Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life of Joe

Life of Joe from Amanda Braisted on Vimeo.

I put together a video of Joe for the funeral yesterday. It was so therapeutic to look through photographs, old and new, and remember what a special man he was.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Words

Just ask that you lift Mike's family up as we just found out that his dad, Joe, passed away today. Mike will be flying to the US tomorrow and Landon and I on Sunday.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Youth Cookout

Last night we had the youth group over and another couple that helped us move ALL of our stuff to the new house on Sunday. We were so thankful and they did it in an hour and a half! Here are a few pics. (By the way, they ate 22 hamburgers, 20 hot dogs, 2 super huge bags of chips and 4-2 liters of soda...had no idea teenagers ate that much!)

The back patio...Mike keeping an eye on the burgers and dogs.

A little "before dinner improv" (these guys are super talented)

The grub...putting our little grill to good use!

Let the feast begin...that table was a disaster by the end of the night

Mike and guys hanging out talking about none other

Couple of the youth group guys

The girls

After dinner improv using rap instrumentals at their background beats

This is classic Landon and Daddy...they have a limit to "visitor time" so they find a way to hang out and airplanes and helicopters.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Celebration of Partnerships

This was my first experience at a Celebration of Partnerships and what an experience it was. We had about 175 people (American, Dominican, Haitian, Colombian) all come to Puerta Plata, DR and just share God's goodness and provision through partnerships. We had a great praise and worship band that taught us songs in three languages and had many, many incredible speakers (also translated in three languages) that totally encouraged and lifted up everyone. It was truly incredible. I'm not sure I have ever cried so many times in one weekend. God was moving so greatly and it was such an honor to be a part of it.

Celebration of Partnerships from Amanda Braisted on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lessons Learned

It's pretty obvious when I post something on the blog because I don't have a picture to go along with it. It has been a while since I last wrote anything but I just wanted to share a little bit about something that happened last month and the message I took away from it.

I have been wanting to write for a while now about Landon's fall last month. Those of you who have seen our personal blog have read about the fall Landon took off of the futon. For those that don't know this is what happened and something God showed me through the whole ordeal. Landon has been climbing up the back of the futon for a while now. We are constantly telling him to get down which he doesn't so we have tried timeouts and a slap on the hand which none of them work. We try to explain why he can't climb up the back, because he could fall and get hurt really bad. I don't know how much a 20 month old understands an explanation like that though.

One day it finally happened and he fell. I watched it happen almost in slow motion. I watched him fall and land hard and awkwardly on his head. Somehow I remained completely calm as I ran over to grab him and comfort him. At the same time I was checking for any outward signs of trauma. I didn't see anything on his head so I called my dad to see what I should look for in case he had a concussion. About the same time I was hanging up with Dad Goody came home to a crying baby. After a brief explanation about what happened she takes over the care and comfort so I can leave the room and cry myself. I hated so badly to see him get hurt and for that to happen to him. I wanted to somehow switch places with him right before the fall happened so I could take the hit to the head. Even though he had disobeyed me which resulted in him getting hurt I wanted to take it away. I would take a hit like that over and over for him.

Once the storm calmed the teaching began. I started thinking about how many times God has had to tell me "quit climbing on the futon" but for some reason I ignore him or forget what he says. After the timeouts and slaps on the hands I still have to do it again. The difference though is that Jesus took the fall on the head for me. It wasn't just falling on his head it was giving up his life. So that I don't have to constantly fall on my head he gave himself completely for me. The way I love Landon and would give anything for him not to hurt even when he disobeys, Jesus loves me that much and even more. I say I would put myself through anything to save and protect Landon, and I have no doubts about that, but Jesus has already done it for me and that's why I am saved!

I hate that it took Landon getting hurt for this lesson but am thankful for it at the same time. Landon is doing just fine with only a black eye resulting from the fall. The futon has been moved up against a wall as a result.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jackie and Alan Engaged!

One of my good friends, and fellow missionary, Jackie Douglas and her fiancee, Alan, got engaged! Alan is one of our Dominican Sports Crew and a super guy. The two of them are a great couple and shooting their engagement photos was SO much fun. It was a beautiful day, and besides having to dodge the occasional security guard who DID NOT want us taking pictures on this Catholic University campus, everything went BEAUTIFULLY. Enjoy!

We did some artistic ones too!

Super Sweet!!!

I fell in LOVE with these purple flowers

Aren't her eyes killer?

Seriously, their profiles are amazing.

Definitely, one of my favs.

Romantic and Dreamy.  Kinda like Never, Neverland.

My favorite of the entire shoot.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Real Life Church

Real Life was such a fun, energetic group. They partner with pastor Felix Abreu who pastors the church in Hoyo de Bartola (The Hole). It was so great to see the members of Real Life and Felix and his family interact. Steve, from Real Life, had met Felix before and they truly were like old pals. Although they needed to use a translator, they chatted about life and ministry and the needs of Felix's community.

They continued the work in the Hole and made some major progress on the second level of the church/feeding center. The second floor is going to be the sanctuary and the bottom floor (which is almost complete) is for the feeding center. Real Life surprised Felix and his wife Yenny with new tables for the feeding center and a piano for the church. It was such a great time.

On the night of their despedida (fairwell) Felix, Yenny, Natanael (their 6 year old) and all the members of Real Life were in tears. Hearts broken for the church and some of them just not ready to leave. Natanael sat in one team members arms for more than a half hour just crying because he was so sad they were leaving. It moved many more of us staffers to tears just to see the bond formed within this group of people. I know God has even bigger things in store for this partnership. I'm just joyful I get to witness it.

Real Life Church from Amanda Braisted on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Soccer Camp

What an incredible week.

Four people from North Carolina came down to do a Soccer Camp in Pontezuela with the kids from churches of two of our National Pastors, Romano and Wilby. Romano has an already established soccer ministry and Wilby has just begun the process of soccer as an outreach for the Haitian community in Hoya del Caimito.

Caleb, Danielle, Alexis and Casto...what more to say than pretty much the nicest four people I've ever met. They immediately greet anyone they meet with hugs, they have a huge heart for helping others and they truly love Jesus. It was so fun to do this week with them. Caleb, a professional soccer player, and Casto who also plays soccer very well, were great examples to the members of Romano and Wilby's churches who watched and played with them on the field. In fact, I think they were a little surprised to see such skill.

The four of them conducted a soccer camp for two days, then helped in Hoyo de Bartola for a day of construction and feeding kids. They also made an unplanned stop to the new sports storage because they really wanted to help get Mike started with the organizing process.

It was such a pleasure to work with these four. And because they were the only group here for a couple days, we were able to really get to know them on a personal level and hear some amazing stories of God's grace and provision in their lives. We VERY much look forward to this group returning again. Enjoy their show.

Pontezuela Soccer Camp 2009 from Amanda Braisted on Vimeo.