This newsletter covers our favorite time of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas! We want to say a huge “thank you!!” to all of you who have enabled us to be here…we couldn’t do it without your prayers and support. We love you all dearly, and pray for you regularly. Thank you for your partnership.
The end of the year marks the time when many of you will decide to do end of the year donations, or donations that are not monthly support. We encourage all who do not give regularly to pray about an end of the year gift for the Dominican Duncans!
It has been a busy and great quarter. We continue to have our emphasis on church fortification…meaning instead of going out and assisting to plant a new church, we are going back to churches that have been planted and support them where they are. It has been such a blessing because there is a certain amount of bonding that goes on when you are in a village for a week. You connect with the people and a part of you becomes invested. Now, instead of not getting to ever see these villages again, we are getting to back and rekindle and encourage and fortify.
What does this look like, you ask? A typical preparation for Sarah for an operativo medico in the bush, – in the week prior, we gather all the supplies, diagnostic equipment, medical equipment, and a broad spectrum of medicines needed and sorts and organizes it into individual packets. Also, she organizes all giveaway items such as toothbrushes/toothpaste, deodorant, clothing, toys, and anything else we can find or that has been donated. Of course there is always suture supplies on hand for any unforeseen occurrences…
Then the day of, we are off early in the morning, often meeting up with any assistants we will have, including doctors and support people.
Then the day starts with a time of prayer, and in this case shown here, even singing by some talented young ladies. Then we use elements of the EE program (Evangelism Explosion) and have a class on ‘How to Share Your Faith” for the more spiritually mature individuals in the church. We role play, go through the handout (see pic) (thank R.H.!) and practice.
Then the clinic is set up, and those individuals in the church that received the class will take over the evangelism station, getting to practice sharing their faith. The patients start here in the evangelism station first (the most important!), then move on to triage, seeing the doctor, pharmacy, and finally visit with the Pastor.
Andrew and Rachel play a critical part in the ‘operativo medico’ as it is called. Andrew, this last clinic, learned to take blood pressures (with the automatic cuff!) and temperatures, and count respirations. Rachel is Dr. Duncan’s scribe, writing down all the prescriptions for the pharmacy…which is Sarah’s area! And, we always have great helpers who come from the church…
It is a wonderful and blessed day and there are many professions in Christ, and renewed professions. We always have plenty of Spanish Bibles on hand, for kids and adults alike.
Andrew, Rachel and Sarah continue to work hard at homeschooling. We are thankful to Liberty University providing the Online Academy so our children can get a quality education, and do fun projects like making a cell out of fruit! School is a large part of Sarah’s ministry and one she enjoys and excels at. She runs the day like a regular classroom, with class periods, breaks and recesses…no uniforms per se – but the children need to dress in their nicer cloths for school!
Both of the kids are learning to play instruments at a well-respected Christian music school here in Santo Domingo. It is such a good investment on many levels…the greatest being they can use them to praise the Lord! They are already singing and playing in church. Andrew has started guitar, and Rachel the violin. Here, Rachel was able to participate in a Christmas orchestra concert downtown in the ‘old’ part of Santo Domingo in an old chapel. It was such a special night.
Another one of our joys every month is getting to to visit our village church. We sing, participate in worship, the kids play their instruments, Pastor Douglas Duncan preaches, and we both assist with the ‘Santa Cena’ (communion).
Meet one of my ‘Dominican Sisters!’ Her name is Vivian and from the first time we met…we have just been bonded. She is a true voice for the Lord in her community and I always count it a blessing when we get to do ministry together!
Kids and I singing/Rachel on violin for ‘Al Mundo Paz,’ which is Joy to the World. The great thing in the DR is that you don’t have to have a perfect voice…everybody just sings it out!
We must be starting to feel settled in our apartment…the verses have gone up on the wall! It’s been 2 years we have been in our place now, but after you have moved about once a year for 10 years, that’s a big deal! We feel so blessed to be in our place here…we feel the Lord directly led us here and are so thankful.
Speaking of being thankful, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Every leaf here has something we are thankful for. We had the pleasure of hosting this year, and had about 15 people come. Many of those had nowhere else to celebrate, the neighbors were invited, and we had people from Japan and Ireland even join us, and other missionaries. It was great! The 20 pound turkey turned out amazingly well, which Sarah was thankful for! As the surgeon of the group, Dr. D had the pleasure of carving the bird.
Flat tire…car issues…it’s all part of the life here…seemingly more often than not lately! The neat thing is there are always people around and ready to help…and little do they know they will receive way more than the ‘tip’ they are looking for, but Dr. D is always ready to share Christ with them.
Our trusty mechanic, Dario, a man who does wonders on our car and keeps it running! He is a pillar in his church and part of our ministry is to keep him will supplied with Bibles, especially childrens’ Bibles.
Everyone in Dario’s shop has a Bible!
Statue of Christopher Columbus in Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the Western Hemisphere. We don’t get to go often, usually just to take groups or special events, so we were happy to get to visit.
Sarah gets to continue to use her soap as ways to reach out and touch people and show love!
We can’t say thank you enough to special friends in North Carolina who regularly ship us boxes full of Bibles and other medical materials that are donated. Thank you to all who have helped us to purchase these Bibles!
Airport ministry – Agape ministry brings much needed missionary supplies to the Dominican Republic and other areas. Another ministry opportunity!
Finally, Merry Christmas to all. Although we miss the cold, the snow, the cozy warm house, and even bundling up in all the clothes, we feel blessed to be here in DR and we have peace knowing we are doing what the Lord has called us to do. Thank you every who prays for us and supports us.