Friday, April 4, 2008

Snow Scoop - December 2007

Dear Friends:

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo. The year 2007 was a good one. For the first time in years, we didn’t have a battery stolen out of our car. Power outages in our area were reduced to one time a week. And, this was by far our most active year yet in the Dominican Republic.

Ellen and I are with our families in Nebraska and will return to the Dominican Republic on December 31. Frankly when we arrived in Nebraska, we were both suffering from burnout. Our first stop when returning was the Nebraska Diocesan Convention. We were warmly greeted by Bishop Burnett and the delegates. Every year at the convention we are asked when we plan to retire. This year our response was: “We will serve until the Lord tells us our work is done. We heard and answered His call to the mission field, and we are confident He will tell us when its time to leave.”

On December 7 we celebrated our 12th Anniversary as missionaries in the Dominican Republic. As this year draws to an end, we would like to share with you the “scoop on what the Snows” have been up to during the last year :

  • Visiting Tent Makers – Normally, we host 50 teams a year, but in 2007 Ellen coordinated over 60 visiting groups. By comparison, when we first arrived in the DR, the diocese was hosting 7 to 10 groups a year. The growth of this diocese in the last ten years has been incredible and these groups have played an essential role in its development. Here are some highlights: -- Ten field medical teams served nearly 10,000 people. We were blessed with three teams from Nebraska. The Nebraska youth teams included people from our home parish of St. Matthews, Lincoln. -- Bob provided 7 tours of the diocese to those who were considering mission opportunities in the DR. Each of the groups selected a project. --Ten groups provided summer Bible school programs and one group helped with summer camp in Jarabacoa. -- · We coordinated schedules for visitors attending the Diocesan Convention in February and the 110th Diocesan Anniversary Celebration in September. Teams built pews, painted churches and schools, laid block for new churches, planted gardens, and many, many other projects.
  • Special Visitor – Our nephew Chad spent just over two months with us and was involved in several projects. He returned to Nebraska in early June to enter Nebraska Dental School.
  • All Grown-up - This year Andy Spichcal, a young man I taught Sunday school to at St. Matthews, contacted us. He asked me to perform his beach wedding service. We were truly blessed because we also renewed our friendship with his parents Clark and Linda and sister Laura.
  • A True Blessing – The Diocese ordained its first class of vocational deacons in February. Soon afterward, the Bishop asked me to serve as coordinator of our deacons. For me, it was an emotional moment and I was doubly blessed with the presence of Deacon Jim and Merry Rue Visger. Archdeacon Jim and I were in the first class of Nebraska vocational deacons and were ordained together on Nov. 8, 1985.
  • Another Record Year – Ten years ago when I started the scholarship program there were 7 Episcopal schools and my goal was to obtain 150 scholarships. Last school year, 791 students in 23 Episcopal schools received help. In Nebraska that’s a small town. The only way you can change a third-world country is through education, and I want to thank those of you who supported a student or helped find sponsors.
  • NOTE: This school year two new educational programs were added and the enrollment in our schools is increasing. A record 875 students have applied for scholarships. I am searching for approximately 150 additional sponsors. Scholarships are $250 a year. If you would like to participate in the scholarship program or if you would like to help find sponsors in your church community contact me at bobsnow_2000@yahoo. Sponsors receive a picture of the student, a short biography, and a thank you.
  • New Title – In the spring Bishop Julio Cesar Holguin named me as his Canon to the Ordinary. My job description remains the same, but I was both surprised and honored.
    Diocesan Highlights – Ellen and I are blessed to serve in diocese which continues to grow and provide new services to the needy.

Other Diocesan Highlights

  • The Bishop Isaac Home for senior citizens living in poverty opened in the spring.
  • The diocese consecrated three new church buildings, including what is now our largest church – San Marcos in Haina. Several church and school buildings are under construction.
  • The “retired” Fr. Hipolito Fernandez opened a nutrition and education program in Santiago.
  • On Easter Epiphany Church where Bob serves as deacon celebrated its 75th Anniversary. Epiphany is the mother of several other churches. Bob and Chad researched and created a power point presentation of pictures from the past.
  • The Diocesan family gathered together in Santo Domingo to celebrate its 110th Anniversary. Over 4,000 attended the service. Bob was the Bishop’s Chaplin.
  • The Bill Clinton Foundation provided funds to Clinica Esperanza to remodel an area for an AIDS clinic. The clinic provides AIDS screening, counseling, and medical services. Missionaries Drs. Michael and Anita Dohn have worked tirelessly with the Dominican clinic staff to establish one of the best programs in the area.
  • Five new missionaries began serving Christ in the DR in 2007. The Rev. Dr. Michael and April Floyd are in Santo Domingo. Michael, who for 25 years taught at the Episcopal Seminary in Austin, is now a professor at our seminary. Dr. David Johnson, who formerly served in Pakistan, is establishing health education services in Barahona. Cathy Donahue is a physical therapist working at the Clinic and with the national rehabilitation association, and Kate Lemler, who is with the Episcopal Youth Service Corp, is currently working with the Dohns, but will also work at our senior citizens home. Nathan and Leigh Fleming, a young couple from Nebraska, served just over three months at our Senior Citizens home in Boca Chica.
  • Thanks to a United Thank Offering grant, the diocese was able to construct apartments for married students or professors at our seminary. The Floyds were the first to move in, and another apartment will be completed in the near future. Additional apartments will be built as funds allow.
  • A Miracle – Over two years ago the Western Louisiana Medical team identified a young women with a tumor which distorted her face. If left unattended, the tumor could have resulted in death. It was a struggle to obtain a visa to the United States, because her parents areHaitians without proper papers. Last spring a visa was obtained, and she traveled to Louisiana. The hospital, attending doctors, and the people of the diocese of Western Louisiana changed a young women’s life forever. What a very special gift.

Ways You Can Help

Every Christian is a missionary. Some are called to foreign mission service, others are called to support missionaries, or mission programs, still others are called to serve within their own church or community. Here are some ways you can support foreign mission.

