Thursday, May 12, 2011

Packing Time!

All the supplies for the development centers are bought and it's packing time! I can't even begin to express how thankful I am to my sweet family and friends who have been so generous in helping with the supplies.  We were able to get more items then I originally thought we would.  Those kiddos are going to absolutely LOVE all the items.  I'll be sure to send y'alls love with me when I go. Thanks so much for being such huge blessings for this trip.

Development Centers:
(we bought for 3 development centers so everything is in multiples of 3)
Soccer balls, ball pumps and needles, baseballs, jump ropes, construction paper, coloring books, markers, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, scissors, glue sticks, stickers, bubbles, hair bands and burettes.
Items for Jose and his family:
backpack, soccer ball, football, ball pump and needles, baseball, bouncy balls, kitchen towels, wooden spoons, sandals, shorts, Astros/Dynamo/A&M shirts, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap

My roomie has been so great this whole time; from shopping for supplies with me, to letting me borrow things I need for the trip, and for constantly being an encourager.  God has truly blessed me with an amazing roommate. 

Charis gets the rockstar award for my trip.  She so generously gave up her Saturday to travel the city with me looking for supplies, helped me sort and pack all the supplies, and then made tons of braceletts for the kiddos with me.  I couldn't have done it with out her!! Thank you friend. 

I can't believe tomorrow's the day I head out to FL before I head to the Dominican on Saturday.  I am so excited to see how the Lord is working in that gorgeous country and to get to love on some of his sweet children.  I am just so humbled by the love, support, and prayers that I have received over the past months while preparing for this adventure.  He is working and I'm can't wait to see how He pulls strangers from across the country to come together as one, to serve and love His people.  It's going to be a thrilling journey and I can't wait to be able to share the experience when I get back.

“I am living the life I was called to live, and I will continue to do so until I am interrupted by heaven."
(Wess Stafford - Compassion International President) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Road Trip!!!

At the beginning of the month a few of us girls decided to venture over to New Orleans to see Amos Lee and Jason Mraz at Jazz Fest.  We had some great/delirious times in the car but the trip was well worth it.  Thankfully the gorgeous weather and amazing food welcomed us with open arms. 

 Charis, Angie, Tamara, and Me outside in Jackson Square
 Mother's Cafe, a Nawlins legend
 Jazz Fest
Cafe Du Monde, an absolute must!

Definition of Success, right girls?! ;-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dominican Itinerary and Prayer Points!

May 14-21, 2011

Saturday, May 14 
Our adventure begins!  We will plan to meet at our departure gate around 6:00 PM. Our American Airlines flight #1901 is scheduled to depart at 7:50 PM. and arrives into Santo Domingo at 9:55 PM.

Please pray that everyone reaches our gateway city of Miami as scheduled and that we are able to board our international flight for the Dominican Republic as planned. Additionally, we would ask that the Lord would quickly knit our hearts together as we anticipate this grand adventure together.

Sunday, May 15
After breakfast, we will travel a short distance to experience authentic worship, Dominican Republic style with our brothers and sisters in Christ at one of the churches with which Compassion partners in Santo Domingo. After Sunday service we’ll learn about Compassion’s Child Survival Program and meet some of the moms and their babies who are part of this program.

Please pray that all team members stay flexible and engaged in the adventure while truly immersing themselves in this unique people and culture. Pray for traveling mercies and that all team members will remain healthy throughout the duration of this tour.

Monday, May 16
Today we visit the community of Batey Magdalena. The children and staff of DR-462 (Jose's Compassion Development center!!) are eager to meet you and to share their gifts and talents with you through a wonderful welcome program they have prepared. You’ll have time to observe what they are learning and to interact with the children. A little later we’ll divide into groups to visit the homes of some of the children who attend this student center before returning to our beautiful resort to enjoy the beauty of this country as we rest from our fast-paced start to the trip. Later we’ll work together to finalize our ministry activities which we’ll use as we interact with another group of beautiful children tomorrow.

Please pray that each tour member will connect with the specific life lessons and experiences the Lord has planned for him/her and continue to pray for the health of all participants and trip leaders.

Tuesday, May 17
This day takes us to DR-634, this exciting ministry partner has been planted in Batey Angelina and is doing an amazing job bringing hope and transformation to this community. They have also utilized additional funding available through Compassion’s Complementary Interventions Program to provide clean drinking water and a number of vocational programs, which you’ll get to see today.  After lunch we will get organized to welcome the afternoon group of children for whom we prepared our ministry activities.

Today will be full of new experiences that will likely require a physical and emotional investment. Please pray that each sponsor becomes an instrument of blessing for the sponsored children they are meeting or the children the others interact with at the student center. Also, pray that the Lord uses today for His kingdom purposes as He expands the hearts of the sponsors and the children.

Wednesday, May 18
This morning we'll begin our journey back to Santo Domingo. Along the way we will stop to visit a Compassion child development center in the community of San Pedro de Marcoris, DR 302. Yesterday, you experienced the amazing environment and joy Compassion children experience when they attend a student center. Today, we’ll take a step deeper as we spend several hours with a family experiencing their daily life at home. The children will be gracious to share their daily routine with us as we come alongside and serve with them in their homes. Later we have lunch and then complete our journey back to Santo Domingo. After some time to rest, we’ll have dinner with some emerging young leaders who are part of Compassion’s Leadership Development Program. Listen closely to their testimonies and dreams as well as the criteria that was used to select them for this program because tomorrow you’ll be with the child(ren) you sponsor and will have the opportunity to share what you learned with them.

Please pray that the Lord continue to knit our hearts together in unity as we minister together today and that our hearts become like that of the Father’s heart for these children and this country.

Thursday, May 19
Today is the day we have all been waiting for – Child Sponsor Fun Day. We’ll meet up in the lobby and then travel to where the children are being gathered. From here, you’ll have time to visit on the bus as we travel to Club Fiesta Campestre. The day must leave at 4:30 PM to make their journey home. After a brief rest we’ll gather in the lobby to go out to a fun authentic Dominican restaurant for dinner.

Please pray that each child is available, healthy and eager to have a wonderful day with his/her sponsor. Pray for safety as everyone plays and enjoys the day together and for the children as they travel home later this afternoon.

Friday, May 20
To finish the adventure, we will conclude as we began – with devotions and worship, but this time it will be at our Compassion Country Office in the Dominican Republic. After this time of reflection and praise, we’ll split into groups to learn more about how Compassion works operationally in this country. After lunch we’ll have time for sight-seeing and shopping before returning to the hotel for dinner and our last time of sharing together.
These tours often stir emotions, renew dedication to the ministry of Compassion, and cause tour members to look at life just a bit differently, amidst our day of work and rest please pray that the Lord will be present and active as we begin to think about how we extend what we have learned and experienced this week -when we return home

Saturday, May 21
What a week it has been. We will need to leave the hotel at 4:30 AM to make our 7:00 AM departure for Miami a reality. The team will be back in Miami by 9:30 AM to connect with their domestic flights home.
Please pray that the Lord will guide each traveler safely home and be gracious to them as they continue to unpack everything they have seen and learned this past week.