Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Week in Pictures - Edition 1

Hope and pray everyone is having a good weekend.  We are doing well down here.  The last few days we have been resting and studying up on our Kreyol.  I just wanted to post a few pictures of life down here in the Dominican Republic.  Hope you all enjoy them.

Brother Darren and Brother Nathan.
Also, please keep in prayer our trip into Haiti.  Right now I'm looking at trying to go over there the first week of April.  There has been a lot of problems at the border lately, so I feel that the Lord would have us to wait till we try and take our trip.  Just last week there was gunfire and one of the Pastors down here had his brother taken captive by some Haitians.  They tied him up and put a noose around his neck and then tried to burn him in a pile of tires.  Thank the Lord, some United Nations troops were able to rescue him.  There is another brother that I know that was there and they had to run and hide.  So tensions at the border right now are a little heated.  Pray that all of this will calm down in the next few weeks.  I really would like to get over there and see the work that the Lord has been doing with Brother Maurice.  Please pray for him also, as he has had some health issues lately and his wife is getting ready to have a baby any day now.



Brother Darren and Brother Nathan handing out the tickets for the Medical Clinic.

This is a Dominican School house. This is where they were going to hold the Medical Clinic.

One of the 4 classrooms.

These are some windmills that the government has set up to generate electricity for some villages.

This is my attempt to be Ansel Adams.  I figure if you make it black and white it has to look professional!

This is a picture of one of the small towns along the coast.  Very beautiful place, to say the least.

A Dominican electric pole!  Everyone taps into the electric and then doesn't have to pay a dime.  The government tried to install meters at one point and the people ripped them out.  So now only some people have meters, usually the rich and those in a city.

Another picture of the electric pole.

This is called the "Camel."  The rock up top is what the say looks like a camel.

Another picture of the "Camel."  Personally, I don't see a camel, maybe a turtle. 

This is your neighborhood Advanced Auto.  They offer the best service and the selection is out of this world.  Actually, this is the Dominican Used Car Parts Store.  The man sitting down is the store manager. LOL

This is the security for the place.  These are the true junk yard dogs!

Benjamin with the neighborhood horse.  There is a man that leaves his horse tied up around our house.  The horse stuck out his tongue when I went to take the picture. 

We saw these pigs the other day, eating at the place where we dump our trash.

Dominican Bacon!

One of the many Military check points in the country.  We have to go through two of these every time we go to Barahona.

Two young girls walking down the street.

One thing you have to watch out for when you drive down here is livestock.  There is usually always a goat, pig, cow, horse, donkey, or chicken in the roadway.  Not to mention the numerous dogs.

Another picture of the cow after he got out of the way!

This one decided not to move.  The trash tasted too good!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Video from a feeding....

Below is a video from the first feeding we had in La Lanza.  After we were done feeding the children we sang some songs.  Here is a small clip from one of the songs:



video

In Christ the Lord,
Brother Chris

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are you a stranger?

I would just like to take a little time today and ask if you are a stranger to this world?  Does the world look at you in a peculiar way?  I was reading this morning in Psalm 119 and I came across this verse:

Psalms 119:19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

I began to think on this verse and how I am viewed by the world.  Right now, my family and I are in the Dominican Republic.  To the Dominicans we are strangers.  When you travel around down here, it does not take long for you to hear someone shout out "Americano!"  Is the response of me being a Christian that quick?  When you go out into the world, does your life make people say "he or she is a Christian?"  Are we a stranger and pilgrim in this world?  Can we say with the hymnist that "I can't feel at home in this world any more."  I say these things, not to condemn nor put down, but to stir up our minds and hearts to the things of God.  Where are we at with "...him with whom we have to do?"

The bible says:

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

Hebrews 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 

What country are you seeking?  I believe today more than ever, that there needs to be a difference in the way a Christian acts, talks, dresses, and conducts himself or herself in this world. 

The line today between Christianity and the world has become so blended that it is shameful.  So called "Christians" can act, talk, dress and conduct themselves just like the world and think everything is "ok"!  The church as a whole needs to do an examination.  Have you been converted?  Does His Spirit bear witness with your spirit, that you are a child of God?

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 

2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 

EARNEST, n. ern'est. Seriousness; a reality; a real event; as opposed to jesting or feigned appearance.

