Hello everyone! Buenas Dias!!
We have been very active in getting settled here in the DR. You might think ,”well it’s been three months, you guys must be all selttled in by now”… btw can you believe it’s been three months? I know! Super awesome!! But it takes some time to get settled. Our missionary friends here on the island have been extremely helpful to educate us on the “process” of life here in the DR! Whatever time you think a task will take…triple it. How much money will it cost to accomplish something? Plan for more. (Ex. – it took us one MONTH to open a bank account!! And it will take us 4 months to have an internet service/cell phone service in our own name!!) So as you pray for us…pray for patience as we adjust to the DR way of life, and praise God with us that He’s made it possible for us to live out His calling on our lives as we serve at risk children!
We have had many new changes since our last chat. We have added many new members to our family … let’s start with our van! We purchased a 10 year old Toyota Sienna minivan for our family vehicle. We have really enjoyed it so much! Our favorite part of the car is the excellent air conditioning it has. Whew! Boy, does that feel good! The second additions, yes you heard me, plural, to our family our our two new sweet puppies! They were born on June 12 and are almost three months old. So as we were coming to this country, they were being born. We can share new beginnings together! I will post a pic of them below. They are Shih Tzu puppies, and their names are Jackson Alexander Jones and Juliet Annabell Jones. We are calling them Jack and Juls! They are super cute! Juls belongs to Jessica and Jack belongs to the twins. No more fussing over doggies. We are also looking into a guard dog for outside. So we will be going from no dogs to three dogs. Wow! Lots of change! We have gotten our Dominican car and health insurance. Now it is multiple trips to the country’s capital, Santo Dominigo, to pay taxes and get a clear title for our van we just purchased. We have added Spanish classes to the list of daily things to do as well! Kendy is doing a great job and we enjoy learning the language knowing that with every class and homework assignment we are steps closer to being able to speak and communicate with those that the Lord has called us to minister!!!!
That leads me into those whom God has called us to!! Our sweet precious Bendjina!! Below is information about what has happened in Bendjina’s life because of you and what she still needs. Please check out the information about her.
Age: 9 (Birthday – 5/22/2006)
Location: Santiago, Dominican Republic
Living with: Single Dad, Willie; Mom – Daniela – died earlier this year
Feeding Center & Church Participation – Yes
Family Snapshot: Bendjina lives with her step-dad who has so wonderfully taken her in. The girls’ mom passed away and we do not know where Bendjina’s father is. She is the oldest of three girls. She has two younger sisters, Francesca (8) and Darwine (5). We have been trying to get Bendjina enrolled into school for the past several years and were able to do that this school year. Currently, Bendjina is in kindergarten – due to the fact that she has never been to school!! So a nine year old in kindergarten, praise God she is there! Such a miracle that this has happened! They live in a one room shanty with no electricity or running water. They attend church services every Sunday at a Haitian church. She is one of the children that we are helping in the prevention category so that she does not become the next victim in human trafficking due to lack of education, food, and skills. Little by little we are knocking these things out … currently sponsored for food and currently enrolled in school. Praise God!
Willie, Bendjina, Fransesca, Darwine Toiletries that arrived from the States
with their school clothes & supplies
Her step dad (Willie) has experience in construction as well as teaching construction. He works jobs when opportunities present themselves, which are not often. He has had a few day jobs, but nothing consistent.
We have been able to get Bendjina and her sisters into school because of your wonderful, generous special gifts given to purchase school uniforms, school shoes and tennis shoes for PE, PE outfit, school supplies, and hygiene items were delivered from a friend in the States and arrived the day that we needed them. That was no coincidence … you can’t tell me that Jesus is not in the details! You know how much it costs us parents in the States to get our kids ready for the new school year. We can spend hundreds of dollars on clothes, shoes, and supplies. Unfortunately, the prices are not any cheaper here. In fact, some things are more expensive because everything has to be imported and shipped over here. So with the special gifts some of you gave we paid for all the things that her and her two sisters needed to get into to school. But as you know, there are still expenses throughout the school year and Bendjina has medical and nutritional needs as well. We also, in faith, hired a 25 year old Haitian girl enrolled in medical school to come each morning for one hour from 6 -7 am and get the girls up, dressed, ready, fed, and walk them to school. We are doing this because the girls lost there mom this past April and her step-dad is trying to work as he can or if he is not working, he is trying to find work. So the girls are on their own in the mornings and most of the time when they come home from school also. The troubles of being a single parent. When we asked the girls after the first week of school about getting ready and getting to school, they said they had not eaten all day, they were walking to school by themselves and we noticed their hair was fixed on the first day of school and hadn’t been touched since. So there is a definite need. My heart sank when I heard they were not eating all day long. Now, with the help of the girl we hired, the girls will be getting breakfast, lunch and dinner. But we still need sponsors for Bendjina at Level 2 and Level 3.
Level 2 – $50/month – financial needs consist of – monthly school costs, clothing, shelter, and assistant!
Level 3 – $25/month – provides for her medical and nutritional needs like vitamins, parasite and deworming meds, and annual check ups or check ups at the doctor as needed.
Would you please consider investing in Bendjina’s future by giving her hope of continuing in school and having a roof over her head and receiving medical care? We currently have a food sponsor for Bendjina. This is so exciting to see her get meals on a consistent basis!! Giving on the second and third level financially will provide for her monthly school costs, clothing, shelter, and assistant and provides for her medical and nutritional needs like vitamins, parasite and deworming meds, and annual check ups at the doctor.
Also, we have always thought that those who are being helped should participate in their recovery. We believe the Lord shows us this through examples in the Bible and through scripture! We are getting Willie and the girls to participate in their recovery! Willie, will work with our ministry serving with us and the girls doing chores around their house, etc. All teaching them skills while moving them forward! So it’s not that we are just handing out fish, but teaching those to fish. Just like ya’ll send money to support our family as we move forward in getting the ministry to be self supporting. But right now, we need you to support us or we would have to come back to the States. The same for them. They need us to support them while they can become self supporting. That is the goal for all of these children. Not to continue to support the world, but give hope through Jesus Christ where there is none. These options are NOT options without your support to us and to these children. We have so much in America. Even in our poverty we have, but not here! Praise God that we can show the love of Jesus meeting physical needs while we continue to grow them in their love for the Lord discipling them in the Word through children’s programs that we offer in the feeding program and also through the children’s programs that we do in the batey and barrio communities.
Thank you so much! We love you guys!!