ACTS 16:9,10: And during the night a vision appeared to Paul: a certain Mac‧e‧do′ni‧an man was standing and entreating him and saying: “Step over into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a and help us.” Now as soon as he had seen the vision, we sought to go forth into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a, drawing the conclusion that God had summoned us to declare the good news to them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Now What?

   We've been at home for a little over two weeks now and are back into the routine of work, meetings, service, etc. During this time we've experienced a wide range of thoughts and emotions; joyful reflection on our visit to DR and happy reunions with friends here in Florida, sadness at the possibility of change in the future. We have had numerous family discussions about our future and have finally reached a decision.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Old Shoes

    They're well worn, broken in and fit you just right. You've replaced the laces, taken them to the shoe repair and had them resoled countless times. They get scuffed and dirty but it's nothing a little polish can't fix. Even when you buy a new pair, you still hang on to these because; well,  they're comfortable. You know the ones I'm talking about, right?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

   We're back at home! HOT SHOWERS! ICE COLD BEVERAGES! NO MORE CUBITOS!! Oh the joy that simple things can bring. One thing I did not miss was the early morning alarm to get up for work. I think I did good though as I only hit the snooze button one time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Speechless (there's a first time for everything!)

   We made it back to Juan Dolio safe and sound on Friday evening. As I arrived here I experienced an odd  mix of emotions. I was happy to be back in Juan Dolio and see some of the friends we had made earlier. Happy to be in what has become a familiar surrounding. At the same time I was frustrated by the difficulty in travelling here (6 hours on a bus?!!) and sad that in two days I would be heading home.
   Upon our return to Juan Dolio we decided to rent a beachfront apartment for the weekend and take in some sand and sun. We went to the colmado to pick up some supplies and while we are in the store we hear a loud voice call out with excitement "NO WAY!". It was Sara, the sister who was our neighbor from the townhouse. She invited us to a fiesta being held at the house that night. Sara had held two of our suitcases for us while we were on the road so we figured we would just pop in, get our stuff, say hello and be able to leave quick.
   When we got there however, it was like being around lifelong friends. Some brothers were playing dominoes and invited me to play. I never knew how to but no problem, they'll teach me! Suzanne and Danielle were talking to some of the sisters and man time flew by. The evening was special because the party was for a brother and sister in the Kreyol congregation, it was their anniversary. They were married a year ago in order to qualify for baptism,and didn't have a party or honeymoon. Now the friends were helping them, and their newborn son to commemorate the occasion. We again experienced the joy and hospitality of the brotherhood and were made to feel at home.
   When it came time for us to go, we called a cab to take us to the apartment. We truly felt the love from these friends and it was hard to leave. All of them: Sara, Janai, Eloise, Laurence, and Nancy came to the gate and kept hugging us! We all exchanged goodbyes and promised to keep in touch with one another. As the cab drove away, they stood outside, waving as we drove off. We felt like royalty again thanks to my brothers and sisters.
   So, I am speechless now. Just think-three weeks ago I didn't even know these people and now I am truly saddened that I will not be seeing them again for a long time. I feel as though I am leaving my family behind. I also am sad at the prospect of leaving DR, but am eager to be back in Lake Mary, to see the friends at home there. Right now I am experiencing a confusing swirl of emotions. A happy/sad/joy/blues kind of mix I guess. I wonder, if this is how I feel now, what will happen if we decide to do this long term? Well, maybe this is a good problem to have- to experience too much brotherly love :-)

   On Sunday we will be back in Florida and hope to catch up with you friends there. We have been away from Lake Mary English Congregation for well over a month now. It will be a bit different walking into the hall on Tuesday but we really do miss you guys! Hope to see everyone then!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Serving With Santiago English Congregation

