On This Rock

Love the words Jesus spoke to Peter.

“…on this rock I will build my church…”  (Matthew 16:18)

Easter is an amazing time to bring all of this into perspective.

A lot of people have talked about how Jesus would establish his church using Peter. Peter’s name is Greek for “rock”.  The most likely meaning of this verse actually points to Christ praising Peter for looking to Him as the “rock”.  And it was, is and will also be on that “rock” (Jesus), that God’s church, and kingdom, will be established. Why all the talk about rock?  Amazing what sticks in ones mind when construction is happening all around them.

Santiago Christian School is in the midst of moving the gymnasium and building a new gorgeous outdoor playground (“Megan’s Playground”), in honour of Amber’s former teacher who passed away tragically in a car accident last year.  Now, how you build is a whole other story altogether.  Not sure what the actual safety guidelines are here in the DR but I’m pretty sure they are just a tad less restrictive than North American standards.

Things That Make You Go, Huh?

Who needs amusement park rides when this is free!

Who needs amusement park rides when this is free!

Primera Iglesia (PI), our awesome little Dominican church, is also in the midst of building. Building something very special.  Over the past two years Grace Church out of Grand Forks, North Dakota has been developing a sweet relationship with PI.  So much so that 4th mission team came in February and the 5th team is arriving in about 7 weeks (mid-June).

Their heart, as always, is to help their Dominican brothers and sisters  do what they currently are not able to do for themselves.  Some of what I am saying and will say is probably repetitive from earlier posts but please don’t block me out.  Outside of the deep emotional scaring that may cause 🙂 it is truly the most beautiful relationship to watch develop.

Over the past two years this sister-churches relationship has worked together to:

  • Waterproof the church roof.
  • Run and reset the electrical throughout the school building.
  • Help design and build from scratch a fully functioning kitchen on to the church/school.
  • Repaint the outside of the facility.
  • Donate an electric water cooler for the school kids to use.
  • Purchased x6 beautiful new sewing machines that are now being used by the church as a skill developing ministry reaching in to the poverty ravaged barrio next to us.  Church ladies are teaching local girls & moms how to sew which is giving them a trade and they are actually making “toilet seat covers” to sell…and they’re selling 🙂
  • Purchased all of the building materials and paid the wages of the employed local Dominican & Haitian workers as contractors and key builders.
Sewing machines at work...and no, even though it was hot this is not a 'sweat shop' :)

Sewing machines at work.  And no, even though it was hot this is not a ‘sweat shop’ 🙂

Team member Diane Morken lovin' every minute of this.

Team member Darlene Morken lovin’ every minute of this.

 

If it is not a John Deere I ain't touchin it!

If it is not a John Deere I ain’t touchin it!  (Team Member Daniel)

Running electrical into the  new kitchen.

Running electrical into the new kitchen.

We pray...God provides...an experienced Electrical Engineer with a huge heart for serving Christ.

We pray…God provides…an experienced Electrical Engineer with a huge heart for serving Christ (Team Member Rick Stomberg)

Team hangin with our church

Team hangin with our church

WHO is this all for? The beautiful people from our barrio who need and deserve the love of Jesus being shown through sharing the truth of the gospel, a Christian based school fortheir kids who might not otherwise get an education, and families who want a better life.

Inside our barrio.

Inside our barrio.

This little cutie is all the motivation we need :)

This little cutie is all the motivation we need 🙂

BUGS That Make You Go AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

We weren't the only ones on job.  Check out the "Wolf Spider" who joined us.

We weren’t the only ones on job. Check out the “Wolf Spider” who joined us.  Same size as a Tarantula and as harmless as a fly.  Still scares the doo-doo out of you when you see it.

Stick bug!

Stick bug!

 

Ants, ants everywhere!

Ants, ants everywhere!

MOTO’s of the DR

"Plastic Haulin Moto" (collectors roam neighbourhoods and sell whatever plastic containers they can find to earn a living)

“Plastic Haulin Moto” (collectors roam neighbourhoods and sell whatever plastic containers they can find to earn a living)

 

THANX FOR THE AMAZING SUPPORT & Still NEED YOUR PRAYERS

Some of you have heard and seen pictures of the scary moments for our church.  The retaining wall that supports the school and new kitchen gave way and because of donations from many of you, the work of missionary friends Barry & Sonia Burnett (who have helped build over 30 churches in the DR), things are on the mend.

Please keep praying for support and completion of the project as our little church also has little funds to make this happen.  The rainy season is coming and we are praying/working to get this fixed before the big waters arrive.

Retaining Wall construction

New concrete supports

 

Thinking the neighbour appreciates the project.  She actually moved out her bedroom and to the other side of the house.

Thinking the neighbour appreciates the project. She actually moved out her bedroom and to the other side of the house.

View from the kitchen

View from the kitchen

HOUCK FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENT

Nope…not that kind of announcement.  Three kids is plenty fine me.  Love’m all but not sure the world would be ready for another Houck 🙂

Tracey and I have given our notice to Santiago Christian School that we will not be returning next school year and instead will move back to North America.  Final plans of where we’ll be living and what we will be doing are in the works and we will update you next blog.

It’s hard to even think about leaving the friends we’ve made and the churches we’ve been so blessed to work with during our time here.  And, without over or under spiritualizing the decision, we knew it was time.

Proverbs 19:21 says this:

“Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

What is God’s purpose in all of this?  Well….we have a few pretty cool ideas of what we think this is going to look like, and just like any great story, we will spill the beans in the next chapter of the Houck Family Adventure.

 

Drew jumpin in on the work crew

Drew jumpin in on the work crew

Amber the budding artist

Amber the budding artist

Mom & Carter overseeing "sewing lessons" for the youngins

Mom & Carter overseeing “sewing lessons” for the youngins

Giving "Jenny" a hard time as she tackles the new sewing machines...fyi...she's from the barrio and worked her way to becoming a nurse.

Giving “Jenny” a hard time as she tackles the new sewing machines…fyi…she’s from the barrio and worked her way to becoming a nurse, still lives in the area, helps run the family business in the barrio and volunteers ridiculous hours at the church to help other families have the life God intended for them.

Blessings, Love & Prayers

From the Houck Crew

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