Monday, July 30, 2012

forgiveness and trust

"absorption is at the heart of forgiveness, it involves the ability to deal with pain in a way that it will not be passed on to anyone else. To forgive is to “swallow” evil and prevent it from going further." (Redemption)

Yesterday in church the pastor talked about forgiveness. how we as followers of Christ should turn our cheeks to the offences of others (Matthew 18:21-22) and how our capacity to forgive is proportionate to our reservoir of experiencing God. The girls are living in close courters and experiencing eachother in a new setting. It was not a coincidence that the Lord wanted them to learn more about forgiveness and what it requires to actively forgive those who offend us. We are continually reminded that God's love for us does not depend on our faulty obedience, but on His steadfast love. 
After church the Northwestern Volleyball Team invited us to a picnic at a local park. The girls invaded the play area and devoured an amazing selection of food. Thanks to Edwin (our Dominican friend) the girls piled their plates high with a craving from home. RICE. Not long after the food was gone, Edwin shared his testimony with the girls. An amazing story of God's provision and Edwin's faith and trust in his God is one that inspired many, especially the girls. I think his story was also a way for the girls to see that coming to the states for college is a possibility, and that no obstacle is too big for our God. 
so thankful for God's mighty hand. He is good.

pictures to come!

rants and chats

The past three days at Northwestern College have been an absolute blast.  The team has just welcomed us in way that has made the girls feel right at home.   

On Thursday they had a campus tour.  This was a really neat experience.  I feel like it opened up the girls eyes that college could be a realistic option for some of these girls.  I think the walls of poverty often leaves the girls thinking that college is not even a possibility.  That afternoon, a pool party was organized with a lot of the NW players.  The girls had a great time playing with the other players and it helped to release some of their nerves.

Friday & Saturday:
The girls had a really great team competing against many different teams over the course of Friday and Saturday.  They got to face a lot of tough competition and by the end of the day Saturday, they were back to being themselves.  Those girls love to talk trash, be funny and get super competitive… I’m just thankful the other teams don’t understand Spanish!

Low Lights So Far
·      Loreidy sprained her ankle the first day and won’t be able to participate in camp/games for at least a week. Pray for quick recovery.
·      Some girls have started to feel homesick

·      Watching my girls do their crazy chants… and then watch the American girls watch them in bewilderment
·      My parents surprised us with a visit on Saturday.  They were at a family reunion out west and stopped by on their way home.  So they were able to see some games and join us for night activities.
·      The girls were able to spend some time with a guy named Edwin.  Edwin grew up in the DR and by God’s soverign power, allowed him to come study and graduate from Northwestern College.  He shared his story that inspired everyone to trust God’s power and that with a lot of hard work and determination, anything is possible.  It really shoed the girls that a college education is actually possible. 
·      Watching the Northwestern players and coaches pour out into my girls.  They have been very intentional in playing with the girls, joining in their crazy games and getting to know them.  I’m excited to watch those relationships develop even more as the girls will start a High Performance Skills  on Monday!

Thank you for all your prayers! For some reason, the only thing that works on the internet is my gmail, so if you want to get a hold of me, contact my email or call my phone.  We should have another video for ya after the volleyball camp by Wednesday or Thursday! 

up, up, and away

Adventure Part One: You Will NOT Be Traveling Today

Well, so far things started out a bit rough.  On Monday, I sent my assistant down to the airport to get all the forms and to confirm that all the documents we had were correct and ready. Affirmative.   However, this morning, when we approached our last checkpoint, we were asked for our parent permission slips. Again, affirmative.  Months ago, I had gotten legalized permission slips and had them ready.   Despite my “good” preparation, they did not have the correct certification.  So when I asked the woman, “Okay what do we need to do?”  She said, “well, your group is not traveling today.  Each of you need to get each parent to travel to Santiago and get the $75 permission slips and then come back and get on the evening fight. “ Not good.  Many parents live far away and it would have been nearly impossible to get them together again in Santiago.  The worst part of it all is that we most likely would have to pay some sort of fee to get new flights.  Trying to keep my cool (because I’m supposed to be the calm and collected adult right?),  we asked to speak with the manager (or whatever they are called), and finally we were given permission to pass if my director agreed to go to Santiago with the parents.  We also had to pay the $825 dollars to get the form signed.  I am thankful to be a part of an organization that is so supportive and I know will do any leg work that needs to be done DR side over the next couple days.  Thanks SI. 

