Thank you for the bibles...

Can you imagine a church with no Bibles? Crazy, right? Luis has been operating that way for over a year now. But God is providing... it was only $50 to provide the church in La Mosca with 20 new bibles. Can you believe that? A church went over a year without bibles because of the small matter of $50!

Skype - maintaining our connection with the Vargas Family

There's of course lot's more to tell about our experience in the DR, but I'm going to take a quick shift here, from the people and place at large, to our new friends, Luis, Reina, Jason, and Dilson. Meet the Vargas'.

Emily and I were a little skeptical when we first went on the trip as to why we were only spending three of the seven days we were in the DR doing the construction related work. We quickly discovered that it was because more than anything, this trip was about the opportunity for our church community to visit with a family that we support down there. The Vargas family. Luis is pastor to the church in La Mosca, which I believe we've mentioned, and will provide more detail on in future posts. In any case, Emily and I quickly fell in love with the Vargas family. It's pretty hard not to, honestly. Anyway, over the course of the trip, it became clear to us how important it is to Luis and his family to stay in frequent contact with our church. We wanted to make sure we encourage and support Luis as much as possible, ESPECIALLY in the looooong 12 month period between our visits! Enter skype. This is our second monthly skype sessions with Luis and (hopefully, some of...) his family. I can't tell you how excited I am. If you live in the Boston area, and you're free tonight, I'm telling you this is probably one of the best ways you could spend your evening - getting to know one of the best men I know.

If you're interested in coming, we're meeting at 6:15, and it'll probably go to 7:15 or 7:30. We're meeting at the Reunion Christian Church (our church) offices @ 30 Fenway, Unit 1, Boston 02215. Hope to see you there!

We're back!

First a great big thank you to all of you that supported our trip! We're back and have lots to share! (If your interested...) There's a lot to share, so Emily and I thought we would start by giving a run through of what we did, and a tour of where we were. Then as time goes on and we continue to process the trip, we'll share some stories - some fun ones, and some that may either warm or break your heart.

So, from the beginning... our time in the Dominican started in an area called Hato del Yaque. Jen (the long term missionary in charge of our visiting team) gave us a brief history of the area. In 1979 the city of Santiago was flooded in Hurricane David from the swelling of the Yaque river. Our bus driver told us that as recently as last year, there was flooding along the river from another storm that brought the water levels up 10 feet above the level of the main artery in Santiago that we were driving on (flooding the first floor of all the residential buildings along that road). Anyway, the 1979 flood destroyed tons of homes and businesses in Santiago - Hato del Yaque is a town across the river, and slightly more elevated, that was formed by a collection of refugees from Hurricane David. As you can imagine not the best circumstances for forming a town.

In the video below, notice the lack of infrastructure provided to the community. You might be able to see on the drive in that the roads are... well they aren't what we might call roads. There is a curb in some areas intended to serve as a gutter, but rain water usually runs down tire impressions making very deep swells in some cases leaving the road nearly un-drivable for lower profile cars, like sedans. The other thing that might be more difficult to see is power lines are fashioned locally. The point at which the pavement ends is all the point at which the power lines officially stop. Locals have propped up all sorts of doo-dads to run power lines to their own homes. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Jen told us that one of the leading causes of death in the DR has been electrocution or related burns from people that get up on their roofs and try to connect their own wires to the makeshift power lines that run through this and many other similar communities. Anyway, here's some footage of our drive in, and a tour of where we stayed and worked for the first half of the trip...

A few updates...

Hi Everyone -

So we have these pages with information, but I've been asked about the dates of the trip... apparently we didn't put that on there!

We leave in about 3 weeks on June 29th, and we'll return on July 6th. So if you plan on praying over our trip - that would be your ideal window :-). Also, if you're planning to support our work there financially, that means that making donations in the next week or two would be best. Again, the site to do that is HERE. We know, it's not the most convenient site to use, but it's definitely secure!

One other thing that we wanted to inform you of was our church's website devoted to this trip. This has been a recurring trip for them, so they might have a little more detail on things. Also, they have pictures from years past, which might help you to see what kind of stuff we'll be doing down there (though I'm pretty sure it varies from year to year depending on the need). Anyway, the site is

Three weeks to go!