Living Life in the DR

Thursday, October 15, 2020

September '20 In Photos


Here's what our September looked like! While we are still waiting to find out what this school year will look like, we continue to have opportunities to visit the bateyes weekly. Old relationships are being strengthened and new relationships are being formed. We are so thankful for the ways the Lord continues to work and open doors even during times of uncertainty. 


Thursday, September 17, 2020

We Push on Toward the Goal


"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Galatians 6:9

These days, it's easy to find ourselves discouraged. With all that's going on in the world right now, hopelessness can start to settle in.

We currently find ourselves, here at Freedom, with a school, but no children. Classrooms sit empty, lunch tables aren't being used, hallways are silent and buses sit unused. The government has made the announcement that there will be no in-person classes this year. Everything will be virtual and classes will start November 2nd. If you are at all familiar with our students and their living conditions, you know that this will be nearly impossible for them. We've submitted several proposals with the idea of bringing our kids in and splitting all classes in half to reduce class sizes to 15. Please pray for us as we await the decision, and pray that we find peace no matter what they decide.

We are heartbroken over this, and honestly if feels like a blow to the gut. I mean, this is what we are here for right?! We have a school, we are a school! Our president Jason Hilgeman said something the other day that brought this all back in to perspective. Freedom is not a school! We have a school, and it is a tool we use. But it's not what we are. We are disciple-makers! We exist to make disciples! And while the school has been our main method of discipling in the past, the Lord has provided us with other unique opportunities this year! 

We always say that "The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher" (Luke 6:40). So during this time, we are focusing on our teachers. Three days a week, teachers are getting 4 hours of Bible and 3 hours of educational training. We are also taking the opportunity to be more involved in the community. On Tuesdays and Fridays, we head out to the villages and help out with community projects, share short Bible lessons, offer prayer and fellowship! So while this year may not look like what we planned, we don't lose hope! We press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:14), fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)! This did year did not catch God by surprise. God gives and takes away, He is the owner. We are just called to steward well what he has given us!

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's a small window into what our August looked like!



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!

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!


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!


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!


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!

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!

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!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig