Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I think my computer has been lost to Isaac as well as food, clothing, furniture and homes. A small thing compared to what others have lost and yet, very meaningful to me. Yesterday when I started the old Toshiba up I got shocked! I didn't think that was a good sign, but it started up just fine. I even did a status update on facebook. But then all of a sudden the dreaded blank screen and no response. Although I turn her on every day there is no response.......it makes me sad. Not so much because of the computer itself, but it meant a lot to me. My Mother bought the computer for me to use in the Dominican in 2007 just one year before she passed away. It was a great gift because I could not afford one, but certainly could put one to use here. The computer was getting old and tired and everyone said I should invest in a new one. But, I couldn't give it up because every time I opened the computer I thought of my Mom. Without the computer there will be less of her. Sometimes I think it's silly to feel that way, but then again things that bring joyous memories are of great value to the human spirit. Last Christmas I broke one of her collection of Christmas musicals. I cried then and I cry now as I type this because with each loss there is less of her here with me. I guess I'm afraid she will totally slip away from me.......................
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
August 25, 2012
Issac raged all through the night. I had put a bucket oat 10am to see how much water we got. By 7am this morning it was over flowing and it wasn't a regular measuring device it was a mop bucket! Trees are down, tops are off little wooden houses. I cried as I walked through Habanero thankful that lives have been spared. Then I saw the crops, bananas and plantainos. Ruined. Done. I wondered what the people would eat. If anyone has a heart to send a few dollars this way, it will surely help rebuild a couple roofs. A couple hundred dollars can go along way here. We've already spent the money for the fence and gates for the school other wise we'd use that money. You can Western Union to Brenda Backes (name on my passport) or Scott Conner. Pray for the rain to stop - the river is almost overflowing. Love, Brenda and Scott
Sat. August 25, 2012
Tropical Storm Issac
I want to write something quick while the internet is working again. Still raining here. Pray for Haiti. Pray for no more rain! Many crops were lost and roof of houses, still we must worry about flooding. Habanero is surrounded by two rivers on each side of it. One is overflowing now the other has not yet overflowed. Thank you for all your prayers and support - no lives have been lost. Love to all
Tropical Storm Issac
Friday, August 24, 2012
Bible study with Cello - Thank you!
Praise the Lord we have 15 youth doing a devotional bible study every day. Or at least every other day, depending on the leader’s work schedule. Cello is very busy with work and church, but he is doing a good job and the youth LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Please pray that the study continues - the youth here continue to be tempted at a very early age with sex, drugs and merengue music! So much like home really - children need good leaders and model examples in their communities. Thank you Cello for taking the time!!!
Today Maritza brought me a couple of prescriptions for her son who needs an operation. Problem was the medicine was nowhere to be found in Barahona. Turns out it’s the Barium you drink so they can do a scan oof his digestive system. The Barium can only be found in Santo Domingo. So we had to arrange for another Doctor to order the medicine to be shipped to Barahona. The cost? $20 – Not bad, but beyond his reach. Isn’t it interesting that he could go to the Doctor, have the scan and any needed operation done for free as part of the National Health Plan. But they would not supply the necessary medicine for the test needed. It makes me wonder if part of the National Health Plan is to put obstacles in the way of healing these people. It just doesn’t make sense. Anyway, the medicine is on the way!
First thing this morning we took a truck load of suitcases into Barahona for the team to take back to America. We secured their tickets and a taxi driver to pick them up in Santo Domingo. There was about an hour in between packing the suitcases and the team actually leaving. This meant a very long sad good bye for Dominicans and Americans alike. Although their time here was short, many will return again. We encourage building relationships over time. Short term mission teams are very important for the support and operation of the school. Team members not only complete their loving missions while here, but they also give on going financial support. Evergreen4kids couldn’t exist without our teams! Thank you so much for loving on Habanero and your continued support for the work we do here.
August 3, 2012
Today Tamra and Mandy loaded up all the empty suitcases that needed to return home to be filled up again for our next trip. There was one additional bag at the house that needed to be packed and later in the evening Tamra and Doug took the bag to the school. They found the front doors open with all the team bags in the hallway and our watchman Sopecha passed out on the office desk! I went over to see if I could revive him and almost fell over from the smell of Rum. So sad…….another person lost to alcohol. Sopecha has had an alcohol problem for many years, but for the last couple of years has been sober. We decided to give him the watchman job and our trust just last January. He is an older single man with eight people living in a very tiny house. It was a good job for him, didn’t pay much, but we provided a bed and a fan for him. He had a safe quiet place to be and he did a good job watching the school and our house for awhile anyway. Of course we had to fire him and that caused quite the uproar in Habanero. With people taking sides – us against Sopecha. After a couple of days things calmed down. Sopecha came to the house and apologized and we gave him his month’s pay as a farewell goodwill gift. I pray he learns from this experience and over comes his challenges.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
August 1, 2012
My heart has been forever touched by the events of today. Carly decided she wanted to be baptized here in the Dominican. She had been thinking about it at home, but decided she wanted to be baptized in this special place surrounded by new friends and loving team members! At the same time Kylie decided she wanted to recommit her live to Jesus and she was also baptized. What can I say? It was emotional and joyous! We had arranged to pick up Pastor Salvador and we loaded up the truck Dominican style and off we went to the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day and after the baptism we swam in the Carribean. A couple of us got stung by sea urchins, but we survived to tell the tale. We went home relaxed and ready for another day of VBS.
