Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Answered prayers and changes‏

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.

Psalms 77:11-12

As I write this letter I am thinking of all the great blessings that I have experienced during the past year.  I have had the privilege of being a part of God’s work in so many lives, whether with our students and staff at Caribbean Mountain Academy, Dominican friends in the community or visiting mission team members.  I have been involved in so many neat ministry opportunities, sharing the love of God in word, deeds and actions.  I have found the woman in Carma Cummins with whom I want to spend my life serving God and enjoying the life that He has given us, and to whom I plan to marry this spring.  I had the awesome opportunity this past fall to visit so many different churches that have come to the Dominican Republic on mission trips and that have supported me in my ministry.  I am so grateful to God for the way that He has worked in my life and the lives of so many around me.

As I have shared with you in my letters and updates, this past year has been a great year of change and that will continue to be the case in this year to come.  During this past year I continued to step out in faith away from my ministry as a teacher to work more and more with mission teams and community outreach.  I have also entered into this relationship with Carma Cummins, which was a big change in my life, after being firmly entrenched as a single for over 20 years.  And of course there are the changes God brought to our campus and ministry in moving us from being Escuela Caribe of New Horizons Youth Ministries to becoming Caribbean Mountain Academy of Lifeline Youth & Family Services.

So in reflecting on this past year of God’s blessings and changes, I want to share with you the changes into which God is leading me in this new year.  As Carma and I have grown in our relationship and committed to moving towards bringing our lives together in marriage, we have had two overriding prayers; God, when should we get married and where should we start our married life?  It has been in the past two weeks that God has answered these prayers, so here are my plans as Carma and I look to move forward.

God has made it clear that we will start our married lives in the United States, so on March 16, 2012, I will be leaving the Dominican Republic to return to the states to live and minister.  Carma and I are looking at a wedding date in late April or early May.  We will be beginning our married life in Wabash, Indiana, where she is currently living.  At the present I am looking and praying for work/ministry for when I return to the states.  We are very excited for this new season in our lives and would greatly appreciate your prayers for this transition in our lives.

It is also with great sadness that I look at leaving the Dominican Republic and the lives and ministry that I have been a part of here.  It will be a huge transition, as 16 of the past 21 years of my life have been lived here in the Dominican Republic.  It has been my home and life.

I want to share a couple of specific things with my supporters and the churches and groups which have made mission trips or are planning to make trips this year.  First, thanks so much for your support through gifts, prayers and friendships.  I could not have made it all these years without your support and encouragement.  Second, know that Caribbean Mountain Academy is still committed to working with mission teams and ministry outreach.  As I prepare to leave the ministry, I have been training and supporting our chaplain and his wife, Scott and Meleah Taylor, to take over the community outreach and mission team’s ministry.  Scott has been involved in ministry for almost 20 years as a child-care worker and youth pastor, and is very excited to be a part of the ministry of Caribbean Mountain Academy.  I invite you to contact me with your questions and thoughts as both I and the ministry prepare for these changes.

I close this note with a simple thanks.  Thanks to God for His guidance and grace in this new season of my life.  Thanks to Caribbean Mountain Academy for allowing me to be a part of God’s work here for so many years.  Thanks to my family, friends and supporters for all that you have done to partner with me in my ministry here.

Also as I prepare for my transition please do not send any financial gifts for me after February 1, as our system will not allow me to receive any gift received after this date.

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