Hello!  We are the Sollors family and we are serving with Students International in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic!!  We look forward to sharing our journey and keeping in touch with all of our family and friends through email, Facebook, and newsletters...links below!
Hello everyone!  Time is going by so fast for us here!  Things really got rolling for us after Christmas break.  We are settled into and really enjoying our neighborhood and the friends we are making here.  We are all in good health.  We are staying busy with school and work and we have even had some friends and family from the states visit us already this year!  
A big part of the ministry here at Students International is hosting short term mission teams from all over the United States.  These teams started coming down in March and it was our first experience being on the staff side of things, instead of being part of the short term team.  It was exciting having students at our sites and being able to talk about our ministry, fellowship together in the community, and have their helping hands and minds around.  It is amazing what can happen over a few days!  
 So much has been happening at the preschool this year!  Here is a typical day at the preschool:  the kids arrive in the morning around 8:30 and play together on the playground until it is time to line up at 8:45.  They say a prayer and sing the Dominican Republic anthem and then separate into their two classes.  The preK class has 17 kids (4-5 years old) and my class has 16 kids (3-4 years old).  Once we are in the classroom, we have circle time and a morning devotional and coloring activity, then they have a snack, outside time, and then we return to the class for center time.  They rotate tables and each table has a different activity.  Every day we work with the alphabet, art, fine motor, and numbers, among other things, during the center time.  My area is the math center, so each day we do a math activity and then they can choose a 'learn through play' activity to play with until it is time to move to another center.  We do lots of special activities too, like pool parties and in March we took an excursion to the capital with the kids and their parents to visit the aquarium!  
The Appropriate Technology site started in Jarabacoa in 2017 at the SI base and moved to the community of Los Corrales. During Covid in 2020 the site was moved to the old Los Higos preschool right next door to the new preschool Jill is teaching at. The site is so new there is still a lot of maintenance we need to do. I work alongside Delvin Diaz, who grew up in Los Higos and understands the needs of the community. The ongoing maintenance, building, and installing of the filters take manpower and that is where the short-term mission teams come in. This Spring we had two one-week outreaches. Our time together was short, but the impact they had on the community will be felt long after they leave. Our mission is to offer a cheap source of clean drinking water to Los Higos and the surrounding communities, along with sharing the Good News. John 4:10 “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 
Something new for us this year is that we started to have teams from the states come down to minister along side of us, and what a blessing they have been!  The kids at the preschool eat them up and have a great time with the visiting teams!  Teams also bring awesome donations of toys and craft supplies for us to use.  The best thing though is what happens when teams are here.  There is so much love, fellowship, vulnerability, truth, wisdom, and even silliness!  
Teams are with us each day until around 4, and so after the preschool kids leave, we have time to talk about the history of the preschool and appropriate technology site, we all share our testimonies throughout the week, we go out in the community for visiting and coffee, we go on a prayer walk, and we even have dinner all together at someone's house in the community with each team.  It is just hard at the end of their time here to say goodbye, but our prayer is that they will find their way back for another outreach next year!  Or even better, come down to be summer staff, an intern, or to participate in our Global Bridge program which is a semester abroad program.  
We had visitors!!!  Brian's mom came down and stayed 2 weeks with us over Owen's birthday!  We loved having her here and we were so glad she got to see first hand what our life is like now.  She even spent a few days with us at Los Higos!
Christy and Ray Sines and their kiddos Chloe and Odin came down for a week!  Two of those days we spent with them at the beach in Sosúa, and the rest of the time they spent with us in Jarabacoa!  Such a treat to have them here with us!
We have been so blessed throughout this journey to have a generous and loving support team.  The Lord, through our supporters, has taken care of us thus far and we are so appreciative!  We could not be doing what we are doing here for His Kingdom without our team.  If you are one of those people, we humbly thank you.  If you are not currently but wish to be a monthly or one time donor, we encourage you to do so.  It is easy and makes a huge difference in our lives and allows us to keep doing what we are doing here.  

