Monday, February 25, 2008

Northeast Christian Church

This week, several of Northeast Christian Church's leadership were here. They were checking out several of our ministry sites and visiting their partner church.

Northeast is an amazing example of what G.O. Ministries is all about. They have partnered with one of our Dominican Pastors, Rafelito, from the beginning. They started supporting him personally and then wanted to do more. So they built a church and feeding center in Rafelito's area of ministry, Los Guandules. (You'll see at the end of the presentation some before and after pictures of the completed church) They basically planted a church internationally. Now, as their partnership continues with Rafelito and funding the feeding center, they are wanting to find another pastor to begin supporting as well. It has been awesome to see how much God has blessed their church as a result of their faithfulness in supporting missions.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Great Lakes Christian College

It was so fun to have GLCC down here especially since several of our staff members got their degrees from there. It was a special trip especially for Isaias and Lisa as they had several friends in the group.

We worked on the church in Hato del Yaque again. It is really coming along! The church floor is completely finished and the pañete is going up all around the the outside of the church. The inside pañete is completely done. Teams will be able to stay in the dormitories out there by summer. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Southeast Christian Church

This week we had Southeast Christian Church and their Senior Pastor Dave Stone with us. Southeast has been a HUGE supporter of G.O. for the last 8 years and have had several trips come down as well. They also support several of our American Staff and support several of our Dominican Staff as well. It was good to have them back down in the DR.

This group worked extra hard and were able to almost finish the whole church floor at Hato del Yaque. Pouring a floor here is not as "easy" as it is in the states. We don't have a mixing truck so all the concrete is either mixed by hand or mixed in a small machine. That is a lot of sand, stone and concrete AND a lot of manual labor.

They also worked on the church in the Hoyo de Bartola (the Hole). This was especially exciting for me because I have never been around for construction in the Hole. Because of where the church is located, trucks can't reach it to drop of the sand, stone and concrete. Therefore, all of the materials have to be carried down a long flight of stairs and then down a sidewalk to get to the church. Not an easy job. Needless to say, they did an amazing job. The church in the Hole and Hato del Yaque are really coming together and I see first hand what God is doing and how the short-term teams over the past several years have made these projects happen.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

...we came together...

The past couple days our American staff came together with the Dominican Construction crew and worked out at Hato del Yaque. It was such a great experience to be working out there, just as a staff for the sole purpose of helping and encouraging our Dominican workers. Without a team here to facilitate, it was a unique experience just being out there together. It was a lot of hard work but just as much fun. Below are SEVERAL pics of our staffers hard at work.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Vehicle Possibility

Here is a vehicle that would meet our needs. It is a 2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara. It has a V6 engine with 4 wheel drive. There is plenty of space for hauling sports equipment and guys to practice and the right size for Amanda to drive as well. I have been looking into several possibilities lately and when I got in to drive this one it was solid and well maintained. We ask that you prayerfully consider donating to this need. All amounts donated are appreciated, whether it be $50 or $5,000. We will keep an update on the blog as the money comes in. Even if you are not able to contribute to this need please be praying for others' hearts to be opened. Here are some pictures of the vehicle. If you are able to donate please write in the memo line of the check Braisted's vehicle. Thank you all again for allowing us to serve in the DR.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Kansas City Baptist Temple

It's hard to believe that it has been a year since KCBT's last trip down, but it has. It was another successful baseball clinic and it was so great to see familiar faces and some new ones too! Enjoy the video of their trip.

Wave of emotions

Well it has been a while since I have posted an entry on here. I will continue to leave the pictures to Amanda but I wanted to share some cool things that have happened to me in the past couple of weeks. I hope I don't get too lengthy here!

This past week we had a team from Kansas City Baptist Temple here to do many activities which included a baseball clinic and softball tournament. The week before they arrived we were finishing up the preparations which included meeting with the boys who would participate in the cinic. Most of them attend the public school around the corner from us so we decided to remind them of a few things about the clinic one morning at school. I showed up and they weren't meeting, so I went to find Pedro, one of the sports ministry staff members who also teaches at the school. He said no we aren't meeting until the day before the clinic starts. I said ok well I will see you later to which he replied come with me and see the class I'm in. So we went over to his classroom where he proceeded to introduce me to the class and tell them I had something to share with them! This caught me completely off guard and I asked what I should share. He said talk to them about faith. I quickly began to share about faith and what it means and about my faith in God. I ended up sharing with a 5th, 7th, and 8th grade class about my faith in a public school! As I walked home I just thanked God for that opportunity to be open with these kids. My emotions at that point were pure joy and excitement.

At the end of the week for KCBT I was exhausted and completely sore. I played on a Dominican softball team for the tournament and didn't remember how many muscles are actually in the body that can be sore. On Saturday we split up and went to the homes of the kids from clinic. I was able to visit three of the homes and shared with the whole family about the week. We then invited them to church the next day before we left the house. The next morning we had a great sermon from Marcos Castro, a member of the team. His message was perfect for me and had me thinking all day about it. One of the comments he made during his sermon was something along the line of "if you haven't grown in your faith and walk with God even in the past two months you aren't doing your part." This hit me hard. I had been going through a bit of a dry spell spiritually and I coudln't stop thinking about that the rest of the day. That evening as we prepared for church here at our local church I started to feel tired and had a bit of a headache. I decided I was just going to stay home from church and relax. All of a sudden I had this intense pressure on my chest, it was very uncomfortable and I didn't know what it could be. It didn't hurt at all but was just uncomfortable. I started to pray and sat down to read a book. Amanda then brought Landon to me to feed him his bottle, well I guess we both ended up falling asleep :). When I woke up my headache was gone and I no longer was tired. We ate dinner and went to church. While in church I was still thinking about the morning sermon. As we were finishing up praise and worship some young guys came in and had me move over so they could sit down. After we got readjusted I looked up to see two of the three boys who's house I was in the day before, I turned around to see three more boys sit down as well. Five boys from camp came to church! Right then God spoke to me and said if you aren't even growing yourself how can you help these boys to grow! That is when the giant wave of emotions hit me. I was so excited to see them in church and so disappointed that I had not been preparing myself better.

You are all a part of these emotions for me. You are all praying and supporting us to be here and serve these awesome people. I know reading this long entry can't really capture the emotion of it all but God is doing great things here, for me personally and for this island. Keep praying and keep listening to how God wants you to serve!