I’m going to start this blog with how our prayer requests from last month have been answered.
The first was that our water problems would be resolved. For the first 3 weeks back in San Juan we did not have consistent water in our apartment. We were bathing in the evenings at the guesthouse and filling buckets at the guesthouse to bring to our apartment for the purpose of flushing toilets and washing dishes. After a lot of trial and error, Jeff installed a one way valve to our tinaco (water tank). They also installed a switch so we can control the water pump from our 3rd floor apartment. Thankfully both of these adjustments have allowed us to have water in our apartment regardless if there is electricity or not.
The next prayer request I had on my list was for the remaining teams on our 2021 schedule. We hosted one team in June and one team in July. Remaining this year, we have 3 more weeks of teams, 2 in October and one in November. As I read the headlines from the United States, it blows my mind how COVID is spreading again. The numbers continue to remain low in the Dominican, and we are thankful for that, but we continue to pray for the world as there are a lot of sick people.
Next was for continued health and safety. Thankfully we are continuing to do well. It’s been an adjustment being back on the roads in San Juan. If you’ve visited, you know just how crazy it can be to get from Point A to Point B by motorcycle, car or bus.
The next request on my list was for patience and grace with one another. This has been challenging at times as the 4 of us have been home a lot together. School has not started yet, and when there aren’t teams in San Juan there is a lot of unstructured time to our days. We try to be creative with our time, but there are only so many options.
My last prayer request in July was for Braegan’s education. After a lot of prayer and research we decided to go with Sonlight. It is a literature based curriculum. Braegan is excited to start; however, the materials are all currently in Carmel, Indiana. We are hoping they can get to us in the next month. I’ve set up classes online for her to work on typing and continuing to practice her math facts in the time being. Tomorrow she will have her last zoom meeting for her reading class that she has participated in this summer. We plan to enroll both Braegan and Brantley in Lucille Rupp School, where Braegan has attended before, once classes get up and running. The official start date in the DR has yet to be announced.
What’s ahead for August you may ask…well Brantley turns 2 on Tuesday, August 10. These past 2 years have been a whirlwind. He amazes us with his energy and vocabulary. We are celebrating his birthday by spending 5 days up north in Las Terrenas with Tyler. Brantley loves being in the pool, so I’m sure he will be overjoyed. This past week I gave him a haircut on my own. I had asked my dad to teach me before we left, and I’m pretty happy with how my first attempt turned out. He sat so still and was excited to get his hair cut. I used a 1/8 inch guard on the sides and trimmed the top to keep it long.
Braegan has enjoyed spending time with friends. She went to Nashleys this week and they played and watched a movie. She also enjoyed ice cream with Betsy a couple weeks ago. We were able to go out and do community visits with the team, and she enjoyed being able to go out on her own without us in her group.
She went with Jeff last month to Santo Domingo to get the last team, and they picked out a paint color for her room. She picked a coral color that matches the flowers on her comforter.
Jeff and I continue to tackle ministry together. Tyler and Jeff made key lime pie for dessert for our last team. It was DELICIOUS!!!!!! So refreshing, and they keep perfecting the recipe, so it only gets better. (Ramona made them hats as a gift.)
We were also able to attend a wedding of some friends from church. Margo watched the kids and we enjoyed the time together and being able to catch up with friends. We’ve also been doing some home gardening. Jeff built a planter box that is on front balcony. We are also growing herbs in the house. It’s refreshing to watch life grow.
Jeff was able to have an overnight spearfishing trip with the guys this week. They were about 2 hours away. Jeff said it felt really good to be out in the water after all this time. We enjoyed fish tacos for lunch today.
Speaking of food, the avocados and mangos have been amazing this time of year. Usually we go back to the states during our long August to September break, but this year we chose to stay in San Juan. We’ve been making smoothies daily and guacamole weekly!
Overall things feel as they should. Our apartment continues to feel like home and we’ve been doing little projects to continue to make improvements. But I really miss teams, I miss the community that comes with having groups in San Juan.
- I have submitted all of our documents for our residency renewal, and now we just wait. The unique thing this year is that we are applying for Permanent Residency. The bonus of this is that we won’t have to renew every year as we have in the past.
- We have a passport renewal appointment for Braegan on Tuesday, August 24 at the US Embassy in Santo Domingo. Her passport expires in March 2022, but with our timeline and the amount of time it is taking to process renewals, we figured we’d get a head start from here. We are prayerful that things will work out.
- Braegan is in need of orthodontic care, we were made aware of this at her last dentist appointment in June before we left to come back to the Dominican. Jeff took her to an orthodontist this afternoon for a consult. Her next appointment is next Saturday where she will be sized for an expander which will then be put on the following week. She is excited for this “big kid” adventure. Prayers that it can be as pain free as possible.