So its mid October now and we officially have 7 weeks left! Seven weeks! It's gone by so fast and we've done so much since we arrived in July. We certainly are so glad that we decided to do this as a family and see how everything would turn out.
Up until now we have loved our experience here serving where the need is great. You see Jehovah's hand work for you every single day. If you didn't learn to trust in him before, this experience will surely teach you how! The reality is you will have your challenges and 'bad days', but that's anywhere you go and anything you do. Our biggest has been just making sure we're ok financially to have what we need. That's ALWAYS a big concern when you do something like this. Obviously we're not rich by any means but we have seen the fulfillment of Luke 12:29-31 where it says: "So stop seeking what you will eat and what you will drink, and stop being in anxious suspense; for all these things the nations of the world are eagerly pursuing, but your Father knows you need these things. Instead, keep seeking his Kingdom, and these things will be added to you."
Satan also knows all our worries and he "picks on them" as well. For instance, things that have never occurred in my wife's five years of working as a travel agent just happened to happen while we were here. But, we always have everything that we need; and we know it'll continue until we leave. Help from family and friends is a big part of how Jehovah helps with necessities. Whether it's a new bed sheet or an extra pair of flip flops, money (which definitely helps!), or even greetings of encouragement and support. All of these things have helped us be able to be positive and enjoy our time here. We sincerely thank everyone whose had a part in that and who will in the future!
After everything we've experienced so far, weighing the good and the bad, taking everything into consideration, and most importantly praying about it...we've decided that, Jehovah willing, this is the life we want to stay in. Jehovah willing, we will go back home and get our affairs in order so we can come back in the spring and stay for as long as Jehovah will let us. That's the goal anyhow, to ultimately serve as need greaters for as long as possible. Here in the DR or wherever we can go.
If you have the desire to serve in a foreign land but think that you'll never be able to live this type of life; single, as a married couple, or as a family - STOP! You can! Just try it out, you won't know until you do it. Even for a month, just go somewhere where the need is great and see. You may find out that you're more adventurous and adaptable than you think!
We have a lot of preparations and things to do in the next 6-8 months. We are excited to see what Jehovah has in store for us! In the meantime, we are going to enjoy the remaining time we have left here and start making our plans for the near future.
If you have any questions about serving here in the Dominican Republic, want to send something to help, inquire about the need greater life in general, or anything at all...just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can give you any info you need. =)
One of the main reasons we didn't think twice about serving where the need was great with our kids was because we have been homeschooling our daughters since Kindergarten. Keilani; 14, is now a freshman in high school (WHAT??) and Raquel; 9, is in fourth grade.
We've always homeschooled... so we are going on 10 years of home schooling. It isn't always easy... trying to find what works best for your kids. Making sure you are challenging them enough - or not too much. Making sure we are doing things right....
I could keep going with questions that, sometimes, keep me up at night. But something that we have realized is that we need to do what is right for our kids and our family. And that can be many, many different things for each family. What works for me, may not necessarily work for you. What is working out amazingly for us, may be something that will never work for your family. But, in the end, what matters most is that your children are learning, reading and doing the best they can... and that YOU (the parent) are also learning, reading and doing the best YOU can do.
So when we started thinking about possibly moving to where the need is great, we never thought twice about what we would do for the girls schooling. We'd keep doing what we have been doing. Which is exactly what we've been doing.
Since our move was "only" for six months, we couldn't, and didn't want to, bring all our books. So we did some research and thought about what subjects were the most important and the ones that we needed to keep working at. The girls, for a second, though we weren't going to do any schooling here. That bubble busted quite quickly :) For now, we are only focusing on three main subjects; Reading, Math and Science.
Keilani is doing an online program. Raquel has a couple of workbooks that we go over together. Then we use the App OverDrive, which connects to our library card in the Nashville Public Library System. We are able to check out as many books as we like. So the girls use that for reading.
Once arriving here, we did take off a couple extra weeks to get situated. Then, school started!!! (Girls bubble busted, once again lol). We do school twice a week, but try to do four days worth of work in those two days. Since we are only doing three subjects, it is much easier to do this. Leaving more time to service, study and learning as much as we can about this country and its' people.
I do have to say that I think my girls have learned so much - not book learning - but LIFE learning. They have met so many people of different back grounds, lifestyles - just a large array of people... other Witnesses and some that are not Witnesses. This has been an amazing experience for them - and for all of us!
I am not writing this post to get everyone on the 'band wagon' and start homeschooling... Again, you have to do what is best for you and your family. However, if you feel like, maybe, one day, you too, would like to serve where the need is great, in another country or even in your own country but a different area... but think that because your kids are in school, it is an automatic "No". It does not have to be that way!! It is 100% doable!
If you have any specific questions about homeschooling in general, or what we do here... or anything at all, please feel free to ask!!
We're the Mazarelli Family
Just a family of four trying to do our best. Our adventure to become Need-Greaters in the Dominican Republic is starting... and we want to share it with you.