After wrestling with the decision for some months, it has become apparent to us that the Lord has been shutting doors for us to continue ministry in the Dominican Republic at this time. Although this was a very difficult decision, all of our kids are happy that we are staying in the US, which was a confirmation of what we felt God was telling us.
For now we are moving back into our house in Portland. We plan to continue in ministry here, both with refugees and Spanish speaking people groups, as well as Skatechurch in Portland. We invite you to continue partnering with us in ministry, if you feel led to do so. However, our support level is not at an adequate place to allow for both of us to be in full-time ministry, so Ben is looking for employment to supplement our income.
Lord willing, in August we are planning to return to the DR to pack as much as we can in 8 pieces of luggage to bring back with us, sell everything else, and say goodbye to loved ones. We plan to visit both children’s homes and search our old neighborhoods to find all the kids we’d grown to love, sharing gifts and parting words of the love of Jesus for each one of them. We’d appreciate your prayers for this trip.
Here are our present needs:
-a 6-8 passenger vehicle
-couch/living room furniture
-queen size bed and mattress
-a job for Ben
-help with projects on the house and moving the week of July 6-11
-bird, hamster, and guinea pig cages (3 of our kids have had to leave behind pets in the DR)
And prayer requests:
-peace throughout the transition
-hope and direction for our future
-renewed joy in the Lord
We praise the Lord for His provision. Already we have been given 3 beds + mattresses, a dining room set, two dressers, numerous smaller items, and a dryer!
We also want to thank all of you for your support these last 3 years. Only the Lord knows the true lasting impact you’ve made by participating with us as we’ve loved and shared Jesus with the children we’ve come to know in the DR. Please continue to pray with us that the Gospel will come to fruition in their lives.
If you wish to continue to partner with us in ministry, you don’t have to make any changes! Be One Together is a mission agency that actually focuses on the needs right here in the United States, and they are fully supportive of our transition to ministry here.
We know that many of you may have questions. If you’d like clarification on anything, please feel free to email us. We hope to send another update out very soon with more information on the avenues of ministry we are pursuing. Hopefully as the quarantine continues to be lifted, this will become an easier process. Through it all we seek the Lord’s will.
Thank you and much love to all,
Ben, Tonya, Jolie, Ivan, Samuel, and Melody
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