Along with the world the Dominican Republic had to take measures to help protect Dominicans from the Coronavirus. For 9 weeks the president of the Dominican Republic put in lock down orders from 5pm-6am, only keeping what was seen as essential open from 8am-3pm (banks, grocery stores, pharmacies and fast food restaurants who could do drive-thru). In a culture that loves life, a culture that embraces hugs a kiss on the cheek, hanging out on front porches came to a screeching halt. In order to be in the streets, and stores it was required to wear a facemask, and stand 6 feet apart. The consequences…. a fire truck blasting water to separate people. If you were out past curfew and caught, you would be put in jail for 24-48 hrs. and told that you would have to clean the streets. Mission2535, was forced to have to lay off construction workers and cut the salaries of our full-time employees.
We had to learn to adapt to the new normal; long lines, adjusting to communicating through zoom, wearing facemasks, and social distancing. But, in all of this inconvenient, and unpleasant time we have seen God at work. Churches, friends, and strangers have given above and beyond…only God is able to do that! We have sent out 10 packages of food (rice & beans) to each church (554 families) that we are partnered with here in the DR…all of this for $3,300. We blessed churches with fish from our aquaponics, and pumpkins grown on our land. We also blessed the juvenile detention center with essentials that families usually give (soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, toothpaste), youth rehab with 100 pounds of rice and beans, 50 packages of food to the workers at the dump. Traveled to the northern region and Puerta Plata to bless the churches further away.
Three weeks ago, we hired back our construction workers, the furniture factory is back up and running. Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We choose to praise our God in what seems to be adverse time in our World. Our hope and trust in our God for we will not be dismayed and know that God will strengthen us and go before us. For the first time in 15 years living abroad we will not be able to host short-term teams…pray for us, this will be hard!