  • Health Education in Barahona – Dr. David Johnson is establishing a health education and support system in an extremely poor area in Barahona. Financial support has been extremely difficult to obtain and Dr. Johnson has been using his own mission funds to support the program. The needs are great and funds are urgently needed. Please consider supporting this essential program. Contact us for more information –
  • Scholarships – We said it before, but I will say it again. We need 150 scholarship sponsors. For $250 a year you can provide a young Dominican with hope. Contact me at the same E-mail.
  • Snow Mission – The only way we can continue our ministry in the DR is through the support of churches and individuals. Our financial support is dwindling, so if the Lord is calling you to support us, contributions should be sent to Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, Snow Mission, 109 No. 18th St., Omaha, Nebraska 68102. (Note: Some have thought that contributions to Colegio Kids, also supports our ministry. Colegio Kids supports only programs in San Pedro, and this is essential. To support our ministry, or other diocesan ministries, contributions need to be sent to our Snow Mission account.
  • Other Needs – We simply can’t list all opportunities to participate in the DR ministry. Contact us for an extensive list on how you, your church, or a Sunday School class can support mission.

May the Lord bless your ministry as He has blessed ours. Questions? Need more information? Contact us at bobsnow_2000@

Snow Scoop - August 2006

Dear Friends:

Summer is our busiest time of the year, and a time when for two months we have had the opportunity to serve the Lord and his people without a day of rest. During one week in June we had eight teams in the country. Some were working, others coming in, and still others were playing at the beach or leaving. When we first came here, the diocese hosted about 8 teams during the entire year. Ellen continues to keep a positive attitude and as usual has every thing well-organized.
Moises Quesada, Ellen’s part-time assistant, is in the United States for the summer as part of his University training. We miss him, but were able to obtain a wonderfully talented young lady from our church, Mirdy Garcia. Those of you in Nebraska may remember her, because she traveled to EYE with our Nebraska delegation.

This year’s team roster included two groups from Nebraska. A touch of home always encourages us, and we can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed their visit. The majority of our teams are repeaters, but we do have several first-time teams. Ellen and I have truly been blessed, because of the many new friends we have made by hosting teams. Oh, we’ve met a few “characters”, but I won’t list them, because you know who you are. Right, Pete.

In early August our nephew Blake Snow flew into the DR. Blake was the first nephew to pay a visit, but we hope not the last. He is working up at the camp with the South Carolina team. He will be a senior, and each senior has to do a service project between their junior and senior years. He attends a Catholic school in Omaha and we were overjoyed that he decided to come to the DR.
Following is an update on what’s been happening in the DR, since last we wrote:

  • Scholarship Update – It was a record year for scholarships. In 2005-06, over 750 students received help and this resulted in $169,655 in support for our schools. Scholarships came from 15 states and included Virginia – 203; Florida – 186; Nebraska – 105; New York -79; South Carolina – 73; and Georgia – 30. ECW’s in Southwest Florida and Virginia played a major role in obtaining scholarships in their respective dioceses. We have already received contributions for the 2006-07 program. We will need additional sponsors, because we will be adding at least two new education programs this year. THANKS FOR SUPPORTING THIS ESSENTIAL DIOCESAN MINISTRY
  • School starts on August 21 which is at least two weeks earlier than normal. This year we will be opening three new education programs. Our two new pre-school programs will be Epiphany’s “Lambs of God” and Sacred Family Pre-School program. We will be opening a primary school at our camp in Jarabacoa. We are looking for churches that would be willing to sponsor one of these schools and get members or friends to provide a scholarship. Scholarships are $250 - $300. As many of you know, sponsors receive a picture and short biography of the student, along with a thank you letter or card. We have other schools that are in need of a church sponsor. If some of you would like to sponsor a student at one of our schools, just send me an e-mail letting me know. One of the most important tools in bringing about change in a third-world country is education. The diocese has focused on this ministry during its entire history.
  • Congrats Graduates – Vicente Pena and Bienvenido Lopez have graduated from our Diocesan Seminary. Those of you who have traveled to the DR may know them for they have helped many teams. Vicente will work as a lay minister in La Romana and Bienvenido will continue working with Fr. Felix, at least for now. They will be ordained deacons at the Diocesan Annual meeting in February 2007.
  • The July graduation ceremony was an historical one. After six years of hard work, 8 students in the permanent deaconate program graduated. I was asked to be the “Godfather” of one of the graduates – Alejandra Diez. It is a custom here for graduates to select someone to be their sponsor. Alejandra is a member of Epiphany Church and I have watched her grow spiritually and she will be a wonderful deacon. She will probably also be ordained a permanent deacon at the February convention. I am looking forward to having other deacons in the diocese.
  • Car Whoas Continue – The vehicle we bought last fall has been giving us problems. Wouldn’t you know it – during our absolutely busiest time of the year, we encountered a major mechanical problems. It is the third time this year that it has been in the shop. This time the diagnosis is that we need to buy a new motor for about $3,000. Ellen’s position is “Let’s drive it into the ocean.” With our luck it would probably float and we would have to pay to have it removed. One of our priests bought a twin vehicle at the same time we did and has had few problems. Our old 1985 blue Ford which we bought used 10 years ago is still running, though we are afraid to take it out of the city. Pray that we will come up with a “highway” car and that the Lord gives us the patience to deal with this frustrating problem.
  • IN PRINT – The Rev. Jane Butterfield’s book on missionaries called “Scripture in Their Lives.” is available. Twenty missionaries from around the world are featured with one chapter being devoted to each missionary. It was an honor to be included among these inspirational missionaries. The story of our ministry in the Dominican Republic was the first chapter in the book. In case you are interested the book can be purchased through or through Morehouse, the publisher.
  • UNEXPECTED RECOGNITION: United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Hans Hertell, invited us to the 230 anniversary celebration of the United States. The event was held at the National Theatre in Santo Domingo. During the evening, Ellen and I and two other individuals received a “Distinguished United States Citizen” award for our service to this country and its citizens. What does the Bible say about keeping such things to yourself? What was truly inspiring to us was the opening ceremony when Marines from the United States and the Dominican Republic presented the flags of their respective countries. This was followed by the singing of both national anthems. It was an extremely emotional moment because we feel a part of both of these wonderful countries. After receiving our award those attending the July 4th celebration were treated to a tremendous concert by Doreen’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Fireworks ended the evening. God has truly blessed us, and many of you reading this have made our ministry in the Dominican Republic possible. A side note: The celebration was attended by Dominican government officials, the diplomatic corps, and many other distinguished people. God knows how to keep us humble, because we arrived in our old battered blue ford and parked it in the VIP area among all those new, shiny SUV’s etc. An older couple gave us one of those stares that said “What are they doing here?” We laughed and that alone was worth the “price of admission.”
  • SOME DISTURBING FACTS: In the last five years, there have been 20,000 violent deaths in the Dominican Republic. Included in this total are over 8,500 murders. Since the first of the year 40 policemen have died – some in accidents, but most were shot in confrontations. A recent survey in the DR showed that 42.2 % of the people live in poverty. This equates to 3,607,330 people and of that number 637,271 are indigents. A recent news article indicated that the Dominican Republic is the most dangerous place to drive in the entire world, and the article said this included all countries in Africa.
  • ON THE POSITIVE SIDE: The Bill Clinton Foundation will help Clinica Esperanza’s with the AIDS medicine it needs to better serve its patients. . .Our 22nd Episcopal School in Jarabacoa should be ready for students in September. . . Two Youth Corp missionaries from “815” will begin serving in the DR at the end of August. Another young missionary from South Carolina will also begin serve here at the end of August. Bishop Holguin also received word from SAMS (South America Missionary Society) that Cathy Donahoe has decided to serve in the DR. She is a physical therapist. There are others who have indicated a desire to come here. The Lord has truly blessed us with committed Christians. There are more good things happening here, but this will do for now.
  • BISHOP ISAAC HOME For SENIORS: The diocese will begin a new ministry when the Bishop Isaac Home for the Aged is dedicated and blessed at a special celebration on September 2. The home is located in San Andres Boca Chica where we both a church and school. The home will receive its first residents shortly afterwards. Many seniors in this country are homeless or live in conditions which impact both their mental and physical health. There are only 37 facilities in the country to care for seniors living in abject poverty. Bishop Holguin decided that while the church can not solve the problem, we needed to do our part.
    Taking care of a senior for the rest of their life will be expensive. To help cover the costs, the diocese is promoting an “Adopt a Grandparent” program. For $2,500 a year, a church or individual can adopt a grandpa. As with our scholarship program you will receive a picture, a short biography and can correspond with “grandpa” throughout the year. Contact us if you are interested. We have many other unmet needs. We will soon be putting up a webpage to provide even more information.
  • GOD BLESS ALL ROTARY CLUBS: Rotary Clubs International were instrumental in wiping out polio. But Rotary is playing a major role in developing countries in many other ways by supporting social action projects. For instance, Lincoln Rotary Club #14 has provided substantial assistance to our medical clinic. Several club members made a trip to the DR to visit the clinic and the San Pedro Rotary Club. A Santo Domingo Rotary Club has expressed an interested in participating on a project with a club in the USA. The project would involve the Bishop Isaac home. If you are Rotary Club member and would like to investigate this possibility, please contact us. We have other projects in other parts of the country where we would also like to make Rotary Club connections.

