How has another year come and gone? November was an eventful month, I feel like I say that every time I start an update. Since I last wrote I have added another year to my age. On my birthday I actually had a procedure with our American surgical team, and I’m thankful to say I’m almost fully recovered. To close out my last update, I listed the following prayer requests:
- strong finish for 2023
- health and safety
- CCSI opening its doors to patients this month
When 2023 started, there was a lot of planning for the dedication ceremony of the new CCSI facility which took place in March, fast forward and the ribbon cutting ceremony took place on November 15. It was a beautiful day. They officially opened their doors to patients on Tuesday, November 21. It is surreal to arrive on the property and see the parking lot full of cars and motorcycles. In addition to walking into the building and seeing patients seated in the chairs, it’s simply amazing. It is also humbling to think that God has chosen our family to serve here during this time, and we get to witness these dreams becoming a reality.
I’d say that God has given us strength to persevere through this year, because there are many moments that it felt like we were treading water. I have had to remind myself of James 1:2-4 many times.
Last week Jeff and I were invited to attend a dinner in Santo Domingo at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel in recognition of being a top partner during 2023. This was our second year being invited to the event.
Braegan and Brantley stayed back in San Juan in good care and had a fun time in our absence!
We took Blue with us to Santo Domingo for his 6 month check up. He got a full grooming and a microchip. He was so excited when we picked him up. He is such a calm dog. He loves going on walks and just laying around the house! He also was a very comforting companion during my first week after surgery in November.
On Friday, December 1st we kicked the month off with our annual staff Christmas party. This year we hosted it at the guesthouse and had food catered in. It was a fun night, and we had a great turn out. The evening started with dinner, followed by some friendly competition in a trivia game, next everyone presented their “angelito” (secret Santa) gifts. To close the evening everyone received their end of year tips with a new exclusive SRI hoodie. There was also a little dancing to follow.
This week we are hosting a small surgical team from Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is also our first American surgical team that we are hosting since the new clinic opened. It’s encouraging to see their excitement to be out there.
Following this week our family will head to Punta Cana to spend a week with the Shaffer family. This is the first time my whole family will be in the DR at the same time. This is also the first time in almost 2 years that we have all been together in the same place. We are looking forward to some time away and a break from work. We will then greet our last team of the year on December 16.
Christmas in the Dominican Republic is pretty exciting. There are beautiful lights to enjoy all around town, blaring music at all hours of the day and night, and gatherings with friends and delicious food.
We personally want to thank you for your love, prayers, and encouragement throughout the last year. God sustains us each day and gives us the energy to keep pushing through.
Just a few more pictures to close out the year from the past month:
- safety over the holidays
- time of rest while we don’t have teams
- my continued recovery