Looking back over the week I learned a very distinct lesson.
God's plan is better than my plan. Every. Single. Time.
Since this anniversary group was so large there was extra thought and care that went into the work projects. Early in the preparation stages we began discussing the idea of building a house for Hortensia, an elderly woman who lost her home last year. The idea was simple: to build Hortensia a home over the course of the week. Each work group would have the opportunity to spend a day working on the home, finishing the project by the end of the week (a Habitat for Humanity meets Elias Pina style project). The first work group put in a full day's work clearing the plot of land and digging the holes for the main posts by hand. However, the next day our local contractor and project leader was no where to be found. After waiting around for a couple of hours we decided to send the volunteers to do elderly visits instead. This is where God took the reins. For the rest of the week we continued to do elderly visits as the contractor was unavailable to guide us in building the home. You can imagine the grumblings and frustrations shared among the leaders as our carefully planned project was left by the wayside. However, God had us right where He wanted us. We were able to accomplish many elderly visits and even paint the exterior of two FUMSIL buildings (which were in dire need of a facelift!). While all of the elderly visits were important and insightful there is one that stands apart from the rest.
His name is Juancito. He was in an accident several weeks prior which left him with partial bone protruding from his skin and open sores along the entire length of his small frame. Upon walking into his home it was immediately apparent that no one had visited him in quite some time. His mattress was saturated in urine and feces, flies and worms had taken residence in his open wounds.
This was God's plan. He had us right where He wanted us to be.
Our volunteers immediately gathered together supplies to bathe him, dress his wounds and provide what we could in terms of food rations, clothing, etc. In the following weeks Dr. Angel and FUMSIL nurse Argentina have visited him regularly. I am happy to report that his wounds are healing beautifully! Once he has the infection under control preparations will be made for surgery to repair the bone.
Again, God's plan is better than my own. Every. Single. Time.
It is so easy to get caught up in the preparation, scheduling and planning part of our job as missionaries. Although we already knew it, this experience served a great reminder of God's role in the ministry.... He is the ultimate scheduler and planner of our work day. He will place us where He wants us, where He needs us. Every. Single. Time.
Please join us in praying for the following intentions:
For Juancito, that he may continue to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.
For a community of friendship here in San Juan, that we may find a group of strong Christian friends with whom we can share the day-to-day trials and joys of missionary life.
As we continue to plan fundraising efforts for August/September, that God may continue to prepare our hearts and the hearts of our future ministry partners, that we may fulfill His vision together.
The last several weeks have been busy and full. I'll start at the beginning....
We had an Aquinas College group with us that was AWESOME! We really enjoyed getting to know this group and working alongside them for the week. They participated in 3 medical clinics, finding 9 severely malnourished children total and taking them to the Sister's of Charity Nutrition Center. Please pray for these little ones as they recuperate and gain strength! The Aquinas students also spent time at our preschool, youth center and visiting a local English class.
This summer we are proud to have 5 interns joining our team! Courtney is our Volunteer Coordinator assisting us with all of the groups coming down by living in our Mission House and accompanying the volunteers throughout their entire mission experience. Megan is our Summer Camp Coordinator responsible for lesson and activity planning at the preschool. She has been doing a phenomenal job of incorporating Bible lessons and Christian values into the school day via hands on projects! Kailey, Jeff and Nick are continuing the public health survey in remote Haitian communities. This is a project funded by the Dow Fellows program. Thus far they have gathered data in four remote communities focusing on sanitation practices, nutrition and infant mortality rates. We will be sure to share more information when official statistics are available.
Last week twenty of our preschoolers graduated from our school in El Chivo! What a celebration it was! Megan and Courtney did a wonderful job planning for the event - they put together gifts for each student (a coloring book, board book, crayons and a rosary), beautifully wrapping each one with handwritten Bible verses and personal notes. Each graduate's family was present to help celebrate the special occasion. Needless to say our eyes were a bit teary and our hearts were very, very full. God's hand has been over this school and these children since day one, it is humbling to be part of their community.
And last but not least -- we have officially moved into our new rental house in San Juan! Woot! We are so blessed to be able to find a home in a safe neighborhood where we can finally fully unpack and be a family. The kids have both adjusted wonderfully to the new house and neighborhood.
This week we have 23 volunteers here for our 10 Years, 1 Mission Anniversary celebration.... I will be sure to update about that next week with photos of the many projects they are completing!
As always, thank you for your prayers, love and support. We wouldn't be able to live this life of service without our sponsors and supporters! THANK YOU!
We are Catholic lay missionaries serving along the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Join the Support Team today!
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