Prayer Needs

~ Good health 
~ For us to be able to understand and converse in Spanish - this is a giant challenge for the 3 of us
~ Owen to continue to thrive here and in school as well
~ The community of Los Higos - our coworkers and their families, the students and families of the preschool, and our neighbors there
~ Students International and the teams who will be coming down throughout the summer
~It is important to our family to be praying for you too...if you would like for us to lift up something specific, please let us know!!
Hi all!!!  First and foremost I want to apologize for not sending out a newsletter sooner.  I have had a difficult time putting to words all the the things that have been happening with us as we have been transitioning over the past 6 months.  We spent the spring and summer in trainings, fundraising, selling our house and cars, and preparing for our move.  During this time, we were so lifted up and supported by the best of people, many of whom we have known for years, and many who we are convinced God has brought to us more recently.  
We moved to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic on August 8th, and have been living in a whirlwind every day since!  Adjusting to a new culture is an eye opening experience, and for us, very exhausting.  Language barriers make things even more difficult.  It is isolating not being able to communicate or have people understand what you are trying to say.  Fortunately, we work with great people and have great friends here who are able to help, but it is a real challenge not being able to do many things on our own.  
In the three months we have been here, we have gone many days without electricity, water, internet, or transportation.  We have already moved once due to the living conditions at the first house we rented before we moved down.  We have also spent a couple of nights at a hospital an hour away from where we live!  We have been in a spiritual battle since the day we stepped off the airplane, and that is okay!  We put our trust in Christ and are becoming stronger every single day.  We are so thankful for what we have and we have countless blessings! 
In late October, Brian began to have some urological issues and was diagnosed with a large kidney stone that would need to be broken up and removed.  There is a small clinic in our town but they were not equipped to perform the procedure, so he traveled to Moca, another town that is about an hour away to have it there.  They discovered during the procedure that it was not a kidney stone, but it was a benign growth that was causing the issues.  They couldn't do the surgery the same day, so Owen and I drove up that afternoon and stayed the night. The next day, Brian had the surgery, which was so much more complex than we had expected.  We stayed another night in the hospital and then Brian has been recovering at home for the past month and is doing much better!  The doctors were great, and the hospital was very nice!  Owen loved the hospital food and we learned that if you don't bring your own towels, the nurses will use your pajamas as washcloths and towels!  
Would you just look at these precious kiddos!?!  I have been spending a couple of days a week at the preschool in the community of Los Higos.  I will be full time there starting in January, and Brian will be right next door, working full time at his site, building water filters.  
There is so much good happening at the preschool!!  I have been spending my time in the 3-4 year old classroom, focusing on teaching numbers and working on fine motor skills.  Last week we loaded the kids and their parents on a big bus and went all the way to the capital city of Santo Domingo in the southern part of the island to visit the zoo!!  I'm not sure who had more fun, the staff, the parents, or the kids!  A good time was had by all!  
We are looking forward to a big Christmas celebration in December at the preschool.  Our home church donated several hundred dollars to us from a fundraiser in October, and we used the money to buy each child a Christmas present that they asked for!  We have 33 students at the school and the community of Los Higos struggles with poverty, young teen pregnancy, and dysfunctional relationships, and so the Christ-centered presence of our organization is helping the community make small changes for the better.  
This cool kid is 9 years old and he is in 4th grade at Jarabacoa Christian School, a bilingual school here in town.  He has proven himself to be the most adaptable child and has taken this transition so well.  He has made many friends, he loves school even though half of his classes are in Spanish and he doesn't understand Spanish yet, and it is such a blessing to have him on this journey with us!
Owen loves his family, friends, Dominican food, mint chocolate chip ice cream, frozen peas, ginger-ale, animals, nature, fire pit tending, heavy blankets, arrowheads, Legos, Star Wars, Pokemon, Minecraft, Transformers, swimming, camping, hiking, climbing, fishing, reading, helping people, and most importantly: his Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

We have met our fundraising goal!  If you are one of the many who have committed to being on our monthly support team, we thank you!!  Also, if you have sent in a one time donation, we thank you!  And we thank all those in between!  If you have been thinking of becoming a monthly supporter or of giving a one time gift, we would like to still encourage you to follow through with that as additional funds will help us with our ministry site needs now and in the future.  We literally CANNOT do this without all of our wonderful and generous supporters!  True story, as Owen likes to say!!

Prayer Needs

  • Good health - complete resolve of Brian's urological issues and protection from Covid-19 and other illnesses that are common here in the DR
  • Peace to be brought to the hearts and minds of those we left behind in the states
  • For us to be able to understand and converse in Spanish
  • Owen to continue to thrive here and in school as well
  • Fruitful work as we transition to full time at our job sites in January
It is important to our family to be praying for you too...if you would like for us to lift up something specific, please let us know!!

Hello family and friends!!  We have so many updates for you!  We have started the long process of applying for our visas, we are registered for 2 stateside trainings, and we have started securing some things in the DR, like beds and pots and pans!  We will begin to look for housing in late May/early June.
The first week of May we will spend in California at the service center for Students International to train and do orientation with a few other missionaries about to serve overseas.  The last week of May and the first 3 weeks of June we will spend in North Carolina at the Center for Intercultural Training.  This will be an intense training to help equip all three of us to better acclimate and succeed while ministering in an entirely different world than we are used to living in.  Some people have asked what Owen will be doing.  He will be learning the same things, only in classes with other elementary age kids who are about to be off to another country with their missionary families as well. 

