Jun 25, 2012


Really? It's been since Christmas that we have blogged? Whew! It's Sarah Causey's fault because she told us not to blog so often. Nonetheless, we need to give an update. We are moving to Mexico on June 28th early in the morning and arriving at 3:30 pm. Our first six to eight months we will be in guest housing. I know the family will be looking forward to finally settling down sometime early next year.

Please pray for our trip, final packing, and the survival of my children during this process. They say moving is one of the top stresses in a person's life and I must stressfully agree! The family had burrowed in down here in the Dominican Republic for the long haul and the closets are revealing their desires to hide unwanted things. The maids around the apartment complex have been raiding our house on a daily basis looking for bargains for about the last two months. Finally, we have narrowed our items down to just the necessities: clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and our ceiling fans. We have been camping in our apartment for the last week and my back is so ready for a real bed. Literally, we have been living without a refrigerator, washer, dryer, beds, couch, chairs and bedroom furniture. It’s been easier for the kids to keep their rooms cleans since we are piling the clothes on the floor. As you can tell, we are ready to live anywhere. 

We hope to reflect more on our time in the DR in our next few blogs. Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words that you all send us through emails, cards, and Skype. We are so blessed to have you praying for us most of all.

P.S. Do not send mail until further notice. Thank you! :)

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We would like to say "Thank You" to all of our SBC Churches that help provide the means to fulfill our call as missionaries. All of this is made possible through tithes and offerings. This year the goal of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is $175 million dollars which provides 57% of our annual budget.

I would like to encourage everyone not to just give but to be obedient. The Lord has completely changed the dynamics of our family through the call to missions and personal obedience. Granted, God is changing people's lives through many different circumstances and venues not just through missions but in the end no matter the median used, the end result is God.

In talking about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we would like to personalize it by sharing with you how your tithes and offerings have affected us over the last couple of years.

The IMB has been phenomenal in providing our needs as SBC Churches have provided the resources and we would like to highlight a couple of areas:

We are thankful for our Sonlight Curriculum which is provided (100%) to homeschool our children.. The IMB also provides monies for extra-curricular activities outside of the home for personal development but also that they too might engage and interact with the culture.

We are thankful for transportation. We have a vehicle provided at 100%. As many of you are feeling the burden of rising fuel cost, we are grateful for the monies allocated for transportation. Presently, fuel is $5.65 per gallon here in the Dominican Republic.

We are thankful for Medical Insurance. Early on, in the economic down-turn of the American Economy, the IMB was faced with making cuts in our health coverage. Presently we receive our Medical Insurance at 100% coverage. This is truly amazing! As many of you know, Adelyn was a miracle baby that did not come cheap. It is with great tears and humility that we say, Tthank you." We have NO medical debt and we are free to serve Him and fulfill our call.

We are thankful for our housing here in the Dominican Republic as well. Recently, we were back in the States and Jacob asked, “Daddy, when will we go back home?” He was referring to our apartment here in Santo, Domingo.

We are also thankful for our non-SBC churches that love us just the same. You all provide for us through your prayers and some through financial gifts for ministry support. In fact, this year a small church outside of Steelville, MO provided the resources to subsidies 10 John MacArthur, Spanish Study Bibles for local pastors.  

In closing, Merry Christmas and Lord Bless and we pray that you all will be blessed as you reflect on our savior.

Nov 27, 2011

Adelyn's Big Day!

Adelyn Caroline Gillen is officially 2 years old! We enjoyed celebrating her birthday with a princess tea party, gifts from the grandparents, an ice cream cake, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, we can’t forget the chocolate and strawberry milk.
Please join us in the celebration and view the slideshow in the lower right hand column.

Nov 26, 2011


The smells of pumpkin pie, turkey, homemade bread, sweet potatoes, dressing, green beans, and homemade cinnamon rolls filled our home (it was a nice break from the smells of the local trash dump) on Thanksgiving Day. It was a day of reflecting, eating tons of food, fellowship, and enjoying football (it was muted in the background). Go Cowboys!