Has the new birth ever occurred in your life.  Can you point to a time in your life,  when the Holy Spirit made you a new creature.  I'm not talking about some feeling you may have had sometime in church, though feeling does often accompany salvation, but a Holy Ghost conviction of your sin, that caused you to repent and turn from your sin and self, to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do you have the witness of the Holy Spirit on the inside?  Is he a reality?  Did a real event of salvation occur at some point in your life?  God does not jest nor leave you guessing about your salvation.  If you are saved the Holy Ghost should bear witness with your spirit, that you are a child of God. 

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?



Psalms 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 

2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

To many bible-believing Christians are touching the unclean thing and it is grieving the Holy Spirit.  By touching the unclean thing (the world and its ways), we are hindering what God can do in our homes, churches, jobs and life!

The word of God says:

Psalms 4:1  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
 
Psalms 4:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. 

Psalms 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

Psalms 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

May we be still, commune with our own hearts, and draw night to God in these last days.  May we allow the Lord to search and try us to see if there be any wicked way in our lives.

Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

Psalms 139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.


In Christ our Lord,
Brother Chris  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feeding Project Before Sunday Services in La Lanza

Psalms 72:4 says:
He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. 

I'm thankful to the Lord for allowing us to be able to help some of those who are in need.  Today we were able to feed some children and adults before our afternoon service in La Lanza.  This time, instead of the people coming to the church, we took the truck with the food to them.  We were able to go to four bateys and feed some kids that were on the roadsides along the way.  Please continue to pray for the services there that the Lord will deal with the people about salvation and that he would help those who are his to live for him.  Below are a few pictures that I was able to take along the way.  Hope you all enjoy them!

Also, I have something I need you all to pray about.  I have a project that I would like to do, but I need someone in the states to help out.  The project is that I would like to start up some baseball teams in the area in which we live. The last shipment we received from MFI, someone shipped us a box full of baseballs.  We went out into the local area and handed them out to the young boys.  They were so excited to receive the baseballs! I already have a man in the church down here who is willing to help and it has been on his heart to start something like this for the children.  What I need is someone in the states who would be willing to contact some suppliers in the U.S. to see if they would be willing to help out with equipment and uniforms.  Please pray and see if the Lord lays this upon your heart.  Getting this up and running would be a great thing for the children in this area.  Most of them spend most of their days just wandering around on the streets.  Idle time here is a big problem here!   If we could start this up it will give some of these kids something to do and be a part of, plus it is a great opportunity to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to them.  Please pray as we try to get this going!  If you would like to help, just send me an email and I will tell you what I need done. 

Handing out the plates of food in one of the bateys.

Pastor Nathan and Levi working to get the food out!




Elisabeth, Mary and Melissa working on making the plates in the back of the truck.
 
This is a altar that they have made to one of the Catholic saints.  They will  put candles in it during special holidays.  I think this is also a place where some of them come to pray.

Jonathan helping out!

Levi was our cookie man.  We put a few cookies in each of the plates for the children.


Some kids along the road that we gave some food to.

Another place where we stopped to hand out food.



Getting ready to head down the opposite side of the mountain to another batey.

On our way down the mountain, we ran across some who were walking up to the church for services.  This is about a 3 to 4 mile walk uphill.

Some more of the kids who were walking to church.

One of the bateys on the side of the mountain where we went to hand out food.

If I made this picture larger (click on it), you would see a earring on the side of this chickens head.  Don't ask me why they put it there.  My guess is that it has something to do with cock fighting.  I believe every Friday and Saturday night they have cock fights.



This is my buddy Wilson.  My wife tried to get a good picture of him and myself, but he wasn't too happy after services.
Well, it's time for bed!  Hope and pray you all have a wonderful week.  Keep in the fight!

Brother Chris and Family

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Water...

The word of God says in Psalm 65:9-10:
"Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it:  thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.  Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thour makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof."

I know this verse deals with the Lord sending rain upon the earth, but I just want to write a quick post on how thankful I am for water!  Sometimes in our lives we take the simple things for granted. 

Here in the Dominican Republic water is a special commodity.  Even in the cities Bani, Azua, and Barahona  the water at times can be scarce.  The government has control over the water and can shut it down whenever they like.  There was a time when the Truels first arrived here in October, that the water was off for 14 days.  They were repairing a water line and shut the water off completely.

Our home receives water from a spring that is further up in the mountain.  There is a pipe that runs for about 400-500 yards up the mountain to the spring.  One section of the piping runs through an area that has horses and cows in it.  Often a cow or a horse will step on the pipe and brake it loose from another pipe, causing us to lose water.  We then have to take a trip up the mountain to reconnect the pipes.

