Showing posts from March, 2020

The Twelve Days of Sheltering in Place

On the first day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me ... one  mask required to shop at Bravo (one of Santiago's grocery store chains). Nacional, where I usually go, is taking temperatures before letting people in. (I'm still going strong with what I stocked up on, so all of this is through social media or the grapevine!) On the second day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me... two Netflix parties ( Descendants 2 and Tangled ). On the third day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me... three worship services streamed today. On the fourth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me... four  fact sheets compiled by LAC's two nurses, in conjunction with two other missionary nurses serving in Africa. They are fact-checking machines doing their best to make sure we don't believe everything we hear or read. On the fifth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me... five  chapters of Heidi Goehmann's Casti

Living my Best Virtual Life

I was supposed to pick up a short-term team today at 12:02 am. Instead, after a rough day or two of adjusting, I'm over here living my best virtual life. The president of the DR addressed the populace on Tuesday night; he never used the word cuarentena  but in short order, declared a 25-day state of emergency and imposed an 8pm to 6 am curfew. Both DRLM Lutheran schools are closed until further notice. Seminary field work has been suspended. All meetings have shifted to Zoom. With the exception of a few individuals who fall into the high-risk bracket and are truly quarantining themselves, we as a missionary team are "sheltering in place." Outdoor physical activity is an acceptable reason to leave our homes, so while I mourn the closure of the botanical garden (although it may  be opening up to cardholders from 6-8 am daily?!?), I and a few others have been going for daily #coronastyle strolls. (And occasionally, doing #coronastyle imitations of famous album

My Corona

[ Here's a little something for your listening pleasure while you read this since it keeps playing in my head. If no one's written a parody of it yet, they will, and it'll go viral.] I remember serving as a GEO missionary in El Paso, TX, when the swine flu  hit. Eleven years later, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc at a global scale. I won't bother setting the backdrop since unless you live under a rock, you're inundated with articles, maps, travel warnings, closures, cancellations, and memes any time you turn on the TV, open your browser, or glance at your phone. Things also change every five minutes, so there's that. Any business you've given your email address to ever is in on the fun, too (mine range from Chick-fil-a to my hometown dentist). But what does my corona look like? How does a pandemic play out from my kitchen table in Santiago, Dominican Republic? I've heard stores are nuts today. The last time I went shopping was Thursday; the bleach s

Assembled as One in the Name of the Son

It's FORO weekend in the Dominican! Somehow, it feels like the head counts this go-round just kept climbing higher. When you're in charge (or training your assistant to be in charge) of transportation, meals, setup, nametags, etc....and budgeting for all of the above...things seemingly spiral out of control quickly. There are a couple of BUTs, though. Firstly, said assistant is a rock star. And secondly, it's taken me four FOROs to realize this, but when it comes down to it, the Saturday of FORO weekend is an  asamblea (assembly) for what will one day become the Dominican national church if some LCMS missionaries I know have anything to say about it. When viewed through that  lens, it's pretty cool to see missionaries, congregational reps from the US and Canada, national pastors, local staff, seminary students,  deaconesses, deaconess students, and church members come together around God's Word to learn from each other and grow together.  Oddly enough, I t