One year ago today, we pulled out of San Juan with our team from Neumann University to head to Santo Domingo before flying to the states the next day (March 14). It was on this same day that there were rumors that President Trump was going to be closing all borders, we didn’t even know if we’d be able to enter the states. Even as I type this now, all of the anxieties that I was experiencing during those days come rushing back.
Our plans were to be stateside for 3 weeks, we traveled with only 2 carry ons and our personal items. Little did we (or anyone) know what was ahead for the world. Looking back, I’ve asked Jeff what we would’ve done differently had we known we’d be away from the DR for so long. This is the longest we have been out of the country since we moved to San Juan in September of 2013. There have been moments of grieving, but there is no doubt that God has been working in us through this time.
In all honesty, I don’t believe we would’ve done anything differently, I feel like this time has been a time of stretching our faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. We’ve had several plans to return to the DR that haven’t played out, that’s because they were OUR plans. I have talked in previous blogs about how it is hard for me to plan more than a week out right now, just the thought makes me anxious. I just want to focus on the present moment.
Jeff will make his first trip back to San Juan later next week. He will be gone for 6 days to check in with staff and school administrators as well as visit the communities to provide COVID relief. At this point our plan is to return to the DR in the summer as a family. Braegan will wrap up 2nd grade at the end of May.
Jeff and I received our second dose of the Moderna vaccine yesterday. We wanted to make sure this was complete prior to returning to the DR.
In more recent news, the weather has been beautiful here recently. Brantley and I walked 8 miles this past week. It has felt so good to be outside. Braegan has enjoyed being able to ride her bike again too! Jeff was even able to play pickleball outside!
What I’m thankful for during this time:
- extra time with family and friends
- wonderful friends who have hosted us in their home since October
- an outstanding school and classmates for Braegan to learn with
- a supportive church community
Ways you can be praying for us:
- Jeff’s trip to the DR: for safety and productivity
- continued health for our family
- the future of SRI: teams resuming ministry in San Juan
We’d love to hear from you and what you’ve learned during this past year. There has been great loss, but I feel in some of the loss many people have found what truly matters in life. Thanks for your continued prayers and support during this time. We are thankful for you!