Goodbye again…

We have had to say goodbye many times since starting this ministry. It has become a part of us. The word that is so final, yet recurring.

My grandmother told me to say, “So long.” She didn’t like the finality of goodbye. I guess it really doesn’t matter. No matter how we say it, we understand that another season of letting go is upon us.

Today we face that season once again.

God sent us Kristan at the right time. We were experiencing a time of exponential growth, but not enough help. Kristan came on board and served with all of her might.

She worked in every aspect of our ministry.

She served in our churches as they needed support and help with the youth. She served as a teacher in our children centers and she taught English to the children in our Lajas community.

She led the teams of counselors that led groups at our camps. She managed our household and even traveled with us to the states to support our family as a nanny. Needless to say, she was our right hand. Like Aaron and Hur, she held up our arms as we faced the many necessary battles of ministry and family.

Kristan is loved and treasured by us all.

But today we say goodbye again.

I’m trying really hard to hold back the tears.

She has brought so much joy to this place. Her sincere love for Christ and her true humility have refreshed us.

Kristan is different.

She thinks about herself last. This morning I watched as Solimar fixed her plate and forced her to eat.

She follows orders. She does what we ask without question. We know that we can count on her.

She sees deeply. She keenly beholds the heart of her companions. She’s enriching and engaging.

Kristan, thank you. Thanks to all who supported her as she served us. We are grateful to you all.

We know that God has great things in store for this precious soul and we are thrilled to have had a small part in her life.

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Dear Adventures in Missions,

Ecclesiastes 9:11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. NLT

You chose to participate on a life changing adventure. Some began as timid individuals who grew into outspoken characters. Other’s confidence was tried to the core. This journey of which you’ve embarked is one reserved for a special soul. Everyone is not cut out for such a commitment. All cannot endure the rigorous environment of communal living and self exposure every day.

 You ended up on HOPE Mountain.

Some of you are here today.

Though your tasks may sometimes feel meaningless, they are meaningful to us. Though your work may not be what you expected, you’ve made an impact.

A little girl named Solimar feels free to be all of who she is because you loved her just as she is. You taught her that its ok to have questions, to need attention and to embrace life. She sees life through the eyes of an unconventional nine year old because of your unconventional love towards her.

Her life is enriched because of you.

A tween named Starr is growing into a strong believer in Christ. You were her example. You showed her that life isn’t about self, but it’s for our God who gives us life. She has dreams far beyond the average twelve year old because she watched you go after your dreams.

Her life is enriched because of you.

Jojo is sixteen now. Do you remember how you fished with him in our river and taught him math? You accompanied him into the city to basketball practice. You made him feel as if he was your little brother when you found out how badly he missed his own. You led him to know Christ at a deeper level. That relationship sustains him today.

His life is enriched because of you.

Jr learned how to lead with you. You trusted him. You gave him permission to do his job well. When he needed advice, you freely gave. When he needed prayer, you quickly knelt.

His life is enriched because of you.

Selina watched you risk it all for what you believe. Perhaps your commitment to your expedition gave her the freedom to walk out her own.

Her life is enriched because of you.

Our sons that are not on HOPE Mountain hear about you consistently. They see your service. They notice your commitment. They have peace knowing that their family is cared for by you. Hope has resounded within their hearts as they see your dedication to God’s call.

Their lives are enriched because of you.

You were there praying when Ruben and I had bad days. You smiled when we drove into the gates of HOPE Mountain after a difficult day in the city. You served us when we had no strength to do menial tasks.

Our lives are enriched because of you.

You helped to build this place. The buildings and walkways you helped to build provide HOPE to many lives.

You traveled in the back of a pickup truck to work at our centers. The rain didn’t keep you from traveling down the pot hole filled mountain. You served the children at our centers well.

Their lives are enriched because of you.

You shared your stories with the new believers in our churches. You used your education and skills to enhance our ministry. You suffered long hours in the hot sun. You poured into the lives of our teens and children at camp. You trained our ladies to lead as you them on a journey of inner healing.  You gave us your all.

Our ministry is enriched because of you.

No task was meaningless. It was all done for His glory, it was all done well. We appreciate you. We are grateful to God for you.

May you continue your journey and end with grace.

We love you,

The Dominguez family

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