Hey! Good to be back and connecting with you 🙂 Last update I brought you up to speed with family happenings. And now, if you can indulge me, I’d like to catch you up on some of the ministry and broader life happenings around here.
Things That Make You Go, Huh? For those of you who tire of the shoveling and the bundling up for winter, I thought I’d slip in a subtle reminder of summer. It is true the weather is warmer here (that’s a BFO – Blinding Flash of the Obvious). With warmer weather come trips to the beach, t-shirts instead of wool sweaters, and open windows. It also brings bugs! You remember bugs, right? You know, those pesky little things that crawl, wiggle, and sometimes fly? Say, why don’t I show you a picture…of the swarm of bee’s that landed on the computer table during chapel at the school.
Enter our defender…Ninja Drew!
Tracey continues to absolutely love what she does and breathes that same excitement into her students. The Santiago Christian School approached me recently and said, “Do you know what a great teacher she is? I learn so much from her.” I know he was refering to both her P.E. classes and ministry heart as she teaches.
All three of the kids are doing amazing making friends and crossing into the cultural unknowns. Our campus is a collection of Dominicans, Haitians, Americans, Canadians, Hondurans, Mexicans, Koreans, Spanish, Dutch, and more nationalities I’m sure I’m not aware of.
The North Americans are always looked at with curiousity. Some of that inquisitive nature comes from wondering if “they will like or insult” our country and traditions. Talk about huge responsibility. The most difficult thing to do is not compare. “Why don’t they just do it like we do?” “Don’t they have ______?” “Well, back in _______________ we do it this way.”
Few ever intend to lay out an offensive shot or hurt someone but wow, you might be shocked how easy it is to cross that line without even realizing it.
Carter, Amber & Drew are becoming our culture transition experts.
“Play dates” or better known has having friends over is not necessarily a normal thing to do here. Especially with younger children. Sleep overs? Very uncommon. Trust and security issues have plagued the country and families for years which has developed a sense of protection and hesitation.
For their part, our kids haven’t and I highly doubt ever will let that hold them back 🙂 They have been persistent in inviting friends over…and, ah…inviting themselves over to other families homes (oops).
Amber’s quiet nature has taken a background to her desire to build friendships. I am not sure she is even aware of how God is using her to break down walls and create ‘new’ traditions for others. She has a little crew of friends that resembles the United Nations and spend her social animal day last weekend hanging out with one of her favourite friends (Emily) at her house clear across the city. Thank you Lord for using our kids to make a spiritual and personal difference in someone’s life.
A while back I mentioned we were working on attempting the first city-wide youth worker training event here in Santiago. It has and continues to be a personal and spiritual wrestling match at times to see it come to fruition. The cool thing is, God isn’t finished with us or the conference yet.
We pause this blog for an educational moment.
Fruition – “attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment”
Back to Velocidad. We are inviting over a dozen churches plus para-church ministries to bring their dominican and haitian volunteer and paid youth leaders. Our local church is opening its doors, translators sought, volunteers are getting organized and the trainer is booked (Sid Koop – http://www.truthmatters.ca).
The Dominican is most certainly a developing nation. Internet, cell coverage and product availability are increasing in quality. Other things we take for granted in the industrialized world when your planning to gather people together are not so easy or convenient. Not the least of which is actually getting to the event.
The vast majority of youth leaders are volunteer. The greatest number of them do not have a vehicle. Jobs themselves are hard to come by. So, to bring over 100 youth leaders requires easy & very cheap access. A main city concho route makes all the difference in the world for someone who may spend their lunch money (literally) on a ride to an event. Mix that with the sacrifice of taking a saturday away from a possible day’s work (the DR is a 6 day-a-week work culture), and what is offered at Velocidad needs to be worth the prayer and the effort.
We need you to pray for the word to get out and the support to be ready. Our Facebook page titled VELOCIDAD CONFERENCE is up and being updated regularly.
MOTOS of the DR Contrast Edition!!
Up & Coming that Needs Your Prayers!
February 3rd Visiting San Fransisco (DR) church with plans to develop ministry with students and mentoring youth leaders.
February 17-23rd We’re hosting a work team from Grace Baptist Church, Grand Forks, North Dakota. The 5 member team is connecting with a local church and building a kitchen for a poor, barrio school that is just months old but already has 80+ students and a feeding program.
February 19th Tracey’s parents arrive for a week of visiting and experiencing life & ministry in the DR.
March 10th Tim is preaching at New Life Church in Sosua.
March 23rd VELOCIDAD Conference
March 24th Self-induced sleeping coma 🙂
We love you all and thank you so much for who you are and how you care for our family! God’s blessings on you.
Tim for the Houck Crew.