Homeward Bound

We made it back to the Dominican Republic!  We are back home!  After 12 months spent in varying degrees of medical crisis, we have finally made it back to our home in the DR.  From March 2023 – March 2024, we were living in limbo in Pinckney, MI.  During this time both Camila and Adam had surgeries.  Both of them are doing remarkably well – living life as normal – thanks be to God.  We also had another little one join our family.  Martin Randy Carlile was born on November 3, 2023.  This brings our total to 7 kids (including Rosi, our local Dominican foster teen).

Carlile family after first mass back at their home parish

Returning to our home in the DR was bittersweet.  It was exciting to see friends who are part of our Dominican family and to feel so embraced and missed by our church family.  But it was also hard to say goodbye to our loved ones in Michigan, not knowing when we will be able to come home and see them again. Our departure from Pinckney was a bit stressful as we were trying to return before a team of 12 from St. Catherine of Siena Academy was scheduled to come work with BBOH and FUMSIL.  We had to balance moving out of a house with packing up all of our possessions and preparing for a long day of travel with little ones.  We didn’t get to see nearly any of the people that we would have wanted to hug tight before leaving.  So please know that we deeply desired to have a longer drawn out goodbye with ample time to see people, but it was literally impossible with the tight timeline we were managing.  Thankfully Adam’s orthopedic office was able to fashion a temporary shoe for him to use until his specialty shoes arrive in early April.  Thus far, we have no problems with the temporary shoes! And no issues with his feet at all.  It feels as though this is the end of a 7+ year battle with ulcers and infections.  Praise Jesus.

The St. Catherine team was a HUGE blessing.  It felt good to get “back in the saddle” so to speak and work with teams again.  They spent time at our preschool in El Chivo, participated in 3 medical clinics and visited with community members through our youth dance program and home visits. It was a beautiful exchange to witness – these American youth who came to embrace and learn about Dominican culture while serving along the way.

Now that the dust has settled from our transition home, we are tackling two big obstacles.  The first is renewing our Dominican residency.  While we were gone our residency cards had expired.  To renew them it is a couple weeks worth of running around collecting paperwork and paying fees.  This culminates with a residency appointment at the National Migration office in Santo Domingo.  Please pray for us as this process unfolds and we renew our papers.

The next obstacle is selling our vehicles (2008 Mitsubishi Montero and a 2012 Jeep Patriot) to purchase a vehicle that serves both our family and the mission more efficiently.  We talked about starting this process before we left, but the paperwork involved meant that we needed to wait until we were back in-country.  We plan to purchase a Hyundai Grand Starex. This is a 12 seater diesel van (cheaper than gas here! and much cheaper/easier to have maintained). 

A stock photo of a Grand Starex, the vehicle we plan to buy new-to-us 

This vehicle is a people mover! It looks like a minivan but has a third row of seats.  Fortunately, there are many Grand Starexs on the island because they are often used by resorts for airport transfers of tourists.  However, unfortunately, our cars have further depreciated in value over the last year and the costs of newer vehicles have risen.  After we sell our vehicles we will likely be almost USD $10,000 short. Please be praying for this process as well, that we can find a new-to-us vehicle and that God would point us in the direction of where to sell our current vehicles.  The used car industry here is well known to be a scammer’s paradise so it can feel overwhelming.  But we are confident that it will be worth it to have a vehicle where each person will have a seatbelt, both for the safety of our kids and for the safety of our mission teams who will use the vehicle during their time serving with us.  If you would like to donate for this specific expense you can donate via PayPal here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=SNJM7AHADVZGJ&source=url&ssrt=1711808673795 

As always, thank you for your love and support.  Please continue to pray over our family as we head back into ministry and life in the Dominican. 

Prayer intentions: 

  • Good health and safety for our whole family
  • For smooth renewal of our residency status
  • That God would provide for our vehicle needs

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