Spring 2010 Mayaguez Puerto Rico
Although spring is probably still a month or two away in most parts of the northern hemisphere, and you're still struggling with cold and snow, in Puerto Rico, it is definitely spring.
Not only is there no cold weather to deal with, but the flowers co-exist with the colors on the broad leafed trees that are changing and dropping as they do in Autumn in the states. It is an interesting and beautiful combination.
We arrived in Puerto Rico on the 5th of February, but we didn't actually start working until the 10th this trip. The reason for the delay was that my youngest sister, Lorraine, and her husband were visiting the island for about three days after we first got here.
When you read about an island that is only about thirty five miles wide by a little over a hundred miles long, you'd think that three days would be plenty of time to see it, but in actuality, we spent most of the time driving from one site to another. Since there are between three and four million people on the island traffic is always an issue.
Nonetheless we saw the largest fort, El Morro, in San Juan and a couple of the nice beaches on the island. We took them to our favorite restaurant in Aguadilla. We saw the phosphorescent bay on a moonless night. And we visited two coffee farms on Monday.
We were also able to show them the two churches we are currently working in and they got to experience a Puerto Rican church service in Aguadilla on Sunday morning. They thought the people were sweet and enjoyed the opportunity to see our work.
Since they don't speak Spanish, they got a taste of church via translation...I don't think they were very impressed, with the translation that is. I know it isn't particularly easy for Dennis either, but it is easier than spending the time to learn Spanish.
Learning a language is a monumental undertaking for an adult. I think that is particularly so if it's the first language you've learned outside your native tongue. They thought they would learn more without the translation though...they may be right, I'm not sure on that one.
One of the highlights of this part of the trip for me (Sherilyn) was that we got to spend the night in Levittown with the lady I call my "Puerto Rican Mom", Crucita Rosa. I hadn't seen her for many years, and her husband, my "Puerto Rican Dad" went home to be with the Lord about a year and a half ago, so this may have been my last visit with her before heaven. It was truly a joy for me.
We also got the opportunity to visit with Barbara Lake, my first roommate when I came to Puerto Rico in 1979. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to the bones, so apart from a miracle healing, she will soon be going home to be with the Lord. Please pray for her. She still works in the Christian School there in Levittown.
We saw her, and some of my former students, when we went back to get the last of our luggage, that wouldn't fit in the car we used while my sister and her husband were here.
We enjoyed the visit with Lorraine and Phil, but it was a very hectic time. We took them back to the airport on Tuesday the 9th, and Dennis started working on the church in Aguadilla on the 10th.
Aguadilla Puerto Rico -
We always have a good time in Aguadilla...
One of the Island's Nicest Parts in our Minds
Our favorite restaurant on the island is currently located there. It has great food, a very nice waiter who makes us feel special, and a beautiful view of the sunset over the western ocean, with the town of Aguadilla and the coast down to Rincón visible to the south.
We love to get there just in time to watch the sun drop into the ocean. The sunsets are spectacular. We usually manage to visit once or twice during the month, and if finances allow, we like to bring a pastor and his wife, or a single missionary or two with us.
But most of the time in Aguadilla is spent working on Berean Fundamental Baptist Church (Iglesia Bautista Fundamental Berea). Dennis spent most of the time this trip working on top of a ten foot ladder replacing electrical pipe and wiring in the sanctuary ceiling. He also replaced the lights since they were old enough that they weren't working consistently.
If you wonder why the trips are as expensive as they have been, much of it relates to the work Dennis does. He tries to donate as many of the supplies and electrical fixtures as our budget will allow. Usually we spend as much on the donated materials as we do on all the other trip expenses.
You all know how bad the economy is in the States right now, well it is worse here in Puerto Rico. Many people are out of work or working less, so, of course, the churches have less money given as well. It is a difficult time for everyone.
Toward the end of our time in Aguadilla, Dennis spent two full days tracking down and fixing two short circuits that mysteriously happened in the wiring overnight.
He initially complained he thought the building was possessed, but on further reflection, he realized it was a blessing in disguise since he was able to fix the problems so the church wouldn't be without power for months until our next trip. Undoubtedly the Lord allowed it to happen while he was there so he could fix it immediately.
He estimates most of the building's wiring is about fifty years old.
Mayaguez Puerto Rico -
We came to Mayaguez on February 25th. On Friday, Dennis was already knocking holes in the concrete walls to put boxes in.
Where We'll Finish Serving for this Trip
Saturday we took the morning off and went to the beach. I actually went swimming for about twenty minutes. It is a beautiful beach. Dennis just sat in the shade and watched. He said he was too tired to swim, but at least that way he wasn't working.
We did spend most of Saturday afternoon working though, so the whole day wasn't a waste.
We will be here through March eleventh, so we have about two weeks to work here. We have a trip planned for this afternoon to buy more supplies needed for the work here. I know Dennis will have no problems working the whole time we're here.
In fact, I suspect the people here in Mayaguez are a little disappointed that we are splitting our time between here and Aguadilla now. There would be plenty to keep us busy for the whole month here.
Current Prayer Requests
Please pray for Ann Buchanan, the pastor's wife in Aguadilla. She went to the emergency room late Sunday night because of severe pain in one side. They told her they thought she had passed a kidney stone, but when she saw her doctor, he didn't think so. She is having more tests done, but the pain hasn't really gone away, so that makes the kidney stone hypothesis unlikely.
Pray too for Rodolpho Garcia, the Pastor in Mayaguez, and his wife Daly. He is having a colonoscopy today, and Daly is having serious allergy problems due to controlled burning that goes on in the hills at this time of year to get rid of a common pest that makes people itch. I'm not sure whether it is a small insect or a type of weed, but whatever it is, the burning kills it. However, the smoke makes Daly have a lot of allergy problems, so she needs prayer right now.
Continue to pray for Dennis that he will have safety as he works, that he will have wisdom to be able to accomplish the most possible with the funds available, and that we'll know how we can best be of service to the Lord and His people through these trips.
All Support is Greatly Appreciated
We're thankful we don't have to try to repay you for your prayers and financial support.
It would be totally impossible!
But we're also thankful that the Lord is keeping track, and we can trust Him to repay you in ways that only He can.
Nonetheless, words don't really express how much we appreciate those of you who pray for us regularly. Only eternity will fully reveal how invaluable you've been to our ministry.
The same applies to those who've supported us financially. Without you, we couldn't be here! We are encouraged and humbled by your support. We trust, by God's grace, we'll use it wisely.
Electrifying for Eternity,
Dennis & Sherilyn (Nutting) Thompson
Central Baptist Church
2422 N. Thompson Drive
Sullivan, IN 47882
They accept tax deductible contributions for us.