Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I left my heart....

Today my heart is in another country – and that country is the Dominican Republic.  For those who don’t know where that is, it’s in the Caribbean, and shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.  It’s beautiful, poor, and I wish I were there.

Does this seem a little random today?  Well, my mother-in-law, her sister, my good friend Gina and her family and a few others are all part of a missions team that are there (or almost there, half the team are on their way right now) working with Partnership for Hope (PFH). 

Two summers ago, I went on my very first mission trip to the town of Esperanza, D.R.  The group I went with, PFH, is a nonprofit organization that was actually started by two good friends from my town, who have been going down to this particular Dominican town for 11 years now.  While I was there, we cleaned up a second story of a church to prep it for further construction (and by clean up, I mean dig up rough concrete, dirt, etc. in 90 degree/90% humidity); ran a kids’ Bible school, and visited with several families, churches and ministries in the area.  18 days later, I was in love with the people and fully intending to return.

Two years later, I haven’t been able to get back yet (though I’m hoping to this fall).  But I’m now part of the PFH organization, helping with paperwork and planning and all the little things that go into making a volunteer nonprofit run.   I still pray for and keep up with several of the friends that I made while I was there, and marvel at the way God keeps working in their lives and those around them.  And I look forward to the time that God provides for me to be able to visit them again (and again!).

In the meantime, I’m praying hard for the group of 11 that is there for the next 10 days.  They will be doing construction and a kids’ Bible school again, as well as something new for PFH: a women’s conference.  Two actually, at two different churches.  We’re all excited about it, because they’ve been asking for it for several years, and this year everything fell into place to make it happen.  I know God is going to do some amazing things with the PFH team and the people they minister to.  And hopefully, next time I’ll be there, too!

P.S.  If you'd like to see what PFH is all about, check them out online at or on Facebook

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Technologically Savvy

It’s been striking me as a little odd lately that I have somehow become a tech geek.  Not the kind of geek that has to have all the latest of every new technology out there (I still don’t have a smartphone, after all), but the kind that everyone asks how to make something work.  My mother-in-law, who lives next door to me, says I can never move, because she would never be able to work her own computer.  I found myself getting excited today over a small box delivered to my work: a brand new hand-held digital recording system.  I keep having to tear myself away from the manual to get my regular work done!

It didn’t used to be this way – my husband was the computer freak.  Games, systems, internet: he was the resident expert, not me.  I never learned how to use a proper computer (outside of typing class) until halfway through college.  And almost everything I know about computers I’ve taught myself.  I know that if I push enough buttons, I can figure out what to do.  I can’t explain that to someone else, but I know way more than enough to be dangerous.

Now, I’m the one who can (mostly) intelligently research a new computer program, or digital recording system, or wireless printer, and be able to figure it out with few headaches.  I’m addicted to live streaming, and honestly, the main reason I don’t have a Droid is because I’m afraid of how much time I would spend on it!  (I spend most of my day on the computer for work, and try to limit it at home because of that – when I can avoid eye contact with the laptop.)

I enjoy my tech knowledge – it helps me in the everyday of doing things.  I need to stop to consider, though: if I spent as much time with God and my family with the same amount of “face-to-face” time as I do with my computer screen, how much more impressive would those relationships be?  A lofty, but attainable, goal, and one I think I’ll be striving for….