Showing posts from January, 2023

Oh, bebê!

Aaaaaaaand that's a wrap on January!?! The last week FLEW by with an incredible short-term team from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In the days leading up to their arrival, I was truthfully excited and felt ready - much more ready than I had for the Venezuela FORO and FPH conference  (which of course made me think I was forgetting about a bazillion things). As they made their way to SDQ from EWR, though, I was partying.  Dominicans don't need much reason to celebrate with cake and balloons, so you better believe they pulled out all the stops to welcome José William, the as yet unborn son of Brazilian Alliance missionaries Rev. Lucas & Agatha. Church ladies from Lucas's congregation in Santo Domingo - including my expat friend Kelsey - did most of the heavy lifting, assisted by Tirzah on the Santiago side (a couple carloads of made the 2 1/2 hr. trip Saturday morning to be there). I drove down Friday night to help Kelsey with whatever, which turned out to be running err

It Takes a Missionary Team

I often get called upon to help run logistics (lodging, meals, and transportation, mostly) for meetings and events that don't involve volunteers in any way. Doing so falls squarely within my wheelhouse, but the emphasis was on the "help" most recently. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a missionary team to pull off a Venezuela FORO followed by a conference for our seminary's distance learning (FPH, or Formación Pastoral Hispana) students immediately after the Christmas/New Year's/Epiphany holiday. I think we all wanted the undertaking to NOT become a mini- Symposium ...buuuuuut it was a bit of a mini-Symposium.  Although distinct, the two events bled into one another in many ways and merged into one in my mind, which is why I'm choosing to make them a single post. First things first, though: a Venezuela FORO. We've done this before: bring all or most of the ILV pastorate to the Dominican for a day or a couple days of strategic plan and budge

If Your Friends All Climbed a Mountain, Would You?

Ashley's answer to the title question: a resounding no (now that she knows better after doing it once ). If all your friends did a whole bunch of other fun stuff after climbing a mountain, though... My church had a 4 pm Divine Service on New Year's Eve, so Tirzah, Ashley, and I dragged our aching muscles to Licey to join in thanking God for the blessings of the year gone by and asking His blessing on the one to come. We also celebrated Ely's deaconess consecration, having been unable to do it on a Sunday morning due to her work schedule. We made a detour to see Monumento Natural La Ceiba on the way home. A few others had the same idea! The Naumanns put on quite the party for everyone from the missionary AND seminary communities who was in town. I helped translate and emcee a trivia game complete with prizes (and brought Lemon Rosemary Hummus because I can't pass up an opportunity to try a new recipe).  New Year's Day, we drove to the north coast and had a low key

It’s the Climb

I did a thing.  Better said, WE did a thing, because I can't think of many others who would climb Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbean, with me.  L to R: Tirzah (LAC Regional Team), me, Ashley (PR).  Everything I had heard/read about the hike indicated it was intense and wasn't wrong. I ran 10k this morning, as I do multiple times per week, but "the climb" kicked me in the pants; my quads and calves didn't fully recover until a few days after we finished.  It wasn't just the climb that was rough; each of us had a hurdle along the way:  Exactly a month ago, Tirzah twisted her ankle walking in the neighborhood.  Ashley's direct flight into STI was delayed and then cancelled, so she wound up flying into Punta Cana and taking a pricey private shuttle halfway across the island in the middle of the night to get here in time. And not one to miss out on the fun,  I got a flat tire on the way to Base Camp last Tuesday.  I noticed a funny noise pulling int