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A Mountain of HOPE

There is a sensation that accompanies me while on HOPE Mountain. A feeling that embodies peace and tranquility in my soul. It’s an escape from the despair that resides outside my iron gate. A vacation of sorts from the turmoil that invades the city. It takes me away from my reality, from a place of…

He Knew It All Along

We had a nice, peaceful day yesterday. A precious new missionary family visited us on HOPE Mountain. After a simple lunch and a short walk around our property, we sat on our front porch to talk while our children played. As the trampoline springs rattled and laughter resounded, we opened our hearts a little. We talked about the joys and the not-so-joyous realities of our lives. These missional lives in which we’ve engaged connected our families. As I talked about missing my seventeen-year-old son, the one my husband and I allowed to stay behind in the U.S., my eyes swelled…

I’ve Come This Far…

Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Gospel music has always been my most favorite genre of music. I remember sitting in the pews as a child, mesmerized by the Gospel choir. They would march down the aisle with dignity as they clapped and sang glorious melodies. When tryouts for the youth choir approached, I secured my spot. We practiced every Wednesday night. Songs like, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that…

Empowered Women

Women are powerful. Eve demonstrated her strength as she carried a baby for the first time. She had no example to follow and no mother to hold her hand during the birth. I’ll even bet that Adam was in the dark as to his ability to give her what she needed during that first pregnancy. Eve was cast out of her perfect home into a life of pain, agony and despair. Yet Eve survived. History books are flooded with stories of women like Eve. Women who fought wars, overthrew kingdoms, defeated enemies and battled for their homes. Women like you…

Masterful Creator

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 __________________________________________ Life is a bit like Genesis chapter one. Had the author of the prestigious book written my story it would’ve sounded something like this, “In the beginning God formed a baby girl. She unfortunately believed that she was formless and void or a waste and empty, and darkness pervaded the deep recesses of her soul. Nevertheless, the Spirit of God was moving,…

Rewrite Their Stories

Originally posted on H.O.P.E Dominican Republic:
Bad stories surround us all. Our typical reaction to a negative situation is usually one of sadness or despair. It’s sad to see a young girl who is sold by her mother to the neighborhood men for tricks each day. It can be a bit overwhelming to visit a family living in a shack made of tin with holes in the wall that expose the outdoors. Truthfully, these heart breaking experiences were like heavy weights to me a few years ago. It was too much for me to see pain that…

Rewrite Their Stories

Originally posted on H.O.P.E Dominican Republic:
Bad stories surround us all. Our typical reaction to a negative situation is usually one of sadness or despair. It’s sad to see a young girl who is sold by her mother to the neighborhood men for tricks each day. It can be a bit overwhelming to visit a family living in a shack made of tin with holes in the wall that expose the outdoors. Truthfully, these heart breaking experiences were like heavy weights to me a few years ago. It was too much for me to see pain that…

Originally posted on Vicki Dominguez:
This airplane hangs on my huge wrap around porch. It hangs there as a symbol. I remember rummaging through Ross, my discount department store of choice, for decorations that would fit my family. Things that represented us. Our uniqueness. Our individuality. The Dominguez clan. A tribe of various voices with one heart. A love expressed in ten different ways, yet love all the same. A HOPE that glistens and shines even through adversity. That’s us. That airplane is us. A simple relic of vision that takes flight. A dream that risks rain and wind to get…

Love Lets Go

The man who offered his genes to bring me into existence was never a part of my life. I lived many years of my life believing that he never gave me anything. It was difficult for me to think of just one good thing about him. I wasted so many years searching for a vital gift from him, all the while ignoring the fact that I have some pretty amazing siblings! We have different mothers, but his blood runs through our veins. Together, we are his lineage. Each of my siblings have warmed my heart. My brother Omar is like…

The Me Expedition, Part 4

Lesson # 3-Life is never as bad as it appears. Proverbs 18:21-The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. I comfortably sat in my seat on our bus ride to Baltimore from Norfolk. This was a familiar ride as it usually saves us over $1,000 to the Dominican Republic when we travel this way. I love simple things. Potted flowers, walks down my path on HOPE Mountain, unannounced visits from friends, a text from a loved one, coffee and tea pots with accompanying filled drinking vessels, hand me downs, scented…

The ME Expedition, Part 3

Lesson 2: It is okay to let others in.  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ephesians 4:9-12 “How long has this been going on,” my gynecologist seemed concerned.…