The Smithfield Church

October Newsletter

October, 2017 Mailing Address: Post Office Box G, New York, New York 10034-0247 212-544-2696 For Contribution Giving Online: https://give.cru.org/0055648 There are two purposes for this newsletter. One is to send a picture of Luis and me at one of the recent festivals that is held in our town each year to celebrate a religious holiday. It lasts for a week and includes musical groups, sports events, and various types of competitions. I wanted to send a picture of just Luis and me because there has been some confusion of who Luis is in the pictures we have sent in our last two newsletters. I have to remember that some of our contributing ministry partners have never met Luis. In the past few letters I appear with a group of men or with one man who is helping me in church to translate my message. Some have thought that Luis was in these pictures, however they were men connected to the press or baseball. Below is a picture of what Luis looks like! The other picture was also taken the evening we were all together at the annual festival in our town. The two ladies with me are Dulce and Susan. We have become good friends and we have also been studying the Bible together. When we first began getting together, they knew very little about the Scriptures, but now we look forward to our time of discipleship. I have also learned a lot about Dominican culture from a women’s point of view through them. We enjoy getting together for social events in our homes or with other friends, as well The other purpose of this letter is to give you an update on how Luis and I fared through the two recent major hurricanes that swept through the Dominican Republic. This news has already been sent out to everyone that we have on our email list, but there are many that we do not have an email address for. If you have an email address and would like to receive our letters via email, please send me your address: julie.anil@cru.org. Our thanks to everyone who has been concerned for us during Hurricane MarÍa. Thank you, too, for your prayers, phone calls, and encouragement from Scriptural passages. It is hard to believe that we have been through two devastating hurricanes in two weeks. Since these are the first ones we have experienced while living here, my nerves have been frayed. For about a week we were involved with the clean up, and all else involved. Hurricanes are certainly unpredictable. We thought the first one, Irma, would affect us much more than Hurricane María, since it looked like María was taking a turn northward away from us. As it turned out, this hurricane was so huge and slow moving, that it did much more damage and flooding to our area than we expected. Our town was heavily flooded, somewhat similar to what took place in Houston with Harvey. It rained in large amounts for two days, along with high wind. We had outside damage to our home, but thankfully, no inside damage or flooding. However, the lower part of our neighborhood had lots of flooding, due to a river that spilled out over the streets and parks. But other parts of the country suffered much more loss, especially the coastal areas. We thank the Lord that we are able to continue with our ministry and be available for people with more urgent needs. This has been a year of challenge for many of us. We continue to pray for the needs that you have shared with us. We know that God is in control of both calamity and blessing. With love and appreciation, Luis & Julie Añil

Additional News from Our Missionaries

Our thanks to everyone who has been concerned for us during Hurricane María.  Thank you, too, for your prayers, phone calls, and encouragement from Scriptural passages.

It is hard to imagine that we have been through two devastating hurricanes in two weeks.  Since these are the first ones we have experienced while living here, my nerves have been frayed.  The last several days we have been involved with the clean up, and all else involved.  Hurricanes certainly are unpredictable.  We thought the first one, Irma, would affect us much more than Hurricane María, since it looked like María was taking a turn northward away from us.  As it turned out, this hurricane was so huge and slow moving, that it did much more damage and flooding to our area than we expected.  Our town was heavily flooded, somewhat similar to what took place in Houston with Harvey.  It rained heavily for two days, along with high wind.  We had outside damage to our home, but thankfully, no inside damage or flooding.  The lower part of our neighborhood had the worst flooding, due to a river that spilled out over the streets and parks.

But other parts of the country suffered much more loss, especially the coastal areas, as well as other islands, including Puerto Rico, which is very near to us.  We thank the Lord that we are able to continue with our ministry and for the opportunities to minister to those who have more urgent needs.

This has been a year of challenge for many of us.  We continue to pray for the needs that you have shared with us.  We know that God is in control, of both calamity and blessing.

