Happy Birthday Sweet Clarabelle

This last week we celebrated our sweet Clarabelle’s 7th birthday. Every time a birthday rolls around it hits me all over again how fast my children are growing up. I would love to be able to slow down time, but as so many older, wiser parents have told me, this is impossible.

Clarabelle, Clairy Beary, Claire, Claire Bear, or Bear Bear, however you know  her, is now 7 years old. Claire is extremely observant and notices everything that is going. Every detail in the house she has committed to memory. She is extremely creative and is always cutting up something, gluing something, or coloring. Clarabelle must get her homework done every night or she gets extremely worried. Wherever in the world we are, Clarabelle makes friends.  Starting school this year for Clarabelle had no problem, she had several friends within a week, even though they didn’t even speak the same language. We only have to be somewhere for about 10 minutes before Clarabelle has a new friend. The people that Claire loves she loves with all of her heart. Our sweet girl loves everything girly: dresses, make up, pink, purble, princesses. She loves them all.

I am so thankful for my sweet girl and I am so blessed to be her mom. I cannot wait to see all these beautiful characteristics in her blossom and for her to become a more and more beautiful young woman. I cannot wait to see the person that God has created her to be.

 

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All Claire’s friends at the party

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Sweet Birthday Girl in her Elsa Dress

 

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Claire’s 3 best friends here

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Addie and Mariah

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Autry and one of his friends

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More party guests. The girl in the picture was one of Randy’s students last year named Nohely. Everyone in our family adores her!

 

English Camp and beyond

What a great week of camp!  Earlier in the year we had decided to hold an English camp in  the community where our Haitian School is. We chose to do it during the time that Mariah Anderson was going to be staying with us. Throughout the entirety of the year we had worked with the Haitian community but we wanted to work with the Dominicans in the community as well. Emilie asked Mariah to take care of the crafts and told her to plan for 50 kids…

The first day and there was about 80 kids, the next day there was over 100. Whilethis was a culture shock for Mariah she did a good job getting over it and adapting. Our Team for the camp included our family, Mariah, a few of our friends (Moses, Rutherford, Ali, Maribi, and Alicia), and the staff at the Haitian School. Throughout the campI found myself incredibly burdened for the children of the area. There was a 100 kids and no evangelical Dominican Church in the area. We were their for two weeks clearly proclaiming the gospel every day, but there was no one there proclaiming the gospel to these children and their families on a weekly or even monthly basis.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept praying about it and praying about it and just felt an intense sadness in my heart for these children.

Tuesday night our friend Moses was over and we were talking about a poor child him and Randy had seen that night on the streets. He said that when he sees these kids he doesn’t see a poor kid, he sees a kid with potential that if but on the right trajectory could do great things. He said “I used to be one of those kids but someone took the time to care about me.”  As he was talking I realized how much I loved these kids. They live out city, in the country, where they are basically forgotten about.  They are wild and fight about everything. They will throw a punch for just about anything. It is also hard to get a picture without someone flipping off the camera. Some of these kids desperately need someone to love on them and all of them need someone to tell them the gospel.

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Some of the kids waiting for Camp to Start. The white cards in their hands are their report cards that they all brought to camp to show us.

So from this English Camp we have decided to start a weekly kids ministry. We hope to be able to do some homework help, play games, and then preach the gospel over and over and over again. It is our goal to work with other Dominicans, and get involved in the lives of these children and the lives of their families. However, we are still praying that a Dominican pastor would feel the need to plan a church in the area.

More exciting news is that we are also hiring our friend Ali to help us start this ministry and another. Still more exciting news is that Mariah has decided to stay with us for the year! We are thrilled to have her. She is so good at a lot of the things that I am not and will be a huge help for me. We are thrilled and praising the Lord for his grace as we move into our 2nd year of ministry here in the Dominican Republic.

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Mariah with her friend Maribi and a couple campers

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A Couple of the boys showing us they know the words to Head, SHoulders, Knees, and Toes

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Two of the wilder boys in our camp. If you think of it please pray for them (Jon Carlos and Jesus), that their lives will be changed by the gospel.

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English Class