Purpose, Community and a Place to Belong

“Welcome Back”…to School

First day of School!

First day of School!

August 19th brought the beginning of our 3rd year here in Santiago.  Carter, Amber and Drew are back to 6am mornings, open air classes and their parents…um, Tracey and I…are praying for them to be examples of Jesus on campus.  Over 650 students are on campus this year.  That means hundreds of students and their families God is asking us to reach out to.

Look out Santiago…here we come!  🙂

Let the Houck Family Adventure Year #3 begin!

Let the Houck Family Adventure Year #3 begin!  And, no…we didn’t buy a dog 🙂  The kids were trying to “dognap” it though.


Comfy Moto of the DR

Comfy Moto of the DR

Comfy Moto of the DR

Drew, Tracey and I hauled mattresses we borrowed for our missions team this summer back to missionary friends.  Drew…well, this ingenious little dude discovered there’s more than one place to catch a nap!


Riding For The Dominican…

Riding for the Dominican  fundraising trip Matthew Morken road

Riding for the Dominican fundraising trip Matthew Morken road

Grace Baptist Church out of Grand Forks, North Dakota is diving in head first to what is becoming an incredible relationship with Primera Iglesia Bautista Central de Santiago (Central 1st Baptist Church of Santigo).

Three (3) teams have traveled to the DR so far and another three (3) are being planned for January thru June of 2014.  Why so many teams? Why so much investment by one group of people into another group of people they barely know?

What started as a shot in the dark prayer and email a couple years ago has turned into a full, fledged commitment of Jesus follower’s to give personally, physically, financially and sacrifically to hundreds (I may be guessing low here) of men, women and children.

Our church, Primera Iglesia is pouring itself into it’s community through services, discipleship, and children’s ministry.  Our pastor, an american trained medical doctor uses his office for study, counseling and medical exams.  A second church has been planted on the other side of Santiago in an area that is unchurched and economically struggling.  Just blocks away from Primera Iglesia is one of the poorest neighbourhoods (“Barrio”) known as the “Hole” to some where everything and anything is fair game if it puts food on your table that night.

If I seem passionate about this…I am.  What God is doing through building relationships spanning continents and oceans energizes life and work.  Through a visionary approach to supporting mission, Grace Baptist teams lead by youth pastor Matthew Morken, have lead Vacation Bible School for over 100 under-priviledged kids (I might add…only 14 scraps the last day :); began Building a kitchen on to the existing small church facility with hopes of hosting a Feeding Program for kids attending the churches outreach school; and supporting the School Primera Iglesia started to educate kids from Barrio.  So far close to 80 children are being reached and the vision is 200 Children!

Matthew Morken Riding over 400 Miles raising funds for a kitchen that will be used to feed hundreds.

Matthew Morken Riding over 400 Miles raising funds for a kitchen that will be used to feed hundreds.

Here is what Matthew Morken did in response to God’s challenging him to make a difference in another persons, in this case group of peoples lives.

“Ever since returning from the Dominican I have been wanting to get that kitchen done so the school can bless its attendees.  I did find it interesting that the school needed $4,200 and the route I’m riding is about 420 miles.  That is where I got the numbers for this fund raiser.  420 miles at $10 a mile.”


Over 400 miles and all the funds raised!  God’s timing and support is absolutely amazing.  As early as this coming week the funds will begin funneling here to the DR, all the physical supplies will be purchased, local men hired to complete the construction.  Pray this kitchen can be completed quickly and that students who attend the school with get a hot, nourishing lunch daily.

Please, please check out Matthew’s Blog and Facebook page about the trip and passion for investing into the beautiful people of the DR.




Pizza Moto of the DR

Vamanos! (Let's Go) Pizza Delivery MOTO

Vamanos! (Let’s Go) Pizza Delivery MOTO


Constanza…a piece of Heaven

The end of the first week of school brought an opportunity to head to our “happy place” here in the DR.  Quiet rest and family time in the midst of the 100 mile pace this time of year brings with ministry and work.

Carter rockin' it on Horseback

Carter rockin’ it on Horseback

Amber in a Brazilian hammock with her favourite new kitty :)

Amber in a Brazilian hammock with her favourite new kitty 🙂

Drew with new buddy "Negrita" the Chihuahua

Drew with new buddy “Negrita” the Chihuahua

Flowers for a Beautiful Bride, Amazing Mother and Special Wife

Flowers for a Beautiful Bride, Amazing Mother and Special Wife

God Sightings and Prayer Requests

  • Multiple students (4-6) prayed to receive Jesus as their saviour this past week at our school (Santiago Christian School).  Pray for their discipleship.
  • Tracey is being asked by a young dominican female woman and I’ve been asked by a young dominican male student if we would mentor them.  Such a crazy and humbling opportunity.  Please pray for faithfulness and wisdom.
  • Truck Repairs – it was my dad who said a “Car is the biggest waste of money you’ll ever spend on a necessity in your life”.  Dad…you weren’t joking 🙂  Our Isuzu Rodeo came down with a mechanical case of about everything a car can need repaired this past week.  We’re thanking God for safety when we didn’t know and for a trustworthy mechanic who cuts no corners.  Please pray we can navigate the challenges that come with this.
  • Carter, Amber, Drew, Tracey and Myself – pray as we enter our 3rd week of school…for the kids who are now in 8th grade, 4th grade, and 1st grade…for Tracey as she tackles P.E. classes for 200+ students within a heart to share Jesus.  For myself as I teach and lead the Spiritual Life on campus.

Until next month…blessings all!

Tim for the Houck Crew