Last week, a church team of 21 from Minnesota arrived at the Santo Domingo base. We helped host them and partnered with them in ministry and construction projects. One project was to cover a porch where they hold church services at a house where parents can bring their children with special needs to be cared for. We went there several times with the construction team to spend time with the children – the first day, we took face-painting stuff and most of us came home all painted up. The other project was building a room around an existing fuel tank at a leper center. I think it ended up being about 9x13x8 ft. We went to a youth service at Aracely’s church last Saturday evening and had worship, we did The Wall skit, Evan gave his testimony, they did the Water of Life skit that we taught them, then I talked about my restoration of joy and about what joy really is (I happened to listen to a sermon by Graham Cooke titled Living a lifestyle of Joy, I encourage you to find it and listen to it!). The pastor then gave a short message. I got many thanks for sharing my story and about joy. I knew earlier in the day we needed someone from our team to share, and had felt like the Lord told me to do it, but I didn’t want to get up in front of people. I am very glad I was obedient because I see now that it impacted the lives of many. Our team took turns going 5 with the team, and 5 staying home to help clean the house and help with meals. The Minnesota team did a program at the leper center when all of us went there together. I was helping with the cement work, but I heard it went well.
On Wednesday, Nathan, Derose, Desure and Johny were picked up by Rodney Gephardt to help get things ready there. The rest of us stayed to finish out with the MN team. We were also invited to go with the Santo Domingo staff to Jarabacoa for a staff fun day tomorrow. So we will be going to Azua to reunite with the rest of our team on Sunday.
This morning, the team left to spend their last night at a resort. They were a pretty great team, and Facebook requests have been made to stay in touch. There were tears falling from some eyes as goodbyes were made this morning.
We found that getting visas for Haitians to go to Guatemala does not take only 2 days. It can take up to 2 months. Nathan and other people were working on getting them for us. We found out we’d have to hire a lawyer to translate paperwork into French and have it sent to Haiti then back to the Guatemalan consulate in Santo Domingo. It was going to cost us $500 just to hire the lawyer and that was without a guarantee that we’d even get the visas, which are supposed to take at least 30 days. So Nathan, Robert and I have prayed and feel like circumstances are forcing us to stop pursuing Guatemala. So God is sending Team Somewhere (else) somewhere else. We don’t know where yet, but He does, so that’s good enough for us!
I don’t know how much internet access we’ll have in Azua, or where we go after that, but I will try to write another update soon.