I tried to write briefly last time and it stretched into two pages. I am going to try numbering to see if it helps. Not!
1. Up at 6:30 am to make pancakes and coffee for Pastor/Counselor D.F., who needed my help to make a 3-minute TV script for his ministry (he arrived at 7 a.m. sharp). Debbie spent the night in the hospital taking care of one of our volunteers who was terribly dehydrated from stomach problems, and she wasn't here. I knew that I would have a busy day and so I had him come by after dropping his daughter off at school. Usually I am a night owl and am not up this early. It is exciting to hear about the counseling center he is
developing. The government is beginning to send him cases, mostly dealing with violence against women, or out of control youth. We talked till about 9 a.m. about his vision for the work. Getting that vision into a three minute promotional video, that includes bio info, and actual testimonies, will be a formidable task.
2. At 9 a.m. the carpenters showed up to get their pay for finishing the roof at the Rieles church. They actually covered the 45' by 80' foot area within a day and a half with industrial tin. After wrangling with them a little about the price and some cash advances I had given them, they left satisfied. Elias showed up, while they were here, to remind me that we had agreed to go to Santiago today to take the new "Consejo de Vida" programs to the TV station there. He made a few calls and said he would be back. If you want to see a sample of this program, look up "Consejo De Vida 1/4" in www.Youtube.com
3. Pastor E.M. showed up at the door, and I was able to give him a check that a church had sent for his family, and another check sent to help with a children's feeding program he has in the inner city. Pastor E.M. is a young pastor, who is also helping us prepare our application for a cable TV channel. We talked briefly about this process, before he left. He has worked with different TV stations before.
Pastor/Counselor D.F. left just as this last visitor arrived.
4. I called Teen Challenge to remind them that they had mentioned they were going to visit our Rieles church construction site. They were on the way, and I needed to meet them at the site. I waited till Elias returned, then headed out to the construction site with him. It was about 10:30 a.m.. During my wait for Elias I had dug up all the actual receipts for the roof project and totaled them. It was $9000.00 US; less than half what a concrete slab would cost them. The US director for this drug/rehab program met us, with a few of his leaders, to see the roof. They were happy about the price, but still not sure which way to go with their project. Their building was almost the same size as ours. The after school program was actually functioning at that hour, so they could see this ministry at work. I attached a few photos above.
5. We arrived in Santiago (30 miles north) about noon, dropped the programs off and encouraged the manager to help us set up some TV production workshops for the first week of February. We will have an experienced documentary filmmaker visiting us in February to do TV/Film workshops. The manager said she would do her best to get the word out. She also asked if she could count on our programs arriving regularly every week. We had stopped sending them when I left the country last year, and she had been broadcasting re-runs since then. I let her know that we had made a four year commitment to keep working here in the country, and by God's grace we hoped to continue producing this TV program. We left six programs with her, and so she would be in good shape for a month and a half. Around 2 p.m., Debbie called to see if I would bring her some lunch to the hospital. Unfortunately I couldn't as I was still in Santiago. She came home and had some soup, then returned to the hospital.
6. While in Santiago we stopped at Pricemart, we had a calzone, bought some groceries and headed back to La Vega. Elias needed to get back quickly as he had to put together a sound system and set up a computer to record sessions at a coference that would start at 5 p.m. (he arrived back in La Vega around 4 p.m.). Actually, Debbie would be there for the sessions that night, as it was for educators. I dropped him off at the Conference center and headed over to Carlos N's house, he had been waiting for me since the day before, to give me some "pasteles en hojas" (plantain tamales) I had ordered from him. I knew I had to get by there soon as he needed the money. They cost me $ 7.00 US, which may not seem very much, but when your income is only $200.00 US a month, I knew he was counting on these funds.
7. I was hoping maybe to get a break before I had to run out to pick up the young people at Santo Cerro. This was a small town about 20 minutes out of La Vega. Well after 45 minutes of answering emails, off I went. I was thankful to see that three girls, their mother, and a cousin loaded up in my van and headed out with me to the youth service in La Vega. With this group there was a total of 26 people attending. This was a great turnout, as the youth event called "One Way" has only been meeting for two months. I think the grilled hotdogs helped boost the attendance. I ate my first mayonaise and ketchup hotdog there. It was actually pretty good.
8. 10:30 PM I finally arrived home (after dropping off the youth). Debbie had arrived home about 5 p.m., with our missionary volunteer teacher (who was feeling better)