Monday, December 27, 2010

Important changes!! Please make note...

We here at Students International Dominican Republic have decided to change missionary mail carriers. We now use Agape flights. Please take note of the following address for all letters and packages;

Katie Lombard
c/o Agape Flights STI #25923
100 Airport Ave.
Venice, FL 34285


Can't wait to get a letter from you!!
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in another Dominican wedding for my friends Chulo and Rossy. You may remember me writing about Rossy before (living with her boyfriend, lost a pregnancy a while back). Well several months ago they both made a life change and came back to the Lord and decided that they wanted to get officially married.

They asked me to be the Madrina (god-mother) of the wedding. In the Dominican tradition there is always a Madrina and Padrino who take part in the wedding and help the couple with the cost of the wedding.

In the DR, a Christian pastor does not have legal authority to marry, so the couple has to have a civil ceremony performed by a judge in addition to the church ceremony. One of the other jobs of the madrina is signing the marriage certificate. Here I am signing the certificate during the civil ceremony.

Here we are at the wedding: Padrino #1, me, Chulo, Rossy, Padrino #2

Oh, and I caught the boquet ;-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December birthday

We celebrated Francis' birthday at the beginning of December. He turned 5 this year.


When I first moved to the DR, I was afraid that my love for volleyball would not be satiated here. However, I have actually had many opportunities to continue playing. THere are alot of people who like volleyball and I have gotten to know quite a few people who play at a competitive level. Starting in the summer, Jessica (SI missionary who runs a girls sports site) and I started practicing with a team in La Vega (about 30 mins away) in our spare time. It has been so fun to play with really competitive girls, and the level of play is almost like it was back in college. Here is a picture from one of our tournaments, we were hoping to qualify for the national tournament, but we lost in the finals. I'm up in the front by the net, second from the right.
I am so thankful to God that He has allowed volleyball to stay a part of my life, even as a missionary. Jessica and I hope that we can continue to play with this team and get to know the girls and coach better.

(late) November birthdays

We actually celebrated the birthdays on time, but I am just late in posting this blog.

Here are Isaias and Kyarolin, who both turned 4 this year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Dinner

Whenever we have American groups come down for a work week, we always take them into the community one night to have dinner with one of the families. This is a great cultural experience and always one of the highlights of their trip. The last time that we had a group, our Dominican host, Katty, was curious about typical American food. So I decided to invite some of my friends from Mata Gorda to my house one evening for an American meal.

Here is Katty, Meri, Alberto, Enmanuel, Maira, Johanny, and Raffa in my living room.

The meal: Pork tenderloin, ravioli with pesto sauce, sauteed green beans, garlic bread, iced tea. They loved it!

Enmanuel especially enjoyed nibbling at the garlic bread and since that night mentions almost everyday at school about how he got to come to my house.

Cristian and I eating Molten Chocolate Baby Cakes for dessert. MMMMMM....

It was such a special night having these special friends at my house and cooking for them, which is something that I love to do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Women's Retreat

A few weeks ago a group from Crystal Valley Church came to work in Mata Gorda. This church has been coming to the DR to work with SI ever since the beginning and they have strong connections in Mata Gorda. As they did in the previous year, some of the ladies from Crystal Valley put on a retreat for the women of Mata Gorda. It was really great for me to get to help out with this, since I have been doing Bible study with the women for some time now.

Every afternoon they started off by doing manicures or some other similar activity.

Then there was a talk and small group sessions. I had the challenge of translating everything from English to Spanish. Overall it was a great week and I know the women were really blessed. Praise God for this opportunity to continue connecting with the women and building relationships. The women here are so hungry for spiritual growth. Please continue to pray for God to raise up someone to come to work in Mata Gorda full time with the women and girls.

October Birthdays

We celebrated the birthdays of the kids from school who had birthdays in October.

Luis Angel - 3 years old Melany - 6 years old

I also brought Feliz to school that day to play with the kids, which is always a big hit. My class made dog masks as an art project that day.

Fruit of the Spirit

A few weeks ago a few students from a visiting group started a project that we had had in mind for a while. In one of our classrooms they painted a tree on the wall and I finished it a few days later by adding the leaves and apples. I then wrote each of the fruits of the Spirit inside the apples. We have been using the mural to teach the kids about the fruits of the Spirit. The mural turned out beautifully and the kids have really been enjoying the lessons that come with it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

September Birthdays

A few weeks ago we celebrated the birthdays of the kids who had birthdays in September.

Here is Smil, all dressed up with his tie. He wears this tie all the time to school, it is so funny.

Two of my littlest ones, Katerin and Luis Angel, who are always attached at the hip.

THe 3 birthday kids, Moises, Smil, and Riselys.

Friday, October 15, 2010

flowers from my garden

This fall in the DR has felt a little more like spring. It has been warm and sunny most days and raining a lot too, which has been doing wonders for my garden.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Women's Ministry

As I believe I have mentioned before, at the beginning of the summer I began working with the women of Mata Gorda giving a Bible study once a week. This has turned out to be a great success and the women are really enjoying coming together for our weekly meetings. The women are eager for a full time women's ministry in the community like we have in other communities in Jarabacoa. Unfortunately, since my full time responsibility is with the school I can only give them one day a week. Please pray that God would touch the heart of someone to come to Mata Gorda to begin a women's ministry site to work with these women full time. They are so eager and have a heart for the non-beliving women in the community. This is a prayer request that I have had for a long time, so please join with me in praying that God would provide someone to come and work with the women of Mata Gorda.