Our love and appreciation to you,

Luis and Julie


September, 2017

Luis and I thank you for your concern and prayers for us during Hurricane Irma that ripped through the Caribbean.  Many people here along the coast suffered the most and some lost their homes.  We live in the interior of the country, so we just experienced lots of rain and wind, and plenty of clean up the next day.  The country was well prepared for the storm, after all that occurred during Hurricane Harvey.  We were without power for a short while, but lack of internet service lasted much longer.  My nerves have been on edge the past few weeks, due to Hurricanes Harvey, then Irma, and now the devastation Irma has left in the state of Florida.  We have friends up and down the state of Florida.  The Crusade (Cru) headquarters are located in Orlando, Florida, as well.  We have been praying for God to have mercy on all people affected by the storm.

Thank you again for your prayers and genuine concern for us.  We are very grateful.  We continue to pray for our friends in Texas, and our friends here in the Dominican Republic that we know who have lost much, and our friends in Florida. 

Luis and I have been praying and very concerned with all that has happened along the Gulf Coast of Texas. I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, and now live on an island that is also in a hurricane zone. I am very familiar with the devastation that a hurricane can cause. The past few days have been surrealistic for me. I have just been able to contact many of our friends and financial ministry partners throughout the state of Texas, to find out how they came through Hurricane Harvey. Now, it seems, that it will be our turn to trust God for the category five Hurricane Irma, that is predicted to go through parts of the Dominican Republic. We are making all preparations possible, but will stay in our home. We do not live on the coast, but in the interior of the country, San Francisco de Macorís, where Luis was born and grew up. It is a big baseball town. The town is at sea level, but between two major mountain ranges. So this should lessen the high wind associated with this storm, but not necessarily the rain. The pictures below tell the story of Luis and me being honored this summer by a surprise invitation. We were asked to be the ones to kick off the “Inauguration of the Summer Baseball Season” ceremony in our province. The press and television crew were there, took our pictures, and asked me to make an improvised speech. I spoke how the Gospel had changed my life and reminded the kids and others attending, that a few people had taken the time when I was young, to invest their time to help me understand and grow in understanding the meaning of the Bible and knowing Christ personally. I encouraged them to appreciate anyone who would do this for them. My talk was aired on television that evening, much to my distress, since I did not know that I would be asked to speak. I was presented with an unexpected beautiful bouquet of flowers from the press. The father and uncle of a well known Dominican MLB player, Hansen Alberto, who is shortstop with the Texas Rangers, attended. Our picture together is below on the left and his father and uncle are in the middle. One of the honors of this type of inauguration is choosing the person to throw the first ball to bat. They gave this honor to me, although I didn’t hit the ball very far! How grateful Luis and I are for your prayers for us, financial support, and encouragement in so many ways. We could not be here without you. We do not take your love and contributions for granted.

Love, Luis and Julie Luis & Julie Añil

Post Office Box G, New York, New York 10034-0247 (Mailing Address) 212-544-2696 julie.anil@cru.org

For Contribution Giving Online: https://give.cru.org/0055648

Thanks for letting us know about the coffee mornings.  Luis and I wish we could join you.  It would be a bit of a challenge, coming from the Dominican Republic!  It sounds like it will be lots of fun and good fellowship.  Keep us on your email list for other Smithfield activities.  We like to know what is going on and how things are going.

I am finally feeling stronger and doing a lot more ministry with Luis.  The ministry is going very well. We have more requests than we can fulfill.  Maybe God will send us some permanent help in ministry in the future.

We look forward to seeing you in December.  Our greetings to all.

Love,

Julie

June, 2017

Below are four pictures from our Palm Sunday outreach [sorry: the Webmaster was unable to post the pictures. Sorry). A church in New York generously sent us a contribution to plan an evangelistic luncheon meeting after the church service. The members invited their families and friends who usually do not attend church, to hear an evangelistic message. We were asked to lead the service. We were encouraged to see several come to know the Lord. It was wonderful to have new brothers and sisters in Christ from families we are close with. After doing some follow up with the new believers, Luis and I left for New York for my major surgery—a hysterectomy.

