Monday, August 19, 2013

Update 8 - Chris and Cheryl

Chris and Cheryl (and their family) are serving in the Dominican Republic for the summer.

Hello all. First off I want to thank you all for praying for us and for Oliver. In my last update I mentioned that Oliver (a 16 year old student in my class) had been involved in a motorcycle accident. The last update that I got from my interpreter was on Wednesday. Oliver had been taken off life support and was breathing on his own now. He had opened his eyes but had not been able to talk yet. The doctors are quite optimistic and think that he should recover quite well from his injuries. As far as his passenger though, he was taken off life support but had to be put back on as he was not breathing very well on his own. Please continue to hold these boys in your prayers.
I also want to thank you for praying for Jacolyn. She is doing much better and seems to back to her normal self. She has been feeling good and has not had the pain in her ear like she had for a while. Please pray that she will continue to stay healthy while we are here.
As we draw closer to the end of our mission here Jennifer is dealing with a lot of emotions. She is excited about going home in just over two weeks to see her friends at home but also sad that we are leaving her friends here. Please pray that she will not get to overwhelmed with the changes that we will be facing in the next two weeks.
Cheryl is doing quite well. She is the glue that is holding a lot of things together here. She is the one that is mostly effected by the emotions of the rest of the family and has been dealing with that very well. Patients is not one of my strongest points and she has the ability to be that emotional support that all of us need here now. I thank God that she is able to be that support and backing that we need. Please pray that God will give her continued health and strength to be the support that we so much need her to be.
We had another interesting, challenging and fulfilling week in the DR. On Monday in my afternoon class we got onto the topic of how husbands are to treat their wives. Here in the DR the women are not treated very well sometimes. Actually most of the time the women are not treated with a whole lot of respect at all. In my class we got onto this discussion again not intentionally but through a discussion about how one of my students called his wife to ask her to bring a coffee to the class for me. This guys' wife has been bringing me a cup of coffee nearly every afternoon. The coffee she brings is extremely strong and contains what seems to be about 2 tablespoons of sugar in approximately 3/4 cup of coffee. I never put sugar in my coffee but I just smile, say thank you and drink it anyway. Anyway when he used another students phone to call her he was very polite and treated her quite nicely so the other guys started joking with him that he should have been more stern with her and insisted that she bring the coffee immediately. When she brought the coffee the guys proceeded to tell her about their conversation. At this point I asked my class "who is the queen of your house?". To which they responded "well our wives of coarse.". I then asked "If she is the queen then who is the king in your house?". Their response "well we are.". To which I replied " If you are the king of your house and we are to model our lives after Christ, The King of Kings then we are to serve our wives and not rule over them sternly. If you want your wife to be a queen in your house you need to treat her as such.". There was silence in the room. This is a concept that isn't taught here and likely something these men have never heard before.
On Wednesday we I was teaching about electronics and Ohm's law when somehow the conversation got onto how much we had to pay for electricity. Here in the DR there is a very high percentage of homes that are hooked up to the electrical grid without a meter. This of coarse is done by the home owner by climbing the pole and hooking it up themselves. Not only is it dangerous it is also not legal. There was a lot of grumbling and complaining about how much it costs to have electricity. They asked how much we had to pay for electricity in Canada. I told them how much the average electric bill was. Then they asked if we have electric power there 24 hrs a day 7 days a week? I told them we did. They started to complain about the fact that they only had electricity 1/2 days at best. I stopped them and asked how many of the people in my class actually paid for ALL the power that they used. to which I got no response. I then explained to them that instead of complaining about not having power all day they should by thankful for the power that they are getting and that the power company does not cut the wires down to their houses. I told them that in reality they are stealing for the electric company (the government here). I also explained to them that stealing is stealing no matter if it is from the government, your neighbour or the church. They asked what we would call such a person in Canada. I told them they would be called a criminal or a thief. I guess I will see on Monday how many people come back to my class as they are not used to foreigners talking to them so bluntly.
This may not have anything to do with small engine repair but it does have a lot to do with integrity and that is something that is much needed here. God seems to be opening doors for all types of conversation and teaching that I am not expecting and have not specifically prepared for.
Wednesday was my last day of teaching for this week as the pastor couple that we are working with here decided to treat us for a three day mini holiday as a thank you for coming to work here with them. They took us to a couple of beaches along the south shore to the tip of the Samana Peninsula. It is only about 200 km from where we are living but with the roads here it takes about 4-5 hrs to drive. We got to see a lot of beautiful scenery and had a good time of relaxation and fellowship. We thank God for this time to refresh and regroup.
Thank you again for all your support and please keep us in your prayers. Please pray that all of us would be able to speak boldly when we need to be bold, tenderly when compassion is needed and the wisdom to know what to say.

Thank you and God Bless
  Chris, Cheryl, Jacolyn and Jennifer

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