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: