Blog of Patrick & Jenni Miles

Highway to Home

There is a lot you can learn from on a brief drive here in the D.R.  Take a peak at what I (Pat) saw each day for the past three months as I drove to and from Montellano from and to our house in Cangrejo (about a ten minute drive…when there are no cows in the road or when the local military base isn’t doing any marching drills down the highway).  The photos below show my way from Montellano back to our house in Cangrejo (captions for each photo are above the photo). Below is the “highway” (or autovista) that goes along the edge of the north coast and connects all the cities and towns.  You’ll notice that it is only a two lane road. Also notice that there are no street lights. This is one of the main turnoffs (calle de bomba) for Montellano. “Bomba” is the word used […]

Christmas Time at Makarios

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 […]

A Day of Throwing Eggs & Flour

So apparently today (November 30) is a tradition here in the D.R. where youth (younger and older) take to the streets armed with water balloons, eggs, and flour for some lighthearted (mostly) fun. They will throw these at each other usually, but it’s also a tradition to throw these at passing cars, unless the driver tosses out a RD $5 peso coin.  So far, I haven’t been attacked and I haven’t had to throw out any money, but I stopped by the colmado (small street store) and got some change just in case. The tradition, it is told, is to honor an old baker back in Spain who in protest to one of the old kings took some water and flour (and possibly eggs) and threw them at the king to illustrate his opposition to the king’s ruling ways.  It’s yet another excuse, I think, to use to skip school. […]

And We’re Back

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.

Dia de La Raza

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 […]

4 Cosas

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 […]

October Newsletter

Here is our latest newsletter (and our first one from the field). ENJOY!! Getting Settled and Some Big News – http://eepurl.com/gbilv

Our New Norm

It’s been a little while since we’ve submitted a blog post. Sorry about that as a lot has been happening these past few weeks. I believe the last time we wrote on the blog we were still in Tennessee. We finally left the States on August 25th for the Dominican Republic. We flew into Santiago and got in about an hour later than scheduled (around 9:45 p.m.). When we landed we experienced our first cultural difference. As the jet touched down in Santiago, all the Dominican people started clapping and cheering for a safe landing. We of course joined in (and I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving that the Lord got us there safely). By the time we got out of the plane, our kids were SO tired. New culture, tired kids, trying to pick up 12 checked bags and not being able to speak Spanish all made for […]

As we had our family time in The Word and said prayers tonight, we read about how God supplied manna to the people of Israel and then also how He produced flowing water out of a dry rock after Moses faithfully was obedient to follow His instructions.  God showed how He loved the people of Israel and took care of them, even when they were (at times) so doubtful in what He was doing with them in the wilderness. They went from predictable lifestyles as slaves into a state of freedom, but the freedom came with some changes. Those changes in lifestyle brought out the worldly emotions and fleshly reactions to life’s stresses in so many of the Israelite people. But the Lord was still faithful. He allowed the “wilderness time” to work at their hearts, and then He later blessed them with the promised land. We’re getting much closer […]

When you serve in a foreign nation and everything is new (including the language), it’s not uncommon for others of similar backgrounds to come together. Think of the various communities or “little” villages that emerge in cities across the nation – Little Italy, China Town, etc. Over the past several months, prior to us joining Makarios, we began to establish some communication with others serving in the Dominican Republic that we would hopefully one day develop close ties with once we moved to the D.R. We definitely look forward to those relationships still occurring (Cutts family, Iannone family, Luther family and James family) and having the opportunity to enjoy some time with all of them. But it definitely feels even better knowing that now we enter into an even tighter community of like-minded people who each are involved in the Makarios ministries occurring in the D.R. This past week we […]

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