Tyler Cox | Solid Rock

Tyler Cox | Solid Rock

Four Walls

It’s hard to believe we are wrapping up our first week off of the year since hosting six teams back to back. If I’m being honest, it took time, and energy to get reacquainted with what life was like before the Pandemic. Last year was just a glimpse of what ministry was before 2020. I have enjoyed hosting new, and old teams. Seeing team members who have become family over the years is a highlight of many returning teams.

February has been a busy month, and it’s hard to believe that March is around the corner. I feel like the month of January never ended, but this month barely feels like it has begun. I am thankful for pictures to look back on, to see what I have done outside of the four walls of the guesthouse in the last month.

Before I get to that, I want to talk about how thankful I am for the four walls that surround the guesthouse. The Guesthouse is a cherished place for so many. Some days, when I am too busy to leave the guesthouse I have to remind myself of where I am, and all that God has blessed me with. The inside of these four walls holds some of my best memories, and I know others feel the same. These four walls are home for so many people, it’s their place to come and get away. I hear week after week from people who say this is their home away from home. I love hearing that from others, because I felt the same way when I was a group member.

Inside these four walls is where I and many others learn and grow in our faith. We grow closer to the Lord, learn more about ourself, and see the gifts that God has given us. This place and this community are home. These are things I continue to remind myself, of during this busy season.

So, what have I been up to this month?
The month started with Northwoods Community church, and Pine Hills as a joined group. As always, I enjoy hosting this team because one, Northwoods is my home church, and two, there are so many people I know. Northwoods does a lot of work in a community called La Florida, and I had never been before. The barrio team was working in the community, as well as a small construction team, so Buchers, Sarah, and I went up for the morning. This community is far up in the mountains, and requires 4×4 to get to the top. It was an adventure! After the barrio team got set up we went to check on the construction team. They were building a house for a family who lost their house in a fire. I am always thankful for opportunities to go out, and see our teams work outside of the Guesthouse.
Following that team, a few friends and I went to the beach for the day. Though we live close to the beach, about an hour forty-five-minute drive, we don’t go often, so when we do it’s a treat! We relaxed, swam, and ate fried chicken on the beach. The dogs came too!

The next team we hosted was a team from Spartanburg, South Carolina. This week was quite different for me because I welcomed the team on Sunday, and was with them Monday, but on Tuesday Morning after breakfast, I got in the car and drove to Punta Cana to see my parents and Aunt and Uncle for a few days. I am so thankful for the quick trip, even though it was for a very short time. It was just what I needed to feel refreshed, and ready to continue with life in San Juan. We laughed a lot, in the one full day I was with them. My family got suckered a few times by the beach vendors, and I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. This was my first time in Punta Cana, and I enjoyed the feel of what the town had to offer for vacation. It’s crazy to think that I live on the same island as Punta Cana, where so many go on vacation. While there I couldn’t help but think about how all the people who vacation here, have no idea what life is like for the rest of the Island. I want to say thank you to the SRI staff for allowing me to take a few days off, and hold down the fort in San Juan, as they had to work together to take care of my responsibilities.

Our last team of the month was Concord Baptist, joined together with a team from Hickory North Carolina. This is one of the teams that has truly become family. We hosted a super bowl party with this team which is always an enjoyable evening. I was able to go into the capital with this team, to see them off, and they treated me to a nice dinner at a restaurant near the hotel.

Following the team’s send off, I planned on spending that Saturday in the capital shopping for groceries for upcoming teams. However, God had other plans. While in the capital my first stop of the day, was to pick up flea and tick meds for Osa, from her vet, Jenn. Jenn has become a great friend over the years. When I went to leave the vet clinic, as I was pulling out, a hose for the clutch in the van went out. The staff at the vet’s office helped me coordinate a mechanic, and allowed me to sit with them while I waited for things to get situated. Jenn let me hang out with her for the day and even took me to around Santo Domingo to show me a few of her favorite shops. Although it was a bummer that we had car issues, I could not be more thankful for where the van broke down, and for a friend like Jenn who made a not-so-fun day, fun! It was also great to get to know more about her, how she moved to the DR, and what her life is like here. Thank you, Jenn!! I don’t know what I would have done without her that day!

This week, I have tried to lay low, and relax, since it has been our week off. I have spent the week seeing friends who I have not had a chance to see in some time because of my busyness with teams. On Monday I went to Elias Pina to see Kailey’s clinic, and the progress that they have made in building their clinic. It was incredible! I got dinner with friends, and their parents two evenings, and on Friday went hiking to a waterfall in San Juan.

Here are some photos from the last month.

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