Good news!! After weeks of searching and debating the pros and cons of various vehicle makes and models, we finally settled on a new-to-us vehicle both for our family and for work in the mountains. Thanks to the generosity of our support team, we were able to purchase a 2008 Montero, 7 seater with 4×4. Though the Montero is on the older side, it is a workhorse that is easily serviced locally in San Juan. Parts are fairly easy to find and the cost of repairs is relatively low.
Bad news: After having the Montero for only 4 days we began to see signs of motor problems so we took it to the Diocese mechanic here in San Juan. It quickly became clear that something was seriously wrong. After speaking with the seller, the Montero was towed back to Santo Domingo. Many tests later, it was deemed that the vehicle needs a new motor. We are so grateful for the seller who has assumed the lions share of this cost and the time it takes to find skilled labor and new parts. Though this is a very frustrating issue and the timing feels particularly sour, in the end it will be a good thing that we have a newer motor, bringing it even more up to date.
I am grateful for the mobility that this vehicle provides but also for the example of God’s divine province over the mission, always providing for what we need. This mission has always been sustained by you, our mission team, and there is no better example of that than this new-to-us vehicle. Thank you from the deepest part of our hearts.
Our new vehicle!
Kids visiting the Diocese office with us; Fr. Rodolfo gave us a bag of fresh limes (Ben’s favorite!)
One of the first ways that we will put this vehicle to good use is by going on a trip with Bishop Tomas of the Diocese of San Juan. He invited us to go with him on a visit to a Diocesan Medical Center in the Cibao region of the country. Bishop Tomas previously worked closely with the center (perhaps even started it? I don’t know all of the history yet) and he has dreams of opening similar centers in the south (where we live). We are just getting to know this new bishop, but so far one of my favorite things about him is his true appreciation for children and families. After joking that we would need a small bus to travel all together, I was quick to say that we would find a way for the kids to stay home. But Bishop Tomas insisted that we bring our kids with us on this trip and encouraged us to involve our kids in the mission as much as we can. He emphasized several times that children are not a burden but a blessing and by bringing them along we are living witnesses and testimony of family life. It is refreshing to feel supported as a lay missionary family striving to both serve and be open to life simultaneously…. we’ll see if he feels differently after 6+ hours of cheerios flying and siblings arguing in the car. Haha!
Planning of the sea container shipment is coming along well. Thank you to everyone who has donated items, medical furniture, their time and resources to make it possible!!! We’ve been reaching out to companies of all kinds and sizes in search of donations, everything from solar panels to bed sheets. I am BLOWN AWAY by the support that has come out of the woodwork – people buying items on auctions, organizing pickups and drop-offs, finding exam beds, dentist chairs, etc. This is only possible thanks to our amazing volunteers — you are the best of the best!!! The container is set for pickup on August 27 and will take less than 20 days to make it to the Dominican port. Please continue to pray for the success of the container, that it may be filled with the vitally needed supplies and will arrive without problem to our location near the Haiti border.
Camila getting ready for her trip with Adam
After lots of back and forth with the Office of Migration, I am so thrilled to say that our residency applications have been approved!!! We can now move onto the next step which is a set of in person appointments and medical evaluations for everyone. Thank you for praying for this intention and please continue to pray us through the rest of the process. Our first in person appointment is on September 20, 2021. Once that goes well, we will wait another 2-3 months for final evaluations. Once everything is approved we will be temporary residents (temporary for 5 years, then granted permanent residency).
The littlest member of our family, Camila, was not yet born when we first began this process. We applied for her visa earlier this year but it wasn’t approved yet when we returned to the DR in May. Last Friday I got a call from the Dominican Consulate in Chicago. Our contact there explained that the visa was approved and advised that we should come asap to get it put into Camila’s passport. Most of the consulate positions are by political appointment and now is the season of turnover. Once the office is full of new staff we will be at their mercy if they honor her approved visa, require more documents or ask us to re-apply for her visa altogether. Adam’s foot needs to be seen by his podiatrist in the States anyway, so we quickly prepared for a short (4-5 day) trip to the States for Adam and Camila. They fly out this afternoon. Please keep them in your prayers as Adam travels solo with Cami and for me while I hold down the fort here in the DR.
We also had our first tropical storm/hurricane for this year. This one was named Elsa… **cue all of the “Let it goooooo” singing and dad jokes ;)** With the storm came colder weather and lots of rain. Though I was excited about the cooler weather, it was also a little unnerving to prep for a big storm. We haven’t experienced a big storm for awhile now, so it was interesting preparing for it. Luckily we didn’t get much rain here in San Juan, just rain on and off for about 24 hours. The kids spent the day cuddled up on the couch under piles of blankets.
Nico all wrapped up and staying warm in the “cold” 65 degree weather haha!
-Safe travel for Adam & Camila, that all that needs to be done is accomplished (doc appointments, visa appt, prescripton refills)
-For continued healing in Adam’s foot!!
-For safety and health of the whole family.