Showing posts from January, 2019

A Short Week and a Long Day

Last week was abbreviated thanks to a Monday holiday ( Día de la Altagracia, or Altagracia Day, which honors the DR's patron Virgin), but it ended with a marathon Friday. Bright and early Tuesday morning, the Warren family and I set off for the capital to pick up my temporary residency card as well as their youngest daughter Joanna's. Plans changed mere blocks from our neighborhood, though, after a freak collision with a motorcyclist.  Blake, Lizz, Joanna, and I were shaken up but otherwise unharmed; the motorcyclist broke his leg in two places. The Warren-mobile's front bumper is being held together by duct tape but was able to be driven away from the scene. God's hand is evident in that the damage could have been much worse on all counts; instead, the incident created a witnessing opportunity: Regional Director Ted visited the motorcyclist in the hospital! From then on I shifted into short-term team planning mode for the 11 servants from various Portland-area chu

Eagle's Wing Lutheran Church

Walking to my car after church yesterday, I was asked an interesting question: what name would I give the church? Having been forewarned last Sunday, I was prepared with my answer and corresponding reasoning. I've thought it odd from the beginning of my time here: only one of the five LCMS churches and/or missions in the DR has an actual name , and it's hardly ever referred to as such. By and large, people refer to the respective places of worship by their locations: Las Américas. Ozama. Palmar [Arriba]. Pueblo Nuevo. And mine, Licey.  That's about to change, though. In addition to implementing a cleaning schedule and placing offering envelopes near the Bibles and worship folders, the current church council determined that we need a name! Members were polled today; the council will discuss and vote at their 2/10 meeting.  It's an intimidating prospect, the naming of a church. The options are limitless. Joking with one of the seminarians assigned to "Lice


I'm basically running a regular "Er"bnb over here. Two days after my parents and sister left, my friend Katherine arrived. She and I met at Lutheran High School South's freshman orientation in 2001 and have thus known each other waaaaaaay too long. Add visiting liturgical artist Kelly Schumacher into the mix and... ¡ Bienvenida ! (I won't tell if you won't, but in my excitement to see Katherine, I forgot to insist that she take the traditional picture by the heart. We faked it the day she left.) She had two requirements for her vacation: 1) see me; and 2) see sand and waves. Check and check. Monday was a perfect beach day at Costambar with several other missionary families.  Tuesday, I put her to work! Katherine speaks fluent Spanish, so we tag-team interpreted Kelly's lecture on liturgical art for the seminarians.  Kelly, founder of Agnus Dei Liturgical Arts , is in the DR until January 31 to paint a commissioned work

Always Be Prepared

What do the DR, Belize, Panama, Uruguay, and Montreal, Canada, all have in common? They're all home to one or more members of Latin America & the Caribbean's regional team. Spread out though we might be, we gather twice per year (January and August) to worship, learn, plan, dream, and strategize, and we usually wind up laughing, too. The January meeting was held from Tuesday through Thursday of this week, and I have nothing but positive things to say about how we gelled together, engaged in fruitful debates, and looked to the future with optimism. I only have last August's meeting to use as a standard of comparison, but numerous individuals who have been around longer than me commented on the drastic improvements they see over just a year or two ago. Each evening before Vespers, Regional Director Ted went around the circle and asked each of us what we took away from the day. On Tuesday, my comment was "always be prepared for the unexpected." That&#

Mackenzie Vacay, Part II

My parents' house has 10+ inches of snow - perfect time to run through the rest of what my family did on their recent tropical vacay to the balmy, sunny Dominican Republic, don't you think? Our first full day back from the resort, we visited two small, organic chocolate factories run by women. The first, Chocal, was on the itinerary I'd put together, but after making the ~50 min. drive, the tour was disappointingly short...although we did get to spoon tempered chocolate into molds.  Not to be deterred, we spontaneously stopped at Chocolala, which we'd passed on the way. A bus full of high schoolers was just arriving, so we piggypacked on their tour. It was similar, albeit a bit more thorough, and started in a wooded area behind the facility. Freshly picked cacao tastes nothing like chocolate! "Nine out of every ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies." While we sampled hot chocolate, cocoa dusted cocoa beans, and various tro

Family Time and Freddy

Forgive my recent silence. Since you last heard from me, my parents and sister arrived for a 2-week visit! They brought my cat, Freddy, who is here to stay. I posted this picture of all four travelers at the Santiago airport on Facebook: Of the 14 comments it received, nine were cat-related. One epitomizes the reason I haven't been blogging: "Family time & FREDDY!!" The fam is still here, but I figured I'd better share at least some of what we've done or your finger would get tired of scrolling through my next post! Christmas lights by the monument on their first night here.  We went to the City Hall display, too but opted not to wait in line for an up close view.  La Aurora cigar factory tour.  Pit stop #1 on the way to the beach resort where we'd ring in the New Year: La Isabela. The next photo's caption explains its significance.  "On this plot of the Americas, the admiral Christopher Columbus built, in