PRAYER REQUESTS: Pray that our car problem gets straightened out….that those teams visiting this summer will be free of accidents and that their visit will spiritually inspire them in someway…that the leaders of Haiti and the DR will place more emphasis on helping the poor and reducing violence and crime…that our priests be given the spiritual wisdom they need to guide their people…that Bishop Holguin health remains good, that he finds rest and relaxation during his vacation and that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire him as he makes decisions impacting this diocese…and, finally please join us in thanking the Lord for all those who make our ministry possible, and for those in the Nation0al Church office who also decided to help us out.


Snow Scoop - April 2006

Dear Friends:

As we enter Holy Week, we wanted to update you on what has been happening since the first of the year. Believe me, it was a busy winter (actually it is always spring and summer here.) We had to say that to our friends who live in snow country.

Experiencing Holy week in the Dominican Republic is wonderful. What we notice most is that Santo Domingo is very quiet. Everyone heads for the beach. We will have an activity everyday, including a gathering of all clergy on Maundy Thursday. May your Easter be as blessed as I know ours will be.

Following is an update on what’s been happening in the DR, since last we wrote:
  • Scholarship Update – In January, I sent out an E-mail informing our friends that nearly 100 students were without scholarships. The response was well beyond what I hoped for. Funds are still coming in and I am confident 800 students will have a scholarship this year. I still am trying to get caught up, so many still haven’t received photos of their student. I am thankful for our brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to demonstrate their love by reaching out to these needy students.
  • Mission Finances – We cannot remain in the mission field without the support of churches and individuals. For the last two years, contributions have dropped significantly. This has happened before, and the Lord has always taken care of us. We communicated our situation through E-mail. Once again our Christian friends responded by sending us additional funds. We have also received support from one unexpected contributor. Bishop Holguin wrote a letter to the national church office (“815”) and asked them to provide us with additional financial help. The response was positive and a true blessing. It was even slightly more than the Bishop asked for. During our 10 years here, we have never asked this third world diocese for financial help. One morning, Bishop Holguin called us into the office and told us that this diocese would like to contribute also. We are now receiving a monthly contribution from this diocese.
  • Car Whoas – For the seventh time in two years, our car battery was stolen. (3 for the jeep and four for our old blue car). We thought we had los ladrones (robbers) fooled. We had secured the battery with a chain and paddle lock. Oh, how foolish we were. We have now chained the hood of the car shut. Let’s see if they figure that out. As some know, we were able to buy a newer jeep for road trips, thanks to several supporters. In January, we began experiencing difficulties and I had a breakdown when an ECW national board member and I were on the way to the airport to look for a lost bag. The problem was more expensive and extensive than I thought. Again, God took care of us. The ECW sent us an unexpected check. Bishop Holguin also helped us.
  • BIENVIENDO - The diocese had the honor of hosting two, very special groups. The national board of Episcopal Church Women held their first meeting of the year here. Shirley White, our dear friend from Nebraska, naturally encouraged the board to come here. For our Dominican ECW members it was very special. The Board devoted one day to visit various church and school sites in the San Pedro area. Our retreat center hosted a luncheon, giving DR ECW members a chance to meet the board. The diocese and our Province also had the honor of hosting Provincial leaders of the United States Episcopal Church. We also provide them with a tour of projects in the San Pedro area.
  • HELPING HANDS – January thru March and June thru August are when most teams visit the DR. These teams have played an important role in the growth and development of the Dominican Episcopal Church. Several work and medical teams have already visited us in 2006. During a short presentation I made before provincial leaders, one of the participants made an interesting comment. He said that teams coming to the Gulf Coast to help, and had previously worked in the DR or Honduras, were by far the most organized and efficient. We knew that about the teams coming here, but congratulations to those of you who worked on the Gulf Coast and in the DR or Honduras.
  • WHAT A BLESSING – Ellen and I received an unexpected honor during our diocesan convention in February. Bishop Holguin on behalf of the diocese presented us with a beautiful plaque thanking us for our 10 years of service in the Dominican Republic. Friends, it doesn’t seem that long and frankly we should have been one presenting a thank-you plaque to the diocese. The Lord has blessed us by giving us an opportunity to serve here.
  • IN PRINT – The Rev. Jane Butterfield has written a book on missionaries called “Scripture in Their Lives.” Unless we were edited out of the book, our ministry will be one of those included. As I understand it, a chapter is being devoted to the work of each missionary. The missionaries are from all over the world. Ellen and I will be one of those representing missionaries in Latin America. The book is being published by Morehouse and should be released this month. It is already being advertised on
  • PRAYER REQUESTS: Pray that we have no more car repairs for at least a year…that the leaders of Haiti and the DR place more emphasis on helping the poor and reducing violence and crime…that our priests be given the faith and energy they need to serve their people…that Bishop Holguin continue with good health and that the Holy Spirit will continue inspiring him as he makes decisions impacting this diocese…that there will be no injuries to any of the work teams coming here…that all work teams will have no trouble receiving the resources they need to visit here…and, finally please join us in thanking the Lord for all those who make our ministry possible, and for those in the National Church office who also decided to help us out.