As I reflected this Thanksgiving, I was truly reminded of the volatility of life.  Addi will be two years old on November 27th.  Many of you shared in our journey back to the States with our little preemie. She has defied many odds and continues to excel in all aspects. I have heard many people say, “She was a fighter!” Sometimes our response is that of a gentle smile, a chuckle, or even the shedding of a tear as it brings back the flood of emotions. However, as we truly reflect on that which sustained Addi, we quickly realize that Addi had nothing to do with it. Addi had no inherent ability to say to her little heart, “close the hole that is causing problems” or to say to her lungs, “expand on the count of three.” or  to command her lower digestive track, “function as I designed you to function.” There were several families that their little ones never made it out of ICU. Was their death due to an inborn desire not to fight?  I heard the parent’s cries and we felt their pain and we wondered, “Will we leave the ICU with or without Addi?”  We prayed, “Lord, if it be your will allow Addi to live and if not grant us the grace to endure the pain.” So, did Addi really fight? Did the preemies that died really die because of a lack of fighting? NO. God sustained Addi and God chose for her to live and he chose the other preemies to be with him.

It’s amazing that none of us are any different than Addi.  Each and every day we too are in the ICU. The absence of God’s sustaining touch in our lives would result in death.  When was the last time you thanked God for your life? Thanked him for allowing your lungs to grant you your next life sustaining breath? Have you considered that at any moment your heart could stop beating?  After all, three-thousand people die every day from a heart attack and roughly 155,000 people die every day in the world.  Why are you still living? Why have you been chosen to live this very day?
This is what I am thankful for; I am thankful for every day that the Lord in His sovereignty allows me to experience life. I am thankful that today my family is alive and well.  We have been granted the joy of experiencing another day with our creator, another day with each other, and another day to be lavished with the grace of God.

I hope that whoever reads this letter will truly realize that we are all in the ICU of this world and we will not escape except through death.  The final destination will vary. For some, that which remains is a place of rest and worship with the creator, a place beyond comprehension.  For others, that which lingers is a place of despair and torment, which too is beyond comprehension.  Thus, I close with this.  Do you know what awaits you? Will it be a place of rest or despair beyond comprehension? Either way, whether you are filled with security or uncertainty I would encourage you to ask the Lord to draw you unto him, to make you aware of your sin, and to prepare you for life outside of the ICU.
Psalm 139, John 6, John 17, Acts 2-3; 13, Romans 1-10,

Nov 14, 2011


Today is a special day. I have been married to DeNiel N. Gillen for thirteen years. It has most definitely been a journey to behold and one to anticipate as our lives continue to unfold. I can promise you that thirteen years ago at South Gate Baptist Church in Springfield, MO I was scared to death and yet filled with excitement. 
As we left the church, our first adventure was Florida for our honeymoon. Being a young rural Missouri boy I thought Al-Qaida was all around us before Al-Qaida was a house hold name; everyone one was suspect. I walked around Sea World in fear of being abducted and was in need of a psychiatric evaluation during the whole trip. It was at that time that I promised to myself that I would never leave the USA or MO. 
A year went by and we felt ourselves being called to Seminary. We spent three days in Texas looking at the Seminary and the night of our one year anniversary (our return from visiting Southwestern) we discovered we were with CHILD! Kylie was born and what a surprise being a parent was.  DeNiel in her infinite wisdom got herself pregnant again within three months of Kylie’s arrival with Brooklin. Wow! I was excited, depressed, and nervous and in need of yet another psychiatric evaluation! It was during this news that we were in the process of transferring to FBC St. James, MO.  The Lord certainly blessed us in our move to St. James.  It was a little nerve racking at first because we were so close to St. Louis a “Big City!”
We made St. James our home. It was during our time in St. James that the Lord would provide us with the man child, Jacob. What a difference between boys and girls! No EMOTIONS!  Seven years into our ministry there we felt the Lord leading us to serve overseas! Oh how the Lord has a way of changing people and their perspectives. I was never going to leave neither the USA nor Missouri and here we were contemplating being foreign missionaries.  Eventually, we would join the IMB and find ourselves in Costa Rica learning Spanish. What a treat this was. DeNiel excelled and I struggled because of my roots in Southern Missouri. The accent was just a little much and the lack of grammar where I am from would come back to haunt me. Nonetheless, we made it through and once again, DeNiel would be pregnant with our fourth and final child, Adelyn. What a journey she was and is! She is a hoot!
It’s incredible where the Lord has taken us and what he has taught us. In just thirteen years we have been to Arizona, California, Chicago, Florida, Hawaii (twice), Kansas, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Las Vegas, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, Costa Rica (for 1 year), Columbia (Bogotá), Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico City, Niagara Falls (Canada), Nicaragua, Panama, Peru (Lima), and we now live in the Dominican Republic.  
Besides our wonderful kids, travels, and life as missionaries, that which I truly treasure the most is DeNiel. She is not the same girl that said, “Yes,” thirteen years ago. She inspires me to be a godly man. She is truly my better half. I must close with thank you DeNiel for saying, “I do” and thank you for putting Christ first. The times have not always been easy but the trials have always been welcomed for they themselves have developed within each of us a deeper understanding of our sinful, selfish nature and allowed us to grow in maturity in our walk with the Lord. Thank you DeNiel for growing in godliness and making our home a refuge, sanctuary, and a median for growing future disciples of Christ!
I will sign off the way, in which we started thirteen years ago today,


