Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Well, we thought we should start some new, good habits. Thus, we are blogging again this week! (Yes, we are secretly smiling at each other and patting ourselves on the back.) This week has certainly had its trials. I came down with tosilitis or strep, we're not really sure which. Of course, I wanted to share my feverish delight with Mark. We both missed school this week. Yuck.
Our bodies are mending slowly, but we have great staff ar Doulos who were such great blessings and took our classes while we were away. My fifth graders are in the final stretch of their expedition. I can't wait to finish this!!!!!!! I am so excited. I will try to post their final product, but we'll see.
Pray for the Doulo staff, many are ill. We are praying for safety for you and yours this holiday season. We love and miss you all!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sorry for being incomunacado!!!

Hello! I know we have not updated in awhile so I am really sorry! Things here have been great! Expeditions are in full swing which is marvelous and stressful!!!
Mark is really settling in with his kids well. They absolutely love "Mr. Mark." Sometimes on long weekends Mark will even say he misses his kids! He is taking his boys (14 boys out of 21 students, crazy, huh?) camping in two weekends, so please pray for him. Also, Mark's birthday is tomorrow, November 21st! Happy Birthday, Mark!!!
As far as I go, well, it has been crazy. As you know we are designing a waste water treatment facility for our school. I never realized how important water is, but my students and I are learning every day. We have studied, in my opinion, every possible type of water purification system known to man! We had an expert, Lisa Ballatine, share about her project aqua pure, a water purification project that is bring clean water to Dominicans in the vally where we live. If you would like to learn more information go to http://www.aquapure.com.do/english/home.htm or
I promise pictures will follow if I can ever find a way to upload my photos from my camera.
Dios te Bendiga,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A hurricane or not a hurricane that is the question

Hello to a new year! As Mark reported previously the school year has begun!

The last couple of days we have been experiencing rain, but everything is fine here despite Hurricane Hanna's best efforts! Don't worry about us we are doing fine!

I am very excited about my new class! They are amazing kids, very respectful and obedient! They are a smart bunch, but their English needs some help. Please pray for guidance and wisdom for me!

Mark seems to be settling in well to his second grade class. He enjoys taking them outside to the pond. His expedition this fall will even be about fish! Is it anyone surprised, I'm not?!
Dios Bendiga,

Hurricane Hanna Mark's class My sisters in my room My classs

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back To School

Hey everyone,
We didn't forget about y'all. The school year has begun, and wow, pretty crazy. I (Mr. Mark) now have 21 bouncing 2nd graders: Isaac, Eliezer, Alberlyn, Jansys, Josue, Ramsel, Frandi, Briam, Luís, Marcos, David, Oliver, Jeremy, María, Pricila, Annaly, Katerin, Bianny, Francina, Helen, and Heidy. And God knew that I could not do it alone, so I have an assistant, Ricardo Lambis. Please pray for Ricky too. And Ciara, a.k.a. Mrs. O, has 14 niños: David C., Fredery, Juan David, Juan Carlos, Pedro Luís, David D., Helen, Tiana, Iliana, Claudia, Genesis, Zuleiky, Kate, and Emely. We thank all of you who have been supporting and praying for us while we are here in the beautiful country of the Dominican Republic. Without y'all, we would not be here.
Much love from the D.R.,
Mark and Ciara

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Home for the Summer!

Wow! What a year we have had! I would like to take this time to re cap our year!

Teaching Fifth grade this year has been an adventure! My major project this year was building the stage. My students designed, budgeted, and built it with two different work teams. My students used math skills, Language Arts, Science, and Art to accomplish this feat! They are truly amazing kids!

Our final project as a Fifth grade class was to build an immigration museum. The kids each had their own"rooms" (seperated by sheets) and talked about the lives, hopes, and dreams of immigrants to America in the late 1800's, early 1900's. My goal in teaching them about immigration was to encourage them to understand the similarities between Dominican immigration to the U.S. and Haitian immigration to the Dominican Republic. Both immigrants seek a better life. I hope my students have stepped away from this experience and finally understood what prejudices and harsh circumstances Haitians face and decide to change not only their own attitudes, but also those of their family, friends, and community.

I am especially proud of one accomplishment this year! At the beginning of this year I would ask my students, "How do you go to Heaven?" I recieved the general gamut of answers ranging from "I don't know." to "By dying, of course!" Mostly, my students would say by being good, by doing good things. I spent much of this year trying to teach them about Jesus, about what he did on the cross for us. At the end of the year, I asked my students to write me a letter about what they had learned. I was suprised and brought to tears by their response. Many wrote things like I learned to do fractions or how to write a paragraph well. However, many wrote "I learned that Jesus loves me, and he died on the cross for me. He is the way to Heaven."

Sometimes, between adjusting to Dominican culture, worrying about grades, expeditions, projects, my students' home lives, and completing the curriculum, I get lost. I forget why I am in the Dominican Republic. I am their to impact people for Christ. If I taught my kids nothing else this year, I hope they know how much their Savior loved/loves them.

Thank you for your prayers and loving support,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back to the Drawing Board!

These are pictures of my kids working on the stage they designed!
(On the picture to the left starting on the left is Massiel, Marines, and Arlette. On the picture to the right is Adriando showing his muscles!)
I finally made it home on Monday. After having to deal with mechanical failure and the dread that the U.S. thought that I was already in the D.R. when I was still in Texas. I was so glad to get home, but I was very excited to see many of you!!!!
It has been a nice week. The sun is shining, work teams are coming, my kids are crazy! Please pray for our upcoming work teams safety. Also, we, my fifth grade, have a lot of things left to cover this year! Please pray that we can successfully accomplish all of it!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I must apologize for not updating our blog! Many exciting things are happening in our lives. This week is semana santa, so we have no school. I am home for my sister's wedding. Yeah! I am enjoying my time here very much!
This last semester my kids finished designing and building the stage we worked very hard on!! We are about to begin our new expedition over immgiration.
Mark's schedule has been rearranged a little, and now he helps me out during the day, which I love. He is also helping do some maintance around the school.
God is so good, and He never fails to show us His love. Mark's labtop screen broke, and we were only able to use it hooked up to a monitor at the school. Well, needless to say, I was struggling to get my online coursework done. "Randomly," a man who is moving back to the U.S. asked if we needed a monitor. He said it was old, but what a blessing to be able to do my schoolwork, both Doulos, and my final college courses, at home! God is so good!!!!!!!
Please pray for Lindsay, our first grade teacher, as she still struggles with her health.
Please pray for these students because they are really struggling; Erys, Anthony, Santiago, and Arlette.
Thank you for your prayers and support,