Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wyld Life 10/29

Beach theme club!!! (Hence why I am wearing a 1 piece bathing suit with a tank top underneath....) Awesome night, we had 54 kids show up---AND we have been doing a competition to see what grade can bring the most kids, and my 6th graders from JCS and Doulos won!! WOHOO!!!! :)

I think I mentioned before that I was worried about how being a Wyld Life leader would work with having those same kids in my class, but so far it has been so great! My students think that it is really cool to have their teacher be at Wyld Life (weird, huh?!) and the day after club, they are always talking to me about how funny i was in the skit or how crazy I am..haha big surprise there...but it actually seems to help them respect me more for some reason? Not sure why, praise God, He is good! We are starting campaigners (small groups) next week, so prayers as we begin to prepare for those!!

Funny thing...MAIL DAY was yesterday!! My roommates came home to me sitting at the kitchen table, happy as can be, reading a Holland Sentinal and eating peanut butter mnms:) Thanks mom, dad and lauren!!!! And btw I had peach rings for breakfast today:) LOVE a little taste of the US!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just wanted to give a quick update--thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragements! They mean more than you know!

Wyld life went great last night, we had a "beach theme" club (i will get some pictures up asap) and 54 kids came! God is good!!

My day today has gone much better, I had many kind words and emails from friends, and even from students! One even gave me a Snickers:) Turns out my roommates are struggling with homesickness as well, so I am not alone, nor am I crazy:)

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am having a pretty rough start to my week this week--I started Monday morning wishing I was still at the beach, and that somehow turned into major homesickness! I also just talked to my sister about Thanksgiving....and am just feeling like ahh i want to go home! Even in my time with God this morning I was reading about how God wants me to love Him with whatever physical/emotional strength I have, even in weakness. Ps 27:4 "It is what I desire, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord." I know that is what I want, I know I need to be secure in the fulfilling love of God....i KNOW this, but I need to belive it and live it right now.

SO prayers for strength would be awesome!!!
Also, we have WYLD LIFE tonight, so I need to be hyper/excited/energized....not feeling the way I do right now!
Okay thats it:) THANK YOU!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I feel like I have so much to blog about....i waited too long to write this! So I will give a condensed version:)

School was really great last week, but I was so very thankful for a 4 day week! By Thursday, I was completely exhausted for some reason! I think just being super busy. Our progress reports were due to go out Thursday, which meant that I had to get everyones grades together, and then write individual notes home in Spanish, so that just took tons of time! Thursday was completely rediculous, during lunch I helped two of the boys in my class with homework, and they brought me this drink, and it ended up being this 911 energy drink they sell here, but it was really good so I split it with them....HOLY ENERGY!!! I was like going crazy all afternoon, but it ended up being a great afternoon...thankfully we were just having a fun afternoon with a bit of learning mixed in...haha and lesson learned, don't accept drinks from anyone! Thursday afternoon we had a great soccer practice! I spent all my planning time on Thursday researching fun drills and planning for practice, and it ended up being really fun! I was so glad, because I was pretty nervous going into it! I think it is going to be a great experience to be "Coach Stanley" :) weird though.

