Our Faith Journey

Living Life in the DR

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Augst '20 in Photos

Where has this year gone?! Although it's been a crazy one, it's gone by fast, and it's hard to believe we are already half way through September! I'm so far behind on our monthly photo albums. I'm finally getting August posted, and I completely missed July! Hopefully I'll get that up someday soon! But for now....here's a small window into what our August looked like!


 



















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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Go and Make Disciples!


Often when we hear this phrase, at least when I hear it, I associate it with stepping outside of our circle - going to unreached places and people groups. And yes that's true! God call us to that! But far too often, I fail to see the people that God has placed in my life that desperately need Jesus. Those people right in my backyard. Sometimes 'going' just means walking across the street to a neighbor or even reaching out to those in your own family.

A few Saturday's ago, our family went to visit one of Estaylin and Eliangels older siblings - José Miguel. While visiting him, we made a trip to the grave site to see where their mom was buried. I noticed throughout the cemetery that there were many gravesites with a cross over them, which seems pretty normal! But while we were talking, Jose Miguel told us that those with crosses were actually people who weren't Christians - people who had not made the decision to follow Christ during their time here on earth. This seemed so strange to me. But come to find out, the cross over their grave was kind of like their last resort for a "ticket" to heaven. It was a hope that somehow that cross over their grave would save them - sadly it's a false hope. 

As we headed back to José Miguel's house, Eliangel, having heard our conversation, looked at me and asked me if could make José a Christian. I told him that I couldn't make him do anything - he has to make that decision on his own. But I told him that we've also been given the amazing opportunity (command!) to share the gospel with him and tell him about Jesus! In that moment, Eliangel looked at José and asked him if he wanted to be a Christian. José Miguel kinda laughed it off. He said "not right now, buddy. Later, but not right now.".

That is such a common response down here. "Later". But it hit me hard. We don't know if we have a 'later'!  Eliangel and Estaylin come from a large family. They have 9 brothers and 1 sister - all who don't know Jesus. I began to think what an amazing opportunity the Lord had given us by placing these boys in our lives. An opportunity to speak truth into the lives of lost souls - souls right in our backyard. Estaylin and Eliangels lives have been intercepted. They now have such an amazing opportunity to go and make disciples of their siblings!  While they aren't receptive to it now, I pray and I ask that you would all join us in praying that their eyes would be opened to the truth. That they would see the freedom that is available to them through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for boldness for us as we share the gospel with them!
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Monday, July 6, 2020

June In Pictures

Our summer has looked a bit different this year. June is usually filled with teams and summer programs at the school. Without teams and not being able to bring kids to the school yet, we've been heading out to the bateyes in the morning for 1 hour class sessions with the kiddos. We missed not being able to see them for 10 weeks so it's been a joy to be reconnected! In the afternoon, the MK's had the opportunity to attend an afternoon camp program!







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Monday, June 1, 2020

Month of May '20 in Photos

Another month checked off! It's hard to believe it's already June. The last day of school for this year is June 5th. While the last quarter of the '19-'20 school year was not what we expected, we are thankful for the opportunities that presented themselves and we look forward to the '20-'21 school year! Here's what kept us busy in May '20!


Until next month!




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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Around Freedom - May 2020

The Freedom Campus continues to be a little too quiet! We miss all of our staff and students, and we can't wait to all be reunited. Here in the Dominican, we are still under a State of Emergency. This is scheduled to come to an end on May 17th. We hope to find out in the next few days what the next steps will be. We are so thankful for all your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for us as we face a lot of unknowns. Here are a few things that have been happening around Freedom!

Construction Continues!

While we haven't been allowed to bring any Dominican workers on campus, construction has continued. The lack of workers has allowed Gabe to step out of the office and be a bit more hands on. I think he's actually enjoyed getting a trowel back in his hands!

Team Effort

With the lack of construction workers, many missionaries have jumped in to help! We've all taken turns lifting block up to the fourth floor of the newest apartment and sifting sand. The boys wanted to try it one Saturday so Gabe and I spent a Saturday morning working with them!

Wedding Bells!

Heather, one of our Freedom missionaries, is getting married! She was able to finally find a flight home last week and is currently planning her wedding and raising support. Her husband, Nathan, and her plan to return to Freedom for a year as missionaries! Keep them in your prayers!

MK's

The Mk's have had the amazing opportunity to continue learning. They've been taking special electives like writing, flight, anatomy, government, pioneer class, logic, STEM and more! While they are enjoying the special attention, I know they are all ready to see all their friends and teachers again!

Calling All Interns!

We are looking for interns for the school year. Our internship program is now available in two forms. We've recently partnered with Huntington University which makes it possible for you to earn credits while you serve! Click here to learn more!

Sponsors Needed!

We are currently enrolling new 3's for the 2020-2021 school year! We also have about 40 current students still looking for someone to walk this journey of discipleship with them. Click here to find out how you help make an eternal difference!
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It's Been 5 Years!


"This was not the storyline I had written out for my life. In fact, it's exactly what I had prayed against!"

