Okay…so we have a first. At least for us. Tracey was prepping for classes in the morning when we got the call. “Just wanted to let you know there is no school tomorrow. The government has issued mandatory school closures for the country. It’s a Hurricane Day!” Once the surprise and nervousness wore off, the novelty kicked in. Seriously…a Hurricane day? What do we need to do to prep? Hope we have enough water and candles. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we could sit on the roof and watch the whole thing happen? Just about woke the kids up to get their opinion.
Hurricane Irene is making it’s way up from Puerto Rico and should be around/over/on top of us somewhere by noon on Monday, August 22nd. Chatted with a friend who has lived here for years and they said load up on necessities in the morning, but no need to stress. Probability for us in Santiago it means alot of wind, a good hard rain, and maybe 20 inches of the wet stuff. What makes it funny is houses here don’t generally have glass on the windows. We have screens, shutters, and even bars, but not glass. We’ll have to let you know what all happens.
On the other side of things, Tracey and the kids kicked in to school this week. 5:30 am alarm for the teacher, and the rest of us follow at 6:am. And here I thought 6 o’clock only came once a day…in the evening. Below are some pics.
Santiago Christian School Campus
The Houck crew on their first day of classes
On the ministry front for myself (Tim), we continue to pray for some specific answers. I’ve been interviewing with YoungLife as well as connecting with the local Area Director and we are yet to make a decision. I’m passionate about student ministry, and the opportunities here are so plentiful, I find it hard to describe them well. As an example, Santiago Christian School (SCS), has an enrollment of over 500 students Pre-K through Grade 12. And although it is an openly Christian institution, a large portion of the student body do not come from a Christian home. Families from all socio and economic ranges send their kids to SCS knowing the school is rated Number #1 or #2 in the country (depending on who you talk to).
It’s a re-learning of sorts. Some families are connected all the way to the President of the country, while others are scraping by just to be there. The Dominican is predominantly Catholic (the official religion of the state), but evangelicals are the minority. I say ‘evangelical’ simply because the mormons, jehovah witnesses and others use the label ‘Christian’ and are accepted by society here as such. To be in a Christian school setting with total freedom to share the truth of Jesus with the students is such a priviledge.
That is why my heart is already attaching to the teenagers at SCS. Late fall I will begin coaching Varsity Boys Basketball, and I’ve already spoken at the middle school & high school chapels. September 8-9 I will be speaking with over 100 high school students at a 2 day spiritual retreat in the mountains. The doors are already opening to pour into the lives of these amazing teenagers.
Please fire up a prayer not only that the country fares well during our little Hurricane, but also that the hearts, minds and wills of the students are soft to the truth of Jesus Christ.
Essential Items Update: Long matches….everything related to cooking is propane.
Things that make you go, huh?: Our kids were playing with a couple of caterpillars on the sidewalk before school and our neighbour happened by. The kids said ‘hola’ and showed him their furry little friends….to which he pulled out his machette, bent over, and chopped them in half! He smiled warmly, returned his knife to its sheath, and headed home. Apparently the little critters had infested a tree in his yard and he wanted to protect us from the same fate. Now that’s a caring neighbourhood 🙂