hello to all! i am so sorry this has taken me to long to write a new blog...its been almost a week! i feel like i have so much to write about, so i hope i get it all in...my thoughts are pretty jumbled right now...especially im writing from one of the Ark houses, so theres kids all around :)
as some may know, this past weekend, i was able to visit Julio- the little boy that my family sponsers. i was not expecting my visit to impact me the way it did. one of my good friends, Ashley, went with me to Santo Domingo, where we met up with our guide, who then drove us to Julio...his town was about 40 minutes away. the poverty was overwhelming in the town that Julio lives. his family literally has nothing, yet the joy of the Lord carries them through. side note: the people here struggle and suffer here in ways i have never experienced but their faith and trust in God is unbelievably convicting and inspiring. i learn from them everyday...they always have a smile on their face, and somehow, their giving of Love is never ending. so we stood in Julio's one room house and tried to talk for a while...he was very quiet and shy, rightly so. i had bought him a few gifts before our visit so i gave them to him pretty soon so that maybe he would open up...it helped a little. he seemed very grateful but i also know that receiving a gift is very foreign for him. he told me he wants to be a pro baseball player when hes older...apparently hes already very good...when playing with the other neighborhood boys. about half way through i asked if Julio would like to go with me to the nearest Colmodo (mini grocery store), so that i could buy him a coke and candy. our guide from Compassion, said that he doesnt usually allow this, but in this case, it was necessary and a very good idea! so we got a few Cokes and candies, but the Lord wanted me to buy more for them...i seriously dont even remember how it happened, but before i knew it,we had bags of groceries in our hands for his family that could last a couple of weeks (hopefully)! it was amazing to give to them in that way. i honestly dont know if they even had enough food in their house for that day. it is such a blessing to give. i think this was my first time here, that i was able to do something like this for someone. so once we got back to the house it was about time to go...so we prayed together and all of the sudden during prayer, i was overwhelmed with how little they had...not just them, but so many people here, and other places in the world. i was holding back tears enough to say good bye, but as soon as i got in the car, i lost it. my friend Ashley knew exactly what was coming and just held me in her arms while i gained composure and began to think about all i have been given, what others have not been given....such conviction, gratitude, and overwhelming hurt- all at once. pretty much the rest of my day was spent holding back tears and going over what God desires of me, in terms of missions and such...in case youre wondering, i still dont know...i am hoping to have clarity by the end of this trip. so saturday was very exhausting and eye opening. i want to thank my parents though for all that they give to Julio. they provide a way for him to go to school, be in a safe environment, and eat two hot meals a day. it is also so comforting for Julio to know that he has a family praying and caring for him...even though miles away. i got to see the difference you make in his life...i hope you know the blessings you are to Julio, Mom and Dad...and of course, to me and so many others...thank you!
while all of this is pretty heavy, but necessary to witness the truth of what this world holds, i had an amazing time Saturday night, celebrating the 4th of July!!! we went over to one of the American missionaries' houses with many other americanos and we enjoyed burgers, potato salad, fruit salad, the works! it was so fun and such a nice time to relax and celebrate. however, the drive over to the house was not so...i was asked to drive a van of us kids over to the house...i felt very honored and thrilled to drive in the dominican republic...the driving here is CRAZZAYYY!!! haha. so yes, the sight of me driving this jeep with kids was a sight for some and i made it even better, because the car broke when i was driving it! its totally fine, apparently it was on its way out and i was just the person to "finish the job." i felt so bad though. i should clarify, the car was still driveable, it just shook uncontrollably, when in Drive- it felt like sitting in a massage chair, but not relaxing at all! so thats just a funny story for you of my driving experience, here in the DR.
this week has been really good! we have a team here from Mississippi...they are wonderful! i love southerners and i definitely want to live there someday :) its a blessing to work along side them! also, i should note that my Spanish is improving so much! i didnt even realize it until some of my friends were commenting on how well i understand and speak...ive even been translating some...very cool and an answer to prayer! keep praying please. i apologize for the lack of organization of writing this blog, but theres a lot going on around me and this week has been pretty busy. oh, i have met another amazing young woman from the DR. her name is Josephine and we met so randomly, but she is my age, spunky, God-loving, strong, and so beautiful- inside and out! she doesnt know English and i barely know Spanish, but our relationship is so special and we ussually sit down for a half hour or so everyday just talking (as much as we can communicate) getting to know one another...its been amazing...and its so cool how God can bring people together, despite the language barrier. i will miss her...
well, i think that about does it for this blog. this Saturday, we are heading to Santo Domingo (again) where we will meet up with all the other interns to hang out and tour the city! we're looking forward to it, but also we have been so busy here...we've had no down time! and tonight, we are going to dinner at one of the teacher's houses...some mo good food :) i still wake up missing everyone, everyday, and i am so excited to come home in a couple of weeks!!! but God is using this time to shape me in ways i couldnt have even imagined.
i love you all with all my heart.