Welcome to Jonathan David Rivas who was born December 21 at 10:25 a.m. by c-section. He was 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 inches long. We are grateful to God for good doctors who decided to do a c-section because Jonathan's heart rate was consistently low on the heart monitor. When they delivered him, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice. Jonathan is growing quickly. He has been such a blessing to us. Abigail loves her brother and is very protective of him.
Time has gone by quickly since we arrived back from the States. It was good to get back and start to get in a routine again.
God has richly blessed us and provided graciously for our needs. He has sent us some new supporters and some one-time gifts to help with different projects, some of which have made it possible for us to continue to work on our house.
It was such a blessing to have Lynette's mom and sister here for a week after Jonathan was born. When they planned to come we had no idea how much their help would be needed. At the same time, Beth Dierkes, who is on our board of directors, had planned on coming for 2 1/2 weeks to help out. I don't know how we would have managed without their extra help getting things done and helping to take care of Jonathan and Abigail as Lynette recuperated from surgery.
We have been blessed by an abundance of water the past month. Usually we have to ration the water by only washing laundry when we have water from the street, not flushing the toilet all the time, etc. This past month and a half we have been able to do laundry whenever we wanted because we have had so much water. Our water storage containers have even overflowed several times because there has been plenty of water to fill them up. The water pressure has been greater so we haven't had to use the electric pump to pump the water up into the water storage containers. Praise God! That has made our life a little simpler. Pray that this continues.
Not only have we had water into the house but we have had plenty of water from the skies the past couple of weeks. It has been difficult to get clothes to dry, and everything feels damp. It also means we have had some flooding problems where we have church. That part of our property is lower than the rest so all the water flows to the church area. Then our drain got plugged so the water just sat. Alberto is working on correcting this problem.
We have Bible study on Tuesday evenings at the house/church. A new Bible study has been added on Thursday evening. It is held at a different house every week. This has been an interesting experience for Lynette. Since most people don't have big houses or yards, we usually end up sitting in the street for Bible study. Fortunately, the streets we are on are not very busy. It is a B.Y.O.C. or "bring your own chair" event. It does not seem to bother anyone when an occasional motorcycle or car drives by. We sit on the street singing praises to God and studying the Bible. Occasionally, we do all of this in the dark because the lights are out. Cristian and Evelin also have a couple of smaller home Bible studies in the afternoons.
Work on the baseball field is progressing. It has been completely fenced in now. The next step is to build an outhouse so we can have work groups go out there to work on various projects.
Wednesdays and Saturdays, we have volleyball and basketball for teenagers and young adults. We have volleyball for the 6-12 year olds on Mondays. Several of these young people have gotten involved in the Sunday School. It has been a good way to get to know the kids in our area.
Many of us have experienced snow days and ice days, but have you ever had a rain day? We may not have snow and ice in the D.R., but we do have rain. Dominicans have rain days. It is a common belief that if you go out in the rain and get wet you will get sick. Because of this, people stay home when it is raining. One Sunday night service consisted of only Cristian, Anyelis, Alberto, Abigail, Jonathan, and I. Two of the neighbor children came over for a short time and then left. We used the time for praise and worship. A couple of our Bible studies have been canceled due to rain also. .
The 2x2 partnership program asks for people who are willing to give $40 per month for two years to help provide financial support for projects like the baseball field, church construction, and a van. If you would like more information about this project, please contact our forwarding agent, Valarie Peterson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or us at email@example.com. We will send you a brochure giving you more information about this opportunity. Included in this brochure are some great Dominican recipes that you can try at home.
We are in great need of purchasing a van for the mission. A reliable vehicle is needed for transporting work groups as well as providing transportation for people to and from church and other activities. A new 15 passenger van will cost between $25,000-27,000. We would like to purchase a van that is a few years old at a lesser price. Please prayfully consider helping us out with this special need.
Editor's note: Mom was a bit worried as the van lights would go out while they were driving at night. Albeto would adjust some wires while driving and they would come back on. In the summer, alberto has to plan his longer trips early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid over heating.
Alberto will be celebrating his birthday this Friday, February 14. Abigail turns four on March 11. Take time to wish them a happy birthday!
We could use baseballs and baseball gloves, both new and used, for our new sports ministry. (Contact us for shipping information.)
- Birh of Jonathan David to Alberto and Lynette
- Birth of Emely Cristal on October 20 to Cristian and Evelin
- Safe travel while in the States
- Increased monthly support
- Special Financial gifts
- Better water and electricity
- Work teams from Cedar Falls Church of Christ coming in March
- Alberto's brother Hector - pray that he will make a decision for Christ and have a changed life
- Alberto and Lynette - health, marriage, and wisdom in making decisions
- Open hearts for those who are having home Bible studies
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask on image, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
We have had two churches come to Monte Cristi for retreats in the past few months. The Barrero church came on November 10 with aobut 30 people. They brough their own food to fix, had a church service, and went to the beach for a few hours in the afternoon.
December 1 saw the church from Mao coming for a retreat with 20 people. This church planned farther in advance, and we were able to coordinate it so that our church could share the retreat. Our ladies jumped right in and brought food for our Church to fix so that we could share in a meal and worship service with the church from Mao. Eveilin planned Sunday School for all the kids with a little help from Lynette. Lynette made playdough for all the children who came and passed out 40 sandwich bags. After church and lunch, we made a quick trip to the beach to relax.
We appreciate your support and prayers as we continue to get settled and set up our ministry here according to God's will.
Forwarding Agents: Make all checks payable to: Juan Alberto and Lynette Rivas Valarie Peterson Cedar Falls Church of Christ SGO 13908 715 14th Street SE C/O CDEM 7990 15th St. E Rochester, MN 55904 2727 West Fourth Street Sarasota, FL 34243 507.289.1086 Cedar Falls, IA 50613
God bless you.
Alberto, Lynette, and Abigail Rivas