So many emotions run through my head when I look at this picture. Five years ago, we were closing a big chapter of our lives and heading off to a new one - a chapter I wasn't so sure about. This was not the storyline I had written out for our life. In fact, it's exactly what I had prayed against. But as I remember feeling paralyzed and fearful about our next venture, the Lord gave me the image of Him going before us. As we stepped onto the plane, He was already there. As we set foot in the Dominican Republic, He was there waiting.

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Deuteronomy 31:8.

Those words have brought me such comfort over the last five years. We've had many tears and days of wanting to throw in the towel, but through it all, the Lord has been faithful: even when my faith was weak. I'm so grateful that we serve a BIG God. A God who loves us enough to not leave us as we are. He loves us enough to pull us out of our comfort zone, to shape us and mold us to be more Christlike. If we hadn't been faithful to the calling of this next step, we would have missed out on the growth the Lord has produced in our lives (not to mention two boys that have joined our family) While this isn't the storyline I would have written, I'm so thankful that I'm not the author of my life! We serve a big God and I'm excited to see what the next 5 years hold!
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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Freedom Clean-Up Day!




 We recently set-aside three hours one morning to get together as a team and do a little cleanup around the Freedom campus. This included everyone - even the kiddos put their hands to work! 


Something that is preached hard here at Freedom is stewardship. It's easy for us as humans to take on the title of 'Owner'. We often view our homes, money, talents, accomplishments and even our children as ours. In reality, God is the owner! He's given us these gifts to steward and to use them to bring glory to His name. 

So as we gathered that morning to hear our assignments, we were reminded that all we have is the Lord's. Freedom is not our ministry, it is the Lord's! He's allowed us and given us the amazing opportunity to be a part of it and to steward it well! So that morning, we did just that. We came together as a team, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and we worked side by side to care for, to steward, all that the Lord has given us!

These kiddos helped us clear the ravine!

Luke and Blakeley working hard to bring up sticks!
We had piles of sticks and grass. The sticks we took to burn and the grass we
added to our compost!
This was the kids favorite part....stomping the grass down!
Dominican style hay ride :)
We also had a group in charge of cleaning up the trash area!
These boys worked hard!
It takes muscle and a big smile to move a wheelbarrow!

Several people worked hard to polyurethane the playground!

This playground gets a lot of use!!

Hard-working bunch!
















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Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Month of March '20 in Photos




Here's what March 2020 looked like for us! It was far different than expected, but we continue to keep our eyes fixed on Him. 

While we can find ourselves apprehensive and frustrated over the current situation, I'm reminded that God is faithful, and because our hope is in him, we can "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. "  ~ James 1:2-4










Until next month!!
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Friday, March 27, 2020

The New Normal

We are slowly adjusting to our new routine! The circumstances here in the Dominican are pretty much the same as you all are experiencing. Schools have shut down, borders have been closed, restaurants are serving pick-up only, grocery store shelves are picked over and curfews have been put in place. While we can find ourselves apprehensive and frustrated over the situation, I'm reminded that God is faithful and because our hope is in him we can "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. "  ~ James 1:2-4
So we are doing our best to steward the circumstances that we have. This current 'down time' has allowed missionaries who need it to spend more time learning and focusing on Spanish, our MK's have the opportunity to attend a bible class and also participate in several electives that our missionary teachers have put together. We usually move at a pretty fast pace here at Freedom, so the shut down has allowed us all to catch up a bit on some work and has also given us the opportunity to work on some future strategic plans. Construction also continues - our newest apartment building continues to grow!

We continue to pray for all of you in the United States and people all over the world as it seems time has come to a halt. Our ultimate prayer is that through all of this, God would be glorified! We pray that our gaze would be fixed on 'the founder and perfecter of our faith' and that more people's hearts would be drawn to Him!

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Meet Estefani!


Change a Life!

Want to be involved in something that matters for eternity? We are looking for people to walk the journey of discipleship with us through our Sponsorship Program! For $60 a month, you'll provide one of our sweet kiddos with a bilingual christian education in a consistent loving environment! That $60 provides food, teacher's salaries, transportation and classroom supplies. Not only that, through letters, prayer and trips, you have the opportunity to form a life-changing relationship with them!

We are currently running a 60 in 90 campaign - 60 kids sponsored in 90 days! We currently stand at 19. 

We first met Estefani when she was not even a year old! Her family lives in Batey Cabeza de Toro. She's the baby of 8 girls!! 5 of her older sisters also attend Freedom Christian School. One of her sisters, Yeny, is in 5th grade with Ava, and another one of her sisters, Yeylin, is in fourth grade with Blakeley and Karsyn! Her family has been such a blessing to our ministry. Her mom, Phanie, is such an advocate for Freedom out in their Batey. We are so grateful for this family and we pray that these girls will be the generation that brings hope and truth to their community! We want to see them glorifying God with their lives!

Estefani is still in need of a sponsor! If you're interested in investing in her life, and walking this journey of discipleship with us, click here to learn more! 

All 6 girls on the first day of school this year!




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