Happy New Year and welcome to the new look of our blog! We apologize for being a little bit out of touch the last couple months as the site has been updated, but we’re back in action and hoping to keep everyone in the loop of what God is doing through Christian Surfers and Kids Alive.
Here is a quick update on what we’ve been up to the last few months -
Kids Alive -
The month of November in the Dominican Republic was one of the wettest months on record! The north coast (where we live) suffered from severe flooding with an estimated 20,000 families displaced from their homes and multiple bridges collapsing and leaving numerous small villages and communities isolated until the flooding died down. Fortunately, Emily and I were fine and didn’t suffer any damage to our apartment. The majority of the families in Caraballo where the Kids Alive school is located did well also.
However, the road to school became impassable unless you had a large 4x4 truck. After canceling classes completely for a few weeks, they were able to reopen for half days about 3 days a week until Christmas break. The staff of the school (16 in total) piled in the back of a Toyota 4x4 truck and sometimes walked through the mud in order to arrive at school to teach and provide meals for the students. Although the road has been mostly repaired now, it is still impassable to many vehicles. As classes begin again this week the staff are still piling in the back of the 4x4 truck (rain or shine) so that they can get to school. Please keep Caraballo and the Park Care Center staff in your prayers as they continue caring for the 300 students enrolled in the school.
Christian Surfers -
I (Dustin) had a very busy end of the year as I was finishing up my travel. In the month of November I met up in California with our new National Director of the United States, Jimmy and my boss, our International Director, Roy. We had multiple meetings with local CS groups in California and met up with a lot of churches and individuals to share what God is doing in and through surfers all over the world. On that same trip, I flew up to Canada to meet up with our team of leaders in Nova Scotia and encourage them as they got ready for winter surf ministry. (Yes, they surf when it’s freezing and snowing outside.) In the month of December, I travelled over to our neighboring island of Puerto Rico to encourage ministry leaders. One of the highlights was being able to attend a service at “Ola de Gracia” (Wave of Grace), a church my good friend Yossua just planted. From there I was joined by Emily on my annual visit to Barbados, where we met with local leaders with a passion to reach the growing surf community of this small island.
Over the holidays, Emily and I hosted first her parents, and then my parents and younger brother, Brady. We had a great time celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus and we are excited for all that God will do in the new year.