April 2015

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us…and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved … Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not…but as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant. The surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. – 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, 3:4-5, 4:7

Dear Family and Friends,

It was several years ago that God called me to mission work in the Dominican Republic. I had no idea how He was going to get me there or even if I wanted to go. But through His lovingkindness, for His glory and His kingdom purposes, He guided and led me to Monte Plata where I have lived and served for the past two school years. God brought me to Monte Plata first for His glory, and then to do some much-needed work in me. I arrived a perfectionist, a controller, and a hypocrite who preached living by faith but was always five steps ahead of God’s plan for me. He has put me through the fire here, has refined and sanctified His servant, and has revealed more of my stinking, ugly sin than I ever was willing to admit existed in my heart. He did that so that the aroma of Christ, and only the aroma of Christ would be spread in Monte Plata. This town did not need Kristin. This town needed, and needs, more of Christ. I am only a commissioned worker, and a poor one at that, who was blessed with the opportunity to spread the fragrance of Christ in this town for the past couple of years.

February 2015

Dear friends and family,

Is it really already the second week of February?! That just doesn’t seem possible to me. I pray that this email finds you all well, growing in understanding of how much our Father loves us, and thankful for the blessings He has richly provided. Even on the hard days and in the middle of the hard weeks, He is faithfully working out His plans.

November 12, 2014

My dear friends, family, and supporters,

It’s November which means that the Christmas season has been in full-swing here in the Dominican Republic for about a month! While you all are preparing for Thanksgiving, we are singing Christmas songs under the palm trees in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be! I pray that this email finds you and your family well. I pray for many of you specifically every day. Please never be afraid to let me know how I can be praying for you! Thank you for so faithfully praying for me and supporting me financially. I am honored to be your partner in the Lord’s work in Monte Plata.

August 25, 2014

Good morning! I pray this is a joyful morning for you, as it is for me!

Today I celebrate 1 year in Monte Plata. Praise God!! I want to share a blog post with you all in which I try to describe my feelings about the past year and the upcoming year in Monte Plata. I am so thankful for the support of each and every one of you and I thank God for you this morning. You all are a large part of my journey here.

Una Maestra con Una Misión – 1 Año

July 2014

Hola from Monte Plata! Summer is in full-swing here as I’m sure it is for most of you. I pray that as we head into July you are able to see and experience more and more of God’s presence. That is definitely what we are experiencing here! Below are some quick updates on what’s going on within our ministry and our town this summer along with some ways that you can pray specifically for us! Please let me know how I can be praying for you as well!

May 7, 2014

Hola Family and Friends!

I am sitting on my porch this rainy afternoon enjoying the cool weather (and tolerating the mosquitoes that come along with the cooling rain). As I sit here and read God’s Word, I am overwhelmed by all I have for which to be thankful and I want to share my gratitude with you all. Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and financial support. As part of my team of supporters back home, you are an indescribable blessing to me personally, to the ministry here, and to the advancement of God’s Kingdom around the world.

April 2014

Hello dear friends and family!

I wanted to send a quick email tonight to update you all on some prayer needs and praises. Thank you for your continued encouragement and support. I often brag that I have the greatest team of prayer and financial supporters that a missionary could ever ask for. God has truly blessed me with ministry partners and friends like you!

March 20, 2014

Hola from Monte Plata! I am excited to quickly share with you the amazing things the Lord is doing here and to ask you to continue praying for our ministry.

Listen to these two incredible stories of the Lord’s provision within our missionary community! First, we have a missionary couple named Kami and Romulo who live in Santo Domingo and are the directors of our new care center there. They have a 3-year-old son named Robert. On Tuesday, Robert slipped and fell from a second-story balcony at his babysitter’s house. After an overnight stay in the hospital to monitor for internal injuries, Robert was released without a broken bone, with no internal problems, and with only a scrape on his elbow and a bruise on his heel. Praise the Lord for protecting this little missionary boy! Another one of our missionaries, Lorren, had a heart attack yesterday. His wife, Kari, was on her way back to Canada to see family, but her plane had been delayed in Miami for several hours. So instead of being on a plane and nearly in Canada like she should have been, she was only in Miami and was able to quickly change her flight and return to the DR. They placed a stent in Lorren’s heart and he is recovering well in Santiago now. Praise the Lord for his provision and hand of care for our missionary family! Your consistent prayers for our ministry team are heard and answered!

February 25, 2014

Hello friends and family!

It’s a rainy evening here in Monte Plata and I have the great privilege of writing to you all to update you on the Lord’s work here. February has been one of the calmest months I’ve had since arriving here and today marks my 6 month arrival anniversary. Some days I feel like I’ve been here for much longer than 6 months, and other days I feel as though I just arrived. Either way, I am thankful for all the Lord has taught me in my first 6 months here and all the ways in which He continues to provide for our ministry.

January 2014

A photo from a recent home visit to the house of 3 of our students – Euris (1st grade, left), Perla (2nd grade, center right), and Deivi (4th grade, right) – who are all being cared for by their grandmother, Juana

Hola y prospero año nuevo from Monte Plata! Happy New Year! As I look back on all that God showed me and blessed me with in 2013, I am filled with joy and thanksgiving. It was truly the most life-changing year I have had thus far. Thank you for being a part of all that God has done for me! As I ponder the blessings of 2013, I can’t help but look eagerly ahead to 2014 and all the opportunities it brings here in Monte Plata. The Lord is doing a great work here and I truly have the greatest job in the world since I get to be a part of it and I get to bring you all along to be part of it as well.

December 16, 2013

¡Feliz Navidad, mis amigos! Merry Christmas, my friends!

