It’s been a full week since we boarded the plane and landed on this island! Full of building new relationships, strengthening current friendships, embracing flexibility, seeing The Lord in new ways, and humbling ourselves before a God who transcends oceans, languages and cultures. We are thankful. We are tired but we are thankful!

As one of the team leaders it has been a privilege to watch our summer staff lock arms with the Dominican staff in the ministry of loving these kiddos. They inspire me in their willingness to lay down their lives for the sake of the Gospel. I can see the Lord’s hand on each of them as He is equipping them with everything good for doing His will!

As we are approaching the final days of our trip The Lord has begun to give us vision for how this trip will translate into our lives back home, specifically in our ministry at Pine Cove. God is always faithful to prepare us for what He has prepared for us. He is preparing several of us to return to Outback this summer with a clearer view of a lot of our weaknesses. But only because He is preparing to reveal His sustaining grace to us as HE will give us everything we need for life and godliness this summer! How gracious is God to give us eyes to see our weaknesses so that we see Him for who He is- sustainer, mighty, and full of loving kindness. It makes me excited to head back to the US and anticipate the Lord’s work that will happen through us at Outback this summer!

Today we had a rain shower in the middle of our activity class time. These kids love mud!! It didn’t phase them for a second that they were covered in wet dirt- it was so fun to watch their abandonment to get messy as they were just kids being kids! There was a rainbow over the mountains during the rain! A beautiful reminder of God’s covenant promise to never destroy his people again because He destroyed His son on the cross. Creation testifies of His goodness and we are surrounded by incredible beauty!

We did our boat building game again at the pool and tonight they will have their club talk around the bonfire. Right now I can hear the campers outside my window doing one of the new camp cheers… Calling the Hogs!! Though I am a Razorback alumni– I will say that I did not teach them to call the hogs! Our staff have been doing it around me all week and the kids have caught on and love it! It’s pretty awesome and has become a “thing”. 🙂 Woo Pig Sooie!!

Be praying for us to finish well! The campers will head home after lunch tomorrow. We want to walk faithfully in our time with the National staff before we leave the DR on Sunday. Pray for our summer staff as many of them will jump right into classes on Monday morning!

We are blessed!
Barbara “Squeel Chair” Thalman