March brought full-fledged renovation at the new facility. We devoted most of the month to converting the existing buildings on the property to our needs for the ministry. As we waited for the previous owners to finish moving from the main building, we focused our efforts on the second and smaller building which was to house the church. This is a separate facility which allows for a greater seating capacity in the auditorium than the old property and which is used only for the church. By mid-March, we began the work in the main building as well which is to be used for the school and seminary. The majority of the classrooms are located on the second floor with the offices, cafeteria, and room for chapel services on the first floor. We were thankful for the four men who came from the United States to help us in this work. After many long days, we finished the basic renovation. The church held their first service at their own location on Easter Sunday, and the students had their first day for the school on April 4.
We continued Spanish classes and ministry throughout the construction. I preached in high school chapel during March; this was a treat as once a month the high school students have their chapel service in English. I was also able to preach at one of our Thursday night services. In April, we began to resume a normal schedule for work and ministry at the new location. We are enjoying the ability to become more involved in the work as we learn more and more Spanish. Stephanie began helping every Sunday in a children’s Sunday School class, and she had the chance to visit a local hospital with the church to pray with the new mothers in the maternity ward as well as give them diapers and gospel literature. I continued to help in the various ministries in the church each week. We helped with the monthly youth meeting, and we sang another special in Spanish on a Sunday morning. We are grateful for the opportunity to practice our language skills with the church members; they are very patient with us a we work not only with the vocabulary and grammar, but also with the pronunciation. I was able to preach this past Sunday at our morning service, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to speak more in the next few weeks.
We had a special blessing during the month of April; my parents came to visit us for a week. It was exciting to share with them what they have heard about through our many conversations via telephone or Skype. Landon and Elena wasted no time in showing them their new home and way of life here. We enjoyed our time in fellowship with them face to face!
Please keep praying for us as we continue to adjust to the new facilities and to work on preparing the building further. We are excited about the greater opportunities to reach our city with the gospel of Jesus Christ! This past week marked six months of service for our family in the Dominican Republic. We want to say thank you to the many precious people who have faithfully prayed for us and supported us during our transition to service here. Please take a moment to watch our latest video update of our first six months on the field.