Wow! Where has the time gone? Summer officially started here when the kids got off school 20 days ago and it’s been a blur. A good blur, but a blur nonetheless.
We started off our summer preparing for our church's annual Dominican Republic mission trip. This year just my husband and kids were going. The team of 23 men, women and children met in our church parking lot on June 22nd at 3:30am and set off to Santo Domingo for ten days.
It was a fabulous trip for everyone! Each day they made tremendous progress on the worksite (a school/church/medical clinic/water treatment facility)—the same project we’ve been working on for the past three years.
The “old-timers” on the team (including my family) were thrilled to reunite with their Dominican friends and the newbies were old-timers in no time at all. As has come to be the norm for these trips, language and cultural differences didn’t stop Dominicans and Americans from becoming one happy family.
Dan kept us all posted with a blog he wrote—as the internet connection allowed. If you haven’t read it yet and want a look at a wonderful short-term mission experience, check it out (www.woodsidemissionaries.blogspot.com).
God was so evidently at work in it all—the friendships, the work, the worship, the fellowship. As has come to be expected on these trips, God knit together the hearts of His children and used the many experiences to touch so many so deeply. Lives will be forever changed.
During the final night’s worship/goodbye service American and Dominicans joined as family for one last time—until next year. Members from the team were invited to share their testimony and I’ve been told by many who were there that my daughter shared a testimony that was eloquent, emotional and had everyone in the place crying.
To see both of my children blossom and bloom on this trip made my mama heart grow ten sizes. I thank God for His goodness and for answered prayers.
Since the ten days that my family was away was a bit too many days to be home alone, I headed to Florida to visit my sister for a week.What a treat to enjoy so much one-on-one time together. We rested, we played, we talked, we worked a little and boy oh boy did we eat! And then I came home and spent three glorious days (literally the weather was spectacular) home alone.
As I read each update from the DR I questioned my decision to stay behind. But as the days of the trip progressed I felt that God had us all right where He wanted us.
The missionaries returned to a heroes’ welcome--happy and full of stories (and dirty laundry)—softly landing into life with a picnic at our house. What a blessing it was to be with them all and share in the glow of their experience!
While life has been full lately, I sadly haven’t written anything at all! I have, however, been observing, processing and storing up bits for later. We’ll see what comes out the other side.
For now it’s on to our next adventure—hosting an exchange student from Spain who arrived this afternoon. She’s with a group of students from Spain who are here to immerse themselves in English and visit the local sights. Dan and I immediately declared her delightful, and the kids are already planning to visit her at her home in Valencia! Despite it being 1:00am Spain time, and she’s likely weary from traveling, she happily agreed to go with my daughter to a youth group Bible study this evening.
I am excited for this experience—for what we might learn from our guest and for what we might teach her. While much of her time is scheduled, I imagine we’ll show her sights in the area and experience things we’ve always wanted to do and never have. If you’re from the Philadelphia area, do you have any suggestions?
What adventures do you have planned for the summer?