I hope that you are finding time to calm your (probably) very busy heart this Christmas season and rest in the joy and peace that comes with the knowledge that God chose to enter into our broken world with the intention of drawing us closer to Him. I find it amazing that He chose to come so humbly, so quietly, and so peacefully although He deserved a far grander entrance, far more recognition, and far less ridicule and shame. What a powerful lesson about life as a missionary and how we should serve and love our communities.

November 22, 2013

Hello friends and family!

Let me take this opportunity to say how THANKFUL I am for all of you. Your prayers, encouragement, financial support, email responses, and facebook “likes” mean more to me than you could know. I know I am surrounded by an incredible support team and that makes the hard days here more bearable. Let me also say that the “hard days” have been fewer and farther between lately. I am truly settling into a rhythm of life here and the things that used to seem overwhelming aren’t anymore.

October 25, 2013

To my dear friends and family,

¡Buenos dias! Good morning! As I write to you this morning, I am sitting in my living room, watching through the window as some boys from our school play baseball with a stick and some bottle caps in the street in front of my house. Today is an election day in the Dominican Republic, so we have the day off from school. They seem to be enjoying their day off just as much as I am, although I’m choosing to spend my relaxing day off with some reading, laundry, an iced coffee, and a letter to you all! I hope this letter finds you and your family well, living in the intense joy and freedom that comes from a life lived in the center of Christ’s will.

October 7, 2013

Hello everyone!

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend! My weekend here was great, very relaxing and restful. Due to some sort of random allergic reaction, I was a bit under-the-weather last week. But thankfully the reaction finally went away and I am happy and healthy once again. Praise God! We also enjoyed some cooler weather last week and this weekend due to some large rainstorms passing through, but today we’re back to normal. As I write this, it is 9:00 PM and only 84 degrees, but when you add the 79% humidity, that makes for a toasty (sweaty) evening.

September 17, 2013

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your continued prayers and emails of encouragement! I am continuing to settle into my life here and am finding a routine and a rhythm for each week. I finally know how to actually “live” here – for example, I know how to get clean water to my house, I know how to clean the fruits and veggies I buy at roadside fruit stands, I know where to buy the best chicken, I know how to do my laundry and hang it to dry before the rain comes each afternoon, I know that I can stop by Luz and Lucy’s house anytime I want for a cup of coffee, and I know who to talk to at school if I need paper, some pencils, or a bottle of glue. It feels great to have these things figured out!

September 10, 2013

Hello everyone!

Today I taught math to 1st graders, 2nd graders, 4th graders, and 7th graders – in Spanish. Can you believe that?! I’m telling you, the power of God to work through us is just incredible. My lessons were…interesting. Some went well, some were a bit hectic. I had 1st graders trying to eat our plastic manipulatives and 7th graders who were throwing them across the room. But today was day 1 and I know it’s going to be an uphill climb! Please continue to pray for my students!

September 6, 2013

Hi everyone!

I just finished my second week here at the Eva M. Russell School and am so excited about what God is doing! I already have 15 girls signed up to begin Bible study classes on Wednesday and have 5 volunteers to help. What a great answer to prayer! We will begin our Bible study by talking about the widow who gave her only two coins as an offering at the temple. The Bible talks about her in Mark 12 and Luke 21. Please be praying for God to be glorified through our study on Wednesday!

September 2013

Hello everyone!

Hanging out after school

How thankful I am to have the opportunity to write to you tonight from my new home in Monte Plata! I have only lived here for a little over a week but I can tell that God was preparing a place here for me for months and years before my arrival. I am completely moved into my new home, which is a house at the back of the school property. I have a Dominican roommate who is a product of the ministry and now works here at the school in the kitchen. She is wonderful and is a huge answer to prayer.

August 2013

Hello everyone!

It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement (OK – mostly excitement!!) that I write to update you all today. Today is my last full day in the United States for quite some time! I will be leaving for Cremona, Canada (northwest of Calgary) tomorrow morning. When I arrive I will head to River’s Edge Camp for two weeks of Cultural Orientation for Personal Effectiveness training (COPE). This training is run by Wycliffe Bible Translators so most of the missionaries will be associated with their organization. However, there are 4 of us Kids Alive International missionaries who will be training with them, along with some other missionaries from other organizations. I am so excited to meet all these incredible people and hear their stories. Please pray that we are able to form encouraging and edifying relationships in such a short amount of time. I spoke with another missionary named Alex yesterday who will be joining me at training and then will be serving in Monte Plata with me with Kids Alive. He left for Canada today and I know he would also appreciate your prayers.

June 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

It is with great rejoicing and excitement that I write this letter to you today! I hope that as you are reading this, you are also able to reflect on the wonderful things God is doing in your life and can see Him at work as I can. I would love to hear about the things God is teaching you and showing you this summer! Please feel free to write, call, or email anytime!

April 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I pray that this letter finds you and your family well and deeply satisfied by the love of our Savior. It is with great excitement that I write to you to tell you of an amazing way that God is working in my life and in the lives of His children around the world. Most of you know that I have been a part of four short-term mission trips to the Dominican Republic since I was a high school student (2005, 2006, 2011, and 2012). Each time that I’ve visited the Dominican Republic, God has used my experiences there to direct me and call me into a deeper relationship with Him. It was there in 2005 that I solidified my decision to become a teacher. And it was there in 2011 that God began to work on my heart in a new, exciting way by calling me into full-time missionary work. Each time that I’ve left the Dominican Republic to return home, it has become harder and harder to leave that incredible country and the people there behind. I am excited to say that the next time I travel to the Dominican Republic, I won’t have to leave for a while!