I’ve been asked what a normal day is like for me here in the Dominican Republic. The truth is that I have not had two days alike yet. The past 24 hours are an excellent example. Monday night I met with two families that have been having a dispute, which led to a physical fight primarily among three girls. The two families agreed to meet at the church with the pastor, myself, and Heather, another missionary. I basically led a four-hour group therapy, discipleship, conflict resolution, bible study session. That’s right, about fifteen of us sat in a circle at the tent in Bombita. We spent four hours discussing forgiveness. It was really very powerful. Instead of simply reading bible passages and discussing them abstractly, we were able to discuss how to implement them in this situation. Did I mention that it was in Spanish. Heather and I had attempted to intervene the night before during the two-hours we spent with them Sunday after church, but we were overwhelmed with the Spanish, and the families were too heated to slow down for us. We invited and interpreter to assist us on Monday night. The meeting lasted until 10. Heather took me home. She is borrowing Becky’s car while Becky is on furlough. Becky’s car was backfiring and just not cooperating, so I followed Heather home in my truck to make sure she got home safely. Heather lives below Pastor George and Jeanne who were on their front porch when we arrived. So I went up and spent about an hour talking with them. It was close to midnight when I got home.
I decided not to go to Tuesday morning prayer, but woke up at 7:30 anyway because the workers building the house next door were bantering back and forth. Melissa, Kate, and I spent most of the morning responding to e-mail, writing letters, and catching up on paper work. We had lunch, curry chicken and potatoes over rice, and got Kate to school by 1:50. After dropping Kate off at school we ran our errands. We parked in front of the copy center downtown to make copies of invitations for a Health Center meeting in Bombita this Thursday. We then walked down the block to pay my cell phone bill. We returned to the truck and drove to the bank so we could deposit our rent check in our landlords account. Walked next door to get some fresh juice, and across the street to see if the small electronics and home appliance store in town had a curling iron, and then walked back across to a small condominium complex to see if we could find an American man that had visited the Friday night tent service. We didn’t find him and walked back to our truck. We then drove to the Supermarket so that we could pay our home phone and Internet bill. We took the time to buy a few odds-and-ends that we needed. I dropped Melissa back off at the house and returned to Bombita. I got there around 3:30. I began going door-to-door to hand out the invitations for the Health Center meeting. My first stop lasted twenty minutes as I was offered a seat and chatted with the family, which happened to be one of the families from the previous night. I turned down the offer of coffee so that I could get the rest of the houses visited. Most houses offered me a seat, some I took, others I had to politely decline. I managed to visit about 20 homes before five o’clock. Now if you are picturing a paved street with evenly spaced homes along a straight city-bock, that is not at all the picture. It is a unpaved dirt road, with more pot holes than flat spaces. I would park off the side of the road and walk to many of the homes. Some homes are behind others, and I had to follow paths to get to them. One of the homes is at least a five minute drive away from all the others. I had to stop at 5, because tomorrow Melissa and I are going to Santiago. On Wednesday Nights I normally drive one of the big trucks to pick people in Bombita up for church, but a friend, Joe is going to make the run for me. However, he had never been down Bombita before so I needed to go pick him up, show him the route, drop him back off at home, and go pick Kate up at school by 5:30. I got a call from Melissa that I was taking Heather home as well. So I picked Kate and Heather up, dropped Heather at her house, and went home. We were home long enough for Kate to change clothes and Melissa, Kate, and I went to dinner. We went to a new restaurant we heard about, and enjoyed a roasted turkey leg, 1/2 a baked, chicken, and a hamburger. I also had fresh pear-pineapple juice. The restaurant is open air with a palm thatch roof right on the main road. We returned home and spent some time on the phone with people in the States including my parents, to check on our house closing today!!! Then I sat down and typed this blog post. So was this a normal day? Since for me each day is different, then I guess it is pretty normal. A day that I do the same thing I did the day before will be very different. Tomorrow I have to visit about 15 more houses in Bombita, while Melissa does some work at the school, and we are going to be driving to Santiago where we will be spending the night so that we can work with Agape Flights Thursday Morning.