Dear friends & partners,
It is with full, grateful hearts that we write what will be our last appeal and summative ministry report from the Dominican Republic!
You read that correctly. We arrived in May, 2011, and will move back to the US in May 2018. God has sustained us through you. Your prayers, friendship and funds have paid our rent, clothed our kids, and allowed us to teach and heal. You supplied the 1997 Toyota Corolla that jostles us out to varied ministries. You buy the daily food that energizes us and the neighbors that come to our door. You showed it is possible for individuals to come together to propel a couple, then a family, into international service for 7 years. Great work. Thank you.
If you’ve always wanted to partner in this work but haven’t yet, take a moment now to contribute! Donate and pray that our last 6 months would be effective and meaningful. We need your partnership to finish this ministry well!
God’s timing allowed us to collaborate on curriculum changes in the physical therapy (PT) program, student research projects, PT professional association development, continuing education and clinical mentoring, all with a long-term focus on improving health care in the Dominican Republic.
Short term pieces. Your compassion for basic human needs allowed us to improvise with other ministry opportunities too. Laurie taught weekly at our church’s child sponsorship program for 2.5 years. Nick partnered with his running group for Christmas gifts for kids in the program, which has developed into a sustained relationship between Dominicans from different sides of the tracks. You’ve been tithing and giving special offerings all of this time at our particular little church in Santiago, supporting its variety of community projects, from church building repairs, paying for cancer treatments and providing food and spiritual direction to families in the neighborhood. We hope to use some of this 2017 year end support to supply children’s books for a small church lending library, as there is no functioning library in our town of 500,000+, and few if any books available in members’ homes.
You also continue to nourish the truly improvised ministry of an informal food pantry that seems necessary out of our home. Since “David” and “Simon” started coming by daily for a year or two, we currently have two more boys visiting, and a young family collecting a bag of food several times a week. Thank you for loving and encouraging your brothers and sisters here in Santiago. We hope this news encourages you, as you have encouraged us.
Help us finish these 7 years at full capacity.
To complete this work through May 2018, we need an additional $7,000
above our faithful monthly supporters. Will you join us one last time?
Transitions: Pray with us
Ministry. Pray that Nick finishes his last semester of teaching well, and for wisdom as we wrap up full time ministry as a whole. Pray that some students would find healthy ways to remain in the DR, reducing health care shortages. Pray for guidance as we facilitate final supports for the new physical therapy curriculum, and for ongoing growth in rehabilitation in the DR. Give thanks! Margarita Olivo (our PT department head, below) had a successful November educational exchange trip to Creighton University. Thank you for sponsoring the trip! Pray that God’s love would be seen as people are healed, and that our local church would grow in wisdom and love. Pray that we would choose our final ministry tasks wisely, and transition healthily into new, meaningful life and work in the US.
Relationships & Family. Pray for energy as we organize last visits with friends near and far. Pray for ease of packing, and that giving and selling our stuff would be simple. Pray for Daniel especially, who at 4 will transition from the only home he’s known here in the DR. Pray that Nick would find the right fit in a physical therapy clinic near our family, and that we would make a smooth financial transition. More news on our US plans another time.
Nick, Laurie, Daniel & Mateo