So, after running to catch the plane, we sat down with a sigh of relief.  Luckily the stress didn’t take away from the excitement of the girls.

Adventure Part Two:  Marathon Exercise
Once we got off the plane in Miami, we had to print to make our next flight to DFW.  It was slightly nerve racking to split up with the girls because they had to go through a different set of customs.  I was super thankful to have Miriam.  She is a Dominican woman who is also a missionary with SI that also is serving as a chaperon on the trip.  Anyways, long story short, I am now sitting still wet with sweat because we ran here and got on just as they were closing the door.  I really hope I don’t have anything eventful to report on our last leg from DFW to OMA, Nebraska!

Adventure Part Three:  Yo Quiero Taco Bell
The coach from Northwestern College picked us up from the airport and then we got to enjoy a Walmart and then the classic Taco Bell for dinner!  Two of the girls were feeling sick afterwards… so maybe Taco Bell wasn’t the best idea for their first American meal! 

Here’s some highlights from the eyes of Keysi and Esther (for those of you who don’t speak Spanish, Google translate is the best! 

Lo que fue incomodo para nosotros es que estamos acostumbradas a compartir las comidas  y para mi se veía egoista comer delante de Americanos en el avion y no poder brindarles porque es nuestra comstumbre. Otra cosa extrana fue que la mayoria de las personas no hablablan, usaban sus computardoras y su cellular  u otro obejeto tecnologico.

Cuando llegamos a Miami notamos todas las  comunidades que podíamos ver del avión ocupaban un cuadro especifico y eran todos iguales, esto quiere decir que hay una buena organización.  También al  presentarse  el problema que Coach Jessica planteo  tuvimos que correr casi todos todo los pasillos del aeropuerto desviando personas y casi tumbando cosas, esto sucedió porque estábamos retrasadas.  Cuando llegamos a Dallas pudimos notar que el agua se puede tomar de la llave cosa que no hace el dominicano.

Here’s a video of some of our adventures the first day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

you're the only One who brings me peace

It’s been hard to know that the end of my time here is coming soon, because as a rule I’m pretty bad at saying goodbye and finding closure in my experiences. Tomorrow I will be doing some debriefing on how to say goodbye to this place and this experience. I will dearly miss being a part of such a beautiful community. I will miss the sense of adventure here and knowing that each day will be different and full of something exciting. There is no such thing as monotony in this country or in this job, I will miss that. I will miss speaking my broken Spanish, and meeting new people all of the time. I will miss feeling like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and that I have purpose in being here. I will miss the way that deep and honest conversations just come up effortlessly and regularly. I have a feeling in my heart that when I leave the Dominican Republic this Wednesday, tomorrow, that it will not be the last time I am here. It will be sad to go, knowing the impact this place and these people have had on my life in my two experiences here. I am so thankful for the beautiful opportunities and memories I’ve had here, DR will forever be in my heart. I hope the Lord chooses to bring me back here. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

share the mess

found this on a friends blog; definitely felt it was worth sharing.
Fight for your heart; share the mess. You are irrevocably changed because of what you lost; let Him show you who you are because of that…what you are gaining and the beauty that will be brought in your soul.
“Fight for your heart; share the mess.” Hard to do. But yes, it’s how we gain in the face of loss and how we discover His beauty among the ashes.
just like my friend, I am moved, challenged, encouraged; thankful He gives us all a story to share with the world. The story of His redemption, His healing, His life in us. Share the mess.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