We decided to have the surgery performed in New York for two reasons: I have medical insurance with Crusade (Cru) and I wanted to use the doctors I have known for years while living in New York. Even so, I have been impressed with the medical care in the Dominican Republic when I have had to attend to medical issues here. As I look back now, I was sicker than I wanted to admit. I kept pushing my limits, in spite of dealing with personal warning signs.

An update on my medical condition: My recovery has been a long and slow one, probably due to my age. I still struggle with having energy to carry out the commitments we have for ministry this summer. Luis has been carrying most of the load and has been an immeasurable help in all areas.

I (we) will need to return to New York at the end of the year for another surgery. The pathology report indicated atypical cells, not cancer cells, but could become cancerous. They will remove my cervix as a preventative procedure. Then it will be a total hysterectomy. I am sure the Lord has a reason for us to return, other than my medical requirements.

We are so grateful for your prayers and concern for us and my health, and the many ways you have encouraged us. We continue to ask for prayer for my future operation at the end of the year, and for us to carry out well our summer ministry commitments.

We also deeply appreciate your interest and prayers for our new strategy, now developing in the early stages, of forming a

tailoring/sewing school for teenage girls and boys from poor neighborhoods. This would also include Biblical teaching and Bible studies, as well as evangelism. These kids have little direction, and often live without the basic services for everyday needs. Most are lacking any knowledge of spiritual teaching. They mostly hang out in the afternoons and evenings with nothing to do but get into trouble.

With Much Love and Appreciation for your support to us in so many ways,

Luis & Julie

Luis & Julie Añil

Post Office Box G, New York, New York 10034-0247 (Mailing Address)

212-544-2696 julie.anil@cru.org

For Contribution Giving Online: https://give.cru.org/0055648





April, 2017 Luis & Julie Añil Mailing Address: Post Office Box G,

New York, New York 10034-0247 212-544-2696

Luis and I felt honored last month when we were invited to be part of the “CEREMONY OF TROPHIES AND MEDALLIONS” that is held in our province, Duarte, each year. Usually the adults who present the trophies and medallions to the young baseball players are the coaches and trainers who have worked with the kids all year. This year they asked us to make the presentation. Parents, relatives, friends, and high government officials were invited to see the children receive the awards. How proud the parents were to see how much their children had excelled in baseball during the year.

Some of the trophy categories are: good conduct on the ball field, punctuality, respect, consideration of the other players, best batter, best pitcher, the individual who has progressed most as a ball player, etc. The committee also asked both Luis and me to give a short talk on any subject we wanted to choose from the Bible.

Thank you, each and every one, for helping in so many ways to make it possible for us to be here in the Dominican Republic. The challenges are many living here, but working with the Dominican people makes it a pleasure to minister and maintain friendships.

P.S. I have a prayer request. I probably will need major surgery (hysterectomy) and possibly another surgical procedure next month. Please pray for the surgery and the decisions that need to be made with the doctors. I have never undergone major surgery, so this is a new adventure for me!! Thank you.

Love, Luis and Julie


December, 2016 Luis & Julie Añil

Mailing Address: Post Office Box G, New York, New York 10034-0247

212-544-2696 julie.anil@cru.org

Luis and I just returned from a two and a half month trip to Texas and Louisiana. We had not been back for a visit for five years. Our time there was a highlight for us this year. This is where our major support base is located and we wanted to visit with as many people and churches as possible.

We loved reconnecting with friends, family, and churches. So much had changed, both in people’s lives and in the cities we visited. We were grateful for the rich visits we had with so many. People were extremely kind and hospitable. We have many to thank and I plan to write each one personally, apart from this letter.

