Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Letting God Work

The past two weeks have been great. Spending the week with Kansas City Baptist was a blessing from God and this past week finishing up the preparations for the IWU Soccer trip has kept us busy. It has been great to be a part of the work God is doing here in Santiago. As we finish the preparaions and wait for IWU to arrive it is amazing to think about the work God will do while they are here. He won't just be working in the lives of the Dominican's and Haitians, He will be working in the lives of the 20 team members coming down and the staff here with G.O. Ministries.

Something that God has shown me the past couple of weeks is to allow Him to work. We do a lot of work to prepare for the teams to come down. We work out every detail that is involved in a week long missions trip. Sometimes the focus goes towards making sure those details are worked out, making sure the team is where they need to be and making sure the activities are going well. As we prepared for KCBT to arrive God sat me down and said, you have made the preparations now allow me to do my part. I look back at that week and think about how amazing God is when He is allowed to work.

I only helped a little with the preparations for baseball week, just filling in where I was needed. Soccer week lands on my shoulders, this is why God has called me here. As time gets closer and plans fall into place it's time for me once again to step back for God to do His work. As hectic as the week may seem as it goes by, I will be able to look back and say thank you Jesus for the work you did.

Thank you all for the consant prayers!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kansas City Baptist Temple

Thank you to all of you who prayed for the KCBT baseball team that came down this past week. The trip was absolutely extrordinary. They had 15 guys (2 girls) come down to run a 2 1/2 day baseball clinic for kids 10-16. There were about 10-12 kids who accepted Christ and several more who were interested in hearing more about Him. Between drills and coaching games and then playing double headers themselves at night, KCBT went a mile a minute and never looked back once.

This team came with such a heart of love and enthusiasm and it showed so much when they worked with the kids. It was such a testament to the kind of church they come from back home and God's provision for G.O. Ministries. All the guys had a different personality and many of them showed a different side when they got here. Ones that were shy became outgoing, ones that were followers became leaders and ones that struggled with Spanish gave their absolute best with the language. It was amazing to see God transforming this group right in front of our eyes.

They had such compassion for our community and passion for baseball and for the Lord, that it reminded many of us missionaries just what we are here for. They jumped right in with strength that they could have only been given by our Heavenly Father and had awesome attitudes even on the most exhausting days. Their energy gave us energy. We didn't all realize how tired we were until they left and the adrenaline was gone.

This group was a perfect example of a marriage of preparation and the willingness to let God change plans. They shared the Gospel any chance they had whether they did it through words or actions. They truly changed the kids in Santiago, and we know the kids will be asking when they will return.

Fielding drills

Batting techniques

Willie Pujols with some campers

Kansas City Baptist Temple

20 weeks

You guessed it...I've finished my 20th week of pregnancy! I'm halfway there!!!! All is great. Baby boy Braisted is approximately 7 inches from head to rump and weighs almost a pound. Wow, you would think he was bigger than a pound judging by my belly. I don't think these pictures do it any justice. There are days that I feel like a WHALE! But I am feeling much better. I am still getting sick although it spans about every three days. Which is much better than 3-4 times a day. Overall I am still feeling completely exhausted but my health is good and I feel great. This month, Landon (yep that's his new name) will make leaps and bounds in growth, so the next 24 week pic should be a pretty good difference. We'll keep you posted...thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

All in God's Timing

Well usually Amanda posts updates on here but there are times when I am able to experience something that she cannot be at. So you might find an update from me from time to time these days.

I just wanted to share with everyone something that happened today that proves that everything in this world is about God's timing. We are supposed to be welcoming a team tonight from Kansas City. We found out this morning that their flight has been cancelled in Chicago so now they can't make it until tomorrow. The past week for us has been spent going over all of the final preparations for the activities of the week. The team coming down is going to be doing a baseball camp for kids and playing in a softball tournament at night. The fields are all ready, the kids are all ready, the softball teams are all ready, so the only thing that was left was the team from the States to arrive this evening. No matter how much we plan or prepare for something, we can't out-prepare God. His timing and His plan is already established and it's up to us to follow it. We don't know what He has in store for this delay. The flight was cancelled because of snow in Chicago so obviously safety is a concern. As to other reasons why God has allowed this delay, we might not ever know, but there is a reason. His timing is perfect! So as a prayer request for today and tomorrow, allow the team to get down here quickly and safely and allow the hearts of the kids and men on the softball teams to be open to hear the Word of God this week.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dinner with the Abreu family

Last night, we had a great night of food and fellowship with one of our pastors. His name is Felix and he and his wife do ministry in Hoyo del Bartola or "The Hole." They also have a 4 year son named Natanael.

We had rice, chicken, potatoes, cabage, salad with tomatoes and vinegar, cooked carrots and hard-boiled eggs. For dessert there was also this frozen treat, that had pineapple and coconut. Everyone enjoyed it, well, except me and the coconut part. I had to pass on the dessert, not a big fan of coconut!

After dinner we spent quite a while looking at photos and chatting about kids. It was great for me to be able to have a common ground with the women here. As soon as Jenny found out I was having a boy, she laughed. Natanael, has quite a lot of energy and had a grand 'ol time riding his bike with training wheels on it ALL around the house. Crashing into walls and people and giggling the whole time. It was a real eye-opener as to what I have to look forward to in four years. Children are so charished in this country and it will be fun to raise little ones in this culture.

The electricity went out and it was awesome just to sit around with friends and talk by candle light. It kinda inspired me to get a few candles and the next time our electricity goes out, flip off our inverter. Just something as simple as candle light can make a gathering so much more intimate.

Below are a couple photos from the night. ENJOY!

Sunshine, Catherine, Jen, Lisa, Felix, Me and Jenny sitting at the dinner table.

Mike and Audrey enjoying the yummy dessert!

Will and his buddy Natanael who got a kick out of calling him "Willlliiiieeeee!"

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The sport for the next few weeks is volleyball. We are currently going around to several of our churches and doing volleyball clinics, teaching the girls the techniques and disciplines of volleyball.

We had roughly 15-20 girls at this clinic in Hoyo del Bartola. They ranged from 9-18 in age and vary in their skill level. We separated them into groups of about 6 and Mike took a group, Will and Audrey took a group and Pedro (Dominican sprots worker) took a group. Each area teaching them something a little bit different about the game of volleyball. Although their attention spans weren't always right on cue, they definitely learned a few things!

After their stations, we played three games to give each team the opportunity to play twice. Several of the girls had improved well in things such as serving and setting, although bumping proved to be the hardest technique to control.

All in all, the clinic went very well, and the church and Pastor Felix in Hoyo del Bartola ("The Hole") proved to be a great example of how to get the community involved.

Below are a couple of the pics from the afternoon session in Hoyo del Bartola.

Girls warming up and streching

Learning new drills and techniques

New volleyball players!