God has been doing some great things here! I have so many stories I want to share. If I could summarize February up into one word I would say HOPE. God gave me hope and He has been teaching me some mighty lessons about trust.
My mother visited two weekends ago. It was so short but I loved having her and showing her the places that have stolen my heart. She pushed me in my Spanish and I realized how much I fake understanding something in Spanish. She caught on and I would have to ask the person to say it again and we would work together until I understood what they were saying and then translate for my mom. The truth is that I can understand more than I thought I could.
While she was here we got to meet a lady who lost her son in an accident. One of the ministries is named after her son. My mom and I talked with her for a long time and there is nothing more I can say is that she gave us hope. I do not know how to explain it other than she just filled us with hope. I tried to share with my bible teacher and one of my roommates because they were in my prayer group for this month and just started crying because I am just overwhelmed at glorious and loving God is. His eyes were watering and he said "God is good all the time..." And we finished "all the time God is good."
Last weekend we went whale watching as our big trip for this year. It was awesome. I am not being sarcastic because I like all those things that make the trip memorable. The four hour trip there was rainy but as soon as we got out on the boat it cleared up. The water was a little rough at first but it got better. I was so thankful that our leader brought Dremelin, because I would have gotten sick without it. We got to see a mother and her calf and they were very close to the boat. Someone joked that if the whale had surfaced any faster that they would have peed their pants because of how close it was to our little boat. It was great. After an hour they took us to an island where we ate lunch. We went shell collecting and found a ton of cool shells. I had a great time hanging out and exploring with our intern. Right before we left. Well we were actually waiting on the dock for them to pull the boat in, and it started down pouring. We got soaked. But it is the stuff that you can tell stories that make trips memorable.
The night we got back I was walking back to my apartment when I walked my the missionaries' apartment. The dentist had just pulled up to his house and was getting out of his car when his friend stepped out and shouted "hey!" I knew immediately who it was even though it was dark out and could not see his face. It was one of the leaders from my trip two years ago. He lives in Santiago, which is three or four hours from me, and came down to spend a week with his friend.
That Tuesday, we left for our mission trip. A five hour trip up to Puerta Plata. We were there for five days and put on a program at a school run by a ministry called Makarios, which is Greek for blessed. It was a great mission trip and we loved it. The school was very similar to the one the I serve at on Mondays. The school has both Americans and Dominican teachers. I was allowed to help in a class for a little while and I could not shake the feeling that I recognized the teacher so when class was over I asked her where she was from. She said New Jersey so I thought that there was no way I actually knew her but we kept talking and she said she went to college at Syracuse university, so I got back I friend requested her on Facebook. It turned out that we have a mutual friend, but I still do not know how I met her. But either way I thought it was cool and that God was at work.
After we put on our program at the school, they took us out into the village and we went and visited the families of the children and shared our testimony with them. All around it was an amazing trip.
This past weekend i went and stayed with a family that lives in the same place that I do ministry. The father is a pastor and I had been to his church once so I knew him a little so I was excited. I had a great time with them. They made us some special, delicious, and different kind of foods. It was there first time host students so it was extra special for us. For the first time, i shared my testimony without reading it and then the mother told that she also lost a brother who was 27. I was so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to share our testimonies and build that friendship with her.
God is at work here and I see it everywhere. From the smoothness of our ministry day this week to the fact the our Bible teacher this week surprised us with bring us our favorite candy from the states. Our Spanish teacher had given us an assignment a couple of weeks ago where we had to write about our favorite candy, and we just thought it was purely homework.
I have changed so much. One example is that I have been trying some new foods. For starters, i have been eating fish. My mom was shocked when I tried someones salmon when we went out to eat when she was visiting. We also tried blood sausage and we both thought it was delicious. Then the other day someone shared their fish. I do not know what kind it was but it was delicious. I think I like fish more than chicken! I was offered crab but I am not quite ready for that yet.