Two days ago we lost water again. This time the pump gave out.  With the pump being out, we had no water supply to the house.  If I were to wait on the home owners it could take a week or two to get it fixed.  Thank the Lord that Brother Darren was willing to help us out.  He came over and removed the old pump.  We then took a trip down to Barahona to try and find a new pump, and thank the Lord we were able to find one.  When we got back home and tried to install the new pump we noticed that it was missing a release valve.  So Brother Darren had to figure something else out.  The longer that I'm down here the more I see that a missionary needs to be a doctor, mechanic, carpenter, electrician, plumber, counselor, pastor, x-ray tech and many other things to the people he is ministering to.  Thank the Lord, Brother Darren has some of these under his belt.  He had to rework how the pump was set up, but there was one problem:  we were missing a specific piece.  There was a small bucket of old nuts and bolts sitting in the shed where the water pump was at.  Brother Darren began to look through this bucket for this piece.  I didn't know what he was looking for, but I started to pray that the Lord would help him to find what he needed to find.  Brother Darren at the same time was praying the same thing.  After a few minutes of searching, Brother Darren stood up with a huge smile on his face and started to laugh.  He looked at me and said here is the piece we need!  At the bottom of this bucket, amongst the old bolts and nuts was the exact piece (the piece had to be one size on one side and another size on the other) that we needed.  Thank the Lord for his every loving care towards us!!  Brother Darren was then able to finish installing the new pump and at 1:30am we had water! 

I want to say a special thank you to Brother Darren and his family for their willingness to help, even if it means staying till 1:00am to get it fixed. 

I hope all of this made some kind of sense and that we will always seek the Lord, even when matters seem small.

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Luke 11:9-13

This is the new water pump that we installed.  There is a small tube running from the pressure tank to the water pump.  That is the tube that needed the specific piece to adapt to the water pump.
 
This is the bucket where the piece was found (it's actually an old military helmet made of metal)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our shipment from MFI arrived!!

Hope and pray all is well with everyone.  Yesterday we received our boxes from Missionary Flights International.  We are very thankful to all who gave and sent us boxes and letters.  Some sent baseballs and we were able to hand them out last night to some of the children in the area.  They were very thankful to receive a baseball.  One Haitian boy's eyes lit up so bright when I gave him a baseball.  We also handed out some candy and lollipops to the girls.  It is a great joy to be able to give to these young children and it couldn't be done with out you all and your generosity.  Thank you for giving! 

We are also thankful for MFI and the work the do for the missionaries down here on this island.  The plane was originally supposed to come in on Tuesday, but the tower at Barahona would not give them clearance to land.  They were working on the runways and would not clear off, so MFI had to wait till Wednesday morning to come in.  There is a lot that goes in to a package getting delivered down here.  There was a group of 16 people waiting in Haiti for MFI to arrive on Tuesday afternoon.  They were to be taken by MFI to Florida and then were going to catch a flight from there on Wednesday.  I pray that all worked out for them.  Please try to keep MFI and their pilots in your prayers.

Thank the Lord for his mercy and grace!  There was also a 700 pound crate on the plane that needed to be unloaded too!  It took around 15 men to get off the plane, due to the fact that we did not have a forklift.  Thank the Lord we were able to get this done with no one getting hurt.  The crate contained some medical equipment for one of the local medical clinics.

I would like to say a personal thank you to Brother Darren Truel.  The group of missionaries down here choose him to be the MFI representative.  Brother Darren is now responsible for coordinating between MFI and all of the missionaries down here.  This is a big task and I would ask you to keep him in your prayers.

Below are some pictures from yesterday:


This is sunrise in Barahona.  In the background is the Caribbean Sea.  We had to be at the Airport at 7:00am.
  
MFI touching down at the Airport in Barahona.





Brother Darren and I walking to get our passes.  Brother Darren was trying to figure out how to get the 700 pound box off the plane.

This is a picture of us unloading the plane.




MFI getting ready to take off!


This is the customs area.  We have to separate the boxes and then allow customs to go through them.

This is a picture of customs opening the boxes and looking through them.  Thank the Lord that they did not charge us any duty!


Some of the stuff our church and Mom & Dad sent us! Almond chewies are sitting allllll the way
on the very far end of the table!  Guess who sent those??

The kids with some of the goodies!

I want to say again how thankful we all are for everything that was sent.  We greatly appreciate all that was put into sending us the boxes.  May the Lord bless you all!!

In Christ Our Lord,
Brother Chris and Family