Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is it dry yet?

Good morning all and apologies all around as I sit again at the computer after collecting my thoughts on the past six weeks.  It has been a while since the last post and much has happened in that time; most assuredly, we have seen progress on the Mission House amidst a series of delays over that time.  The first part of the month was a long celebration of Semana Santa, or Holy week; the same as our Easter Holiday in Canada.  There is however a slight difference here.  The country here is predominantly Catholic and the church here maintains an important office in the governance of the people and businesses alike.  This I believe is important to the health and success of the nation as God is still first in many of the lives here in the D.R.  Originally the term Semana Santa along with the holiday time was established in order to pay honor to our Lord and savior in a week long celebration involving fasting and prayer.  Over time the Catholic Church has seen a separation of the people as many have slowly turned from the ways of old, from the old religiosity of the Catholic Church.  Today many of the people celebrate the Semana Santa week in a continuous party; while a dwindling Catholic Church body continues to pray for their friends and families who have strayed.

Since the last post we have watched the construction teams work on aspects of the Guest House that seem less grandiose in comparison to the entire structure, but important nonetheless! More finishing touches will go into the project this week which will see the installation of the sewer system and connections to the septic field, clearly a mundane part of the project but a part we don't often think about!

Laura and I received the Mission Team on April 19 from ROL with great anticipation and excitement. They came bearing gifts for us and other missions who work with us.  Gary, Shannon, Amos and Sarah jumped right in to the work we had ready for them at the project.

We painted as much as we could during the first four days until the skies opened up with what seemed like an unending amount of rain; off and on for the remainder of their stay.  While initially we were frustrated and disappointed with the lack of work we could do, we realized there was a greater work at hand which needed tending.  After only a year of working alongside the other missionaries here, helping with various projects and events, we never saw the immense draining of our own spiritual resources over the last year.  The team rallied around us and we spent several nights in counsel and prayer as the rains poured down.  What a blessing the team has been!  Fires have been stoked, wheels have been oiled now and fuels have been restocked for Laura and I as we surely needed the recharge!
God knew exactly what was needed for us at the time, when we couldn't see it immediately, He always has something in store for us that will cause us to slow down and look around.  In this case, the welcome rains during those days allowed us to re-focus on Him, instead of the work.  Although the work is important, we must always make time for Him in our lives, otherwise, there is no point to the work!  We are grateful for the opportunity the team from ROL presented to us, and eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord in this way.
I pray that all of you take a step back from your own work and look around you, just for a little while, and try to realize what we are all doing here, alive, compassionate, forgiving, caring, and loving; just like our Father, just like Jesus.  Whether you realize it or not, God has made us in His image, just like Him.  This is exactly why we are compelled to reach out to others who have fallen or are lost without the truth, we are compelled by the Spirit, alive inside each of us, to be the servants to each other, to all others, just as Jesus was.

Bless you all, bless you well.