"I am convinced of the reality of a personal God. In Him there is feeling and will, responsive to the deepest yearnings of the human heart; this God both evokes and answers prayer." -M.L.K

Friday, July 20, 2012

God created man in His own image

a morning at Genesis. my heart is overwhelmed by the joy and love here.
Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


a pulga in the D.R. is equivalent to a garage sale in the sates!
we raised about $500 for the girls states trip.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

a prayer for regaining perspective

     When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion foreverPs. 73:21-26 
     Gracious Father, the older I get, the more I appreciate the many characters and voices you’re recorded for us in your Word. There’s no moment, scenario or story we’ll experience in life that you haven’t anticipated. Such is the reach and riches of the Scriptures. Today I praise you for writing into Israel’s hymnal a song for the bitter and the beastly.
     There are times when I forget that I’m living in a fallen world, with a fragile heart, among people just as foolish as me. When my fellowship with you gets broken, I’m capable of acting out in very harmful ways. I lose perspective and love poorly. My expectations of you and of others become more connected to “La-La Land” than to reality. I become just like the psalmist Asaph—an envious, angry, senseless mess.
     Father, that you tolerate me in those times of disconnect is extraordinary. That you still treasure me when I lose touch with gospel sanity is astonishing. When I shake my fist at you, your grasp of grace is all the tighter. When I complain about a stony silent heaven, you’re actively, quietly guiding my every footstep.
     When I try to ignore, spite, or run away from you, you’re neither surprised nor offended. You just arrange circumstances of your choosing to recapture my wandering heart. Nothing can separate me from your love or cause it to diminish one degree. In the end, you will take me into glory, for you’ve committed to complete “the good work” you’ve begun in me (Phil 1:6). The gospel really is this big and this good.
     Father, your contra-conditional, unwavering, all-encompassing love melts my icy, prone-to-throwing-pity-parties heart. Continue the thaw. I’m not just the biggest loser when I pitch my tent in the land of disconnected heart; I’m also a thief, robbing a lot of people who are dear to me. Rescue me from my self-centeredness and demandingness. Because the gospel is true, you are my strength and portion forever. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ faithful and tenacious name.
-Scotty Smith

a organic gift

There are rare and sacred moments when the most organic gift appears, 
and though it may leave as quickly as it comes, 
it can interrupt the darkness all around. 
The world may seemingly be falling apart around us, 
but the sound of laughter can be heard from one small corner as it spills out 
and fills in the deepest grooves of sadness within us.
What has brought us closer together was the sound; 
the harmonious chuckle that dried our sorrows, worries, and cares. 
Weeping may have brought us to our knees, 
but laughter has picked us up.

thank you Lord
thank you for laughter.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Punta Rusia

beach day with the interns and friends!

Punta Rusia, Republica Dominicana from Kaylee Bonadona on Vimeo.

God is good and so beautiful.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

psalm 139

I feel a holy terror when You are near,
But what I fear is what I’m desperate for:
You know everything about me, see every part of me,
Even the things I’ll never understand.
You are everywhere around me and everywhere in me,
All-encompassing and all-consuming.
I cannot escape You, were I to try;
Climbing to the heights brings me closer to You,
Swimming to the depths brings me closer, too.
The closer I get, the more awesome You are
And the more I am ruined by my sin.
I am exposed as in a vast desert and left with
No place to hide from Your piercing gaze.
“What do You want from me?” I ask,
Knowing full well what it is You want:
You saw me before I existed, ordained my days
And set me as the object of Your affection.
Your thoughts are as precious as rare jewels and
Outnumber the grains of sand on a universe of beaches.
When I sleep and when I rise, You are with me;
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
You don’t come near without being invited, though,
So even though the thought brings a shudder,
I ask You to search me, test me, know me—
And lead me in Your everlasting way, Jesus.

la playa

an amazingly awesome day at the beach!!!