We left early Friday AM for the beach, we were supposed to be taking 2 cars, but one fell through, so we squeezed 8 of us into a CRV--hilarous! (see pictures) It was quite the experience. I sat in the way back trunk facing the back of the car, which was interesting because it meant I had direct eye contact with every person who drove behind us, and that isn't always the best thing here! Seeing "gringas" is so exciting that people get a little crazy sometimes! We had these crazy guys on motorcycles following us, a car full of guys offering us rum/beer (because everyone drinks and drives here) and people taking our pictures like crazy! We had to drive through the city on our way to the beach, so we stopped at McDonalds at 8:30 AM looking for one thing: ICE CREAM!! haha the workers thought we were so crazy, and they obviously didn't have any....but it was worth a try! We finally made it to the beach and stayed at this awesome house we rented for like $20 a night each!!! So sweet! Spent the day swimming/boogieboarding/playing paddleball/plenty of other random things and just enjoying the ocean and the HUGE WAVES they have in Cabarete! It was a wonderful day!
I got up early both Saturday and Sunday morning to watch the sunrise, and was so grateful that I did! It was so awesome to see such a beautiful picture of God's wonder each morning! Saturday morning I was reading in the Psalms and randomly came to "The Lord reigns, He is robed in magesty, and armed with strength. The world is firmly established, it can't be moved! Your throne was established long ago, you are from all eternity. The seas have lifted up, O Lord! The seas have lifted their voice, they have lifted their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea, the LORD IS MIGHTY! Your statutes stand firm, holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord!" What an awesome chapter to read when sitting on the beach. Such a much needed reminder of just how amazing God is! Ps 95 "The sea is His, for He made it! Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord, for He is our maker! We are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care!" Ps 96 "Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord all the earth!" That also reminded me of a quote a friend told me the other day:"There are always 2 stories in life, the one you see and the one God sees" and I feel like that is exactly what I needed to be reminded of this weekend! God is awesome, He has a story, He has a plan, He IS in control, but I need to give Him complete control before His plan can take place! Stop feeling overwhelemed and give God control!
One of the girls, Melisa brought her guitar, so we had worship time at night, which was perfect! Just a weekend full of being in awe/worship of our God!
Sunday morning was amazing too.....I was on the beach wishing one thing: for my DOG! haha! Might sound funny, but I really do! This cute stray came up and sat by me when we were watching the sunrise, and just stuck around all morning! He even sat and waited for me when I went swimming! (i will put up pictures of that too!) It was so cool, and such a blessing to have a bit of "dog time":)
OH just remembered one more thing--I DROVE this weekend! It was so scary, but so exciting! There are no traffic laws here at all, so driving can get a bit crazy, but I braved it and had so much fun! Totally worth being scared. I decided I need to get better so when I have visitors I can drive them places:)
Anyways....sorry this is so choppy and long! Way too much to say! We have Wyld Life tomorrow night--pray for as successful a night as last time please!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sorry I have had all of these random short blog updates--things have been crazy! I will do a long update asap, I just thought I'd put these pictures up quick before I forget! They are from the first day of school, my roommate just sent them to me! The one of me using the three hole punch to stick nails into the wall is quite the joke around here....haha i guess I have become quite resourceful in my time here?!Anyways, update soon, I promise!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


We had our first EVER Wyld Life club in Jarabacoa last night! We were all really nervous and quite anxious for it to start, and it went AMAZING! There were a few setbacks while we were getting ready, but as for the actual club, it was way better than we ever thought our first night could be! We held club at a local hotel (owned by some of our kids' parents) that is right in the middle of town where everyone can easily get there. Us leaders went at 5 to start getting things ready, setting up, and have some time to just prepare for the night, before club began at 7! We had kids start showing up at 6:50 which is CRAZY here because normally people come a half hour AFTER something is supposed to start! Overall the night was awesome, God definitely was at work because it was complete madness that somehow worked! We had 50 KIDS come, CRAZY because we were hoping for 25-30!
It was just so cool to have our first night be so great. We got together as a Wyld Life team on Sunday to practice through club/talk about everything for a couple hours, and I think we were all kind of annoyed that we had to spend our Sunday afternoon doing that, and then arrive 2 hours before club began on Tuesday...BUT we talked about Romans 16:19 where it says "Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you;but I want you to be wise and excellent about what is good and innocent about what is evil." So we decided that we must be EXCELLENT and completely prepared at every single Wyld Life club, because if one thing is off, it only takes that to completely lose kids (especially middle schoolers). Last night completely proved that if you strive to do something with excellence, by doing everything as good as you possible can in order to glorify God, then God WILL be in it, which means Satan can't come in and mess things up. SO COOL and such a good reminder that as servants of God we must strive to be excellent in every single thing we do, because I should be serving God in every single thing I do, no matter what it is.
God is good!!! Thank you for your prayers, and continuous prayers would be much appreciated!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Okay I have to post this, it is totally disgusting!!! Last night I was hard boiling some eggs, and they were doing/looking really weird so I just left them there and had my roommate look at them...and turns out, they were FERTALIZED eggs with BABY CHICKS inside of them!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most horrible thing ever. I might possibly never eat eggs again. At least not in this country.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thought this was funny, I got my electricity bill today and this is my address:
(keep in mind there is no mail system here)

