Happy New Year! The end of a year always seems like the perfect time for reflection…and boy was there a lot to reflect on over the past year! I completed grad school, passed my family nurse practitioner boards, sold my house and car, packed up my life and moved to the Dominican Republic to start my job with Solid Rock (and that was all in the first 3 months of 2022!). The following months were full of learning (new job, new home, new language to name just a few things), making new friends, trying to learn the balance of working in full-time ministry, and a few adventures exploring the incredible place I get to call home. 2022 was certainly a year I won’t forget…a year full of growth, lots of laughter and tears, and deepening my relationship with Jesus through it all.
A few months ago my friends and I decided that we wanted to go on a trip for New Year’s weekend so we rented a cabin in the mountains of Jarabacoa for that time. Picture 5 friends and 4 dogs loaded up in one truck and you know it was going to be an adventure! We had a great time hanging out at the cabin, relaxing, playing games, and going on a few hikes to local waterfalls. I am very grateful that I was able to spend this time with my friends and that I was able to see another part of the Dominican Republic with them. (Check out some pictures from our trip at the end of the blog.)
Our first week of ministry for the year started off with 2 barrio teams, one team from Archbold, Ohio and another team of medical professionals from multiple states. Double barrio weeks are definitely busy, so I was thankful that the majority of both teams have served with SRI many times. I was able to go out with both teams during the week which I enjoyed, not only because I love getting to serve alongside our teams but also because it gives me the chance to have some good conversations with team members. One day during lunch a little girl came up to me, gave me a hug, and then was very interested in my stethoscope. Perhaps she is a future medical professional!
The following week we had a medical team from Gainesville, Georgia. The team was split between barrio and surgery (ENT and general). With two surgical specialties I was thankful to have Nicole’s help on consult day so we could each be in a consult room, and I didn’t have to run back and forth. It was a busy week with several God moments, but I will just share one story with you. Wednesday evening we went for ice cream and one of the workers asked if we were Americans working with the Christian Clinic. She started to tell us about her son who needed a surgery and, long story short, we told her to come to the clinic in the morning, the team’s general surgeons saw him, we sent him for labs, and that afternoon he had his surgery. I love how everything worked out just right for this young boy to get his surgery – you’ve got to love an ice cream shop referral!
This week we have two groups here doing barrio clinics and construction. On Monday I went out with the barrio team, and we went to a community that I went to when I was here serving on a short-term mission trip in January 2020. It is always neat to see familiar faces!
2023 is off to a busy start and I am so thankful for our team and to be a part of the SRI family. I am excited to see what God has in store for us this year!
- Health and safety
- Rest and balance for our team – these first few months of the year are very busy