Thank You for another year of partnership. Let’s take the long view and revisit some highlights of what we’ve been up to together in the last 3.5 years in the DR in Health, Faith and Community Partnerships.
Health: Physical therapy education: 3 years of PT curriculum development and faculty education at the local university, with the new curriculum to begin in 2015. One year with Nick & Laurie formally as professors to student PTs. Three and a half years providing in-home therapy as needed for folks at church or nearby who can’t afford it, or who don’t have access yet to the quality of care required to resolve their problem. Connecting patients to resources, supporting existing Dominican PT services. Engaging in God’s healing with a focus on sustainability.
Faith: Two years teaching kids living in urban poverty as part of a child sponsorship program: praying, laughing, eating, singing, studying. Several kids are now active leaders in the church, and we have shifted out of this ministry as a weekly commitment after Daniel’s birth. ~Six months writing and performing a church assessment tool, currently used in Central America & the Caribbean for discerning where and how Nazarene church ministries can be encouraged further.
Sharing Christ through sharing funds with folks in crisis as needs arise around us: a pastor’s wife with cancer and no insurance, a pregnant immigrant woman needing antibiotics for an emergency C-section… Supporting and encouraging one another in everyday life at our local Dominican church.
Community Partnerships: Three years of work with the Japanese Peace Corps and local PTs, OTs, and Speech therapists to realize 2 weekend conferences for rehabilitation professions. A yearlong assets/needs assessment, visiting 9 hospitals and presenting findings in the U.S. to encourage sustainable health care missions. Intermittent collaborations with Creighton University and the World Confederation of Physical Therapy to provide and improve DR rehab. Teaming up with YOU. You make great coworkers, and are a key part of this work. Investing in hope & healing, together.
After 3.5 years in the DR, we continue to find joy, great challenge and blessing in this work. This week Laurie saw evidence of the trust that only God’s grace and time spent in a place brings about.
One of the PT professors said,
“I want to tell you that not even the best professor here is able to treat patients at the quality level we are discussing. The students that you and Nick taught last year are showing skills in my class this year that are very different from the other students- the difference is “cielo a tierra,” sky to earth. God has sent you here, and we must be humble to admit what we need so we can best take advantage of you!”
We thank God for the open doors and positive relationships that allow us to be used alongside our international brothers and sisters in ministry. The professor’s comment also reminds us of the great privilege that a U.S. education is, and calls us to responsibly use it and support education for others.
The Home Front
This year was marked by several large family events, including Daniel’s birth and a new nephew, an aunt’s death and a wedding. We continue to revel in the gift that is Daniel, now 8 months old and nearly walking. We also continue to puzzle over how to juggle ministry and personal life now that he is here. Please keep praying for our new family as we develop our own unique coping (and thriving!) mechanisms in a setting where learned tricks from our own culture may not work, like mommy & me groups or using family to babysit. If funds permit, we may hire a babysitter for a few hours a week to allow Laurie a bit more space for ministry roles and reduce work in the evening, once nursing naturally winds down. Pray for a thriving marriage, devotional and parenting life. Thanks!
Money as Blessing: 2015
As many of you are aware, as Missions Corps volunteers, we are funded almost completely by your gifts as families and individuals (In case you’ve wondered, part-time teaching brought in $1,500 this year). So it is time once again to express our gratitude- your prayers, notes and donations have sustained us and allowed us to reach out to others. This is huge! Thank you.
Our 2015 ministry need is $9,000
Annual appeal: We are glad to say that our 2015 budget shows no increases from last year. Given ongoing donations from a faithful team of monthly supporters, we need to raise an additional $9,000 of tax deductible support for the 2015 ministry year. Will you partner with us? As an example, this amount could be covered by 3 new donors at $20/mo, 5 donors at $50/mo, plus 5 donors at $100/mo. Any level of support is welcome, as a third of our budget still comes from single donations. While raising support is challenging at times, it allows us to continue serving, teaches us openness and trust, and concretely connects us to you. Thanks be to God!
What a good God we serve, and what good company we have serving with you.