All about Jill, by Jill 
As promised, here is a little information about me!  My dad took me on my first mission trip in the early 2000's.  It was to an orphanage and I have since traveled there many times over the years.  I have also gone on short term trips to Ethiopia and Ecuador, as well as serving with SI in the DR a couple of times.  I have always viewed overseas long term ministry work as something I would love to do but also about as obtainable as moving to Hollywood and becoming an actor and then winning an Oscar (which for the record I have never wanted to do).  Yeah I knew real people did it but that life was impossible for me.  But then it wasn't!  It wasn't impossible and now we are 3 months away from leaving almost everything behind and moving overseas to be missionaries!  I'm glad God chose me and my family to go serve!  
A little more background on me:  I grew up in Cleveland, TN and attended church my entire childhood.  I spent my 20's not attending church and really excelling at being a career college student.  I finally graduated with a degree in Horticulture and spent about 10 years in the landscaping business.  Brian and I got married and a couple of years later had Owen, and we decided to move back to Cleveland from Atlanta where we had both been living and working.  
Back in Cleveland I started attending our current church, where I started volunteering with the youth ministry and then the children's ministry.  I then began to work at the church preschool during the week, and last year I also took over the children's ministry.  As our time in Tennessee is drawing to a close, my replacements are taking on all my responsibilities and I am just tying up any loose ends.   It is not easy leaving a job you love at a place you love with coworkers you love!  
There are a lot of things about this process that are not easy, but I rest in the promises of God, knowing that He has a plan for me, and for my family I am taking, and for my family who is staying behind, and for the people in the communities we will be serving in in the DR, and for you too! 
Major fundraising praises! 
Would you just look at how God is working?!  He is a great encourager and His Spirit has been working on the hearts of so many people in our lives.  We love how so many people from all over the country are coming together and joining us as we prepare to go serve, to go plant seeds, to go make a difference in lives that otherwise may not ever hear the Gospel.  We are needed there.  We will make a difference there.  We can't do it without our supporters though and we are truly humbled and blessed to have so many people eager to join our team!  We are less than 15% away from our monthly goal!!!  If you are interested in helping us reach that 100%, reach out to us or you can CLICK HERE to be taken to our staff donation page, thank you! 

Prayer Needs

  • The Lord to continue opening doors for our family
  • A connection with a strong support tribe
  • Peace to be brought to the hearts and minds of those we are leaving behind
  • A good, safe home for our 2 cats we will soon have to re-home
  • Our brains to open up to learning Spanish
  • The people of the communities in and around Jarabacoa
It is important to our family to be praying for you too...if you would like for us to lift up something specific, please let us know!!

A few words from Jill...
Hello friends and family!!  As 2020 comes to a close, we pray you all are safe and healthy.  The year is coming to an end in a way I'm sure none of us expected, and I know for myself, I am a different person than I was pre-covid.  In the beginning of the pandemic, I worked on being still.  In my head it would all be over in the summer.  But here we are, in December, and it is definitely not over.  I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions and spiritual growth as the stillness turned into the chaos that is 2020.  I have been comforted, however, this Christmas season by the hope, love, joy, and peace that comes with a relationship with Jesus, and I just can't help but wonder what God has in store for our family when it comes to sharing the Gospel this time next year!
 ¡Feliz Navidad! 
SI Appropriate Technology Team 2019 - The Dominican women pictured were the first three in Jarabacoa to accept Christ in their lives though the Appropriate Technology site. They were also the first three to receive the water filters. Currently the site is run out of the back of the daughter's small business.

Spotlight on Brian!!

 In the summer of 2019, Jill took me and Owen down to the DR with 6 other awesome friends and family.  For Owen and I, this was our first mission trip. I was the least excited since I was not a believer.  This was Owen's first time on an airplane and traveling outside of the States, so his fears were more deserving than mine. I was acting more like Owen’s age than that of an adult. I always supported Jill and her love of missions, but I wasn’t too keen about actually going. I knew deep down, all Jill wanted was for Owen and I to experience what she had, together as a family. She promised this would be our only mission trip. Little did I know, God knew what was going on.  He knew this was going to stir something in me I would never forget. My heart was softened and filled with the Holy Spirit. A seed was planted! Upon our return, I knew something was different.  By His amazing grace I was saved!  In a secret and surprise move, I rejoined the church! I started diving into the Bible and into Bible studies fostering a rebirth I never imagined possible. A few months after our return, Jill approached me about applying for a full-time missionary position with Students International. At that time I had no desire to be a full-time missionary, but planned to support her and try to find work otherwise. As stated above, God had other ideas for our family. Jill applied first and after she was accepted, they asked if I would like to apply as well. A few months later I began the application process and was offered a full-time position also!  So here we are now, a little over a year after that life-changing trip, preparing ourselves for overseas ministry work!


