Monday, June 29, 2009

MT. MOGOTE...claimed it!

wow! i have never felt so blessed...all of your comments and prayers mean so much! you all give me so much more love to give!!! the Lord is GOOD. i would love to start out by saying that this past weekend, i hiked Mt. Mogote, yes the second hightest mountain in the DR!!! it was nuts, but so so beautiful! i have never witnessed anything like it. the summit was 5,000 feet...which means i hiked 10,000 feet total...i think?! any pro hikers out there who would know what this means? people were saying that we summitted a 5,000 ft you all can do the math! anyways, we started out at 6 45 in the morning and drove a couple hours to our destination we hiked all day and got back to the base of the mountain around 4. i cannot wait to show you all the pictures...glorious! one of my favorite memories was when we had hiked about half way up the mountain and we came to this huge clearing...where you could see for miles...just more mountains. everything was lush and green...of course, we broke out into song singing, THE HILLS ARE ALIVE...with the sound of was so funny and i will never forget it...even the grown men with us were serenating our surroundings! haha. Dad, this really made me think of you! you would have been the instigator (sp)!!! as for Sunday, it was much more relaxing. after church, we did our routine grocery run and then headed home for lunch. we had planned on going to a friends house to do laundry but it didnt work out so we washed EVERYTHING in the kitchen sink...3 loads and 7 laundry lines later...our apartment is currently lined with hanging laundry! it is the funniest sight...dont worry, we have pictures of this too! and last night, we had a huge thunderstorm, which i loved! so it was a wonderful weekend!

today, was also amazing!!! i cannot believe how much better i am feeling...and truly able to rest in the Lords care and grace here. it is an answer to so many prayers...and i thank you all for your constant support. this morning, i read a book to the kids, in SPANISH!! that was a huge feat, and hopefully i will continue to do this daily with them. i so enjoyed my time with all the kids today...this afternoon, we baked a cake, dominican style! they really know how to cook here...i am hoping to bring some recipes back to the states, but no guarantees.

currently, our water is back on, but you seriously just never maybe keep our running water in your prayers! also, this weekend i am trying to make it to Santo Domingo (the capital) to visit the child that my family sponsers. please pray that this can it is the only time i have available to do this. it would be another awesome adventure and such a gift for Julio. if i go, my friend Ashley will be going with me and we will be finding our way via public transportation, so it will be super interesting!

i am still missing the comforts of home and being surrounded by you all, but God is fully allowing me to let that longing go and cling to the people and beauty here. this is happening only by His power and i am so thankful. i am finding that the DR is an easy place to fall inlove with...everyone walks everywhere (very healthy), the food is delicious, the people are so friendly and serving, it is surrounded by Gods handiwork...and He is clearly working in so many lives here...i am privelaged to be with the people here who practice and live with the Lord as their first and greatest love. also, they make coffee here at 3 in the afternoon...Mom, you would love this...i sure do!

i love you all so much and praise God that He has given me such a divine and treasured circle of support...i am truly held by your prayers and the Lords sweet sweet love...we all are.

Friday, June 26, 2009

for the love of lunch ladies

so here´s a little bit of info for you of my life in the DR. i just spent about a half hour writing a new post for this blog when the city lost power. it happens everyday, numerous times...most of the time you never know when its gonna anyways, i will try to recap what i wanted to share...

so as some of you know, yesterday was extrememly hard for me. the Lord usually has His ways of letting me shake the overwhelming feelings of discouragement that can consume my thoughts, but yesterday i couldnt seem to break away. it was lunch time and i wasnt feeling any my amazing friend, Jennifer, and i started talking about why i seem to still battle with being homesick and so almost 21 for crying out loud. as we read the story of the Israelites wandering through the desert for 40 years, found in Deut., God began to break through...He let them suffer but it was purely for their good and benefit. this form of discipline is not out of wrath by any means but out of the great and immense love that the Father has for us. He knows that what He has for us is so much greater than anything else this world can offer. i have easily lost sight of that, especially on this trip. the devil has made it seem as though going home is the only way to remedy my despaired feelings, when in reality God has me here, and He is the only one who can satisfy my longing for peace and contentment. this time of intense humility in the Lord has been harsh but also one of the most beautiful understandings i have ever had with our Creator...and i cant tell you enough how much it means to me to know and feel your prayers and love...i have been blessed with so many guardian angels.

