Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mata Gorda Christmas Party

This year we had a wonderful Christmas party again at the Mata Gorda Preschool. The kids performed two songs for their parents, received gifts and had refreshments. It was a great night and all the parents and kids really enjoyed themselves. Here is a video clip of the kids performing one of the songs, "Mi Burrito Sabanero" a typical Dominican Christmas song.

here are the kids with their gifts

Merry Christmas!!!

Update Video

Here is the newest update video for Cristian and I. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This past week at church, Cristian's sister's husband, Francisco, was named as one of the Associate Pastors. It was a proud moment for Cristian and I as they move into this important position of ministry at our church. The picture is of our head pastor, Popin, and Franciso and the family.

Christmas time in Mata Gorda

Here are some pictures of the kids in my class and some of the Christmas crafts that we have made in the last few weeks!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aguilas Game

As you know, baseball is BIG here. :-) A few weeks ago we went with a big group of friends down to Santiago to watch the two rivals in the Dominican Winter League battle it out. Our favorite, the Aguilas, won (of course).

Here is Cristian with some of his friends.
Cristian and his new best friend, Estaban who is a nephew of some good friends of ours.
Cristian and I.


We were blessed by Agape Flights, the organization that brings down our mail, by a donation of everything we needed to make a delicious thanksgiving meal. It was so fun to cook my first Thanksgiving and share it with our closest friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Essentials in Discipline

Last week we gathered all the parents together on a friday night and showed them a parenting DVD from Focus on the Family called Essentials of Discipline. It is a set of 3 dvds with 4 10 minute sessions on each DVD. The first night was a huge success. The dvds presented the ideas so well and the parents really enjoyed watching them and learning some important tools for discipline. It was fun to watch the parents whispering to each other saying things like, "that happens all the time!". I think they really learned some valuable lessons. What a great tool to offer parents of preschoolers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This is Rashel.
She is one of the most joyful, bright little girls that I have in my class. I pray the her joy and good attitude will be a light and strength to her family as they have just suffered a horrible tragedy.

On thursday Rashel's little baby brother of 1 year, Yandel, was very sick with a fever and vomiting and his parents took him to the hospital in town. (The public hospital if free for people who do not have insurance or can't afford care in a clinic. Unfortunately, the free price directly correlates to the quality of care.) The doctor gave him a shot and a prescription (without running any tests on him) and sent him home as it seemed his condition had improved. Several hours later he was still running a high fever and vomiting so his parents decided to take him back to the doctor. Again, the doctor gave him a shot (again, without running any tests) and sent him home. Several hours later he began sweating and trembling and passed out. Yandel never regained consciousness.

On friday afternoon we went to their house to visit. As is typical here when someone dies, the whole community was there sitting silently. The men were sitting out under a tree and when I went to give my condolences to the father, he hugged me with a longing for comfort but as if his body had no strength anymore. I can't describe to you the horrible look of pain in his eyes. It broke my heart and brought me to tears immediately.

Just then, Rashel came running out of the house, ("Kati!!!") so excited to see us. She ran to me and gave me a hug and then hugged Alberto. As Alberto held her she said, "Yandel died" so matter of factly as if she knew it was a big deal but really didn't understand the weight of it. Again I was brought to tears.

We entered the little shack and it was filled with women sitting and whispering quietly. The mother was standing huddling over the tiniest casket that I had ever seen. When she saw me she cried out my name in anguish and hugged me as if she would never let go, but again as if she couldn't help but let go. Again I can't even describe to you the pain in her eyes.

I sat and cried with her for a while and then went outside to hold Rashel. She was her normal joyful self and I played with her quietly, relishing in the sound of her laughter amongst all the crying. I held her as she ate her lunch and told me about her new cats and showed me her artwork hanging on the wall. And my heart was breaking the whole time.

I don't know how this family will come out of this tragedy. They are such wonderful, caring parents. I don't know how to tell them that everything will be ok and that God never makes mistakes. I pray that God will slowly heal them and draw them to Himself. Please pray for Rashel and her family.

New Slide!