Our biggest answer to prayer was the provision of a car. Our raising funds for this need has definitely been a team effort, but one couple in particular financed the remainder of the car purchase. Luis and I are deeply grateful for all who had a part in this. The car is now en route to the Dominican Republic, and is expected to arrive the first week of January. Having a newer, sturdier car will make such a difference in our ability to move around this country. Roads, drivers, weather, high humidity, etc., are hard on cars, as well as electronic devices.

This is the time of year when we want to share our financial ministry and personal living needs for the coming year. We are responsible for raising all of our ministry and living expenses and we could not be here without your prayers and support. Below I have listed what we will need for some of our ministry projects and personal needs.

1. $4,500 to pay taxes and the individual who will retrieve the car from the port in the capital city. He will pay the needed taxes to the Dominican government to bring a U.S. car into the country. He will also take care of all the other details for us in the paperwork required by the Dominican government. This will include all tax, title, and fees, but once we pay for this, there will be no further charges for owning the car.

2. $1500 We have met an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine and his wife who is a nurse. He was a doctor in this area with three Major League baseball teams for several years before he and his family felt called of the Lord to move permanently to the Dominican Republic to have a ministry with baseball players. We would like for them to visit our town and province towns four times a year to give conferences among our trainer and coach contacts, teaching them and the kids how to prevent sports injuries and what to do when one is injured. He weaves the Gospel into his training. This is a great need for us here, and an answer to prayer. There is no one in our town who is available to do this. Because they live in the capital, Santo Domingo, which is two and a half hours away, we would need to provide for their transportation, hotel, meals, etc., while they are here for a few days each time. We have already ministered with them in short-term mission teams, but they are the only ones who live here permanently, as the others eventually return to the States.

3. $1,500 Continuing to invite the couple who represents the Crusade Family Life Ministry to give conferences on the importance of the family based on Biblical teaching and values. This is also a real need here, as 40% of children come from single parent homes. We invited them to give our ministry contacts a conference this year, and the attendance was better than we expected for a first time conference on this subject. This couple also lives in Santo Domingo, two and a half hours away, so we would need to cover their expenses. We would like to invite them four times a year, as each of their conferences builds on the teaching they give from the previous conference.

4. Lastly, we are seriously praying and thinking of beginning a small class for teenage girls or boys in tailoring or sewing/alterations, and also use the time to teach and disciple from the Bible. We would select a poor neighborhood where so many teenagers just hang out in the afternoons without much to do except get into trouble. Luis could use his years of experience in tailoring to teach them. It would be a way to invest in their lives spiritually and give them a skill for life. This idea is still formulating with us and it will need a certain amount of seed money to begin. We ask you to pray with us to discern how the Lord would lead us in this possible endeavor.

We are enclosing a contribution envelope should the Lord lead you to have a part in any of our requests. We will continue to need regular support to cover our monthly living expenses. If you give to our work periodically, perhaps God would impress you to begin giving on a monthly basis, or increase your contribution. Thank you for whatever you give. We could not be here without your prayers, love, encouragement, and support. 

Luis & Julie

For Contribution Giving Online: https://give.cru.org/0055648

Luis & Julie Añil   

Mailing Address: PO Box G  New York, New York 10034        

Email Address: julie.anil@cru.org

Telephones: 212-544-2696; 809-294-1883

Websites: julie.anil@cru.orghttp://luisandjulie.wix.com/anil

July, 2016

This newsletter is twofold: one to share some exciting news that Luis and I have about soon visiting Texas, arriving on September 10. The second part is to explain a little more specifically how Luis and I became involved in our little friend, Iván’s life, and his eye surgery.

Our first news is that we will be in Texas in the Fall, during part of September through part of November! It has been more than four years since we have visited Texas, and we know a lot changes in four years. We will mostly be in the Central and South part of the state, although we are hoping to have time to drive to the Dallas area, as well. The last time we were in Texas, we had only been married a year. We were preparing to move to the Dominican Republic to begin our ministry here among youth in the area of baseball. Now that we have been living here for almost four years, we have seen God raise up a fruitful ministry and we want to share a bit about it.