in addition to this, last night we ate dinner with the team who is here for the week. i sat next to a woman whom i had never met before, but i know that God placed us together...she is a woman of resilience and unending joy and faith in the Lord. she has been through many obstacles in her life, but she endured on...letting the glory and love of God flow through it all. she didnt even know the extent to which i had been hurting yesterday when she gently placed her hand on my shoulder and said do not give up. her words were straight from the heart of God...and she was yet, another angel.

i am surrounded by this type of kindness and sevanthood everywhere in the DR. this culture is so others focused...constantly serving one another. i especially cherish the lovely women who prepare our lunch everyday. their smiles seriously light up the room. they hold the joy and love of Christ within them. it is pure Beauty. they give such generous everyone. and it is so amazing because despite our language barrier, the Lord has bound us together in His likeness.

on the lighter side, today was spent preparing the curriculum for next week. it was super chill and fun to put together next weeks activities. and tonight, us ladies have bible study. we are going to this small little bakery, which we have all been waiting to go smells SO GOOD. and tomorrow, we venture on our first hike up into las montanas. we are all so excited...i cant even imagine how beautiful its going to be...i really wish there was a way that i could upload pictures here for you all to see, but since im only using public computers i dont think its an option. so i cant wait to reveal some of the beauty of this place with you, when im home.

and Mom, a little special thanks to you for those Bible verses this and Dad are such wonderful parents...people keep telling me that its a blessing to be this homesick, because that just means that the roots of our beautiful family are forever entwined...i would never have it any other way. i love you each so much.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

mom, eat chocolate!

okay, i realized i have kind of done a poor job of writing out what my day looks like, so i am going to try! also, Mom, i have eaten some chocolate, so please allow yourself something delicious! it was actually really cool, because we have had no running water for the past 6 days...dont ask how were managing, but please pray that it will come back soon! anyways, on sunday night, us girls were eating dinner and we were sitting there just wishing for some chocolate. no joke, as soon as i said that we heard a knock on the was some friends bringing us brownies and buckets of water...2 for 2! God has even been looking out for my chocolate cravings!!!

as for our days here, i am woken up by roosters every morning at 5 a.m. sometimes i fall back asleep but usually i just lay there until about 6 30 and i finally get up and make some coffee, which is made in the coolest way! i will be bringing that back to the states! we usually just take it slow, get dressed, read a little, talk and then head to the Ark for devotions with the other teachers and then at 9 a.m. class starts, for everyone! i am with the little kids until about 11 30 but today 2 of them feel asleep at 11...very cute! after that, we eat lunch...sometimes i eat with the dominican families and sometimes i eat with the other kids from the surrounding villages. at about 1 we resume class for an hour and i help with the older kids. we are done around 2 and then, we have planned activities-sports to play with the kids. also, i am helping to tutor some of the kids here in the afternoons...they are helping me too, with my espanol! that has been very fun!!! at around 4 or 5 we try to make a trip into town to hit up the internet cafes and get our American kick for the day! we walk everywhere, and it has been very fun exploring this area. the mountains surround the city on every is SO beautiful! around 6 30 we head back to our apartment and make dinner for ourselves and usually sit around talk for quite a while. doing the dishes has been fun, especially with no running water...we have to wash everything by hand with soap and then let the clean dishes soak in Clorox water for 20 min so that all of the bacteria from the water is killed. i actually really enjoy doing the dishes, so this has been nice. we end up in bed around 10 or so and read or talk until we fall asleep. however, last night we attempted to do our own laundry for the first time, so we filled the sink and hand washed our clothes, and then hung them on chairs or string to dry. we dont know how often we will be doing is quite the process, but this is how people live.

the days are very peaceful here. dominican time is much different from the US. no one is in a hurry and everyone seems to just enjoy the moment they are in. its very laid back and friendly! almost every weekend is filled up with hiking or visiting the other interns in jarabacoa. we made some good friendships before we all dispersed so we are doing our best to keep in touch with one another!

i also want to share that this morning, i was feeling a little discouraged with my lack of spanish and i was praying that God show me His reasons for why i am is easy to feel as though i am not needed, but i know that is a lie. so, today we were playing the kids and one of my friends, Veronica, who is 14 came up and gave me a bracelet that she had made for made me cry. she is the sweetest girl and her kindness was all i needed to be reminded of the Lords sweet love.

i am reading a book called The Only Road North by Erik Mirandette and there is quote that i wanted to post, because it depicts a lot of how i am feeling and what i am experiencing here...
It is only when we are pushed past our self perceived limits that we are able to clearly see our truest nature, discover our deepest selves, only then can we hope to improve upon what we find. To do so is neither safe nor comfortable, it is both dangerous and scary but we warriors were meant to live in this way.

i know, im not really a warrior, but i am being stretched...building so much character and heavenly understanding.

i love you very much family!

