So, following on from February's post...wow that was a while ago... I can concur that I am still not God! However, the year has continued to be a crazy one, with more twists and turns in the legal documentation process (Dominican process to legalise all foreigners living in the DR, including Haitians...those not registered face deportation) than I ever though possible. Despite a lot of difficulties, pretty much everyone has documentation that allows them either more time for Haiti to issue the ID documents needed to complete the Dominican process, or a 2 year visa. SO, THAT'S FANTASTIC
During the year I learnt the meaning of perseverance, determination, hope and action.
It was really, really hard. But it is done. I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be here at this amazing time in Dominican history, and to everyone that gave their cash to make it possible to help so many people. By the end, there were people from 4 communities coming to me for help, and the pot never ran dry, I didn't have to turn anyone away due to lack of funds, and that is a real miracle.
The summer teams are going well, last one is nearly finished. The documentation finished after the second team arrived, so I'm excited to have a proper break next week and not have to be preparing for anything or thinking about anything! Its a bit like when the final exams finish at university and all of a sudden you have free time again, and can have a social life and hobbies! I am excited! IT has been a long time since I had a real break.
Summer teams have been going well. We have had team members aged 11-75 this summer, all kinds of different people, with different backgrounds and passions! Team members come for 2 weeks to serve the poor and help meet physical needs of others, sharing the love of God as they do so. We have sponsored and helped build 11 homes for families living in shacks, giving them a proper brick home with non leaking roof, toilet and running water. Temperatures have reached 48 degrees (with the humidity index) so its been very sweaty work!
The teams also provided the funds to keep the children's feeding program running throughout the summer in Ascencion Village. The children and elderly receive 3 hot meals a week at the feeding program - during school holidays this program feeds around 400 children, so without the mission teams there would have been some even hungrier tummies.
We also take teams to Christ Transforms Drug and Alcohol rehab centre, where team members are invited to share testimonies and encouragements with the men as they fight to break their addictions. Many team members also contribute to the finances of this centre, which receives no government funding. Teams make a real difference here. If you are interested in coming on a mission team next summer, then check out www.missiondirect.org
The BIG DREAM that I have for the next year though has to be Nazareth House. Nazareth House is a home where Sister Mercedes lives with her 15 children. Each of her children has a different disability. They are a family. The children don't leave when they reach 18, it is their family. For LIFE. Sister Mercedes has been living this way for 13 years, relying on God to provide for all of her needs. She rents a home, which has been up for sale for nearly 2 years. If it sells, they have no where to go. They need our help, and I have been pushing doors as hard as I can for the last year, trying to help be a part of the answer to the problem. Things are moving so slowly, but at least they are starting to move! Please join us in praying for a solution to the housing problem, as soon as I have some proper news I will blog about it and let you all know. Watch this space....!!
So, that's a little update from me...
Please be praying for Nazareth House and a solution to come soon!!