Monday, January 18, 2010

Dania's Quince

On Saturday night we celebrated our sweet friend Dania's 15th birthday. In there DR (and most Latin countries), turning 15 is the BIG birthday. It is the coming of age, going from a little girl to a woman.

We hosted the QuinceaƱera at our house, and they invited about thirty of their family and friends. The party was "supposed to" start at 6:30. One of their friends has a minivan and offered to bring everyone from Cielo. The first group arrived at about 7:20, and then he had to turn around and go back for the second gruop. The second group got here around 8, and then we were ready to begin the celebration. Dania was upstairs getting ready, and stayed hidden from the guests. We gathered everyone around the stairs, which were lit with christmas lights and decorated with white confetti. Elliott announced her....Ana Dania Martinez Ortega...and she gracefully came down the stairs, curtseying her way down! Everyone applauded and shouted as she came down. Her little brother Gregory was waiting at the bottom of the stairs to receive her. He then escorted her around to greet each guest.
Then it was picture time!! Dania posed for some individual shots, and then took a photo with just about every combination of people possible.
Gregory, Ana (mom), Dania, and Altagracia (grandmother)

Avery stayed up for the whole party...oops. She was in her PJs and all ready for bed when the doorbell rang...once she found out there were people here, there was no getting her down.

After the big photo shoot, came the food. Not a crumb was left!
Then it was time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake.

We had an awesome time. We were so honored to be able to celebrate Dania and her family in this way. Her mom told me that it was a dream come true for them all!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

Friends, thankfully we as a family are fine, yet we mourn for the destruction in our neighboring country Haiti.  We also mourn for our Haitian friends and neighbors living here, the majority as refugees, in Santo Domingo.  Most have family and friends living in Haiti, and of course a great percentage of them hail from Port au Prince.
As Mission Emanuel, we are striving to be a conduit through which food, water and medicine can be delivered quickly and efficiently to both Port au Prince and to the current and future refugees living in our small community of Bayona here in Santo Domingo.  If you feel led to give financially toward these efforts you may contact Mission Emanuel's US office at (877)422-9200.
Several of our Mission Emanuel teammates plan to drive three truckloads of goods (boxes of nonperishable food, water bottles from Mission Emanuel's water purification plant, and first aid supplies and antibiotics) on Saturday or Sunday, depending on when we can access the medicines and the accessibility of the JimanĆ­ border crossing.  Personally, we will probably not be traveling on this first trip to Haiti, however we do want to be conduits for the love and provision of God in our community.  Please pray for us to know our role here in Santo Domingo in making the love, compassion and sovereignty of God known to a scared and mourning Haitian community.
Of course, please continue to pray for all Haitian people, especially those living (and dying) in and around Port au Prince.  May the God of all grace, who calls us to his eternal glory in Christ, heal, restore and redeem this situation and these loved people.