We want to see as many people as possible. We will be available to speak in churches, Sunday School classes, home fellowships, Bible study groups, etc. Our permanent phone number here is: 212-544-2696 and it is not a long distance call. We use the Magic Jack long distance carrier for all our long distance calls. Once we are in the U.S., I have a cell phone that will be activated and it will be the best way to reach us after September 10. The number is: 917-697-2189. We can also always be contacted via email, as we will have our laptop computer with us while we travel.

The second part of this letter relates to our friendship with Iván and his family. Many people have asked me how we got involved in this project; for example, is this a boy we plan to adopt?, who is Guillermo, his uncle, a relative, or a brother? Has Luis become his surrogate father?, etc. We can understand this curiosity and interest in helping correct his cross eyes, since it is a departure from our regular ministry.

We sort of stumbled onto the situation after the young boy was around us for the past year or more. Luis has a very close friend, Guillermo, who has been like a surrogate father to Iván. The boy never knew his father, as he disappeared soon after Iván was born. The boy's mother and the rest of her children and now husband live close to Luis' friend, Guillermo. The boy's family is very needy in many ways, not only economically, but in education and in general being able to handle life’s challenges.  The boy had attached himself to Guillermo for a long time, and now to Luis, as they are loving and kind to him. The boy has been made fun of for most of his short life due to his eyes never being corrected. He also longed to join Luis on the ball field to join the other kids his age, but was unable due to his eye handicap. So we wanted to try to raise the money for the cost of having his eye surgery done here, especially since the cost of the operation, medicines, etc., are far less than they would be in the States.

We have all been part of this outreach to Iván, not just Luis. Since his mother is overwhelmed with the care of the rest of her children and household responsibilities, we pitched in to help with Iván's therapy. However, now he is completely healed and no longer needs the therapy.   He really has become a different child since we first began to know him. He smiles and laughs a lot, and even his face seems more open and bright, as he was always looking down in the past, never directly at us. He has become quite responsive to the Gospel, as much as he can absorb.  Since he has a learning disability, we have to break everything down in very simple terms, but he is understanding, little by little.

Love,

Luis & Julie

For Contribution Giving Online:  https://give.cru.org/0055648

Luis & Julie Añil Mailing Address:  PO Box G   New York, New York  10034-0247 julie.anil@cru.org 212-544-2696

http://luisandjulie.wix.com/anil


April, 2016       Guillermo, Iván, & Luis

As many of you know who have been receiving our emails, our little friend Iván’s eye surgery was a great success. Luis and I are so grateful for all the help our friends in the States have been as part of this success: through prayer, words of encouragement, and financial contributions.

The ophthalmologist surgeon said that when he got into the surgery, his one eye was in much worse condition than he initially thought. The other eye was also crossed but little by little it is being corrected with exercise therapy, and will not require surgery. He is healing well, but Luis has to keep on top of his routines, therapy, and medicines, as his mother, although very grateful for what we have done, does not have the capacity to carry through, as she can barely keep up with the needs of her other children and home. Iván never knew his father, as he disappeared soon after he was born.

One interesting observation we have noticed is that Iván is still not accustomed to bright light, especially sunlight. The first eight years of his life he was so used to keeping both his eyes down toward his nose that he never got used to looking straight into light. This is improving , and of course, within just several more months, he will be normal and like other kids who never had a cross-eyed problem.  Being young is the best plus on his side.

He has already become a different person. He is much more open with people, less shy and retiring, smiles a lot, and when he sees Luis, he gives him a big hug and a wide smile.  We hope and pray that the terrible complex he had when we began to know him will, with time, diminish and be replaced with the assurance of God’s love and acceptance for him, and ours, as well.

We have one more follow up appointment with his doctor and then the rest should just be a matter of time for his corrective healing.

One positive thing that has resulted from all of this is that in spite of going through the myriad of details in this situation in a town two hours away, Iván and his family have been amazed that so many people have had such interest and concern for him, people that he has never met and probably never will know personally.

