Dear friends, mission partners, brothers and sisters in Christ,
2016 has flashed right before our eyes. Here we are in December now getting ready for Christmas and New Years. Many families plan their get togethers and enjoy some time away from work and school. It is a time of the year that we remember the miracle of the incarnation of our Lord. When God Himself stepped into time and His own creation , took on a robe of flesh and came to rescue an otherwise hopeless people from their sins for His own glory. I pray that we all make time to block out the noise of materialism and busyness to meditate on these important and beautiful truths and to be thankful for God’s glorious grace.
Life still continues almost the same here for us. Please remember to pray for our family and the many other missionaries around the world who can’t be with their families or at those special reunions at this time of year. There are many other prayer requests as well.
After 3-4 years on the field, many missionaries come home for a furlough. There are several different reasons for this. Fundraising, medical reasons, reporting to home and supporting churches, and rest. We have now been here 4 1/2 years. Many missionaries take a furlough after a term of 3-4 years on the field. Please pray for provision and wisdom in this decision. We also are about to begin fundraising for some important legal paperwork towards working on some very important steps with Yeison, including a passport and visa. We are praying that with the lawyer we will soon be meeting with, Lord willing, Yeison may finally be able to travel with us. Even if it is just for a short time in the beginning. But it will be quite costly and depends on what this lawyer says. We are hopeful and This lawyer has a lot of experience with the process. If the meeting goes well, fundraising that kind of money will also be difficult from this side. This is another reason that we would need to be home for a time. We hope to share this need and other needs with many churches and individuals. Please help us pray for this. Yeison is very much our son and deeply loved.
But we also are realizing the importance of other reasons for this furlough, like rest. Since I spoke the language coming into the DR, we really did hit the ground running right from the start. Although we have had a couple of minor changes in the course of our time here, we pretty much have been going full steam since we arrived. We are praying for wisdom and provision for us to be able to rest for a while, tend to our family, and refocus. The Bible says this in Ecclesiastes 10:10:
If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. – Ecclesiastes 10:10
Machetes are a commonly used tool here. But anyone who has had to use one to chop for any amount of time would tell you, they work best when they are nice and sharp. You exert little energy and can work efficiently for extended periods of time. But over time and with much use, the blade begins to dull. If one continues to use it that way you must exert more and more time and energy as the blade loses it’s edge. In the end you are bound to become exhausted. The wisest thing to do in that situation is to sharpen the blade. But to do so one must step away from the task for a time.
We are now praying about that time so that my family and I may sharpen our proverbial “blade”. We understand that this is an important, necessary, and healthy thing for us as a family, and for our longevity on the field to be able to better minister to others in the future. Pray for wisdom in this decision and continued provision during that time.
There are some wonderful praise reports too. This month, by God’s grace we had three more people join the membership of the church. Praise the Lord! We are also seeing some tremendous growth and committment in some of the brethren, especially brother William. Brother Kelvin’s daughter (Genesis) is growing and is healthy and strong. And sister Rosalina’s new son (Daniel who is about a month old now) is also healthy and strong. Two beautiful blessings from God to two godly families at Hato Mayor. More of God’s glorious grace.
In November I was in Haiti with brother Moises and helped him take some money, food and supplies to his mother and brothers in a remote area in the mountains. Please keep Moises in your prayers. He is in Santiago with us but still struggles a little as he is now adjusting to life on his own as a young man now. We keep a close eye on him and he is in our church as well. We also still help him in every way possible with the support of the brethren. Recently, a brother in the church was able to give him a job. That has been a long time prayer but the Lord now has answered that request. Praise the Lord!
Please pray for us and feel free to share this newsletter with others. Giving is very low around this time of year and we still have a ways to go to meet our budget just for our family. There are many ministry needs too. Between the demands of a growing ministry, inflation, and men needing training for ministry, we need to raise some money for a pastors fund which will financially help the gifted men and their families who are candidates for ministry so that they can can focus on studying, growing and learning many other things as we prepare them to minister in the future. This is a vital and important step in becoming a disciple making and chuch planting ministry. That is our deepest desire as a ministry. Lord willing, in the future Hato Mayor will become just that for God’s glory alone. Pray.
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. – 2 Timothy 2:2