Snow Scoop - December 2005

Dear Friends:

Feliz Navidad - Ellen and I are now back in the Dominican Republic after spending 6 weeks in the United States visiting churches, our family, and attending the Nebraska Diocesan Convention. On the morning on December 8, Ellen and I were sitting in the Omaha, Nebraska airport with temperatures hovering near zero. It is never easy to leave our family, but the hope of much warmer temperatures did make it easier.

December 8 also marked a significant anniversary in our lives. It was on this day in 1995 that we began our first full day as missionaries in the Dominican Republic. When we were at the 2005 Nebraska Diocesan Convention, someone asked how much longer we planned to serve in the Dominican Republic. Our response was “at least three more years, health permitting.” She jokingly replied “You said that 7 years ago, and every year since then.” And, she is right. Our new response is: “We will continue to serve in the DR until the Lord tells us our work is completed. We heard his call to serve in the DR, and we’re confident He will tell us when it is time to go.”

The last 10 years has been a spiritual adventure full of surprises, challenges and a time when our faith was tested in many unexpected ways. Above all, it has been a time when our lives have been enriched by uncountable blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Among those blessing has been the opportunity to visit over 100 churches to share the inspiring stories of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Dominican Republic. During this time, we also estimate that we have hosted well over 2,500 Christians who have come to the DR to participate in the ministry of the diocese. Indeed, it has been an amazing journey.

In trying to live out Matthew 25:40, Ellen and I have been blessed more than we have blessed those who the Lord sent us to serve. We have witnessed first hand the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and the commitment of Christians whose most valuable and sometimes only possession is their faith. In the last 10 years we have obtained a warehouse full of memories. Here are just a few that occurred to us as we were writing this.

  • Our Dominican friends have helped us grow spiritually. These people have a spiritual quality that cannot be described, only experienced. Spiritually, we are not the same people who arrived here in 1995. We are still learning and experiencing.
  • We each have a clearer understanding of “faith”. Dominicans who have little materially are rich in ways that we may never be able to obtain. This is one of the fastest growing dioceses in USA Episcopal Church. Dominicans, especially Bishop Holguin, truly believe if you are in God’s will good things will happen. New church buildings, shelters for the poor, and schools will be built. Ministries to the poor will receive the resources they need. This diocese has a “Field of Dreams (build it and they will come”) way of thinking. If the diocese waited until they had sufficient funds for a project, fewer projects would have been accomplished.
  • Driving in the Dominican Republic is an unforgettable experience. The word for stop in Spanish is “PARE”. Carla Anderson from Nebraska decided that this really means: “Proceed Aggressively Risking Everything.” This describes our driving experience here.
  • On Sunday, December 18, 2005 I will reach an important milestone in my diaconal ministry. When I serve as a deacon on that day, I will have served more time as a deacon in the DR than in my home diocese of Nebraska. On November 8, I completed 20 years serving
    Christ as a deacon. What an honor it has been to serve both of these dioceses.
  • In the last 10 years we have hosted Christians from many parts of the United States and Canada. We treasurer the friendships we have made. When we first came here, the diocese was hosting 6 - 8 teams a year. Ellen wouldn’t say so, but I will. She has done a tremendous job coordinating 40 to 56 (our high) teams a year. Last June, we had 7 teams in the country during one week (some coming, others going or working).
  • One of our great joys has been watching the Holy Spirit use Dominicans to touch visiting Christians in a way that will impact their spiritual lives forever. We have also gratefully watched US team members touch and provide hope and resources that has changed the lives of their Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • God has rewarded us by giving us the opportunity to share our Dominican experience in many churches, especially those in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Nebraska. Each visit has been a blessing full of new friends and good food. Thanks.
  • Our greatest honor has been the title of “Mom and Dad” of Vivencia (Happenings) in the Dominican Republic. Along with two Dominican youth, we helped start this youth program. The youth in this diocese are incredible and our greatest joy has been watching this program strengthen the Diocesan youth program.
  • GOD’S MIRACLE - Education is the key to changing 3rd world countries. Nine years ago when I started a scholarship program for our 7 Episcopal schools, my goal was to obtain 150 sponsors. In 2005 we had 702 sponsored students in 19 schools. There are over 800 students requesting help this year. We desperately need at least 100 more sponsors. So, we’ll wait for another miracle.
  • ANOTHER MIRALCE: - My first major project was to help the priest in San Pedro start a regional medical clinic. We struggled for two frustrating years without much success. By word of mouth and a small miracle Esperanza International heard about our hope to start a clinic. With their help and assistance from many others, the clinic opened less than a week after hurricane George hit the San Pedro area in 1998. God’s timing is always perfect. Over 18,000 patients are now served each year. The clinic is $150,000 pesos or $5,000 in the red this year. We’re looking for another miracle, because this shortfall could negatively impact services next year.
  • MIRACLE, AFTER MIRACLE: Perhaps the greatest miracle we have witnessed took place in Batey Central in Barahona. In a batey of depressing poverty there now stands a beacon of hope. Jesus Peregrino was built on a piece of land that was once a community trash pile. In addition to the church, there is now a children’s shelter and within the near future a bakery will be in operation. Go to “Field Notes” – “Year 2004” on our web page for the complete story of this ministry.
  • MORE MIRACLES: There have been many more miracles. For instance, the South Carolina medical team met a man who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. The team raised funds to buy an artificial limb and pay for rehabilitation required. If this SC medical team had not come to the DR, this man might still be using crutches.
  • Or, how about the 12-year-old who would have died, if a Virginia Beach medical team hadn’t raised funds to pay for an operation in the USA.
  • Or how about the church community on the north side of the island that had been praying that someone would provide the resources they needed to build a new and larger church. And guess what – Grace Presbyterian Church from Dallas, Texas answered their prayers and helped out.
  • There are many, many more stories like this, because the ministry here is truly one of miracles. The greatest of all miracles in our personal lives was the ability to learn Spanish at age 50.

