An update has been a long time coming, it just seems that every time I have a spare minute to write something, by the time I realize that I have a few minutes something or someone takes a priority. I’ve actually been on the road quite a bit this past month. It started with a three day trip to Santo Domingo, which is 4 ½ hours away, mid January. I was there with a few of the Chadasha board members having meetings with attorneys (and not having a few that we thought we were going to have) to work on more of the legal aspects of having a ministry in the Dominican Republic. Then, after that trip I returned to Santo Domingo the end of January to pick up our first intern, Luke Hoffman. He completed his high school requirements early, and is able to spend part of his last semester with us. While I was in Santo Domingo to get him I was also able to pick up Glynis and Sydney Archibald, friends from Sosúa. They took the bus from Sosúa to Santo Domingo to spend a long weekend with us. I dropped them back off in Santo Domingo on the way to pick my parents up at the airport. They have finally made the move!! I made a trip to Santiago (a 7 hour drive) to pick up a cardiac surgeon with International Children’s Heart Foundation so that he could see our hospital, and we could discuss partnering with their program, providing pediatric cardiology services here in Jimaní. I got to spend a couple of hours with him in Jimaní before I headed over to Port au Prince to try to work out permission for a six month old Haitian girl to be allowed to cross the border without a passport so that she can have a heart surgery in Santiago as part of a two-week medical outreach. While the trip was good to be able to see a few friends, it was not successful as far as getting the necessary paperwork, and after making a few phone calls, I headed back to Santo Domingo after a night at home to work on it from there. I spent one night in Santo Domingo, and wound up meeting the head Consulate for the Dominican Republic. This was a very positive meeting, and I headed back to Jimaní yesterday where I will be staying until Friday when I head back to Santo Domingo to pick up a short-term team. So between all the road trips, I’m still making connections, and working on the legal paperwork for both the hospital and the orphanage. Oh, and if you read a previous post, I did make a trip to a few mountain communities doing some ground work for a large medical team that will be working with us at the end of March.
As John has been logging lots of hours behind the wheel, I’ve been “holding down the fort.” It has been so nice to have Luke and John’s parents here to share in the work! Just today Poppo (John’s dad) said, “This cooking and cleaning up afterwards is a full-time job.” Yep. That’s why this afternoon we’re going to be meeting with a woman to talk to her about working here with us. For now her main responsibility would be cooking for our “family” of 10 and for the visiting teams when they’re here. Eventually, as we have more children in the orphanage we see her becoming the supervisor for other workers. To me, that is one of our biggest prayer requests—to find committed workers!
Our afternoon pre-school class started about a month ago. We have close to twenty on roll and usually have about 10-15 show up. A few of the children go to a private school in the morning and come here in the afternoon. Others are too young for the public school and don’t have the money to go to a private school, so this is their only school. We hired a teacher who we know and respect, but she has very little experience. She’s eager to learn, though. John’s mom (Nana) left her job as an assistant director of a pre-school in Florida right before they moved here, so this is a perfect fit for her! She, Luke, and Kate spend every afternoon helping at the pre-school. Going on at the same time, we have a young woman named Eliana here working with Redondo, Clifford, Yvson (the 3 boys in our orphanage), Israel, Lones, and Son Son (the sons and nephew of one of our workers). She helps them with their homework and works on their Spanish. They also do crafts and Bible stories and play games. It’s a huge help to have someone here to attend to them in the afternoons.
When they finish at 6pm they come into our home to watch tv, play on Michael’s Play Station, and have some “family time.” Our apartment is on the far end of one wing and their room is mid-way down the other wing. This is another big prayer request. We don’t know when, but we do know that at some point we will have more children living here. At that time, they will not all be able to come into our home as if it is their home. I can only imagine that this change will be very difficult on these 3 boys. We’re trying to give them areas here at the orphanage that are “theirs,” but they prefer to be in our home. As we have more children we will have more staff, and, out of necessity, they will be spending their time in the other parts of the orphanage with these staff members. So, I guess the prayer request is that they will be able to transition well when the time comes.
Thanks for continuing to be a part of our journey and ministry. Hopefully we’ll figure out how to keep up with updates.[nggallery id=14]