Entrada Los Candelarios (Entrance of the street Los Candelarios)
Frente a la colmado de Luiz Torrez (In front of Luiz Torrez's store)
Los Candelarios (our street name)

Friday, September 10, 2010

What a wonderful week with my students! I felt like this week was the first week that I actually felt like I could be a teacher and do it successfully....without freaking out half the time! It was such a good feeling! One of my friends encouraged me to keep this song in mind throughout the week: "To keep your lovely face ever before my eyes, this is my prayer, make it my strong desire, that in my secret heart, no other love competes. No rival throne survives and I serve only you...." and to focus on teaching, but first and foremost to focus on bringing the love of Jesus into my classroom, and i KNOW that is why this week went so well!

I also am finally feeling like this is real life, that I am here and this is my home instead of the feeling that I will be leaving soon. Things have finally all started, and my schedule is going to be CRAZY but good! Mondays I am going to be having Spanish lessons from 3-6, Tuesdays we will have WYLD LIFE!!! (our parent meeting went so well, and we had some parents that are really willing to help which is sweet!) Wednesdays I have Bible study which usually lasts a couple hours, and Thursday----soccer (I have been voted the 4th-6th grade soccer coach!! ahhhh! haha...but i guess at that age they just need to learn to kick, score, run, ect? at least i hope so. BUT if you have any good soccer tips, let me know!!) and then we will have games on Fridays!

Some interesting things that happened this week......
I was riding my bike on Monday and my chain broke in half, some Dominican man ran up behind me and grabbed it and told me where to get it fixed, which was awesome. After this guy at the car place tried 4 times to fix it, we finally got it!
Wednesday I was in the middle of teaching and all of a sudden one of my students was like Miss Stanley, there is a HUGE spider on the wall and I look over and seriously thought I was going to throw up I was so scared (i HATE HATE HATE spiders) but I had to be the brave one, right? so first instinct: I karate-kick-smashed the spider (thank you jillian michaels)....afterwards I was like omg what did I just do...but apparantly it was hilarious and got me major "cool points" with my students!! haha! and now the whole school knows....
Thursday I was working in the comedor (the outside area where kids eat/play) and was like what is that noise, and I looked over and saw a mama chicken and like 10 baby chicks just wandering around like no big deal!! haha!

GREAT week--what a change things are when you make a conscious effort to live out 1 COR 13!!! Amd constantly praying for strength....haha! BUT God is awesome and can make anything successful when you let Him take charge, so cool!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We had an AMAZING weekend up at Pico Escondido (the YL camp) for our leaders weekend! We went up there Friday night and had club--this was way cool because we had potential YL committee members there (several Dominican parents of kids who have been involved before, and then some missionary couples), they came to check out club and see what YL is all about, and it was a great time for them to be there! We are praying that they really felt the passion for kids and want to be involved in helping support us.

Saturday was awesome. I got up early in the morning and helped make breakfast in the kitchen, which was so wonderful for me because that was my job when I was an intern at Pico, so the kitchen staff is like my family here, and it was such a blessing for me to be able to spend time with them! After breakfast, we hiked up to the waterfalls, and then came back for some YL informational meetings. We had free time all afternoon and had a kickball tournament and a volleyball tournament-so fun! At night we got with our teams to get to know each other better, had worship, and then played SIGNS(the best game ever!)

Today (Sunday) We got up and had morning worship, and then got with our teams and made a rough plan of Wyld Life through December! SO EXCITING! It was so cool to finally be able to talk about it and have an actual plan, finally we are ready to start! Overall this weekend was an awesome time of encouragement for all of us as we prepare to both continue Young Life here and start the new ministry in Wyld Life. One thing Chris (our YL director) said this morning was really awesome--in order for us to minister, we need to be SO FULL of Jesus that we are overflowing with His love in our lives, which means we need to be completely in the Word and totally here in our relationships with God before we can think about doing anything else. It reminded me of my FAVORITE verse from Israel Jer 20:9 "But if I say I will not mention or speak of His name, His word will be in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones, I am weary of holding it in, INDEED I CAN NOT!" My number one priority needs to be my relationship with God, because if that isn't right on track, nothing will be.
2 Cor 4 "God said: let light shine out of the darkness, and let His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God! But we have this TREASURE that this all surpassing power is from God, not us!"