The success of our ministry depends upon your prayers and financial support. Please continue praying for us and the Dominican Episcopal Church.

As you know, we do not receive a salary from the Dominican Diocese, the diocese of Nebraska, or the United States Episcopal Church. We must raise all our own support. Frankly, we have experienced a dramatic and serious decrease in our financial support. Should this trend continue, we may have to return to the USA in a year. This was not unexpected, because there have been so many world tragedies. This isn’t the first time this happened. Seven years ago we faced a similar problem, and our Lord took care of us. We’re confident He will do so again.

My friends, I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will enrich your life and ministry in the same way He has enriched ours during these past 10 years. Your prayers and support have made this possible. God Bless.


As our summer 2005 team season ends, Ellen and I are extremely tired, but we are also praising our Lord for the many groups we have hosted this year. This has been this dioceses’ most successful year yet. Ellen as usual did a fantastic job in coordinating 50 groups that have visited since January. This summer was not without its difficulties, but that is to be expected when you coordinate arrangements for over 500 people.

When we first arrived in the DR nearly 10 years ago, the diocese was hosting 6 – 8 groups a year. There was one day in June when we had eight groups in the DR at the same time. Some groups were arriving, others were leaving, and still others were working. But all were joyfully answering the Lord’s call to serve.

Work teams have made the fantastic growth of this diocese possible. Since 1995, we have seen the number of our churches and schools more than double. In the beginning the emphasis was on construction teams. But now we have teams doing a variety of projects. We had 9 teams doing summer bible school and could use at least double that number. Medicals teams worked in all parts of the country and serviced over 5,000 people. Two teams this year built church benches and other church furniture. Naturally, we had teams that painted and did maintenance work on our schools, churches, and other buildings. However, the majority of our groups are involved in helping us with construction projects. Since January these groups have helped build new churches, schools, our new home for the aged, and the expansion of our regional medical clinic in San Pedro.

This year I did 6 exploration journeys for those interested in bringing teams to the Dominican Republic. These trips involve visiting areas of the diocese where we have projects, thus giving prospective teams leaders an idea on how they might become in the ministry of the diocese.

One of our most ambitious team projects to date was providing a water system to two communities in a remote sugar cane area near Puerto Plata. The project was started by a Texas youth team two years ago and this fall will be completed. Food for the Poor provided funds to complete the work. In the past people in these villages had to get water from a polluted stream. This resulted in significant health problems. Homes in these communities will soon have piped water, thanks to the members of the local Episcopal Church, Texas youth, and Food for the Poor.

God continues to bless us in many ways. Our 1985 gray jeep is still running, but it was no longer reliable for out-of-town trips. Seat belts were functioning well and we could get no replacements. A lack of air-conditioning made our hot summer trips, even longer. Bishop Frank Gray of Virginia spearheaded a drive to obtain funds so that we could purchase a newer vehicle.

In July one of our priests introduced me to a friend who was importing vehicles from Japan. We were able to buy a jeep at nearly $150,000 pesos or about $5,000US below the current market price. It will probably be the only time in my life that an insurance man said to me that we needed to insure the vehicle at the replacement price and not at the purchase price which was much lower. Praise the Lord for the way he continues to take care of us.

As many of you know, life in the DR has been difficult over the last three years. We are still experiencing long periods without power. Fortunately, most outages are during the day when we are at the office where we have a generator. One of the greatest challenges we face is trying to cross a city of 3 million when there are no traffic signals functioning. If you like to play “chicken” in your car, this is the place to come. Gas prices here, as in the United States have increased significantly. Right now, we are at about $3.75 per gallon.

On December 7, 2005, Ellen and will start our 10th year of service in the Dominican Republic. On December 8, I will have spent more time serving as a deacon in the Dominican Republic than in the Diocese of Nebraska. I will celebrate 20 years as a deacon on November 8.

I remember praying when I was very young that the Lord would give me a life where when I looked back I would have no regrets. He has answered my prayer by more than three-fold. As a write this, my spirit is singing praises to the Lord for all his has done for Ellen and I.

Early next year, the diocese will be opening its first program for seniors who are living in poverty. Our goal is providing housing and care for up to 40 people. Eventually we will also open an adult day care program.

Indeed God has blessed us by calling us to serve in his Caribbean vineyard called the Dominican Republic.

For our impressions of the following years, click one of the following:


Spiritually, Ellen and I are not the same people who arrived here in 1995. Because of our positions within the diocesan office, we have been blessed with opportunity to work with all our churches and outreach ministries. These Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ have influenced us in many ways. When we are asked to describe the Dominican Episcopal Church, here is how we do so.

The Dominican Episcopal Church is Fr. Smith Milien and the people of Jesus Peregrino. The church is located in Batey Central in Barahona. Like most bateys, unemployment is high, there is no water or sanitary sewers, the streets are dusty and poorly constructed houses.

Nine year ago, 20 members met in a windowless building no larger than a single-car garage. For months, they prayed that the sugar cane company would give them a piece of land where a community trash dump was located. Even though Fr. Smith’s life was threatened by two businessmen who also wanted the land, he and his congregation persisted. Their prayers were answered.

