Thursday, August 30, 2012

Your First Week On the Mission Field - Day 00

Today is our first full day on the mission field. 

Let's be honest, though. Our time in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is another season of preparation, albeit a critical one.

Marissa and I woke up. We made our way to a local cafe to knock out two goals: practice Spanish and get food! We ordered " dos cafes y un quiche y un croissant con hamon". Our total was "tres cientos y cinco pesos." RD 305 wasn't too bad. Just under $10 USD for a small breakfast. I figure once we start shopping and eating outside of the hotel/resort area we are in that it will get less expensive.

Afterwards, Marissa packed her SCUBA equipment, I grabbed a camera, and we shuffled on down to her SCUBA classroom.

While she was in class, I did my stretch routine on the pristine beach. Fun Fact: since there are nearby all-inclusive resorts, they have employees who rake and bag all of the seaweed off the beach. I asked one hombre if they do it "todos los dias de la semana". He said that they do it every day of the year. Ah, the degrees we go to for vacationers!

That aside, I took some pictures of Marissa setting off to her first dive in years and her first step to being instructor certified.

I read 'We Drink From Our Own Wells' by Gustav Guitirrez. (Great book about liberation theology in action.

I then set my timer (25 minutes of writing, 5 minutes off) and began to write. Not only am I inching my way through my novel (a hero's techno-thriller about AI and nanotechnology), I making decent headway through 'Aegis, Shopper' (an allegory about masculinity's place today), and plowing through my manuscript submission to Zondervan, 'The 90 Day Launch Guide to a Life of Missions'. As I was looking at 'The Guide', I thought that recording this first week on the ground would be useful. I am learning so much. Thinking of other missionaries who may, in the future, read 'The Guide' and be in a similar situation sent me to firing up another small document, 'Your First Week on the Field'.

So, here is a sneak peek at Day 00.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Island Emergency Plans, The Rapture, & Ready For Missions

Per everyone's kind concerns for our welfare, Marissa and I constructed our Emergency Plans.

A Plan for Everything and Everything For A Plan

I had never considered that heading to the missions field would demand an Emergency Plan. I figured that most all problems could be solved by magic ministry aide, the almighty power of the U.S. dollar, and my natural sense of charm.

However, as we have approached our date of departure, many of our close family began asking what our plans were when, say, there was a cholera outbreak or if there was a coup d'etat. Along with that, the reality that my charm usually doesn't translate other languages too well began to set in. So, today I sat down to pen our Emergency Plan. (Thank you, FEMA website.)
Grant and Marissa Mission Field Emergency Plans

Feel free to review it, especially the section on America's Overthrow and Rapture. Pass it along so no one panics if we encounter the odd earthquake or hurricane, or keep it to know how to respond if something happens.

Back from the Desert

Click image for the Earthship photos.
After two months of life-changing, skin-tanning hard work; Marissa and I finished our work on our Earthship, hung up our sledgehammers, and headed back east. We stayed with Marissa's brother, Justin Wyatt, and sister-in-law, Vanessa Wyatt, in Dallas, TX. We made a quick stop in Lakeland to touch base with friends, and then made a bee line for Hilton Head, South Carolina.

We cooled our heels there for three weeks, trudged our way through the complex life-maintenance tasks to move to the field. (Try getting Marissa's prescriptions from Blue Cross Blue Shield and CVS =  RIDICULOUS.)

Click image for our Big Trip photos.
We rested. We accomplished...and I successfully gained 10 pounds. Wait. Did you hear me? I gained 10 pounds. Suffice it to say, we were well taken care of. I could speak of the awesome prayer group that Yvette took us too (go, Princess Warriors!), the zip-lining with Jeff and Stephanie Wyatt, and meeting cool people like Patrick the biker minister.

From ATL to PUJ

We are now hanging out with Aunt Sherrie for another day. Wednesday morning we get on the airplane and place our feet on the island. BAM! We travel from Atlanta to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Marissa will be working hard at finishing her dive instructor certificate. I will be working hard at my two novels, finding our home after the dive school, and connecting with ministries.

The goal is to get momentum trucking toward the vision for PhilanTropics. This is our dream ministry retreat for people to get refreshed, surf and scuba dive, and serve the local villagers in missions or humanitarianism.

But, that will take time. For now we will be partnering with local organizations to learn more about our profession as missionaries.

I digress. Please consider joining us over the next year. We would love to share with you the joy and adventure of missions.

More to come once we land on the island. We love and miss you all. If it weren't for each of you we would not be on our way to living a life of missions.


Grant and Marissa Nieddu (The "NiedDUO")