So here is your Spanish vocabulary question of the month. Ready?
VELOCIDAD = ______________
If you put “Ventriloquist”, I’m sorry but that would be incorrect. Maybe “Veloca Raptor” – nope, that would be a dinosaur. Give up? The meaning is simply, “Velocity”.
Velocity is a good word to describe the sense of pace and life we find ourselves living here in Santiago. The definition of ‘velocity’ is similar to, but actually different from ‘speed’ (who knew!). “Speed” is how fast an object is moving whereas “Velocity” refers to the rate at which an object changes position. In real people terms? “Velocity” is aware of direction. You build up motion as you move in a direction. “Speed” does not keep track of direction, it just wants to go!
The Christmas break was much-needed. Prior to arriving in the DR we were strongly encouraged to keep an eye on our mental, emotional, and spiritual gas tanks. We thought we had been doing pretty well. Once the break began, wow, did we realize how exhausted we really were. “Speed” is a great word to describe our lifestyle to this point. Transitioning as a family into a new culture, trying to learn enough basic Spanish to function at a gas station or buying food, re-learning how to manage day-to-day necessities like laundry without a dryer on rainy days, cooking most food from scratch (which Tracey loves to do), and moving back into a cash primarily mindset (theft and fraud are prevalent with credit cards) is fascinating.
A surprise visit from Grandpa & Grandma Erickson for what looked like an uneventful holiday away from family turned it into a utopian time for the family. Carter, Amber & Drew soaked up every ounce of time they could get with the grandparents and it was so fun to have them experience life and ministry here with us. Thanx Grandpa & Grandma for making such determined effort to bless our family. We love you both.
The hope & prayer of our family in the new year is to approach our lives and faith with a focus on “Velocity”. Similar to the differences between speed and velocity, we want to move forward and with some speed but we want to make sure we’re aware of the direction we’re heading.
It reminds my of the story I heard (probably not true but it sounds really cool :). A fellow wanted to break the land speed record and set himself up in a southwest American desert with a jet propulsion engine attached to his car. He got speed alright! So much so that his car lifted off the ground like a 747 and blew away the land speed record. Bad news was, he was directionally challenged. He and his car bolted right into the side of a mountain and that was the end of his journey. Definitely not something we want for our lives 🙂
And now, another episode of “Things That Make You Go, HUH?”: Around New Years we woke up and enjoyed a quiet morning with family and updating ourselves with friends via Facebook. What we discovered were well wishers from different areas of the U.S. and Canada sending their prayers and care in the wake of the 5.3 earthquake that happened in the Dominican the night before. Um….well…we…uh…actually didn’t even realize that an earthquake had happened. Oops. We’ll do better next time, I promise 🙂
Motos of the DR: This little buggy was somewhere along the north coast. A 3 wheel wonder. Can’t say the driver was too impressed with our photo journalism though.
Alrighty, back to the update. Along with matching our lifestyle, the term “VELOCIDAD” is also the name of a ministry venture we’re creating in Santiago. One of the most glaring needs we have seen outside of the poverty and human trafficking here, is for youth worker training within the church.
While traveling across Canada and into the United States the past three years it was evident that the availability of resources was plentiful. It was a matter of directing people to them. Here in the DR, they are starving for even a sliver of what their North American counterparts have at their fingertips. Prohibiting factors like language (most materials are English only), availability (online resources aren’t so accessible when you have to decide between food/clothing or a MacBook), and cost are challenge to say the least.
We’ve been super blessed by the support of our local church. Pastor John & Kelly Webb at Vida Nueva Iglesia (Church), along with Youth Pastor Edwin (sorry…I have no idea how to spell his last name), are running with this and plan to host our first event Saturday, February 18th at Vida Nueva. The focus is to give youth workers here, of which 95%+ are unpaid and have no budgets, the best biblical and practical resources possible as they serve the kingdom of God in their local context.
I am stoked to have the opportunity to do this. The event is “Totalmente Gratis” (Totally Free). Any expenses are out-of-pocket. It simply makes sense and needs to be that way. Tracey and Kelly are hopefully preparing some snacks. A local college age student prepared posters, video, power point slides (see sample below). Two high school students have volunteered to run any sound and take pictures. We have an amazing, free theology resource (in Spanish). Literally a couple of hours after praying for bibles to giveaway, Pastor John received a call from a gentlemen who said he had 2 cases of Spanish bibles and wondered if we could use them? Sweet!!!! Hey, we even have a local fellow who owns the only Sub Shop in the city ready to provide a free meal as a door prize.
Please, please pray for this event to be absolutely impactful. I genuinely could care less if anyone remembers who lead the event. I am passionate about enabling my peers here in the DR to be used by God in every way to reach a generation now and those to come. I cannot wait to see what happens.
**Notice the wonderful uranium like glow emanating from my head? It’s somewhat of a natural style of picture for posters here in the DR. Hope I don’t get stopped at Immigration next time I come home. Could be embarrassing**
Lo Siento (I’m Sorry): I promised you a video for this blog and quite honestly didn’t get to it. I will try at some point soon to make that happen.
Coming Soon: As a time and money saver, we are moving into an apartment this week from our rental house. We’re all pretty pumped about it. It’s in a quiet neighbourhood and walking distance from basic necessities.
Missions Team: We’re very excited to be hosting Grace Baptist Church Youth Mission Team from Grand Forks, North Dakota this coming June 2012. Plans are in the early stages and the Lord is already bringing so much together. Please pray for Matthew Morken (youth pastor) and the crew as they pray, raise funds, and get ready to dive in.
Lord willing as you read this you are doing very well! Please feel free to connect with us here. Our lives are as erratic as the internet reception so please be patient with us when trying. Love you all & God Bless.
Tim for the crew.