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Storment's Fall Update

The kids have been in school for almost 7 weeks now and for the most part it's going well. They have all made some friends, which is exactly what we were hoping for. It is definitely challenging, especially for Jolie, whose homework sometimes takes hours to complete.  And having to give presentations in front of the class is very intimidating for Jolie and Ivan. Once again, we are so thankful for Marlin, who helps the kids every afternoon with their homework.
     To save on tuition costs, Ben started teaching English at the school's afternoon English immersion program.  He teaches 7-8 year olds, and it has been very challenging. Here, kids aren't taught to sit still in school and listen, and it can be very frustrating at times. It has been a cultural experience for our kids, as well, to try to learn in an environment that is often chaotic. This is probably not going to be a long-term solution for our kids' education, but for this year the main purposes are for them to become fluent in Spanish and to make friends.

Our friends from Skatechurch in Portland came for a visit, bringing with them the 19 skateboards which had been previously held up in Miami. It was so fun to have friends from home, and while they were here they built four ramps for our Skatechurch. The neighbor kids were really excited about all the new skateboards and ramps! This past Monday evening Ben shared how much Jesus loves children, a little bit of his testimony, and a clear Gospel message, with our friend Pedro translating. It has been such a blessing to have the involvement of several people in our local church. We couldn't do it without them.
Prayer requests:

-For the hearts of our neighbor kids who come to Skatechurch or to the Sunday school type activity we have in our yard, that through the exposure to the Gospel they will be drawn to Jesus.

-I (Ben) have been visiting two local prisons for several months now. There's an inmate I've met who has a very painful yet encouraging personal story. Due to an issue of mistaken identity, he was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit. He's currently been in prison for over 5 years and has a 9 year old daughter whom he misses terribly. He told me that for the first two years he was (understandably) very angry and depressed because of what had happened to him, but that God changed his heart. His conversion was so radical that he now believes what happened to him was the plan of God for his life. He's currently the leader of a group of inmates who meet daily to study the Word of God, pray, and learn what it means to be a Christian man who follows Jesus. He's hoping to be paroled in the next few weeks if the court process actually takes place. Please pray for him, his ministry in the prison, and for his timely release.

-For our personal relationships with the Lord, that we will grow closer to Him.

-For the contentment and emotional well-being of our children as they continue to adjust to their new lives here.

-Our dog Ella recently passed away. She had given birth to six puppies a few weeks earlier, and we are so thankful for that, as they have helped tremendously with the loss of Ella. Thank you to all who have prayed for us during this process. 

-We are thankful for a couple large gifts which we were given recently, which helped significantly with the costs we had to pay upfront in order for our children to attend school. As previously mentioned, Ben is teaching at the school, which lowered the monthly tuition costs to a little over $300 per month. This need has not yet been fully met, so if you desire to help in this way, you may click on the link below for more information.

As ever, we are thankful for all who read, care, pray, and give toward our ministry here in the Dominican Republic. 

Ben, Tonya, Jolie, Ivan, Samuel, and Melody

P.S. We have a new address! (See below.) Please keep in mind that we have to pay almost $4 per pound in shipping costs when we pick up our packages here in La Vega. It helps a lot if you can include a check to help cover this if you choose to mail us something. Thank you!
Giving info
This 13 year old boy is one of the most talented skaters so far.
This boy is 15 years old and is very sweet and helpful. He helps with our Spanish and repeats what we say to the other kids if they don't understand us. Communicating with the children can be challenging, as they not only frequently speak incorrectly (as all children do everywhere) but also sometimes don't understand our more formal use of the language. We continue to learn! 
Our friends had their first baby two weeks ago, so Tonya has been using much of the time while the kids are in school to help them. 
Goodbye Ella 
Hello Chilly
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