I won!

Despite the looming storm, I had a great week in the DR. The women did an amazing job learning to make ornaments we hope to sell for Christmas.

And yes, in the battle of me versus Dean, I definitely won. It really was not as bad as CNN and all the news channels made it sound. The most amazing part was seeing the waves crashing onto shore. We could see them from our window and it was crazy. Later, we drove down to the road that goes by the ocean. It was blocked off because of all the coral rock and debris that had been thrown onto the street. Here's a video from that street and you can see how enormous the waves were.

So, thanks everyone for your prayers. I'm glad to be back in Massachusetts for now!


It's 9:30pm and the the storm has passed Santo Domingo. Holly says there's a lot of debris, but things are okay. Thanks for your prayers! (AND pray for Jamaica!)

Dean versus Holly

If you've been reading our blog lately, you've probably enjoyed a lot of stories and pictures from our recent experiences in the Dominican Republic. Since this place is still very special to us, it has become important to us to share these things here on this blog. This being said, this little country is about to get a powerful smacking from Hurricane Dean.

As I write this, my beloved wife is in Santo Domingo, which is nestled on the edge of the projected path. She arrived today for another week of assisting some workshops for the women of the community...and of course, she doesn't want to think about leaving.

Therefore I'm calling on you, dear friends, to pray for her. While I selfishly want to pray for her safety, I am asking you to pray for God's grace and glory to be evident to those whom she ministers to in the coming days, especially as our cherished community embraces for an impact as early as Saturday. Also pray for Deb, who has been planning these sessions for months.

Stay tuned for an update. I have a feeling that these next few days will be very, very interesting!

Six years ago...

...Justin and I celebrated our wedding day. And as luck would have it, my friend Mandy "tagged" our blog yesterday with a marriage meme, so here goes:

1. We met the first day of my freshman year at UNC (yes, that would be August 1997...wow). Justin was a sophomore and we were both at the CCC freshman picnic. He and I don't really remember this, but thankfully, my bff Christy does. He was on the list of cute boys that we listed as the reasons we would go to to CCC meeting that next week. That, and because we found other people that love Jesus, of course!

2. Our friendship grew for a couple of years into a wonderful brother/sister-in-Christ relationship. Then in fall 1999, things changed.

3. We had our first attempt at what was supposed to be a double-date (though I thought it was just a group outing, so I invited several friends...oops). We (if I recall, there were about 8 of us) went to eat at Applebee's and to see Peter Pan (play, not movie), which was showing on campus. Justin made sure to sit beside me at both.

3. After I clued in, we eventually began dating (in crusade-speak, we dtr-ed) on January 1, 2000. Y2K!

4. In our first serious "now-we're-dating" conversation, we shared about our own relationships with Jesus.

5. After 11 months of dating, he surprised me with a proposal and a ring. Nine months after that, we got married. We moved to Winston-Salem, got jobs, and had very little social life. Although, thanks Will and Christy for moving to Winston too. At least we could hang out with y'all 3-4 times a week!

6. A few months after we got married, we got a dog. Raising Montana became the first thing that we really had to work at together. Taking care of another living thing will certainly teach you about yourselves. We must have liked it, because now we have Neela too!

7. The longest we've ever been apart is one week. Thank you Lord for letting us travel together this summer!

8. Justin likes the fact that I'm Asian. I like that he's tall. ;-)

And just for fun...pictures. It's fun to see how we've changed (or not) over the years!

To the Sufferers

I've had this note stirring within for almost 3 weeks now. It started with daily readings of a friend's journal whose wife is dying with cancer, then the death of an extremely beloved coach at WFU and then culminated after last week's tragedy in Minneapolis. What makes these events send shock waves to those suffering is that we come so naked before our Creator and find him so powerful, so big, so majestic and sometimes...so silent. Our God is not silent, however. He speaks, and often whispers or shouts (depending on our stubbornness) that his actions are directed at waking up this dying world. So to the sufferers out there: Know that he is not absent, nor silent. Find a way to listen to him and seek refuge in the only one who understands the purpose of pain.

Video by Don't Waste Your Life, featuring John Piper (Desiring God)

Visiting the Farrells

Just to make our adventure a little more fun, we left the DR and flew to California. Our original destination being San Diego, we ended up spending a night in Los Angeles (without our luggage to boot!). Anne, Gabe and Makena picked us up on Monday morning and we headed 2 hours south to San Diego. Fortunately, our luggage made it safely, so we picked it up and arrived at the Farrell's home Monday afternoon. After lunch and a nap for all, we packed up and headed to La Jolla beach where we dined on In-N-Out burgers (our first) and enjoyed a nice stroll on the sand.

Tuesday, we slept in, ran to Target, played outside in the yard, and then headed south near the border to enjoy the Projekt Revolution tour...and especially Linkin Park. It was a great night for an outdoor concert and LP rocked...obviously. Wednesday, ears still ringing, we headed out to Seaport Village for lunch and some shopping by the water. With bellies full of fish tacos and Ben & Jerry's, we headed home for another nap. Later we had a fun mexican dinner with tasty margaritas and fajitas, yum!

Since our flight wasn't until the afternoon and it was delayed, we had the chance to see the church where Joe works. It was fun to see the newest place that the Farrells call home!

Thanks Anne, Joe, Gabe and Makena for a great week!

La Boda ("The Wedding")

Our apologies for not posting earlier. After the craziness of our last post, we did in fact make it to the DR. It was a long travel day, but we arrived safely at the hotel around midnight on Tuesday. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were filled with trips into Cielo to visit the community. We got to spend time with Luma, the little girl we sponsor, and her family. It's always amazing how much fun you can have just sitting in her home having silent awkward moments because none of you can really talk to each other. We eventually have a conversation about baseball. Her brother loves the Red Sox and is disappointed when he finds out we have not been to a game. How do we explain that it costs too much money when he thinks we're probably the "richest" people he knows? Anyway, it was great to be back so soon after our month of work.

The wedding was beautiful. I tried to capture some good pictures for all of you who wished you could be there. Carol and Joel are very happy!