Friday, February 25, 2011

Peterson Update: USA- Here we come!

Below is the email we just sent out:
Dear Family and Friends,
As many of you already know, our family will be moving back to the States in one month. While we've known our time in the D.R. was drawing to a close, this latest change in our timetable occurred rather suddenly.
When we made our transition from JCS to Escuela Caribe we originally planned to finish out that school year and move back. However, after a few months we decided to renew Daniel's contract for one more year before leaving the D.R. We could already feel ourselves transitioning as we became more removed from Dominican culture and our friends in town. While we enjoyed what we were doing, we felt God preparing us to go back and felt the pull on our hearts to have our boys (and us) closer to family.
However, after moving to a slightly larger house on campus in September and buying chickens in October, we began to feel "comfortable" with life and struggled again with the decision about whether to move back. After much prayer, we felt God calling us back to Indiana (we'd previously been thinking North Carolina). We made the decision to move this June and began thinking and planning towards that.
Due to the low numbers of students here at Escuela Caribe currently, Daniel had at one point told the admin that if they needed staff to leave, we could leave early. However, everything still pointed towards our June timetable.
And then about three weeks ago Daniel had a dream. He wrote this in a message he sent out to fellow staff:
"Just to confirm how much God is in this, I had a dream on Monday night (before meeting Tuesday) that my family was riding on a train and we didn't know when/where we were supposed to get off. We were standing ready at the front of the train, watching ahead for some idea that we were supposed to get off. Then, the train stopped and somebody asked us, "What are you still doing here? This is the end of the line. You need to get off now." What had looked to me like tracks continuing, was really a decorated sidewalk that continued on. After we got off the train, we walked a short distance and saw a huge cathedral/castle-type building and were just lost in awe. I didn't understand it at the time, but God made it clear to me during meeting this morning."

That same day, after the staff meeting, we were told that they would need us to leave early, after all.
While this is still very difficult, as Daniel has said- we feel God's hand in it and trust His timing. Tomorrow is Daniel's last day of work, we meet up with Daniel's family in Santo Domingo for a previously planned trip, return in time to participate in the E.C. student retreat, and them leave on Tuesday March 22. We'll fly to Chicago, spend some time with family in Wheaton, and then move out to the Marion area at some point.
While Daniel is actively seeking jobs, we still have no idea what we'll be doing or where we'll live, but God is faithful and we are seeking His face in all of this!
We've enjoyed our time here both at JCS and E.C. and will miss the ministries, our friends, and the students. But we're also looking forward to be closer to our friends and family in the U.S.
Please pray for us as we make this transition. We are also hoping to attend a week long missionary de-briefing in May or August and will need to raise about $1500 for this (for the retreat and transportation).
Also, please have patience with us as it will take us some time to adjust to "changing countries!"
And if any of you want to understand a little more about what we'll be going through, we recommend reading this book (recommended both for those leaving missions and their close family and friends) :)
-The Petersons

Monday, February 07, 2011

Life Right Now/ Grains Part II/ Happy Anniversary/ Choose Title here _____

So many thoughts have been going through my mind lately. I’ve been writing, mostly in my journal, but rarely does my writing make it to my blog. Most likely this results from a combination of two things: I still have don’t internet frequently and when I do I avoid using the computer too much, as it usually occurs during time I’ve set apart for my children or taking care of my family.

That being said, here’s an update on life right now:

-Health: We tried a grain-free diet. Timmy started sleeping through the night (as in wake up for a 5:30 am feeding) for the first time ever! Hurray! Then we introduced wheat. He stopped sleeping well. We’ve tried to go back to no grains for him (and no wheat for me in case it’s a gluten intolerance) but things are still not back to where they were, though my going on a weekend retreat surely affected that. While on this diet, I noticed no change in Jer. He’s still gassy, complains about his tummy hurting, and has unhealthy looking stools. Then we found out he was being given crackers at school (oops). So our data for Jer is invalid. (BTW, we’ve stopped taking them to the doctor as stool samples reveal nothing and they just give us medication to give them based on guesses). So right now we’re going grain free with Timmy, and gluten free for all of us but Daniel.

-The boys: Timmy is talking more and still super active! He loves to play outside. Jer is beginning to sound out very simple words. His brain seems to be constantly going. He’s also been extremely tough and strong-willed lately which has resulted in a difficult week for us, but he still has a sensitive, affectionate heart, and almost always shows a desire to rebuild the relationship after discipline issues. We’re trying to train him in a way that both praises and awards obedience and good behavior, yet shows him that actions have consequences, while striving to demonstrate God’s character through it all. It has not been easy! I’ve had to ask his forgiveness on numerous occasions and do or say “three nice things” to him as we’re training him to do to us.

-Our Anniversary: Daniel and I just celebrated our 6th anniversary on January 29th. I was gone on a women’s retreat, but I left him notes and we had our anniversary date this past Saturday. We still enjoy looking at our wedding DVD (the highlights) and listening to the vows we recited. It’s a good reminder of what we promised each other!

-Women’s retreat: As I stated above, I recently attended a women’s retreat. This year’s theme was “Identity, Who do You say I am?” The teaching, small group, and individual time focused on who we are in Christ, as opposed to who the world says we are. What a wonderful reminder that, though my roles as wife, mother, daughter, occasionally teacher or tutor, friend are important, I am defined as God’s child, God’s daughter, chosen by God, loved by Him, His disciple, etc. I came home from the weekend refreshed and joyful.

-Future: Balancing a focus on the here and now, as well as looking ahead to the future has proved difficult. We continue to enjoy our ministry here, but it’s hard not to let ourselves get caught up in the future of moving to Indiana. We still do not know to where in Indiana we will be moving, but Daniel continues to search for jobs, and we continue to trust God for His guidance.

So, that’s where we are right now. Next week we accompany the girl’s house on a house trip to Samana. In early March, Daniel’s family (grandparents, parents, sister and an aunt) will fly in to Santo Domingo and we’ll spend time with them in the South East.