Here at Respond to Christ, our focus is on implementing and strengthening discipleship practices. To put that into action we run both Spanish and English focused outreaches. While our Spanish focused ministries (Piedras Vivas, Familia Para Cristo, Paso Adelante) mostly work alongside the local church and communities in the implementation of discipleship practices, our English focused ministry is completely different. Living Stones Discipleship (visit www.livingstonesdiscipleship.org) is our missions-based discipleship outreach (or it could be more accurately defined as a training ground) that involves English-speaking young adults (ages 18 and older) coming down to the Dominican Republic for an extended discipleship session (usually three months).
Only a Few Days Now and We’ll be a Family of Six What a pregnancy this has been. I’m writing this from the perspective of a husband and father as my wife isn’t quite up to sitting down at a computer to type out her feelings. What a crazy nine months. Our pregnancy with our fifth child (we lost one during a pregnancy in 2007) has been quite the experience, as our new daughter has been an added blessing and challenge in our transition to our new roles as missionaries, especially for my wife. I thought I’d share some of the various ways Jenni’s pregnancy has been a bit different this time around. The News First off, we can’t forget Lyla’s (that’s her name) grand entrance into our lives. We found out that we were pregnant only a week and half before we left for the Dominican Republic. I remember […]
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5 Oh the sins, the longing covetousness of the things of this world. It’s what the enemy uses to trap us and hold us captive. We fixate ourselves on our own worldly idols – television, food, success in our jobs, money, clothes, cars, homes, and even our human relationships. They are gold to us. What great temptation they are to put our trust in them to give us our worth. But in the end, these items by themselves hold us prisoner. Yet wait! There is hope! There is something…err…someONE that can break us out of our prison of worldly idolfullness. His name is JESUS! But, just knowing Jesus isn’t enough. […]
Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 24:27, “Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.” This is the theme for us for the next few months. In fact, through the work of the Spirit, we’re already in the middle of “getting everything ready for us in the field” through our time serving with Makarios. The main question we get now that we’re venturing on our own is “What is your ministry focus?” It’s a very honest and obvious question to ask…and we’d ask the same thing if we were on the other side. And while we have all kinds of ideas in our brains about potential ministry opportunities, the truth is we need to wait before we commit to or announce any ministry focus. If we did, it wouldn’t be fair […]
I knew coming into our role as missionaries here that because I’m a)white, b)a man and c)American I’d automatically be considered someone that local people (mainly Haitians) would try to befriend in order to try to get more for themselves and their family. I had read enough books, blogs and stories about how Americans are often considered the “great white hope” of the disadvantaged and poor throughout the world (and most of that is our own fault due to our past “hand-out ministries”). And with my initial role as the principal of the Makarios School, I automatically arrived in a supervisory capacity, which just escalated that mentality. Even though I had some great Dominican and Haitian staff work alongside me at the school as the principal, I have still grown to abhor one word here – “jefe” – the Spanish word for boss. It was fun at first to have […]
It’s the last month serving full-time with Makarios here in the D.R. before we launch our own ministry, and we’ve had a series of fun Christmas events take place at the Makarios School. Below are some images and descriptions of some of our fun we’ve had with the students and staff at the school. Look for future posts on our last few days with Makarios and what we look forward to in the future. We took a few photos of the kids for the Makarios Christmas e-blast that went to all the donors and supporters of Makarios. These were actually taken in October but by that time the local grocery stores were already playing Christmas music. These guys LOVED this. I have several individual photos of the students from the day of our Christmas photo shoot but these two stuck out to me. Aylin just has these remarkable eyes, which […]
So we had a virus on our blog, which we’ve cleaned out, but at the expense of some of our most recent posts. But at least we’re back online and can communicate life.
Today is La Dia de La Raza – The Day of the Race. In the Dominican Republic it’s the day they pay tribute to the native Taino indians who inhabited the island when Christopher Columbus discovered it way back in history. Unlike in the U.S. where we celebrate Christopher Columbus, here in the D.R. he is more of a reminder of the brutality he used to practically eliminate the natives. Even though most of the Dominicans and local Haitians have European and African descendantry, they don’t like to be associated with Columbus. So instead of celebrating Chistopher Columbus’s “discovery” they celebrate the native race he tried to destroy and enslave. I find it still a little ironic that their imagery of the native Taino people is similar to the Native American indians portrayed in the United States. I’m not convinced they wore feathers on their heads but such things tend […]
These four items (not the rubber band though) have been vital in the first few weeks of life here. The Bible The one thing to get me through everything. I love that each morning at school we start with a staff devotional, where we each get the opportunity to share what the Lord is working in us. The sword and rock!! The Dictionary This and Google Translate have been a life saver for me. I carry this little dictionary everywhere and just ask for patience with those who I’m trying to speak with. I’ve come to find out though that those in the D.R. sometimes use different words, but people still get the idea and appreciate that I’m trying to learn. Spanish lessons with one of our bilingual teachers (Johan) are coming soon and I’m praying our proficiency takes off. We shall see. The Water Bottle (with duct tape […]
Here is our latest newsletter (and our first one from the field). ENJOY!! Getting Settled and Some Big News – http://eepurl.com/gbilv