LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From the DR to Arizona

In 2001 God began weaving a tapestry of love in my life that continues to amaze me today. I spent a week in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip . One of our translators, Viviana, and I instantly connected…on a deeper level than just a working relationship. She is the same age as our middle daughter; Dominicans call her “Bebe” for short (they pronounce “v” like a “b”); my middle daughter’s nickname when she played travel softball for years was “Bebe. Vivi is beautiful, sweet, fun, funny, gives great massages (my goodness! Those hands on such a tiny little body can really go deep into the shoulder and neck tissue! It hurts so good!), and has a strong faith in God. As I left to return home from that mission trip in 2001, I handed her a note and guess what! She handed me one back, neither of us knowing the other was writing notes! I boarded the ministry bus fighting back tears as she stood below the bus window, releasing the floodgate of tears. As the bus began to pull away, she smiled, waved and with a trembling lower lip said, “I love you, Mama!” And my heavy heart broke!

Years passed. And each summer I returned to the DR with eager anticipation of loving on Vivi and many other Dominican friends…well, family, really! One day Vivi told me that a dentist from Arizona named Kent, who had been there a couple times on a mission trip, had fallen in love with her and she with him. Soon after he asked her to marry him. Now, this is no small feat when you are Dominican and a Gringo wants to bring you to the USA to marry and live. For the better part of 2 years Kent and Vivi worked tirelessly to get the American Embassy to agree to let her come, with rejection after rejection after rejection! Finally, thanks to a senator from Arizona and our good Lord, Vivi was allowed to leave the DR and marry her Prince Charming in the USA! Unfortunately her mom and siblings could not leave the country to come for the wedding. Vivi honored me so by asking me to be her “mother-of-the-bride”! One of my daughters, who had also been with us on several DR mission trips, was asked to be a bridesmaid, as well, so to Arizona we went!
 God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, had been intricately weaving the tapestry of our lives for a number of years, but neither of us knew it! Then seven days of being in the DR and Vivi translating for me and all the rest of our team, formed a deep and a forever bond!

Vivi and Kent were expecting their first child at the same time my eldest daughter was pregnant with her youngest child. Vivi flew to Tennessee to spend some time with us, and how delightful that was to have my daughters together and 2 of them expecting little ones! Kent and Vivi’s Luke, now age 3, was born on my birthday~ another beautiful thread in the tapestry of my life!

This past summer Vivi was a bridesmaid in my other daughter’s wedding . This was another precious time for all of us to be together! My husband and I are in Arizona this week visiting while Kent is on vacation. We all leave tomorrow for the mountains to spend a couple of days sledding, snowmobiling, and having snowball fights! Living in the desert doesn’t afford many opportunities to enjoy the crisp cold snow and the fun it brings. So we will surely make lots of memories this weekend!
 (Playing with the Thomas the Tank Lego toys we brought him--he was in heaven!)

Being treated to some Dominican (and American) food here is super special! Anytime I don’t have to cook its super special…add the Dominican factor in and…well…it’s a win/win for me. Look at this beautiful breakfast we had this morning (not shown: crisp fried bacon):
 (Silver Dollar Pancakces and Huevos Rancheros)
My God has showered me with blessings abundant and I sit in awe of the creativity with which He weaves the tapestry of my life more and more beautifully every day. What blessings has He showered upon you today?

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