This fall we have been alternating weeks having the Bible Study and doing a craft. This last week I taught the women how to make rosettes out of cloth and they sewed them onto headbands or glued them onto hair clips. They absolutely loved this activity and were so excited to make hair accessories for themselves and their daughters.

Here is Madelyn concentrating hard on her rosette. She has two daughters in the school: Daniela, a new 3 year old in my class, and Mayerlin, a 6 year old in Alberto's class.

Josefina, Meri, and Maira:

Some of the girls modeling their new hair accessories made by their moms:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010


I love to see how kids in Mata Gorda invent ways to have fun. Without the means to buy fancy, expensive toys they have to figure out other ways to make their own toys. I love seeing their creativity and how they always share their toys with all the neighborhood kids.

Here are Frannis and Jeuris each with one roller skate on.

This is the most common toy you'll find boys playing with here: an old tire pushed by a stick connected to a piece of plastic. They usually are making motorcycle noises as they run around with this.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New bookshelf!

I've been wanting a bookshelf like this for some time now in my classroom and we were finally able to get it built. I absolutely love it and it is so much more functional than what I was using all last year. I am so happy and the kids are loving their new reading corner!

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Week of School

We are back to school this week at the preschool in Mata Gorda. It has been so great seeing all the kids again, getting so many hugs everyday, and hearing the kids tell me I am pretty (especially after I cut my bangs.) :-)

Here are Isaias and Enmanuel, two of my littlest ones from last year who are now the "big kids" in my class. It is fun to see how Enmanuel's personality has changed now that he is a "big kid". Last year he was so timid in class and hardly ever talked. Now he is talking and smiling constantly!

Here is Angel, 4 years old, new to my class this year.

This is Taúmi, a new 3 year old in my class. This has been a rough week for her at school. I suspect that she is autistic, due to several common characteristics that she demonstrates. It has been difficult for me trying to help her cope being at school. Next week Amy, who works at the special Ed school, is coming to observe her to see if my assessment is correct. Please pray for us as we try to determine what the best course of action is for Taúmi, whether that means her staying at our school or transferring over to the Special Ed school to get better one on one attention.

Luis Angel, a new 3 year old:

Moises, a new three year old:


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of some dear friends here in the DR, Nani and Jhon. Nani and I have been good friends since shortly after I moved here to the DR and Cristian and I spend alot of time with the couple as well as our other friends Anyelo and Leona. I was so special to be able to take part in their wedding and share in the joy of their union. I also got to help out with a lot of the planning and organizing, which was quite stressful at times because the bride would ask my opinion on just about everything and say, "I just don't know because I've never been married before!" Haha, neither have I! But I did feel honored that she valued my opinion so much.

The day before the wedding turned out to be a crazy day since it was pouring down rain all afternoon. And when I say raining, I mean that the road in front of the church flooded to about 3 feet of water and the bottom floor of the church completely flooded. So when we were supposed to be cleaning the church and setting up for the wedding, there were also people walking around in knee deep water trying to save books from the church book store.

In true Dominican style, the rented tables, table cloths and all other decorations showed up late. Well, I suppose "Dominican style" would be 1 hour late, and no one would think anything of it. But this was truly "Dominican late" : 4 hours!! So when everything showed up at the church everyone (or maybe just me) was stressed out from running errands all afternoon, buying extra candles etc, in the rain, on the motorcycle. And to make matters worse, our church's pastor thinks it is a good idea for the whole week before the wedding for the bride and groom not to see each other or talk. So this meant they could not coordinate together any of the setting up of the church. And I got elected to be the go between all day with Jhon calling me on the phone to relay messages to Nani. And Nani telling me to call Jhon to buy more lightbulbs. ANd when Jhon showed up to deliver the lightbulbs Nani frantically running to the closet to hide until he left. Whew!! Let's just say it was a very stressful day, and I think I was the most stressed out of all! Long story short, I left the church at 11:30 pm and there was still more decorating to do.

The wedding day actually turned out great, with very few minor hiccups. I spent all day doing hair (which I love) as i did the bride's and all the bridesmaids hair for the wedding. It again rained all afternoon and the power went out at my house just as all the girls were trying to put on their makeup. The wedding only started 1 hour late, which is good by Dominican standards (i've been to a wedding here where the ceremony started 2 1/2 hours late!). And the ceremony was absolutely wonderful, full of so much love and support. All in all, it was such an honor to be a part of this wonderful day.

Me doing Nani's hair:

All the girls:

Nani and I:

Ceremony in the church:

Cristian and I with Anyelo and Leona, who were married last fall:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

graduation 2010

This year we had four children graduate from the preschool to move onto the public school. Here are some pictures from the graduation.

This is Abbi. She is the daughter of one of our SI staff members and is in high school. This summer, just like last summer, she helped me out in my class as my unofficial summer intern. She is wonderful and was such a blessing to me and to the kids. Thanks Abbi!

Here are the graduates marching into the graduation.

Singing the national anthem:





All the graduates and their escorts: