Side note: I feel like a writer right now. The darkness of the night with a couple of Christmas lights and some soothing music in our room is calming my soul. The crumbling of the snacks being eaten and the traditional roommate banter is soothing to my ears. I’m at peace, and I’m ready to write.
To be honest, I feel like I haven’t even left. I’ve only been here for a week since recovery, yet it seems like I’ve known these people and lived here for my whole life. Usually with these updates, I tend to have a theme and try to encourage people by what I’m learning. Instead of that, I thought you would all like to hear some stories from my host home this weekend in my ministry site, San Jose.
Friday Night: I got to be a part of a church meeting where the members went to someone’s house and just went around, praising God for the week and sharing encouragement for everyone. As we were walking back, it was nighttime, and we saw a group of people crowded together, learning that two men had gotten into a pretty bad fight. The man was taken to a church medical clinic right next to where I was staying. As the man was trying to get help (or the lack thereof of him wanting the help), I was curiously looking through the window trying to see what was happening. All I heard was some screams. I would try to explain the entire situation myself, but I think that the Church Planter of the area would explain it better than me.
“Just had our first attempted murder patient in the clinic. An irate and badly beaten drunk who had received more than 8 stab wounds and many lacerations to the head and face before people were able to get the other guy off of him. It was one of the more gruesome things I have seen and although we were trying to get the bleeding stopped and wounds packed with gauze he become violent and 4 men weren’t able to hold him down. His brother took off with him…. so we will see how it turns out, the amount of blood loss and one of the stab wounds to the top of the head has me anxious. #cnj343 #villagemedicalclinic #WeAintInAmericaAnymore”
They eventually went to the clinic, and he got help but showed off his “battle scars” the next day as something to be proud of, rather than as a lesson to learn. Pray that this man, nick-named “The Cemetery” (El Cemetario) comes to know Christ.
Saturday: I went to the house of the teacher that I work with in the preschool on Mondays. I was able to play with one of the little kids that lived around the area for most of the time, watch the whole process of a live chicken being turned into the type of raw meat we buy in the grocery stores, go to the Colmado (a tiny store) by myself, receive some clothes from a man who was selling them off the back of his truck, and got to go to the Church in the area (absolutely fantastic church, by the way!).
Sunday: We had a birthday celebration for one of the missionary families that will be returning to the States in just a week. I loved talking with the missionary kids and getting to know the missionary families a bit better. I then went to the house of one of the girls that is in our Bible Study; I got to get to know her a LOT better (which I’ve been trying to do for a while), try out some Dominican food for the first time, and try chicken liver? Never knew that people ate those, and after trying one, I still don’t know how I feel about it. The host family and I had some fantastic late night conversations. By the end of the weekend, I felt like a part of their family.
I’ve very thankful for this place and for all the people in it.
-One of the missionaries here just had her first baby a couple of days ago, and he’s happy and healthy!
-It only took me about three days until I was able to settle in and find a groove here in the DR. Praise God that I’m not too exhausted!
-I’ve been struggling and finally got some clarity on some situations in my life; thank God that He reveals things to us in HIS timing!
-Recovery-wise, people here have been really understanding.
-This past week, we had Hermeneutics class with a Church Planter from San Jose. His class was SUPER convicting; please pray for everyone, that we don’t take the Bible out of context and that we all can teach others to be self-feeding Christians, ones that know how to study and interpret the Bible.
-This weekend is Parent’s weekend. My parents, along with others, will be coming to the DR to see what we do, get to experience some of the ministries and do some mission projects themselves! Pray for safe flights and that not only will the families enjoy seeing their kids again, but that they will also learn a lot from the experience.