Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tri-Lakes Sentinel

Weekend Edition

Well, the weekend is finally here and I am sooo glad to be feeling well enough to give you the scoop on recent happenings here in Palmer Lake and around the world!

-Prayers & Celebration
Yesterday morning my fever finally broke and after remaining isolated for 72 hours I reentered society and had dinner with my bride in the dining room. I was absolutely exhausted, so we sat alone, but it was encouraging to hear the applause of my classmates when I joined them in the buffet line. Their prayers have been fervent, I know, and it was a joy to see them again.

-A Tutor and A Movie
After looking forward for months to this invaluable preparation here at MTI, it was painful to lie in bed this week as morning and afternoon training sessions rolled on. Knowing that much of the material covered this week was foundational, I found myself anxiously wondering what I was missing. Fortunately, Lindsay is a wonderful student and teacher and she has already brought me up to speed on much of what I missed.
To pass the time I also borrowed some DVDs from the MTI library (limited selection). They weren't official lectures or lessons on cross-cultural adjustment, but "Little House on the Prairie" proves to be an excellent cross-cultural handbook. Laura Ingalls describes our own adventure to the DR quite well when she says, "I knew there would be rivers to cross and hills to climb; and I was glad, because this is a fine land and I rejoiced that I would see it."

-Eagles Soar

Last night Las Aguilas del Cibao defeated Los Tigres del Licey to become the national champions of the DR's professional baseball league. This, the Aguilas 20th championship title, comes at an opportune time as the team's city, Santiago, hosts this year's Serie Del Caribe to determine the top baseball team of several Latin nations. It's also nice that Lindsay and I will be moving to our new home in a year that celebrates the championship victory of our favorite Dominican baseball team.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sick in Bed

Elliott is sick in bed....He has been running a high fever for the past 2 days, has body aches, and chest congestion. He has had to miss the last 2 days of classes. Please keep him in your prayers. Pray for his healing, and pray against discouragement in his heart. It is really hard for him to be missing out on all that is going on, relationships, and the valuable teaching. It looks like he will be out again tomorrow because his fever hasn't broken yet. I would also appreciate your prayers for my health, that I do not catch what he has (we are staying in a small hotel-like room). Needless to say, I am constantly Lysol-ing and drinking lots of Emergen-C!

The first 2 days of teaching have been AMAZING. I am learning that the mission field is going to be much more difficult than we expected, but also much more rewarding and fulfilling at the same time. Yesterday we took a test to find out how we are orientated...time vs. event, concealing vulnerability vs. revealing vulnerability, individualistic vs. group orientated, planning ahead vs. dealing with things as them come. Once we evaluated ourselves, we then evaluated our new country and saw where there is going to be potential conflict, and need for change (on our parts). I found out that I am very different from the DR as I am more time/planning oriented, and they are event/"go with the flow-ers." It is so good for me to recognize this before entering the field so that I am not "blind-sided" by it which can cause frustration, anger, depression, etc.

That is just one small example of all we are learning here. So far the time here has been invaluable to our longevity and enjoyment on the field!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



Lindsay and I just awoke to our first morning at Mission Training International (MTI). We are so excited to be here!
Shortly after arriving in Palmer Lake, Colorado (just north of Colorado Springs) yesterday afternoon, we had orientation and met our classmates and trainers. Our class is 38 strong, representing 21 sending organizations and preparing to go to 29 different nations to make disciples. Perhaps most exciting, there's a family here preparing to serve with us in the DR! They will be working in Jarabacoa, about an hour and a half from Santo Domingo. Amazingly, after leaving MTI they will be in Antigua, Gautemala for 4 months studying spanish at CSA, the same school we're going to!
This connection is a HUGE answer to our prayers. Please pray that God will build a strong bond between us. They have three boys, ages 8, 7 and 4, and I can't wait to go sledding and build snow forts with them!

Peace to you. We'll right more soon. Off to class...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hidden Talent

For those of you that don't know...Elliott is an advanced Rock Climber. Here he is scaling the North Face of Stone Mountain in Roaring Gap, NC. Notice how he has no need for a harness or ropes. He hopes to show off his skills some more while we are in Colorado for cross-cultural training.

We would also like to give a shout out to John and Kate for their outstanding commenting!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Alpha Star

Happy New Year!

We hope your holiday celebrations were full of joy and peace.

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration with Lindsay's family in Orlando before driving back to NC to spend actual Christmas day with my family. What a blessing... my mom, dad, older sister Rachel, brother Aaron, younger sister Elysia and Grammy were all "home" as well. We cherish time with our families knowing that it will be limited in the coming months and years.

After three months as house guests with Lindsay's parents and Terry and Betty, it is great to be back in our own apartment. Sadly, we are now preparing to pack it up. On January 21st we leave for cross-cultural missionary training school in Colorado and our lease will end that same weekend. Between now and then we need to sort through all of our belongings to determine which go into storage and which get placed aside to be packed and carried to the DR by short-term missionaries going down to Santo Domingo throughout the spring and summer. We have decided not to ship anything into Dominican customs to avoid the inevitable bribes and hassle required to get anything out on the other side. As of now, if it's going down it's going in a suitcase...

Our first sorting/packing challenge was the 19 bins worth of stuff that has gradually accumulated in my parents basement since my 8th grade graduation. Lindsay claims I am a bona fide packrat, and I must admit that after sifting through the items such as those listed below I have to agree:
- Mardi Gras beads from 1990
- A collection of pewter dragons
-Two years worth of pay stubs from my first job
- Newspaper clippings from Michael Jordan's biggest games
- Scratch 'n Sniff sticker collection (complete with Garbage Pail Kids)

Of course, the Rubbermaid treasure chests contained some real gems including my Alpha Star space shuttle and moon rover!

Needless, to say, the trash bags, recycling bins and Goodwill piles are building. I feel silly to have collected so much stuff, but relieved to know that all these years I've been hoarding only junk that no one else could use or want.

About two years ago I stood proudly on my soapbox and preached to friends about the tragedy of American storage units. "In the DR there are no storage units!!! In the rare case that someone has something they can't use, they give it to someone who can use it. We wealthy Americans have so much stuff that we have to rent 10x10 rooms just to store what doesn't fit in our huge houses! What is wrong with us??!!" Yesterday Lindsay and I reserved a storage unit for our furniture and winter clothing, so I've officially stepped down from my soap box.