April 2015 – Developments in Education & Our Neighborhood

David 2

Happy Easter season! Christ is risen indeed. We thought of you much during this season, missing some of the familiar faith and cultural practices from home. While the gains we made in taking Sabbath rest during Lent were all but lost during a month of intense university paper grading, we are getting back on track again and it is good! Here’s a glimpse at March and April’s varied ministries.

David newlsetter April 2015David & Simon (names changed) continue to pop by our house most days of the week. We are sad to say we have not made any progress wading through the complex situation surrounding getting them to attend school. In the meantime, we are happy to say you are providing many yards of string for trash bag kites, and numerous glasses of milk & crackers. We have also discovered they do not know the alphabet. There are numerous ways we want and feel the need to participate in their lives, and your prayers for their educational, spiritual, emotional, and physical growth are appreciated. David & Simon provoke growth in us as well, as we wrestle with ourselves often to offer them needed connection space at the random times the doorbell chimes.

PUCCM journal club 2015

Journal club

Meetings, conferences, meetings! Both the professional and student physical therapy organizations are reviving themselves, and it is exciting to support them. In 2012, Nick was on the founding committee for an annual rehabilitation conference (OTFOL- for orthotists, occupational, physical and speech therapists), and planning meetings have resumed for the 2016 conference. Creighton University physical therapy is here for their annual one-month rotation, and it was a blessing to lecture on PT in the DR and hang out with other US professionals during their stay. We facilitated a continuing education lecture that allowed Dominican PT faculty to learn peripheral nerve testing and treatments, a useful skill that is scheduled to be taught for the first time in the new 2016 curriculum we continue to labor over.

Laurie w teses papers 1 editEducational development: Here is Laurie with papers in hand after leading a journal club one night. While grading over 600 pages of undergraduate research work, a “development” question continuously came to mind that may interest you many readers working in academia. How much scientific research in how many fields is possible or desirable for smaller or less developed countries to accomplish? Our university really wants to up its emphasis on research, but with very few PhD faculty across departments, and with BA level student-led projects, we are feeling the need to encourage a focus on being good consumers of research vs. trying to produce it at this level. Simply having time in the curriculum to both introduce writing and research fundamentals and catapult each of these skills to the mastery level needed to make research usable on the public level is quite challenging. However, with a very limited number of graduate degrees available in any field in the country, how will the DR (or other countries in similar situations) produce data that is quality enough to be useful locally or globally, as would be ideal? Hmm. #Ponderingsofthemedicalmissionary

Personal notes. Nick’s parents came to visit their 1 year old grandchild for 9 fantastic days. Daniel now loves the beach and water, and will run/fall right into it gleefully if not detained. Laurie turned 34 just prior to Daniel turning one on April 9th. Daniel’s celebration picture shows some of our closest friends from ministry, church and missionary communities. Our friends David & Simon declared for weeks that they were coming to celebrate Daniel’s birthday. How do you suppose an unaccompanied child makes sure that he gets to an ice cream sundae party on time? He walks over an hour early and says- is it time to come yet?? All is well here in the DR, God be praised. Grace and peace to you in your own lives of love and ministry! Abrazos,

Nick, Laurie and Daniel

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