Monday, July 15, 2013

wherein i feel supported.

when i first moved to the dominican republic, i was a young adult service corps volunteer. that's a fancy term for a young missionary - and it's a program that i imagine the national episcopal church still runs. (just checked, program still running). i worked in a school and church teaching english and french and math and... really just a plethora of things that nobody was grateful for.

the story is long, a bit painful and every time that i think i'm over it, something happens that just brings to the surface a lot of that hurt.

i grew up in the episcopal church. it was nice. i like to think that many of the people who watched me grow up are proud of what i've done so far in my life. after that year of service i was ready to move on - i had experienced enough crap at the hands of organized religion that i was done. i needed a break.

there was no support system in place - and once i no longer identified myself as neither "episcopalian" nor "missionary," i was just another girl living in the dr. for awhile we went to a baptist church - that was fun until the church turned into a haven for young bucks looking for a cute american visa girlfriend. and then we visited a pentecostal church for a long time. amalio grew up in a church where women cover their heads and don't wear earrings. my heart was still with the anglicans.

i can see now the beautiful work being forged to lead me to where i am today. i wasn't ready as a 23 year old girl to serve in the community i serve in, to work with the people i work with or to deal with the problems that arise. these past seven years have prepared me for what i deal with on a daily basis. i got married and had two beautiful babies. i earned myself a job as a college professor. and i learned about the culture, the people, the heart of this nation.

somehow, i thought that jumping back into ministry would be easy. it's not. and that i would be supported by a specific (in my head) group of people. they don't.

miraculously, though, people i would never have imagined have come out of the woodwork to help me. women i haven't heard from in years have emailed me to tell me that they are praying for us. school and church friends are organizing school supply drives and others are interested in poderosa mujer. and this work has re-ignited friendships with people i never should have lost touch with - people who supported me the first time around, who have watched me and seen me grow and who love and nourish me (even when i don't deserve it).

it's amazing. and filling.
and this is how it's done. with love and compassion - and without caring that we haven't seen or really talked in ten years. thank you all for your outpouring recently. we really do appreciate it all. thank you.

we are still collecting school supplies for the coming school year. between our 5 preschools and 1 elementary school, we have 250 students that are in need of pencils and crayons and more. you can check out our wish list here.

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