   This last leg of our journey has been a welcome treat. After two weeks of meetings in Spanish and Kreyol, it is nice to be able to understand everything that is said from the platform and give "grown up" comments. Adding to the enjoyment of our time here has been a visit by the district overseer to the congregation as well. Interestingly, the D.O. for the congregation was a Spanish speaking brother so all of his talks were translated. Nonetheless, his manner of speaking and his animation made the points easily understood.
   Going out in the ministry here is very reminiscent of service with the Spanish congregation back home. We worked in apartment buildings and for each building there is a list of apartments where English speakers were found during a prior census work. We go to these doors and preach. At times there may be no information about who lives in a particular apartment so these doors we would knock on, and ask if there are any English speakers in the home. As you can imagine many times people move about so the home where an English speaker once lived may now be occupied by Spanish speakers. There is much work to do here in Santiago English as the territory consists of preaching in the entire city.Yet with these challenges and others our brothers and sisters here are hard at work, trying to reach as many as they can with the message of good news.
   Suzanne and I had a happy encounter at the Kingdom Hall this week. To me, it was encouraging and really shows what a small world it is at times. A number of years ago when we were newly married we spent a few years living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Serving in the congregation with us was a Brother named Daniel Sogeke. Well, of all the congregations, in all the cities, in all of the countries in the world who should be here in Santiago with us? You guessed it! We got to catch up a bit with him and meet his wife as well. They have been busy declaring the good news abroad and are now looking forward to serving here in DR. Man, it's so encouraging to see folks from years ago still faithfully plugging away!
   So that's what's going on here in lovely Santiago, Dominican Republic. We head back to Juan Dolio in the morning and will make our way home this weekend :-(  Back to work on Monday  :-( :-(   Bright side of things: We can start working to save money for our next trip back here to the DR :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Blog, The Bag and Jenn

   Yesterday afternoon we arrived safe and sound in Santiago. There we finally got to meet Jenn, a sister we have communicated with for a few months now by email. How we came to know her is to me an example of the unity and love that is common to the brotherhood.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jarabaco-ahhhhh, Part Deux

Acts 16:15  Now when she and her household got baptized, she said with entreaty: “If YOU men have judged me to be faithful to Jehovah, enter into my house and stay.” And she just made us come.

   On Saturday we joined the Jarabacoa English Congregation in the ministry and met several of the friends from the congregation. One of the first we met was Sister Melanie Cole. She introduced herself and asked where we were visiting from. Not a minute went by before she invited us to dinner after the Sunday meeting. "Sure we'd be happy to", I replied and promptly forgot about the whole thing. Well this afternoon we arrived very early at the KH before the meeting- see photo below- and who is the first person we see? Sister Cole. She again asks us: "you are coming to my home this evening, right?" I tell you she and her family could not have been more hospitable. I was reminded of the example of Lydia, I felt like she did indeed just make us come.
   I am glad we did go. Not only did we get to have a fine meal and association but got to know another family of needgreaters (they are from Florida as well). The whole family was enjoyable to be around and their son Mason was a riot, cracking on his Mom and telling stories about her. As we headed home for the evening we were again refreshed by upbuilding association with our brothers and had that joyous feeling you always get inside when you've been with the friends.

early to the hall

Daniel, The Shoe Shine King

Lastly, I stand corrected. We were sharing our story about Daniel with some friends this evening and one of the elders described him perfectly and pretty much verified that his story is legit. He said he has used him several times to do his shoes since he does top notch work and he has been out there at his job for a while now. Lo siento, Daniel.

Tomorrow begins the last leg of our journey. We head to Santiago to join the English congregation there. We'll keep you posted....


Saturday, July 2, 2011


   WE MADE IT! Yes, we reached Jarabacoa (say ha-rah-bah-co-ah) yesterday evening, safe and sound. The bus ride was quite enjoyable and we got to see the beautiful countryside here in the DR. Jarabacoa is a busy town. There are motos everywhere so you've really gotta move it to cross the street; it is a big change in comparison to the sleepy village of Juan Dolio that we have spent the past two weeks in.