Isn’t that how life is? We are blessed and privileged people because of individuals in our past who have made sacrifices for us, people often that we will never meet this side of heaven.

Luis and I are so appreciative of you in every way. We never take for granted the sacrifices you have made so that we can be here.          Love,          Luis & Julie

March 24th, 2016

Just a quick email to let you know that our little friend, Iván Brito's eye surgery went very well and was completely corrected.  Luis and I have been very happy and impressed with his eye doctor and their medical team.  The doctor said that when he actually got into the eye, that it was much worse or crossed than he had first thought, just from his initial examinations of Iván's eyes.  The other eye is also crossed, but the doctor said that once the operated eye completely heals, he will be able to correct the second eye with therapy.  He will put a patch on the operated eye, so that Iván will be forced to use the other eye and this will strengthen the eye muscle to correct his vision normally.

We have already taken him for a check-up with the doctor.  We will take him again after the Easter holiday.  Then he can begin his eye patch therapy.

The most challenging part has been working with his mother, who is uneducated, and helping her to remember to have her son put in his eye drops four times a day and take his medicine. Luis goes often to their home to follow up on Iván and help with his eye drop regimen.  Every time he sees Luis he gives him a big hug and a big smile.  He already has become a different person, a lot more communicative and much less shy and reserved.  Once he is healed, we plan to take another picture of him and send out a newsletter with the change that has taken place.

Thank you again for every prayer that has been offered up for him and his family, and for the generous support that we have received in so many various ways.  Please continue to pray for his family, as they have so many needs that very poor people have, and that we often find hard to relate to.

Both Luis and I wish you and your families a blessed and enjoyable Easter holiday.  I know that this will be a very special and memorable Easter for Iván.  

Christ is Risen!!      

Julie

March 7th 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Several people have asked about our little friend Iván's eye operation.  I thought I would send out an email giving you updated details.  Thank you so much for your concern and prayers for him.  His surgery was postponed for two weeks.  He developed a bad cold a few days before his surgery, so the doctor had re-scheduled for two Saturdays later, March 5.  They do not like to use anesthesia when the patient has a cold or any other flu-like symptoms.  Then, just as we were planning to drive his mother and him for the two hour trip from here, where the operation will take place, the doctor had a doctor's conference on March 5 that he was required to attend.  He only operates on Saturdays.  So now the surgery is scheduled for March 12.  This has all been frustrating for us and especially for Iván's family.  Please continue to pray.  We will let you know when we get through this.

It seems the key word in this country is Waiting, or Patience.  The Bible speaks so much of the importance of waiting on the Lord and His plans, but I have had to learn these lessons in a new and fresh way.  We always seem to be changing our plans or waiting longer than promised for something to take place.  

One of the positive results from all of this is that Iván is astounded that so many people are praying for him and are truly concerned for him.  I doubt he has ever received this kind of love from anyone, much less from people he doesn't even know. 

Both Luis and I want to thank you for the financial help donated towards our work here, and especially the help for Iván's surgery.  It is very appreciated, as well as your faithful interest in us personally and in our ministry.  We do not take it for granted.  We think and pray for each one of you personally.   We will keep you updated.

I am so behind in correspondence, as we have been overly involved in so many things.  I had intended to write to you personally.  I even had Christmas cards addressed to send out, but time got away and that best of intentions went out the window..  This is such a relational culture that people are always dropping in, unannounced.  Often, when I have an afternoon or evening to catch up with administrative work, I have to wait several days to get back to it.

Luis and I also want to thank those of you who have helped financially with our car fund.  We are not there yet, but we are encouraged that the Lord, in His timing and way, will provide a newer, heavier, and sturdier car. 

We will continue to keep you updated.  Please continue to pray, and thank you again for your part in so many ways with our particular needs.  It helps us get through the hard parts of living in a poor and developing country.

We send you our love and greetings,

Julie

Luis & Julie Añil




Freely you have received, freely give.  Matthew 10: 8

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