Every Wednesday afternoon, the Dominican ladies in the little church close to where our clinic is located, go out “visiting”. This small group of evangelical ladies only purpose is to bring people closer to Jesus Christ. In the village, there are about 2300 people, very densely populated. The ladies go to a different area of the village each Wednesday afternoon. They are so faithful and they never miss a Wednesday. Sometimes, one of the ladies may not be there due to illness or something but there is always a group that goes. They meet up at the clinic at 3 pm and head out to share God’s love and Word. I find this little group of ladies so encouraging and I have personally witnessed the fruits of their obedience to God. Hearts have changed and continue to change towards God all the time - thanks to this faithful group of God’s apostles. May we all be more like these ladies.
BUSY & MARVELLOUS START TO 2013
It has been a very busy first three months of the year for us and House Upon the Rock Ministry. We have been privileged to witness God’s works be carried out through His faithful servants in various ways. In the past three months, we have:
‚ hosted four mission teams; total of 51 people
‚ built a house (Vangela y Domingo) - just needs door and wiring.
‚ started building two other houses (one is about 70% completed [Massiel], the other about 50% [Rubito])
‚ nearly completed a bathroom and ensuite on another house (Nena’s) - hope to complete in the next two weeks.
‚ built a bathroom for a local church
‚ built a Sunday school room, stage, railing and electrical wiring for another local church
‚ completed a house (Cristina’s)
‚ starting on a kitchen for a lady who cooks for a special needs school of 50 daily
‚ served over 300 patients at the clinic
‚ with the teams, played and taught over 200 children
‚ shared the love and Word of God with more people than we can count
Mission team working on a house. Team playing with the kids. Paul preaching at church with Melanie translating when one of the mission teams were here. Services are translated when we bring a mission team to church.
God works in many different ways. We were once taught that evangelism is like a 10 inch ruler. You never know where someone is, spiritually, on that ruler. Maybe they are at zero (do not believe in God and Jesus) or maybe they are at 10 (given their heart to Jesus), or maybe there are somewhere between zero and ten. If we can bring someone one step closer to ten, then we have evangelized and shared God. That is always our goal and we believe that in the last three months, with God and through how He used these mission teams, our staff and us, many people have moved a littler farther up on their spiritual ruler. Praise God!!! All the glory goes to Him!
We are at that time of year when school are opening their registration for the next school year. We currently have over 80 students on our wait list waiting for a sponsor. If you are interested in sponsoring a child for a better education, please contact us and we can give you more information about the program. We are thrilled to have 50 students currently being sponsored for the next school year. It would great to see this number double!
MOVING THE CLINIC
Moving clinic has come up in the past but now it is a reality. We have receive official and legal notification from the landlord’s lawyer that we must evacuate the building that we have been renting for the past ten years no later than 30 September 2013. We are praying for God’s very clear guidance as we want to move to where God wants the clinic, not where we think it is best. There is not time to buy land as if we bought land today, the paperwork would take about six months to complete before we could take possession and start construction. There is a Dominican law that a landlord can not evict a tenant unless the tenant has a new location to move to and this is responsibility of the landlord. A friend of our current landlord did secure another location in the village and came to us the other day to say that he got that for us if we want to take over the rental contract. We are praying about this and will go check it out next week. It is a larger building with a lot of more land and, therefore, the rent is double what we currently pay. We do not have the income to pay double the rent but if it is God’s will, then we trust that we can negotiate the rent with the owners to a lower price.
Your prayers for the move of the clinic and the necessary finances not only for the move but for a higher rent are greatly appreciated. We do have some funds in the bank that have been donated over the years to buy land. This is our ultimate goal. However, God has not opened the door to buy land yet. A huge hurdle with buying land here is that many land owners do not have the legal land titles so, legally, they can not sell the land. If you buy land that does not have a legal land title, you are asking for a lot of legal problems and usually anywhere from five to eight years to resolve before you finally obtaining a legal land title. Therefore, we are not looking at any land without legal land title which really limits what is available.
We would like to move the clinic before 15 June as we have three confirmed mission teams, and a possible fourth team coming between 20 June and 26 July.
A team from Connecticut is arriving 20 - 28 June and one from Charlotte NC is arriving 6 - 13 July. These teams will be construction mission teams and we are excited to see God’s plans for these teams.
We have two couples who are coming down 15 - 19 July who are teachers. One couple will be teaching on Christian financing and the other couple will be teaching to local pastors and spouses. We are excited to work with the local Pastors’ Association to bring in these couples to offer teaching to the Christian leadership community. This will be open to all Christian leaders of all churches and ministries. Please pray for this teaching time. Dominican pastors do not often have opportunities to receive teachings and we are thrilled that God has put this together.
As you may recall, one of the main reasons for our furlough to Canada in 2011/2012 was Samantha’s health. At the end of April, Samantha will finish her TB treatment and needs to return to her lung specialists for follow up within a few months of the end of treatment. This is one of the main reasons why we will be making a trip up to Canada for August and September.
Other reasons are to visit churches, the kids have been invited to attend summer camp with some friends (although we have not made a final decision on this yet), and Paul has been asked to help bring in the harvest this year in Trochu, Alberta. For these reasons, and a few more, we are making this trip to Canada.
In order to make this trip, we have a few needs. We would appreciate your prayers and, if you are able to help, please contact us. Here are our needs:
a place to stay in Three Hills/Trochu area for two months (rent, house sit or other idea)
a vehicle to borrow for August and September
finances for plane tickets
We already have everything in order on the Dominican end for us to be away for two months. Thank God for our wonderful staff that they can run things in our absence, house sitters ready to care for our home and animals, etc. God is good.
If you want us to come to your church, home group, cell group or Bible study to share about God’s works in the DR while we are in Canada, please drop us an email.
Noah and Samantha are both doing well. We are in the final eight or so weeks of home schooling. It has been a tougher year for all of us for home schooling and lot of that has to due with the fact the kids are in higher grades. There is more material that is mandatory to be covered and less flexibility in order to meet Alberta Education requirements but that is okay. We do want the kids to be meeting the governmental educational criteria! Both kids are doing soccer, and have been enjoying participating and working with the mission teams that come down. They especially enjoyed the team that came from Trochu, Alberta as they had many friends who came on this team.
Paul continues to work hard on his Bible college courses. His current course will finish at the beginning of May. Paul is really enjoying the courses and desires to attend Bible College to obtain an Associate Pastor’s degree. We will see in the future if this is God’s will.
Sharyn has been swamped with ministry related work, especially with learning and keeping up with all the Dominican laws regarding NGO status and accounting as well as the school sponsorship program and home schooling the kids. But this okay as at least she is not bored :)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this update. I realize it is a bit long this time. Thank you also for your prayers for the following:
Sponsors for school sponsorship program
Our Canada trip
Mission team coming in June and July
Noah and Samantha as they finish up the school year home schooling
Paul and his Bible college course(s)
We never loose focus on God’s will and direction for the ministry
We thank and praise God for our Dominican Staff that God has blessed us with. Please check out the “About Us” section of our website (www.houseupontherock.net) to meet all our staff. (Thanks to our friend, Cori, for the great family photos and Sharyn’s cousin, Nikki, who manages the website!)