As I mentally review the names of people receiving this update from us, I’m reminded of the wide variety of stories probably being written in your lives right now. Stealing a light-hearted quote from Bob Goff “half of you are worried that you’ll lose your job, the other half are worried you’ll keep it !”, Ha ! Regardless of your situation, your life has been dramatically affected by this pandemic. We wanted to paint a picture of how it’s affecting us here in the Dominican Republic.
No doubt a partial result of my irritatingly cerebral-driven way of life; we’ve always been laser-focused on long-term sustainable development for the people we came to serve. We’re totally convinced that best way to multiply our efforts is to focus on implementing plans that break the generational cycle of poverty and mentality of learned-helplessness that we encounter daily.
I still believe under normal circumstances that this is the right strategy and the direction that God has led us.
But we’re not under normal circumstances.
Erin and I have relished the opportunity to do things differently these days. Many of you know about and have generously supported the 2nd Mile Missions Food Relief program. We have the incredible privilege of implementing the program here. It’s a joy to temporarily postpone our laser-focus on long-term development and turn our attention to aid and relief. For the last 2 years, when approached with a request for money or food, I’ve generally taken a hard-nosed stance and offered a sponsorship to attend one of our training courses (baking, sewing, jewelry, upholstery, etc.), sign-up for our micro-loan course, or even apply for a job with us. Many times, it breaks my heart to see someone walk away unwilling to make the investment in themselves.
However, this pandemic has forced us into a position to love and serve the communities of El Hoyo and Monte Verde in a way that conspicuously demonstrates our deep care and heart for them. It’s like a pressure relief valve for me personally to say “Yes! here is your bag of food, God bless”. I feel like this pandemic is causing the trust factor between us and the community to go way up! It communicates that we are and have always been here to love them practically in Christ’s name.
I want to thank each of you who have generously donated to the food program. We’ve been able to provide food to almost 500 families in desperate situations. And for all of you who continue to faithfully support our family, we are grateful for you at every meal, every time we pay for school, every time rent is due. Your generosity humbles and encourages us beyond what you realize.