February 2012 – Budget Update, Teaching Invite, Warm Water & a Car

Dear friends,

Pastor & his wife from Monte Llano work project

Hope all is well with you this February.  Isn’t time flying this year??  Today is a memorable day for us- our first hot showers in 8 months in our own home!  Hurray!  We finally got our showerhead heater working this week.  There have been lots of pleasant things in our personal lives lately, including the purchase of a 1997 blue Toyota Corolla.  I (Laurie) feel as if I could write a novel about the amazing wonder it is to have access to a vehicle – it is certainly a personal liberty whose value escaped me before living here.  The ability to get somewhere comfortably when one is sick, invite others to go somewhere who don’t have either a car or money to get there, and to leave one’s house safely in the evenings is a major gift.  Thank you!  The car is immediately being put to use to drive a former patient to church every Sunday.  Even though she can now walk with a walker, because public accessibility laws are not implemented, there is no way she could walk over a bridge’s stairs to get to church just three blocks away.  Thanks for sharing what you have, so we in turn can share it with others.

In other work news, we spent time in January assisting a short term, Nazarene “Work & Witness” team with translation for 10 days on the North coast.  This trip worked perfectly into the otherwise slower Dominican business season of Dec-Jan.  It was a privilege to help the group connect better with their host church family while they worked on constructing a church sanctuary.  We have noticed a general trend towards building sanctuaries on second floors with steep steps (and elevators are not financially feasible). True to our development goals, we wrote up a document on tips for building accessible churches to be used for future Dominican construction, so that all of God’s people will be able to physically enter.

Another success of the month was a meeting with the director of physical therapy at PUCMM University. They have wanted to revise their physical therapy curriculum for years, and have invited us to join in the planning.  As they will have gaps between what they want students to learn and the capacity of their professors to provide the curriculum, we also have an open invitation to teach alongside them in the months to come.  We will start with observation in the classroom, and then ease into a role of clinical education and teaching support once the curriculum firms up. This is an amazing opportunity to promote lasting change in this community! We are thrilled.

Translating for Pastor Byron Schortinghouse

Translating for Pastor Byron Schortinghouse

Laurie grouting

Laurie grouting

Laurie with Reyna, who cooked for the team

Laurie & Kate finishing the grout

Junior at the Bread of Life children ministry

Junior at the Bread of Life children ministry

Thursday, is our day with the kids in the child sponsorship ministry.  Please pray for this group.  We have about 20 kids between ages 4 and 15, from various circumstances including physical and sexual abuse, parents on drugs, and unstable food and home situations.  Today our 15 year old showed up with her 8 month old neighbor’s child, covered with a skin infection and with an unrepaired umbilical hernia.  As we listened to the circumstances in this baby’s home, I am certain we would call child protective services in the States, but are told it is of no avail here.  Please pray for the tricky lives of these kids; that life would be more joyful and carefree yet in their childhood years!  Come, God, come!

Finally- a huge thank you to all who have helped meet our budget goals for 2012.  As the expected monthly and annual donors continue throughout the year, we will have all that we need, gracias a Dios. You have lifted a load from our shoulders, so we can focus on sharing the loads of others around us.  We love you and thank you.  In the peace of Christ,

Nick & Laurie

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