Hey guys! Jon here! I’m currently sitting in Panera working on our next blog listening to Justin Timberlake. He happens to be one of my favorite artists. Finally being able to sit back and relax, I figured I would check in with an update.
Alissa and I have been back in the States about four weeks. Our time back has been incredible! We’ve been blessed with the best family and friends, who have been housing us. We earn our keep by making guesthouse favorites, like banana bread and cinnamon swirl cake.
During our first week home, we were able to go camping with our best friends, which is one of our favorite hobbies! We were not discouraged when it rained the majority of our trip because rain is a scarce thing in San Juan. We were able to sit back and listen to MidWest storms roll in. The rain allowed for time to sit under the canopy and relax, play cards, and read. When it wasn’t raining, we were able to cook some of our favorite meals over a campfire.
Since being back in the States, Alissa and I have noticed many things we used to take for granted. Being removed from an area where you were born and raised gives you a new appreciation for small things in life. For example, life here in Indiana is quiet. Even on the busiest days in a crowd full of people the noise is nothing compared to our life in the Dominican Republic. We do not hear cars and music at all hours of the day. When we first landed on American soil, our ears were almost ringing from the quietness.
Another thing we took for granted is all the open space. San Juan has a population of 250,000 people and they mostly live in very small neighborhoods. In Fort Wayne, we hear people say “the houses are literally on top of each other.” That’s simply not true! These people have a front yard and a backyard. There are so many flowers and the grass is so green! We miss all the fresh colors!
Our time here is wrapping up, and we are beginning to prepare for our return to the Dominican. We have been fortunate enough to visit the majority of our family and friends. Along with seeing familiar faces and getting hugs from loved ones, we have enjoyed eating some of our favorite all-American foods, including sweet corn, fresh berries, burgers, and pizza! Being true Hoosiers, we’ve made time for many rounds of Corn Hole and Euchre.
I have just one final thought as I finish this update. Alissa and I ask that each one of you pray for the friends we’ve made during our time at the guesthouse, both the Dominicans and Americans - prayers for encouragement and joy wherever they are in life at this moment. We also ask for prayers, that God would continue to sustain us and provide for us. We’ve been able to share our story with so many people at the guesthouse this year, and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for the remainder of the year. We are excited for the next group of teams to arrive, and to continue proclaiming the love of Jesus!
Our small group from Pine Hills Church. We became friends during a trip in the Dominican Republic.