Today in a church that was built for 100 people, there is standing room only on Sundays. In addition, a children’s shelter was constructed next to the church. Where there was once a pile of trash and a 200-pound pig, stands an Episcopal Church which is a beacon of hope for Haitians and Dominicans who have very little else. The people of Jesus Peregrino taught Ellen and I that in life you need only prayer and faith to find joy.

The Dominican Episcopal Church is an educated woman who is the administrator of one of our schools in an impoverished area. When I asked her why she didn’t take a job that would have significantly increased her salary, she replied. “I grew up here and attended this school. They need me and I need them.” She taught us that Christ’s love is found in being a servant to others.

The Dominican Episcopal Church is Nelly Brito, wife of Fr. Napoleon Brito. She was troubled by the number of street children she saw in a barrio where she was leading a Bible study. With faith and borrowed funds they started our first children’s shelter.

Today the children’s shelter is meeting the nutritional and educational needs of 60 children in San Francisco de Marcoris. The Britos taught us what it means to be committed to the principals of the gospel and that we are called to serve those less fortunate than ourselves.

The Dominican Episcopal Church is Nunez who told the bishop that if the diocese would buy the necessary materials, he and two others would build a small church during their free time. They did so. A much larger church has since been built by work teams, but the old church is part of an Episcopal school in Montelleno. Nunez taught us that serving Christ means using the talents our Lord has given you.

The Dominican Episcopal Church is Father Bruno and his family. Father Bruno was a priest in Haiti for 27 years, prior to answering the Lord’s call to serve in the Dominican Republic. Though the Bruno’s are committed to Epiphany Church in Santo Domingo, they maintain and provide love to a school they started in Haiti. Because of their presence in Santo Domingo, Haitians residing in this country know they have a pastor and family who willingly share Christ’s love with those in need. The Bruno family taught us about Christian sacrifice and that ministry is not just a calling, but a way of life.

The Dominican Episcopal Church are Vivencistas (English - Happeners) who are committed to Christ and excited about sharing the gospel with other youth. There is already a waiting list for next year's Happenings. The youth in our church are on fire for the Lord.

During our time in the mission field, Ellen and I have not suffered physically. However, we have been emotionally overwhelmed by the needs of the poor and physically disadvantaged. We have seen the power of Christ’s resurrection through our Dominican brothers and sisters as they press on despite overwhelming odds because Jesus has made them his own. Our Dominican friends have also made us their own and in doing so we have experienced Christ’s love in a unique and profound way.


The year 2003 has been our most difficult year in the DR since our arrival on Dec. 7, 1995. The church is growing and diocesan ministries continue to expand. However, many of our Dominican friends are suffering, because the economy in the DR is in free fall. However, this was a year filled with many blessing.
Wow - that's the only way to describe the month of January 2003. The diocese hosted medical and work teams from all parts of the United States. The Caribbean is the place to be in the winter and everybody north of us seems to know it.

In late January the Executive Council of ECUSA along with Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold visited the DR. Dominicans are known for their hospitality. Ellen and I were proud of the way the diocese hosted the Executive Council.

The Diocese of Georgia, one of our companion dioceses, helped us produce a 13-minute video on the diocese. The Somerville's, a young, talented couple from Nashville, did a great job, and convinced me to narrate it. We've used it in many different ways in promoting the diocese.

Ellen and I were invited to meet with the Council and relate our mission experiences. The Executive Council and Presiding Bishop attended a noon Eucharist at Epiphany. I served as deacon. A picture of Epiphany's Fr. Bruno and I serving at the altar appeared on the cover of the ECUSA General Convention's Budget. I had the honor of giving communion to the Presiding Bishop.

The Presiding Bishop served as celebrant at a special mass. Over 4,000 people attended. It's difficult to put into words what an inspiring service this was. I read the gospel in English.

A week later, the Diocesan convention was held in Puerto Plata. We hosted visitors from Canada, New York, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The Canadian Primate Michael Peers attended, along with Bishops Skilton, SC, and Bishop Loutitt, GA. Bishop Peers preached at Epiphany church, so in less than two weeks I served as deacon for the Primate of Canada and the Presiding Bishop. Only in the mission field could this happen.

Here are some 2003 highlights:

--Miguelina Espinal, our “adopted” Dominican daughter, was ordained to the priesthood, along with our dear friend Ercilia Peralta Canela.

--Two new churches were consecrated. The Bishop Kellogg Retreat Center and the Jesus Peregrino Children’s Shelter were opened. San Mathias School was officially opened. Construction began on a home for elderly persons living in poverty.

--This year Ellen coordinated the logistics for nearly 60 visiting groups. Field medical teams treated over 5,000 people.

--Enlarge this picture by clicking on it. Then look for Bob “Esperanza” Snow among the clowns? This is a new ministry started by a couple from the diocese of Southwest Florida. Esperanza means “Hope” in Spanish and this is Bob’s clown name.

--The Dominican Episcopal Church Women surprised Ellen when they honored her at their annual meeting for her work and support of women ministries.

--A priest nominated and Bob received the “St. Stephen’s” award for his work with the poor. The award is presented by the North American Association of Deacons.

--This past year 507 students from poor families received scholarships to one of our Episcopal schools.

In the fall on our way back to visit our families we were given the opportunity to visit churches in the Naples, Florida area, Buford, SC, and Charleston, SC. We attended the convention of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. We took a Greyhound from Naples to Buford, a 17 hour journey. What beautiful and historic churches.

When we arrived in Nebraska we met with the diocese's new Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Joe Burnett. He's a strong supporter of mission, and plans to bring a group to the DR. We also attended the convention of the Nebraska diocese. Feeling the support of our diocesan friends always rekindles our desire to return to the DR and continue with our ministry.

We spent Thanksgiving with Bob's side of the family and our five grandchildren. Seeing our family only once a year is truly the only sacrifice we have made by serving as missionaries.

In the past year, we were blessed time and again by the way our lives were touched and enriched by our Dominican friends and by those coming from the USA to participate in the life of this diocese.

Even so, 2003 was a very difficult year. The largest bank in the country failed and the economy plummeted. In January there were 19 pesos to a dollar. By November it had climbed as high as 40 pesos. High unemployment, an earthquake and severe tropical storms added to the misery. When people become desperate, crime increases. Our apartment was entered, as was the diocesan office. Tragically a friend of ours was murdered when robbers entered his home. New computers were stolen from one of our schools. The country continues to suffer from frequent electrical blackouts. Living conditions for the poor have deteriorated even further. All this has resulted in public protests in nearly every part of the country. Some of them have been violent.

