Reality Check

Well, reality has finally set in that I'm here for a year. I'm the kind of person where I don't realize things are a reality until it hits me all at once. We are into the second week of school with the boys and everything is in full swing, to be honest I love every second of this crazy life. For those of you who don't know, here is an idea of what my day consists of. I wake up every morning around 5:30 am, at 6:00 am I go downstairs and make sure that 30 kids are up and running, taking showers, brushing teeth, etc. Everyone comes downstairs at around 7:00 am and breakfast takes place. Then around 7:20 am, they all leave for school. After they leave we either do laundry or clean, but most of the time I go back to bed until 10. At 10:00 am I come downstairs work in the office until 11:00 am or start preparing things for the day. Then a parade of 30 boys comes marching into the orphanage around 11:30 am. Well marching is a nicer choice of words, it’s normally screaming at the top of their lungs and running around like maniacs with their uniforms already half off. After they come home, I run around grabbing uniform shirts, pants, belts, socks, and shoes, to put away and wash. Then, we proceed to dress all the little ones in their play clothes and head downstairs for lunch. Lunch is at around 12:00 pm, which at this point is when the day starts to slow down a little bit. After lunch we have about an hour to rest, then we start their homework. When all the homework is done, which is normally at about 3:00, we have a devotion or do arts and crafts. After 3:00, the boys tend to do their own thing until about 7:30 which is dinner. After dinner, we take 30 boys upstairs, make sure they are showering, brushing teeth, and starting to get in bed. This normally means I have to wrestle with around 6 little boys just to get them to lay still. Lights are out at 9:30 - 10:00 pm. Normally around this time I walk myself up stairs lay in bed and laugh. I don't laugh because I think my day was funny, I laugh because without God's strength, I would not be able to get through my day. Caring for 30 children and making sure they all have what they need is a lot of work, but I do all of this with immense joy in my heart. The passion I have for these kids is something I know only God can give me. I lay in my bed and laugh at night because these kids are my world. I’m happy to sacrifice myself and my time for them, because they have nothing and I have everything. It's funny because all of the times I gave you in my schedule are a rough estimate because in reality nothing is on time here, and nothing goes smoothly, ever. But you know what? That’s okay. Because God brought me here for a reason, and I am now fully starting to understand that reason, to give all I have and all my love to His children. Yesterday, we received a new boy, so now we have 30. The number of children we have here continues to grow every day, and my heart could not be happier because I know that God has sent His children here and entrusted us to care for them, and there is no greater joy then knowing that. I am not going to sit here writing this blog post and say I'm not tired and burnt out. Because I can barely get out of bed sometimes and most days I feel so broken the only thing I can really do is draw near to God. But that’s all part of living on mission, and I wouldn’t trade my new life for anything in this world. I ask that you continue to keep me in your prayers and your thoughts as I live on mission for Christ. 

God is so good

First of all I want to thank everyone for all the prayers, love, and encouragement. As many of you know my dream is to direct my own orphanage.  After praying and seeking The Lord, that is ultimately why I decided to move to the Dominican Republic for a year. Since I have been here, I have felt God’s presence immensely. As I continue to seek God and his will for my life, He is unfolding his plan right before my eyes. Let me just start off by saying this is the most amazing group of kids I have ever worked with. Their sweet smiles, willing attitudes, and big hearts make them easy to love. These boys are something out of this world. They don’t let their pasts define them. They know that they are not orphans, they are children of The King. All of these qualities make them so easy to love. We currently have 23 children and August 17 we will be receiving seven more.  As many of you know, the orphanage director of Helping Hands left last December.  The current director is Pastor Pedro’s wife Lidia, who is filling in the position while they continue to seek and pray to find a new permanent director. Grace Jenkins and I will be working along side her this year to help her the best that we can. When I had initially discussed what I would be doing here with Pastor Pedro, we had decided that I would be tasked with administration and helping with the kids. About two nights ago we all sat down had a meeting and discussed what it takes to run an orphanage. Pastor Pedro began to share with me that they wanted me to be the Sub-Director of the orphanage. In the chain of command, I will be working right under Lidia as the co-director, and with the kids directly every day. Since Lidia is only filling in as long as necessary, she has a lot of other things to attend to besides just the children. Not only was this a blessing but an answered prayer. God has been so faithful in showing me his plan.  In sharing all this with you, I ask that you continue to keep me in your prayers. Please pray that God will continue to revel himself to me, and that I will continue to cling to him through every circumstance.  I also ask you to pray for these boys. As we receive seven new children, my biggest request is that you pray for God to open their hearts to receive the love that we have waiting for them here. Regarding the donations that have been given, they are all stored in a room within the orphanage. We are waiting until August 17th to distribute everything. For reasons including: school has started, summer has come to an end, and all the new children will be here. I will be sure to post pictures and more blog posts when the donations have been distributed.