Here is a little more information about me.  I grew up in Palatine, Illinois, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.  I took a good amount of time off after high school. Eventually I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and graduated with a BA degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology.  In the late 2000's I moved to Atlanta and that is where I met Jill.  We were married in 2009 and in 2012, Owen came crashing into our world!  We left the Atlanta suburbs and made a pitstop in Knoxville for a year before moving on to Cleveland in the spring of 2013. For Jill this was a move back to her roots and the town where she grew up...Cleveland, Tennessee, where we have lived ever since.  I love to run and if the weather’s cooperating I try to hit the greenway every day that I can. We also love the mountains! We are fortunate to live so close to places where we can disappear for a few days, do some hiking, and just relax a little. Other favorite activities I like include reading and a good cup of coffee.

Our sending church, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Cleveland, TN, is doing amazing things and have been and continue to be so incredibly supportive and excited to partner with us on this journey.  God sure knew what he was doing when he sent us to Wesley 7 years ago when we moved back to Cleveland.  They have graciously offered to let us have a few minutes during Sunday morning services during the Advent season to speak about our mission and plans.
Services are livestreamed on their websiteFacebook, and Youtube.  Throughout the week, there are lots more livestreams of devotions, Bible studies, and more good food for the soul, so check it out!!

A lot of learning happens at Mata Gorda preschool!!!

Fundraising Praises!!
God is so good at providing and we are excited to share that we have raised our $30,000 start up costs!  Part of the fundraising is for the start up costs, which takes care of all trainings, travel expenses, securing housing and transportation once we move, and other fees, such as taxes, insurance, and visas.  We are also excited to say that we are almost 50% funded for our monthly budget as well!  We have created a chart to better aid in visualization of what our financial situation looks like now.  We have added different levels of giving and will adjust as we receive more financial supporters.  Becoming a monthly donor is very easy and can be done several ways, If you have been entertaining the idea of coming on board with us, we ask you to prayerfully consider making that jump!   

Prayer Needs

  • The Lord to continue opening doors for our family
  • A connection with a strong support tribe
  • Peace to be brought to the hearts and minds of those we are leaving behind
  • Our brains to open up to learning Spanish
  • The people of the communities in and around Jarabacoa
  • Our monthly donation goal to be met soon
It is important to our family to be praying for you too...if you would like for us to lift up something specific, please let us know!!
Sollors in the DR



Summer 2020 Newsletter

Hello!  Thank you for taking interest in our upcoming transition to the Dominican Republic!  Last year after our family returned from a short term trip to Jarabacoa, DR, we felt the Lord really working in us and He just laid it on our hearts to go back, but this time He wanted us to go back to stay.  After many months of praying and going through the application process, we were offered and have accepted positions to serve with Students International in Jarabacoa.  We want to share our journey with you as we prepare to be long term missionaries.  We appreciate so much all the love and prayers we have already begun to receive and we know this is a group effort.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  All of us together.  God opened this door for us to make this move, and if you are reading this, we hope He is working in your heart to be part of our team.  Over the next few months as we prepare, we want to keep you updated on our progress, on different ways you can support us, and we also want to tell you more about ourselves and our testimonies and reasons behind our decision to become missionaries with Students International.  Our next newsletter will have a spotlight on Brian so stay tuned!


Please take a few minutes and read what the organization we will be working with is all about!!

Here is where we will be living...click on the link to read more about Jarabacoa.

Part of the base of operations in Jarabacoa.  This is where the offices are, as well as housing for teams, the chapel, and a kitchen and dining area.
Brian will be working at the Appropriate Technology site building and delivering these water filters.  This is such an amazing way to connect with the people in the communities and to share the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ!  Not only will Brian be helping to provide good, clean water that people have previously not had access to, but he will also be able to share the living water that brings about salvation.  This filter has the following verse painted on it, and all filters his team will be building will prayed over that they may supply an abundance of both physical and spiritual water.

You will never be thirsty.  John 4:14

Jill will be working at one of the preschool education sites.  There are currently 2 SI preschools as well as a tutoring center and a special education site in and around Jarabacoa.  The preschools, which are situated in spiritually deprived communities, are a wonderful way to help shape the next generation in a more positive, God centered way.  We are not yet sure which one she will be teaching at...that will be determined closer to our arrival in the DR.  

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Brian and Owen at the Appropriate Technology site during their trip in the summer of 2019.
Jill and a few of her preschool friends at Mata Gorda preschool during her short term trip in the spring of 2018.

Prayer Needs

  • The Lord to continue opening doors for our family
  • A connection with a strong support tribe
  • Peace to be brought to the hearts and minds of those we are leaving behind
  • Our brains to open up to learning Spanish
  • The people of the communities in and around Jarabacoa
It is important to our family to be praying for you too...if you would like for us to lift up something specific, please let us know!!