To say time moves fast is an understatement. Two weeks ago, we celebrated our first year of living in the Dominican. This past year has been an absolute whirlwind. It’s been a tornado of emotion and re-structuring everything in our lives, from getting started as guesthouse hosts to learning a new culture. Let’s not forget all of the adventures previously mentioned in our blogs, along with the struggles and overcoming fears! Our God is so good!
Also, we’ve been married for two years as of this past Monday!!!!! We celebrated by dressing up and going out to dinner. We are both so thankful for how God has blessed us and our marriage. Little did we know how we were going to be used for something far greater than just being two best friends on a grand adventure called marriage!
There are two things I would like to share with everyone starting with our first full year of teams! Can anyone believe it’s been a year already?!?
A team from Roanoke, Virginia was back at the Guest House. They were here during our first week last year, so it was exciting to see our first repeat group! We had an amazing second week together. We found out a few members thought Alissa and I looked like deer in headlights a year ago. They were worried about us, and one individual from the team said she prayed for us every day! She saw a big difference this year! God answers prayer!
Being transparent is very important to Alissa and I, and that’s something we share with the teams. Last year was difficult, especially for me. I felt like the holidays could not have come soon enough so we could be back in the States. Thankfully as previously mentioned, God provided healing and helped us overcome many things.
Throughout last year, I struggled with feeling disconnected. Recently, I was listening to a bible study on RightNow Media and the pastor spoke about being separated from the herd. When an animal becomes separated from the head, it makes it easy for a lion to strike. In 1 Peter, chapter 5, we read “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” This is exactly what I was feeling, only I didn’t recognize it. I was not communicating with any accountability partner or talking with other men of God and sharing my struggles. I was separated from men that could help me through tough times. Instead of reaching out, I convinced myself I was strong enough to make it through.
Thankfully, I realized I needed to share these struggles and to reach out as often as I could for help. Several men have connected with me at the Guesthouse and I’ve stayed in contact, realizing I cannot do this battle alone. To finish off in the next verse in 1 Peter it reads, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same suffering.” Proverbs 17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Thank you all for continuing to pour into Alissa and I. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support and encouragement. We could not do this alone or without all of you having our backs. As we begin another year, please know that we need you to continue. Keep reaching out to us. Hold us accountable. Speak truth and declare over our ministry God’s word and his never-ending love. We’re all in this together!
Love and blessings,