During times like this, the church plays an even more important in the lives of people. Please pray for this diocese, the Bishop and our clergy. Also, pray that we will have the energy, courage, and wisdom to carry out those ministries the Lord puts before us.

During the past year, our mission support fund also took a beating, partly because we did not effectively communicate with our mission partners. In the fall of 2004, we will return to the USA and spend three months visiting churches with hope of raising the support we need to remain in the DR. Our goal is to spend a minimum of four more years here.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.


Orginally posted - 2002

Since arriving in the Dominican Republic on December 7, 1995 Bob and Ellen Snow have lost count of the number of times they have said: “This could only happen in the mission field. Since 1995 we have been living one adventure after another.”

For example, in a period of two weeks, Bob served as deacon at a service where the celebrant was Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. A week later he did the same for Canada’s Presiding Bishop Michael Peers.

The Snows are from the Diocese of Nebraska where Bob was ordained as one of the first 13 vocational deacons in the diocese on Nov. 8, 1985. Both Bob and Ellen were active involved in the prison ministry prior to his ordination. The day after becoming a deacon, Bob was named part-time prison chaplain at Nebraska’s maximum security prison in Lincoln and also served the people of St. Matthews Church in Lincoln.

In June 1989, the Snows were among the adult sponsors on a youth mission trip to Honduras.

Bob:Our group visited the Episcopal girl’s home, Little Roses. During this visit, Ellen and I made friends with a 12-year-old named Carla. As we got ready to leave, Carla began to cry. I, too, became teary-eyed and walked out of her sight to hide my own emotions. It was then my heart and spirit heard this call: “Bob, this is what I have called you to do.

“At first, I denied the call, but I kept reliving the experience. About 18 months later, I asked Ellen: “What’s would be your opinion, if we gave up our jobs and entered the mission field.”

Her reply was: “I wondered when you would make up your mind.”

Honduras or the DR?

The Snows thought they would probably serve in Honduras. The South American Missionary Society (SAMS) sponsors a conference to help Christians discern if they have a call to missions. During this conference, Bob was reviewing a list of possible mission placements. As he scanned the list, openings in the Dominican Republic seemed to be in big bold letters. Of course, they weren’t.

In March 1993 the Snows investigated mission opportunities in the DR and Honduras. As part of their discernment process, they took two months to pray about a decision that would change their lives forever. On the Day of Pentecost 1993, they shared what they had separately discerned. Both of them believed the Lord was calling them to the Dominican Republic.

For 22 years Bob had worked as public information officer for five mayors of the City of Lincoln. Ellen was a librarian for the Nebraska Library for the Blind and physically handicapped. Even though Bob and Ellen enjoyed their work, giving up their jobs was easy in comparison to the task of raising financial support to enter the mission field.

The Snows are appointed missionaries for the United States Episcopal Church. Like most Episcopal missionaries, they don’t receive a salary from ECUSA or from the foreign diocese. They must raise their own financial support. From December 1992 to August 1993, they made 43 church visits. Most missionaries struggle to maintain their financial support, and they are no different. Since 1992, they have shared their mission story in more than 100 churches in all parts of the United States.

In many cases, members of these churches have never met an Episcopal missionary. Church visits are an integral and important part of mission life. Though financial support is necessary, increasing mission awareness is equally important.

The First of Many Miracles

Raising funds was difficult, but learning a second language at age 50 seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. Neither of them spoke Spanish. The Snows enrolled in a nine-month intensive language course for Christian missionaries in San Jose, Costa Rica. This experience with missionaries from different denominations remains as one of the most inspiring and spiritual times in their Christian walk. Even today, they view their ability to speak and understand Spanish as a significant miracle in their lives.

The deaconate and mission ministry have one important characteristic in common. They are servant ministries. A deacon interprets the church to the world, and the world to the church and is a servant to all. This describes their roles as assistants to Bishop Julio Cesar Holguin. A successful missionary is one who comes with a servant’s heart and helps the nationals meet their priorities.

Their ministries in the DR evolved slowly. Ellen coordinates all work and medical teams coming into the diocese. In addition to serving as the Bishop’s assistant, Bob is deacon and assistant pastor at Epiphany/Union Church.

The diocese has no cathedral, but most major diocesan events are held at Epiphany. A small seminary where most of the diocese's priests have been trained is also located on the property. Epiphany is the only diocesan church with services in English and Spanish.

Building God's Church

Work teams are a vital source income in the development of the diocese’s infrastructure and social ministries. When the Snows first arrived, the diocese was hosting 8 to 10 work teams a year. The diocese now hosts about 50 teams year. These teams help build churches, schools, organize summer bible school programs, participate in evangelism events, built playground equipment, church benches, and paint, repair, and remodeled church facilities.

Part of Bob’s responsibility is to provide “mission exploratory trips” for clergy and church leaders who have an interest in diocesan projects. These five to seven day tours provide participants with a cultural orientation, as well as an opportunity to visit sites and projects where the diocese is searching for mission partners.

During his first year in the diocese, Bob implemented two projects which remain among his favorites. In San Pedro de Marcoris (better known as the hometown of Sammy Sosa), an old school building next to St. Stephen’s church needed to be rehabilitated or torn down. The Bishop asked Bob to work with the local church and priest in developing a regional medical clinic for the poor.

The task seemed like an impossible one, because the diocese did not have the financial resources to participate in the project. This experience taught the Snows that “if what you are doing is in God’s will, then anything is possible.” After 6 months of frustration and little progress, Bob was contacted by the executive director of Esperanza International, a foundation of former professional baseball player David Valle.

The foundation was interested in supporting health projects and by chance (miracle) had heard that the diocese was trying to open a clinic. Esperanza provided a grant which allowed the diocese to begin remodeling the building. As God would have it Clínica Esperanza opened its doors shortly after Hurricane George devastated the San Pedro area in 1998.

Education Changes Lives

The only way to change a third-world country is by education. The government estimates only 52% of its young people progress beyond the eight grade. The 24 Episcopal schools in the diocese must be self-supporting, so students pay tuition. Many of these schools are located in areas where the poverty is profound. Therefore, Bob started a scholarship program to provide financial assistance to children from poor families. In 1996 churches individuals in the United States provided 150 scholarships. In 2006-07, 769 students received scholarships.

