The sidewalks in Santo Domingo are much like an obstacle course: there are cracked and uneven segments of cement sticking up, many with tree roots coming through; garbage is piled or strewn in many parts where rats run freely; then there are the huge open drain canals at the ends of the walks which try and handle the massive amounts of rain that fall at different times of year. Besides their condition people do not respect the sidewalks, and they are often used as freeways for motorcycles and parking for cars on the narrower streets.
I am very touched when another person accompanies one of their fellow human beings through these obstacles by taking their arm or putting a hand on their back. I have seen many people accompany the blind as they cautiously face these hindrances. On one sunny morning, I got to be a support as an elderly woman reached out and took my forearm as she nervously walked, searching for stability.
As I reflect on the past 32 years of mission work in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic, I have often also searched for stability. Though I’ve always tried to look where I am going, the cultural and physical cracks of mission work have surprised me at times. It is during these heightened moments when I have come to know most God’s presence, peace, and grace.
It is also during these times when I have felt your emotional support, through your kind and thoughtful letters, notes, and cards, along with your spiritual support, through your prayers, as well as through your financial support. We are grateful for your covenant with us and for having had the opportunity to know many of you and serve together in God’s kingdom.
At the beginning of August, we were part of a 22 member Solar Oven team that went to visit three communities in the Dajabon region of the country, which shares a border with Haiti. Gordon and I accompanied Reverend Erasme on a “test run” of the solar over demonstrations that included several changes that we had developed over the past 18 months together.
We invited seven folks to come from the States to assist us, including: Rev. Cynthia Weems and her daughter Mariana, Monica Bruesewitz and her daughter Kyra, Gordy’s brother Steve, and Steve’s son and grandson, Luke and Jaxon. All of them have servant spirits, are open hearted and extremely hard working. We introduced a new component to the solar oven ministry by inviting four young people from the IED churches across the DR: Joendy, Noelia, Elia, and Abril. It was wonderful for me to be in the midst of these seven young people. They brought new eyes, new energy, new spirit, and new insight into this vibrant ministry. Together, we met with over 250 people in four days.
You can read all about it and see pictures by visiting our web page: www.granerfamily.org
The Dominican team recently wrote a series of Sunday School lessons titled, “The world is in constant movement.” As the world is changing and people are in the midst of suffering and uncertainty, God has never stopped calling us to be God’s hands and feet.
We ask you to continue your vital support of mission:
- Solar Ovens Partnership is a wonderful ministry that supports struggling rural families and God’s precious creation.
- We also want to invite you to support Sara Flores. Sara is a missionary with GBGM in Ecuador. To find out more about Sara, I am including a page that we wrote especially for you to get to know her.
May we all know God’s blessings, grace and healing in our lives.
Ardell & Gordy