International Ministries

Remembering to Breathe

June 26, 2011 Journal
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Remember to breathe...

Thank you for your patience in getting this very delayed newsletter to you!  This winter and spring have been very busy in La Romana and I have also been taking some time off in the US for much needed rest and relaxation.  By the end of April, the Good Samaritan Hospital had hosted around 30 teams since January and the summer season is already in full swing.  We have had surgical teams, medical teams, eye clinics, universities, construction teams, children's ministry teams and many volunteers to help with the work.  Many of our teams try to do several projects at once and by the end of the week we are all amazed at how everything that was supposed to get done actually did get done!  THANK YOU!  Please continue to keep the work in La Romana in your prayers.


Psalm 127:1-2  "Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.  Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.  It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat."

Have you ever thought much about the breaths that you take?  Probably not.  Unless you suffer from a respiratory condition that limits your breathing, you probably don't think much about how important each breath is to your health. 

Breathing is one of only a few body functions that we can control both consciously and unconsciously.  When we are anxious, worried or stressed, we can unconsciously begin breathing quicker in response to our increased heart rate.  The really neat thing is that when we concentrate on our breathing, we can slow it down, thus slowing down our heart rate and kicking in our parasympathetic nervous system.  This then allows us to analyze a situation instead of just probably remember the fight or flight analogy related to our reactive or sympathetic nervous system.

So, why am I talking about all of this?  Well, ironically, I found myself in a very reactive mode recently.  With so much to do in La Romana, it's really easy to just react...rush in and DO instead of taking a breath.  When you are in a stressful or very busy job (think teachers, medical folks, customer service agents!!) you get into a pattern of reacting and not enjoying the moment or just being in the moment.  Now I know, we all want the ER staff to react quickly and not sit around deep breathing until they slow their heart rates in an emergency!  Obviously there are times that we DO need to react quickly.  But, let's remember that when we don't need to react that way, we can learn to just be in the moment and BREATHE...take it a little more slowly and relax.  We all do ourselves a disservice when we refuse to experience all that life has to offer.

In the passage above, the psalmist reminds us that we don't need to work so anxiously, forgetting the blessings in our life and, more importantly, that God has it under His control!  My challenge to you today is to take just five minutes to breathe.  Take note of your heart rate, think on the many blessings in your life and let go of things outside of your control.  Just breathe...

Prayer Requests

 Continued rest for Kristy in the US
 Work teams in La Romana this summer
 Health and energy for the Good Samaritan staff and those that work with teams
 Blessings for my friends Denny and Crystal who will be getting married very   soon!
 Finances for missionaries with International Ministries
 Help for the many victims of the most recent natural disasters

How you can help...

Below, you will find many links for information about how you can help Kristy in ministry.  Please remember that Kristy is dependent on individuals and churches for her financial support.  If you are able to partner with Kristy in her ministry, please click on the link, "Gifts."  Thank you!

Gifts -

Volunteers - There are often specific volunteers needed for the work in La Romana.  Please contact Angela Sudermann or Eunice Thetygi at International Ministries to find out how you can help.  I will need a house and dog sitter in La Romana this fall if you are interested! 
1(800)ABC-3USA or