Most Dominican Episcopalians are poor materially, but rich spirituality. The Snows said, “Dominicans have taught us what it means to live by faith. We are spiritually not the same people who arrived here. We understand now why Christ had a compassionate heart for the poor. Dominicans have taught us, more than we taught them. They have enriched our lives, more than we have enrich theirs. We came here to serve. Instead, we have been served.

About Life as a Missionary

Following is a collection of observations and experiences from past years. They will provide you with a snap shots of Bob and Ellen's life and work in the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic.

CAN AN OLD DOG really learn new tricks? Yes, if the new trick is in the will of God. Learning Spanish at age 50 was a trick, but I (Bob) prefer to call it a miracle. It took me four years at the University to pass a required two years of French. When I graduated, I told Ellen that there were two things I would never do again - take language lessons and go back to school. I did both. My Spanish isn't perfect, but neither is my English. My Dominican friends, in most instances, can understand what I am attempting to say.

"ARE YOU SURE Dominicans speak Spanish. I can't understand a thing they are saying." This was a re-occurring thought during our first few months here. The Caribbean Spanish accent reflects this laid-back, easy-going culture. I wonder if Hispanics who learn English think the same thing when they visit the deep south, or New York City.

"ELLEN THERE ARE TANKS in the streets." It was our second month in the DR and we were living in the rectory of the church. At 5 o'clock in the morning, a loud rumble woke us up. The church has a 8 foot block wall around it and all we could see over the wall were the tops of tanks as the rumbled down the street. It was February 27, Dominican Independence Day, and we didn't know there was a big military parade scheduled for later in the day. There were a few tense moments, before we figured out what was happening.

THE SINNERS WERE FISHERMEN: Learning any language is filled with embarrassing moments. We've chosen to laugh at those times, and keep using the language. Here are some of those moments that we have either heard or performed ourselves. When Bob was reading a prayer which included "pecador" which means sinner, he kept using the word "pescador" which is fisherman. A young male priest learning Spanish was talking about how "embarrassed" he was. One problem - he was telling them how "pregnant" he was. Or, how about our friend Alex who needed to buy a material to prevent water leakage. In his "English-Spanish" he was telling the hardware store employee that he wanted to buy condoms. He didn't know why the employee was laughing until he returned to the work site.


BIRTH DATE: September 1, 1944, Norfolk, NE

Family Notes: Jim & Deloris McKenzie (Mom and Dad) - Deloris lives in Lincoln, NE - Jim has lived with our Lord Jesus Christ since 1994; Brother - Jim, Jr. lives in Malcom, Nebraska

CHURCH HISTORY: Baptized & raised in a Missouri Senate Lutheran Church in Norfolk, NE. Received in the Episcopal Church in 1964.

PAST EMPLOYMENT: University of Nebraska - Lincoln Student Library; State of Nebraska Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

MISSION RESPONSIBILITIES: Bob and Ellen work in the Diocesan Office with Bishop Holguin. Ellen coordinates all mission work and medical teams coming into the diocese. Ellen also helps coordinate arrangements for other groups and individuals coming to the DR for meetings and special events.

When the Snows arrived in the DR, the diocese was receiving 6 to 8 groups a year. The diocese now hosts approximately 45 groups annually. On the weekend of June 28, 2003 there were 8 groups were working in the DR at the same time. "It seems like every church with a mission team wants to come in June and July", Ellen said. "We try to accommodate all of them. After all, mission teams are absolutely essential to the churches work in the DR."

Teams provide important resources to the diocese. Medical teams provide medicines to the poor. Churches and schools in the DR do not have adequate finances to maintain their facilities and programs. Work teams provide the sweat and financial resources necessary to keep the diocese moving forward. Churches, schools, and children's shelters have been built by USA churches who live out the gospel by sharing their time and resources. To learn more about the Dominican Episcopal Church got to:

Ellen has made it easy for a church with no foreign mission experience to come to the DR and participate in what is a life-changing experience. Even experienced mission churches feel more secure, because Ellen handles all in-country details.

"For me and our host church communities, this is a powerful and important ministry in which everyone benefits. I am the bridge between two cultures. The Holy Spirit brings people together in a special way when two different cultures share their love of the Lord."

OTHER DOMINICAN MINISTRIES: The Mom on every Happenings (Vivencia) weekend in the DR; one of the co-founders in the DR of "Daughter's of the King"; lay chalice minister, acolyte, member of Companion Diocese Committee, and diocesan hostess. Ellen received a special honor from the Dominican Episcopal Church Women for her contributions to this diocese and for her support of women's ministries.

WHAT MY MISSION EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT ME: My time in the mission field has taught me many things and refined me in many ways. However, there is one re-occurring message that comes to me in many different ways. The Lord has demonstrated to me time and again that if we faithfully lift up our concerns to him, He will hear us and answer our prayers. He will not always do so in the time frame we had in mind or in the way we expect him to. But he is always faithful. There have been times in the mission field that he has answered our prayers so abundantly that I am awed by his power and his grace.

A MEMORABLE MISSION MOMENT: On September 11, 2001, I was working with a medical team in Santana Bani. Milagros Holguin, the Bishops wife, was working with us that day and brought word there had been a terrorist attack in New York City. It was noon before we had gathered enough information to inform the team. Even though we had many people waiting to see our doctors, the people in the village encouraged us to go back to the hotel where we could get better information and rest. As a team, we gathered together to pray and discuss what we should do. As we prayed the Lord's prayer, the words "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" emotionally and spiritually impacted me as never before. We decided to continue working. When we returned to the hotel late in the afternoon some of the team went immediately to the TV, while others went for a walk along the beach. As I walked, I prayed that the Lord would give us a sign that He was in control. During my walk, I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. Those of us who saw it, felt God's presence and peace. The next morning as we drove to our work site, the Lord provided us with a large, brilliant rainbow. All of us on the team were emotionally impacted by what had happened in New York City and Washington D.C. I believe this team provided a strong Christian witness to the community when they voted to continue working on the afternoon of September 11 and on the days which followed. In the midst of tragedy, we experienced in a deep and profound way the love of those who we were serving. Nearly everyone of them expressed their sympathy about what had happened and in doing so shared their love. As a result, we experience the Lord's love in a way none of us will ever forget.