It was SO awesome for me to be back at camp this weekend, too, because the last time I spent a significant time at camp was when I was an intern there almost 2 years ago. As I sat this morning doing my devotions in the same chair I did them in every day for 3 months that summer, I just sat in awe of how much God has done in my life since that summer. Who would have guessed that after that summer I would be living here in Jarabacoa?! It was just SO COOL to be sitting there and just thinking holy cow, GOD IS SO GOOD! And He does have a plan, and now looking back I can see just how clearly orchestrated that plan was. It was also really cool to remember how incredibly excited I was that summer to be here in Jarabacoa, wondering what would come next, and if I could ever possible live here. It really renewed my excitement in my life here.

Lamentations 3:21-26 " Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:because of God's great love, I am not consumed, His compassions never fail! They are new each morning! GREAT is GOD'S FAITHFULNESS! I say to myself, the Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him. The Lord is good to those who wait, whose hope is in Him, the one who seeks Him! SO GREAT IS HIS UNFAILING LOVE!"

Prayer Requests:
-That we would be able to get a YL committee put together
-That Wyld Life (and YL) would be blessed with LOTS of kids wanting to come check things out, and that we would be prepared so that they want to come back!

Gracias!!! God Bless:)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I can't believe it is September. I have been here for a month, and am just finishing my SECOND week as a teacher! I can't get over how crazy it has been. This past week, the weather was so rediculous--we got the terrible rain/wind from the hurricane, which meant we lost power a LOT, but today and yesterday it did not rain at all, so hopefully it is over! The weather made teaching quite interesting, the kids were going crazy. A few times I was thinking "what in the WORLD am I doing here", but in the end it was a pretty good week...tiring of course, but good.

One craziness--here in the DR, people are really into demons/witchcraftish stuff, so during Bible on Tuesday, SOMEHOW we got on the subject of that and my kids had a million questions that I had no idea how to answer, so I did my best and then got some good advice after class and had to discuss it again on Thursday. The stories the kids had were crazy, and could very well have been true (or part of a truth) so I had to really watch what I said about it. I felt like it ended up being kind of a blessing that we talked about that, because I really felt that the kids just needed to hear that YES evil is in the world and that is why the world is an an awful and scary place, BUT if you ask God to be on your side, He will be, and you will have nothing to fear!! We had a long discussion about that, which was very cool.

Yesterday we got MAIL, which was awesome. Mail day twice a month is seriously like a holiday around here. One of my roommates got all kinds of goodies from her mom, so we had a Dominican friends and other missionary friends over for dinner and desert! Quick story about one of the Dominican boys we have over a veces. His name is Juan Cauri (sp?), he is 16 years old, and when he became a Christian his parents kicked him out of his house, so he is living on the floor of the church basement....pretty crazy of his parents, but very cool that God is so important to him! He was sitting at our house last night reading the Bible and was just SO EXCITED, it was incredibly encouraging.

This weekend we have a Young Life staff training/planning weekend up at the YL camp. I am SO excited for a weekend filled with fun/worship/hiking/getting ready for YL to start! It will be young life staff from here in Jarabacoa, and also Santiago/LaVega staff--so fun to meet everyone else! I am also very excited because it will just be the American staff....which means all of this will be in ENGLISH!!! Praise the Lord:)

Something cool I learned yesterday: Ephesians 3:18 "I pray that you may have the power to GRASP how wide, long, high and deep the love of Christ is." But in this verse, Grasp means to sieze with eagerness and suddenness--very cool! What if I exherted my energy into grasping the love of Jesus with eagerness and suddenness? Talking with my students about demonic forces lead to talking about the end times.We talked about how things will be when Jesus comes back, and a couple of my students were like "I am SO EXCITED!!!" and that made me so excited, and also made me take a step back and really think: just how excited am I? How do I show that excitement? Do I share that excitement as much as I should? That time is near, and I need to make a point to live like it is. I have gotten into such a routine, and I need to get out of that routine and live each day excitedly for Jesus!


Hopefully I will take more pictures!