Welcome to the Garza Family in Dominican Republic Blog
June 18, 2021 Update
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:12, 13
We are coming up on our second year in the Dominican Republic, and what a journey it has been! Aida has been helping Nathan with his schooling from home while I (Felix) have been teaching technology courses to middle schoolers (5th grade to 8th grade) primarily from the school’s library. It has been challenging for both of us: Aida also had to juggle between helping Nathan with his Zoom meetings and homework while juggling time with Samuel and his development, while I had to adapt teaching the curriculum to a fully online format. Although the pandemic was challenging, I was able to minister to my students by praying for them and encouraging them through music videos and leading them through biblical perspectives on the content.The pandemic has developed our flexibility, innovative spirit, and perseverance. Next school year, Aida has joined the Learning Support team at Santiago Christian School (SCS), so we rejoice in God’s direction as she applies her skills to students that need academic support.
The loosening of restrictions has allowed ICM (our church) to reopen Jubilee Community Center to serve the community. This summer, I will go to help organize the Jubilee Center’s library, and I will also add some donated books to their catalog. Books are in limited supply, and necessary to help broaden the minds of the children of the community in Pontezuela. Aida has joined the teaching ministry at ICM, and I am part of the preaching and translating ministry at ICM. It has been a joy to use our gifts to bless the community that has been a great blessing to us.
We are looking forward to moving into a new neighborhood. We have felt God leading us to move, and God provided a house within our budget. We are praying that God will help us make it our home. We’ll miss our neighbors in the apartment complex, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with those we’ve built relationships with for the past two years. We’ve been praying and have felt the Lord calling us to move.
The move will give our family of four much-needed space to grow and meet our needs as a family, plus it will also help us to host meetings with other families and accommodate Bible studies and prayer times in our home. However, the move will be costly. The house does not have screens on the windows, and the landlord has refused to install them and pay out of pocket for them. The law does not require the landlord to have them installed, but they are a necessity in the country, as the island is teeming with disease-carrying mosquitoes. That means that we will have to make the expense of installing them, which is going to cost us around $1000 USD. Also, we will have to acquire some furniture, as some of the furniture will remain in the apartment for the use of new arrivals that will teach at the school and live there. We will also have the expense of having our A/C units uninstalled and installed in the new house, which is estimated to cost around $350 plus we’re purchasing a refrigerator that’s been used for six months (practically new condition) for $650 from a family that is moving to a house that includes a fairly new refrigerator. We decided to buy because the refrigerators from the school are older models and are in constant need of maintenance. Overall, it’s going to cost between $2,500 to $3,000 USD for us to be able to move into our new home.
We are trusting in the Lord to provide what we need, but these additional expenses will prevent us from visiting the United States. We are saddened that we won’t get to see our friends and family this summer, but adequate housing is difficult to come by in Santiago and there were many potential tenants fighting to obtain the house we’re moving into. Only by God’s providence and favor were we able to obtain it.
We praise God that Nathan’s and Samuel’s respective therapies have been successful thus far. Samuel’s vocabulary has increased in both Spanish and English, and he will only need to go once a week to continue his speech therapy once school starts in August. We are hopeful Samuel will eventually no longer need therapy as his ability to communicate improves. Nathan has improved interacting with other children, but due to his autism he will need constant therapy well into his teenage years. There are some types of interactions that puzzle him, and although he’s incredibly bright, he lacks awareness about certain social cues in group settings and even when he’s one-on-one with another peer. Even so, we are hopeful that the support he receives now will help him to fully function as an adult, and we’re trusting in God that He will guide Nathan as he grows in his faith and in his abilities.
How you can help: We covet your prayers during this time of transition, specifically for our children to adapt to our new home and to thrive in their respective therapies, for Aida to adapt to working once again, and for the Lord to supply all our needs. We also need prayer for spiritual, emotional, and physical stamina for us to deal with all the changes to our family. For those who are able, we welcome any financial gift that the Lord has put in your heart to assist us with the costs of our new home. Click on the link to support us: https://www.coahmissions.org/garza-family.html
Thanks again for joining us and loving us! May the Lord bless you all!
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