Well, just over a week here in my new home! Everything is going fairly well, expectedly so as life ebbs & flows as it does anywhere else. Today, “Thanksgiving Day” for all of my North American friends, is just another normal day here on the island. I’ve been meaning to write earlier, as well as post some new photos, but so it goes that last Friday my computer fell off of my new nightstand as I was taking the plastic off of my new mattress (maybe the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever owned), and Praise the Lord that everything in the hard drive is still working, but the screen is broken, so there’s slight hassle & inconvenience now for me to have to connect to another screen & work that way so I can see what I’m doing.

I’m realizing as I’m here, a completely different world in which I lay down everynight tired, satisfied & with aching cheek muscles from all the laughing we do (no one would ever be correct in saying Dominicans don’t know how to have fun & laugh), that it truly is beyond me why I’m here. What truly do I have to offer or bring? I’m a sinner saved by grace like any other!

I’m reading a great book right now, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. In the second chapter Miller includes a poem written by C.S. Lewis:

All this flashy rhetoric about loving you.I never had a selfless thought since I was born.I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.Peace, reassurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;I talk of love–a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek–But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Miller writes two pages following:

I know now, from experience, that the path to joy winds through this dark valley. I think every well-adjusted human being has dealt squarely with his or her own depravity. I realize this sounds very Christian, very fundamentalist and browbeating, but I want to tell you this part of what the Christians are saying is true. I think Jesus feels strongly about communicating the idea of our brokenness, and I think it is worth reflection. Nothing is going to change in the Congo [or the Dominican Republic or anywhere] until you and I figure out what is wrong with the person in the mirror.

If I may be so bold, I’m in the middle of a battle that each of us has to choose to face or forever run away from. Our purpose, rather, God’s purpose for us, is to be changed by Him, we’re just the broken vessel that by His grace & mercy, as He changes us, the world around us sees Him at work, and so He can touch the world (Congo, Dominican Republic, or USA)! For this I give thanks; if the Lord will change me more into His likeness here in the DR, it’s worth the discomforts of coming & going electricity as the government dictates, a day or two without water & showers, frustration with language as Dominican Spanish is something to adjust to & continue learning, a broken computer screen, and all else that lies ahead to test my patience & character. By His grace may we seek to be faithful to that which the Lord calls us!


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