July 30th – Aug 4th
The children receive the activities with great joy. There are puppets, games and crafts planned for them each day. There are over 140 children! Scott hits the road in the morning with the truck to pickup as many children as will fit in. We try to share the message of salvation along with morals for daily living.
Most of the children live a very undisciplined life determined by the survival of the fittest. Although their lives have a great amount of freedom that our children in American do not enjoy, their lives are very chaotic and without direction. I see the great contrast of American children who are over scheduled, over stimulated and overly ambitious for materials things and the children in Habanero who have absolutely no schedule, (including bedtimes) very little positive stimulation and basically no ambition. I think that somewhere in the middle is the best for children.
Tamara’s preparation and the system she has set up makes everything run very smoothly. Of course always we know we must be flexible. Things change, things break, tubes for the puppet stage are missing and starting time means nothing! Lol We run with the natives here, we must throw away our day planners and live off the grid. Nothing wrong with that! Amazingly everything still gets accomplished! The Dominicans have a can do attitude and are never discouraged when something goes wrong, they just figure out a different way to make it work or to make it happen. VBS days are days of excitement for the children and the Americans love to interact with them. Our team is awesome and showing compassion and love to the community. The children will never forget their names, Tam, Doug, Mandy, Jessica, Kylie, Jacelyn, Sarah, Patty and Carly have made memories for the children they will never forget!
July 27, 2012
Santo Domingo – Hello VBS Team
There they were right on time! Tamra, Doug & Mandy our ever so faithful VBS Team Leaders! The work is so very necessary for the children . To show by example over and over again God’s love in their lives working through people our team members. We give the glory to God for giving the teams a heart for Habanero. The team is 9 people this time. Just the perfect size. We have Tam, Doug, Mandy, Jessica, Kylie, Jacelyn, Sarah, Patty and Carly. All Scott could say was “Thank you Jesus for Doug!” lol So many women, he needs a man to bond with.
July 26, 2012
Santo Domingo – Goodbye ChrisWe drove to Santo Domingo today, Chris will be leaving in the morning and in the afternoon Scott and I will pick up the Vacation Bible School team. We have been more vacationing than working while Chris was here, but tomorrow the hard work begins in earnest. This has been a great experience for Chris and one I wish for all Americans. Most of us become very spoiled and feel an entitlement to what we have. But for sure it is by the Grace of God that we were born in the USA. We cannot take any credit for that – it is a gift from God and anyone who does not believe that should spend time in a third world country. Just saying…………. Chris is excited about new friendships he has made and he looks forward to returning perhaps in December. After several years of Christmas in Habanero without my family in the USA, I made the commitment to be with my son at Christmas time. So I have not spent Christmas in Habanero since 2007 and would very much like to be in Habanero again for Feliz Navidad. Wherever my son is at Christmas there I will be also.
July 25, 2012
Medical NeedsYesterday a man came to the house with dark sunglasses on. At first I thought Jose Luis was trying to be cool, but soon realized he was wearing the glasses for protection. Half his face was paralyzed and both eyes sensitive to light and seeping. I got Yanet to translate for me and it seems the man has been to the doctor and has a prescription he would like us to help him purchase. Today he brought the prescription and we went into town to get it for him. It included three vials of drugs for injection. The cost of the three prescriptions was $43 which this poor man would never have in his pocket at one moment. We gave him the drugs and money for a motor taxi to go to the clinic so that a professional could do the injections. We prayed the medicine would heal him quickly as his condition is very painful. Two days later Jose Luis was at the house smiling and free from pain. It took several days for him to heal completely. Praise the Lord for providing the resources to help Jose Luis!
July 23, 2012
A day at the Playa!A hot and humid day in Habanero calls for a trip up to the coast to San Rafael. It’s a beautiful location where the crystal clear waters of the San Rafael River run into the Carribean. The river has been damned up to make swimming pools at different depths so even the little ones can enjoy the cool water. The water in the pools is so clear you can see the fish swimming and the children love to try to catch them and sometimes they do! Which means the fish will be cleaned and cooked right that moment! Delicious! Chris, Scott and I took a truck load of friends and children and another truck load joined us for the day. Chris got to enjoy the excitement of the never ending wave after wave crashing to shore. It is too dangerous to swim in the Carribean at San Rafael. However, you can get knee deep and let the waves throw you over and over, possibly losing some clothing along the way! As long as you are smart enough and quick enough to grab the pebbled beach once you are thrown ashore you are safe! What a great day with family and friends.
July 21, 2012
My Son Visits Habanero!