WE DID IT!!!!! We finally got the land for the church!!! It has been a long and often frustrating process, but it's ours! This is the most exciting, most important day of my time here so far. I almost can't even believe it. I have to admit, this whole process has gone on so long that it sometimes felt like some far-off dream. But we also knew that if this was the land that God wanted for His church, that He would be faithful and deliver in His perfect time. And that He did. Soon, we will start construction. We have raised enough money to get started, but we will now be looking for more donations as well as mission teams who want to come down and help with the construction. If either of those requests touch your heart, you can e-mail me at email@example.com for more information.
martes, 13 de julio de 2021
While we have been sorting everything out with the land, we found a little place right across the street from the lot available for rent. We opened church in-person in late April. We have continued to do our Friday afternoon Bible study online, but we are holding Sunday morning church in that small space. I have to be honest, I thought we were going to have a hard time figuring out how to fit everyone in there. However, we have had a much harder time than expected encouraging our members to develop the habit of coming to church again. We have a strong group of faithful Deaf leaders who have really stepped up to lead the services, supervise the protocols (COVID numbers have peaked here once again), and encourage their friends to come back to church. A large part of the problem is that the van broke down...again...and we have not been able to pick up the young ones or those who live further away and can't afford public transportation. Not to mention the risk of packing a bunch of people into a small van. We are strategizing and praying for solutions.
For the Bible translation, we decided to work on Luke 22-24. No, we haven't translated chapters 6-21 yet. But with this section, we will at least have the birth of Jesus, the start of His ministry, five of His teachings, and His death, resurrection, and ascension. A good overview for people to use while we continue to work. As I have mentioned before, it is a slow, complex, and extremely interesting process. We have an amazing team, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this project.
When the COVID numbers started to go down for a bit and after we got vaccinated, we started to take some short trips to different places around the country. The DR really is such a gorgeous country with so much to offer. It has been a real blessing to see more of it this past year or so.
On a personal note, these last few months have been very difficult. My grandfather got very sick in late March, and I went back to the States for six weeks to help care for him in the hospital. Thankfully, a lot of my work is still virtual, so I was able to be with my family without having to abandon everything going on in the DR. They actually opened in-person church without me! Our amazing pastor and group of fantastic leaders moved us into the new space and opened church the same week that I left for the States. That was very encouraging to me because it showed that all of our work up to this point has paid off. That they can do it without me!
My grandfather started to improve significantly, so I returned to the DR. A couple of weeks later, he got another infection and his heart gave out. This has been a very difficult loss for me and my family. I am so thankful that I was able to travel back to the States for his celebration of life and to spend a couple of weeks with my family and especially with my grandmother.
Now I'm back in the DR and we were immediately able to purchase the land. As always, I thank all of you for your prayers and your support. None of this would be possible without all of you. I am so ready to get started building this church!!! If you are interested in supporting with your gifts, you can donate online (tax deductible) by clicking the "Donate" button on the right hand side of this page. If you are interested in supporting with your service, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.