Monday, June 22, 2009


this morning was amazing. before each school day, the teachers here start their day together by reading the Word and singing the most beautiful songs to the Lord. it was such a blessing to be a apart of their time with God. as the women started singing i was immediately filled with tears, because their voices were pure and their hearts so full of love for God and His children.

i wish i had more time to write right now, but i just wanted to share the beauty of living and worshipping with others, in their culture. i love you all!!!!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

They call me "Cori"

Hola Everyone! I am in Jarabacoa, DR and I will be heading to my final destination of Constanza tomorrow night! My trip so far has been very trying, humbling, and beautiful. I have never felt so in need and yet, God always has His ways of showing me that He's here with me and holding me through these times when I feel alone and incapable of this work. These past couple of days have been especially hard, because I am not at my official site (Constanza) yet. My time in Jarabacoa has kind of been a waiting process, but I now know that the Lord wanted me here a few extra days so that i could experience even more of His love and Divine presence. For the last couple of nights i have been staying at the home of some AMAZING people. They have been missionaries in the DR for 7 years now, and they have the heart of Christ living within them. They are constantly selfless and giving of their time. They live their lives to serve one purpose- loving these kids who God has led them to rescue from the streets and heart-breaking living situations. These children, who they have loved and nurtured in the orphanage here come to know God through their love and endless willing spirits. It is eye-opening to witness and often overwhelming, but it is SO AMAZING!
This upcoming Monday we will be starting our first day of the summer program for the kids living in all of the orphanages and surrounding villages. We have spent the last two days organizing and preparing our curriculum, which consists of Bible stories, Math, Science, and Reading. We will not be assessing the children because this is not school, but it's being implemented to keep them busy (and out of trouble) as well as to bring more opportunities to love them. I will basically be spending almost every hour of my life here (come Monday) with these precious well as the host families and missionaries here!
On a lighter note, today i experienced my first Dominican meal. Their culture eats lunch as their biggest meal, and i was invited over to a Domincan family's house (by myself) for the first time. It is also assumed that the guest is given the biggest portion and is expected to eat it all. Due to the heat and my aprehension of being out of my comfort zone I tried so hard to finish my meal. The family was so gracious and generous to me. It was a bit overwhelming, but i am experiencing love in such amazing ways here! Also, you would probably all enjoy hearing that the people here call me "Cori" wich a rolling "r." This is funny because for the past two years i have tried my hardest to lose that nickname and as soon as i get here all of the kids ask if they can call me "Cori" because is makes more sense in the Spanish language. Go figure!
Thank you everyone for all of your many prayers and thoughtful bits of encouragement. I am so comforted when i think about and realize HOW blessed i am to have you all waiting for me at home. I miss you dearly, and i'm praying for often!
Isaish 41:10

Saturday, June 13, 2009

be still

to all of my amazingly wonderful family and friends: i can't believe that i am leaving for the DR in less than 48 hours. my time at home has flown by, but i know that God has used it to better equip me for doing His work. getting ready has been a process...both spiritually and physically. i am in awe as i think back to last summer when God lovingly showed me His pursuit after my heart. and here i am- a year later- fully captivated by our amazing Father as He is allowing me to love and care for some of His precious children in the DR. i am honored and eternally grateful for this opportunity. i am blessed beyond compare as i think about how much i have been given- God has placed me in the most amazing and loving family, who consistently support and encourage my hopes and desires- bringing me joy and a place of refuge in every situation. He has surrounded me with the most beautiful friends...who constantly teach me how to live in the moment- enjoying the "finer things" in life...accepting to all. i have been blessed with so much love, in so many different forms, and i am so excited to give out of the Love that i have been given.

i am going to write/update this blog as much as possible during my time in the DR. if possible, i will post pictures as well!
BUT i mostly just wanted you all to know how much I LOVE YOU and thank the Lord for your presence in my life. thank you for all of your sincere encouragement and prayers as i embark on this journey...

"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs...You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
Isaiah 58:11

Thursday, June 4, 2009


okay, this is my first official post on my wall...that is, if this works :) hopefully i will have this all figured out before i leave for the DR. i hear this is the new and better way to keep in touch, so here i am!