BY TIM KOLODZIEJ
For Pathway Church
So there they were, lounging on a beach in Clearwater, Fla.
Dazzling sunlight. A gentle breeze. Waves rolling through the sand and over their feet.
As couples often do, Faye and Jake Vincik gazed out into the limitless ocean view and imagined their family’s future together. After all, it wouldn’t be long before their two boys, Christian and Luke, would begin attending school.
At least that’s what Jake thought.
“Faye said something like, ‘We’ll have to home-school in the Dominican Republic,’ ” he recalled.
Wait … what?
To be clear, Jake had asked Faye to relocate to the DR many times over the past fews years, but her answer was always the same — no. So hearing her latest response left him in a state of euphoria. Not that he wanted anyone to know.
“I was playing it cool,” he said, laughing. “But in my mind I was doing back flips, saving a person in the water and swimming with the dolphins. That’s how good it felt.”
These days, Jake’s right arm is still a little weak following rotator cuff surgery, so it’s doubtful he will be doing back flips any time soon. But next month, Jake, Faye, Christian and Luke will board a plane for the tiny island an hour south of Miami.
And the one-way tickets they’ve purchased are proof of their commitment to do God’s work in the village of La Higuera.
“If I had to describe the past few months with one word,” Jake offered, “it would be ‘Unreal.’ ”
“Pathway has ‘ALL IN.’ We have ‘Unreal.’ ”
IGNITING THE FLAME ...
Jake visited the Dominican Republic for the first time in January of 2010 with Hope for Hispaniola, which has taken short-term trips to the DR since 2000. Matt Henderson is the mission’s founder and met the Vinciks at Pathway Church.
“I really don’t know why I went the first time,” Jake admitted. “I didn’t know if it was to check it off a list or if it was a true desire. Within two days there, God revealed a bunch of stuff to me.”
Six months later, Jake went again. Then again. And …
“I knew it was where God wanted me to be.”
He persuaded his wife to join him for the first time in May of 2013.
Then Jake began asking Faye to move to the DR with the intention of becoming full-time missionaries. She was actually receptive to the idea — once they hit retirement age.
“She didn’t think I meant now,” he said, laughing.
So Jake continued to go alone, then began to extend the week-long trips to two weeks, thinking that would make him happy.
“I’ll be honest, I was feeling depressed,” he explained. “I asked God, ‘Why would you burden me and not my wife?’ ”
But that was before Faye’s revelation on the beach.
So, why the change of heart?
“When we visited the DR together, I could see Jake’s heart for the people,” Faye explained. “It was all God when we went down last year. Jake thrived there. Seeing him in action with the children, I knew we belonged there.”
Christian, now 7, and Luke, 4, are both excited for their family’s upcoming adventure. Faye will continue to home-school the boys in their new surroundings.
“At first, I was really concerned about raising a family and the education down there,” she said. “I never thought I’d be a home-schooling mom. But a lot of my friends here really helped me and it’s gone very well with Christian so far. I know this is what we are supposed to be doing.”
“I was looking for something to be called to. I just want to be obedient and give God more of me.”
COUNTING THE DAYS ...
January 14, 2018.
Jake has had their departure date circled on his calendar for quite some time now. Hope for Hispaniola started a school in La Higuera about 10 years ago, and the Vinciks can’t wait to begin teaching English there at night.
Faye explained that when the students learn English, they have a much greater chance of securing a job at resorts that pay a decent wage.
In addition to his teaching role, Jake also will oversee building maintenance at the school and will spearhead an effort to get the building’s water purification system operating again.
“Clean water is a hindrance in the Dominican Republic,” Faye said. “Getting the water purification system up and running again would be a huge blessing.”
But first, the Vinciks must take care of business here at home.
Jake is now in the process of liquidating his thriving construction business. He’s already sold his truck, and will begin selling off his tools once a few final jobs are completed.
An even bigger priority, he said, is securing relationships with prayer and financial partners.
The Vinciks are asking for prayer in three specific areas:
•To keep the family free from illness and doubt as the departure date nears
•To keep their marriage strong
•And to achieve closure here in Beaver County in a responsible way.
Financially, the Vinciks are still working toward the goal of $20,000 as a sending fund, and ask that you prayerfully consider a recurring or one-time gift to assist their mission.
Though he admits to feeling overwhelmed at times, Jake remembers that the mission extends well beyond human capacity.
“You don’t have to be tremendously gifted or skilled to make an impact for God,” he stressed. “God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”
He paused to adjust the sling on his arm.
“My dream is for us to help save a lot of people and grow old there,” he continued. “We’re willing and available, and God is honoring that. We just have to trust that His power will work through us.”