A full circle moment...

We just returned from another amazing journey back to the Dominican! This trip was particularly special because we were there with one of our partnering churches, Cross Point Community Church from Nashville, TN and the church where Jeff and I first met while we were doing ministry together in college, Morgantown Community Church in KY. Pete Wilson is the pastor at Cross Point and Morgantown Community was his first church plant. We worked with him in high school ministry while we were at WKU and Pete was Jeff's discipleship leader and his wife-to-be at the time, Brandi, was was my roommate. They played a large part in our relationship that led to our marriage nine years ago. So, you can see why it was such a neat experience to have both teams in the same place sharing our vision!

Cross Point Community partners with pastor Moise. They purchased land for a church for him in Brisa del Ocampo and are building a church and nutrition center in the community. Moise meets an incredible need in Santiago as he helps other Haitians who are in the Dominican trying to find work to send money back to their families in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Pictured above are Lisa, Moise, and Melissa. Lisa and Melissa are good friends and we were all incredibly inspired by Melissa's strength and faith as she worked long hours in the hot sun to help Moise and the Haitian community. Her plight is inspiring because two days before the trip she just had her last radiation treatment for cancer. Following the trip she began chemotherapy. Not once did she complain or speak of her problems, she continued to focus on the community, the children, and how she could make a difference. Please keep her in your prayers for complete healing as she battles this horrific disease.

While Cross Point Community Church worked on building the church in Brisa, Jeff spent a day working with Morgantown in Hoya del Caimito building a home for a single mother. He's pictured here with Fran.

My friend, Brandi, came on a trip two years ago and I was so disheartened that I missed her because I was in the hospital with the girls. We finally were able to spend a week in the DR together and it was a great reunion!

Scott and Dave from Cross Point take a break from digging a four foot trench in the front of the property for the wall.

Probably one of the most special things about our trip to the DR this time was spending it with Jeff's sister, LeAnn. I've said a million times that she's the sister I never had (I have brothers) and this was her second trip down. Her love for people, her compassion and her funloving spirit were amazing.

Prayer before children's ministry in Santa Lucia, La Mosca.

I pose with a little girl and her artwork after children's ministry.

Harold Mckee is an elder at Morgantown Community and we worked with him 13 years ago in high school ministry. We were attracted to his jovial spirit and his absolute love for people. He hasn't changed a bit! He is helping to turn the attention of the church he serves towards international ministry. This was their first short-term trip to the Dominican. This experience has opened their eyes in a profound way to better see the Latin Diaspora in Butler County who are attempting to provide for their families both locally and abroad.

Morgantown’s trip to the DR has deepened their compassion for their Latin neighbors. They are realizing that the poverty and exploitation they witnessed in the Dominican is a common reality that many Latin Americans in the US are fleeing. In order to get closer to this community and to learn Spanish, Harold has spoken with the Hispanic owner of a local Mexican restaurant and asked if some of the people from the church could volunteer working at the restaurant. He asked if they could bus tables for a few hours so that they can practice their Spanish and get to better know the workers! This will help them both at home and in the Dominican. What an amazing way to allow a short-term trip abroad to begin to make a long-term difference at home!

As part of Jeff's ongoing traninig series for the pastors who work with G.O. Ministries, Tom Tyndall, associate pastor at Cross Point, led an ongoing training seminar for several pastors on grace and legalism.

Our girls celebrated their second birthday in the Dominican and loved participating in children's ministry. Here, Sophi sings along with Magdelina.

Thank you again for all of your support and prayers!