A while back I posted about how our slide was broken and was very dangerous for the kids to play on. I asked for donations to help us buy a new slide.
Praise God! A business associate of my dad's saw the blog post and donated the money for the new slide. Thank you! We waited almost two months for the slide to come and it is finally here! The kids were so excited when the box arrived.
They are so happy to have a nice new slide!

October Birthdays

Last week we celebrated the October birthdays at the school.
Abigail turned 5, Rachel turned 4, Yely turned 3, Wander turned 4 and Luis Angel turned 4.

Yely really enjoyed the cupcakes!

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crazy rain storm

A few weeks ago we had a crazy storm that flooded barrios all over Jarabacoa. Fortunately, our house is raised up and no water entered our house, but our yard of grass was flooded with about 5 inches deep of water.

Our dirt road turned into a rushing river (which was nice cause it smoothed out all the potholes)

Our dogs enjoyed playing in all the water!

update on women's group

As I think I mentioned in the past, Daisy, who is the site leader for Social Work in one of the other communities here with SIDR, has started coming out to Mata Gorda once a week to help start up a women's group which we hope and pray will some day turn into a full time women's social work site. We have had several meetings with varying attendance, so 2 weeks ago, one of the ladies suggested we walk around the community and personally invite the women to come to the next meeting.

Here is Daisy, left, and Kathy, right, inviting Judy, center, to come to the group:

Here is a pic of our latest meeting, where we had 12 women come and do a craft and hear a small message:

Please continue to pray for the women of Mata Gorda that the group would start up strong and that many women would hear the gospel. Also pray that God would raise up someone to come work with the women full time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Women's group

I am happy to announce that we have officially begun a women's group in Mata Gorda. This has been a dream of mine for some time now when I began the women's bible study last year. Now Daisy, the SI staff member who has a women's social work site in another community, is coming to Mata Gorda on tuesday afternoons to start a group here. Our ultimate goal is to have a full time women's social work site in Mata Gorda, but that plan may still be a year or so in the future. But the women are excited to have a group even if it is just one day a week.

Please pray for Daisy and I as we work on making relationships with the women and reaching out to them through crafts, activities and Bible studies.

Sala de Tarea

This year we have changed the structure a little bit at the school and now have preschool from 9:30 to 1:00 everyday and in the afternoons 3 days a week we have opened a homework room for older kids aged 5-8. It has been great getting to continue working with some of the kids who have graduated from our program and see them succeed in the public school. Here is a picture of me helping Kisleidy, who graduated last year, with her homework.

First week of school

The first week of school went surprisingly well. I have 9 new 3 year olds in my class and I was fully expecting a lot of tears and a hard week of adjustment. But, praise the Lord, the first week of school was wonderful! All the kids adapted quickly and are doing so well at school.

I am so thankful to be starting my fourth school year here at the preschool in Mata Gorda. I feel so privileged to be working in this wonderful community again and loving on these beautiful children of God.

Please continue to pray for Alberto and I as we begin this new school year with many new children and families.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Graduation 2011

The wonderful work team ladies who made the beautiful graduation sign:

All the kids came dressed to the nines as usual:

This year I had to say good-bye to a few of my students, since next year we are only able to have 3 and 4 year olds at our school. (more info to come in a later post) So any student that was 5 years old had to be "promoted" from the school even if they hadn't finished the program.

Here are my "graduates":





This year we also had a piñata for the kids. The only problem was it burst after only two hits!

Of course the cake was delicious!

last week of school

The last week of school we had a lot of fun! Since we had finished all of the curriculum for the year we decided to have a fun week full of art projects.

Here are the kids doing golf ball/marble painting.

Beading necklaces:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

by the way...

Before we moved into our house we noticed from the bubbling paint on the walls that there was some water filtration problems (a common problem with concrete houses). The landlord promised us that he would fix it and proceeded to paint a sealer on the roof. We moved in with all the confidence that the problem was fixed. Well after an unusually rainy summer, we are now seeing that the problem wasn't really fixed. For weeks I was mopping up puddles on the floor. See pics below:

Unfortunately, really fixing the problem is a VERY expensive project, and we are seeing more and more how "tacaño" (cheap) our landlords are. :-(

Pool Day!

We took the kids to the pool again this year at the end of the summer. What a fun treat!