop and I don’t want to. I believe that despite the hurt, pain and suffering in this world that God really does care for us and He understands and weeps with us. I believe that He has a plan bigger and better than ANYTHING we can see in our own future with our limited vision. I believe that God is love and that His love overcomes a multitude of hurt and sin in the world. Does that hurt and sin go away…no…but it can be repaired and renewed and given hope for something better. Maybe your something better isn’t in this life and maybe it’s really hard to see where any good can come from the situation you are now in. I just want to encourage you to trust in a God who would die to make your life better. Trust in His consistency and His faithfulness in you, even if your faithfulness has faltered.
I honestly believe that each smile we share, each time we comfort someone who is hurting and each time we share our gifts with someone else, God smiles down on us and can’t wait to show us how He is going to use that! When things are really tough right now with the economy and jobs, know that you still have something to give…a smile, a touch, a little love. Your day will brighten when you trust God for your care and focus on helping others just get through the day. Many, many blessings to you today!
Support Goals to date
Many of you have sent questions to me about my support goals and I would like to try to be better about keeping you up to date regarding where I am for my yearly fundraising goals. As of the end of November 2011 (our fiscal year starts on October 1 each year) I am at about 13% of my full support goal for the year. I need to raise just under $6000 per month to reach my full support each year. Whew....that seems like such a big number to me! And yet, faithful supporters have made sure that I do just that. For the last few years, I have been able to meet my full support goal, which includes both direct and indirect costs of keeping me here in La Romana. I would ask that you continue to pray for the needs of this ministry and if you are able to make any support gift, I would greatly appreciate it.
You can find out more information about giving, missionary support and the ministry in which I am a part of at the following link: International Ministries
As 2011 is closing and 2012 will be
in full bloom before we know it, I just want to encourage taking some time to
enjoy today. It will be gone tomorrow, never to return, and there is a
lot to be thankful for in this moment. I appreciate all of you so much and
look forward to seeing many of you in this next year and sharing this amazing
Here is the team schedule of 2012 as we have it now...always subject to change!! :)