Nov 9, 2011

Vacation & Life Back in the DR

The Gillen family has had a busy few months. Let’s catch you all up!  As many of you know, or don’t know, our family and friends provided tickets for us to fly back to Missouri for the month of September. What a blessing! Anthony had the opportunity to preach at a few different churches. We stayed with different family and friends and enjoyed true fellowship- in English! It really was a time of refreshment and renewal for us. Our favorite times were visiting with family, riding go-carts, making smores and drinking coffee around the fire at night, and just smelling fresh, clean air all around us.  I cannot put into words how God used those three to four weeks in Missouri to rejuvenate us and allow us some time of relaxation.

Another of my favorite times during our vacation was my and Anthony’s trip to Mexico. It is official. We are moving to Mexico City (yes, that is the 1st or 2nd largest city in the world).  We have heard from many how dangerous and difficult this move will be, but we are following God’s call on our lives. When God is for us, who can be against us?  As Anthony preached, “Can the waves tell their master, ‘No, I will not move today?’ or the sun say to its creator, ‘No, I will not shine?’” So, we too, must obey our Master and Creator. He knows FAR more than we do and we place our lives in His hands.
I will say, we will be living in a very safe neighborhood with another IMB missionary family that has kids our kids’ ages! There is a yard (with grass!), a park, and Anthony’s office within walking distance. We will take on the same role of Logistic Coordinator, only there are more missionaries in Mexico, versus the Island of Hispanolia. We are looking at moving sometime around May, June or July next year. Please pray for our transition regarding: emotions, selling/buying ALL of our belongings, and keeping our focus here these next 6-8 months. I’m sure we will have more prayer requests regarding Mexico as the time nears.
So, you wonder how things are going here in the Dominican Republic? So far, very well. Anthony has still been discipling the young men from the church in Pedro Brand. These guys are hungry for the Word of God and those of you who provided us with ministry funds while we were home, well-you actually bought new study bibles, bible dictionaries, and some nice small tubs to keep them in (remember, it’s VERY humid here and humidity eats books!). We have also been able to share with some of the neighborhood kids. It has been such a blessing to hear our children share truths from God’s Word with other children. I have also been able to share some more with the maids in our apartment complex and I’m teaching a couple of them how to sew/repair clothing. Please remember to pray for the children and maids in our apartment complex that they will have a desire to hear and understand the Word of God.
As for the home front, all three of the older kids are in school full force now! In addition to our basic studies, we have added a new class for the girls…Home Economics! I am officially training my little ladies to be wives, mothers, seamstresses, cooks, and for a little added bonus, bow makers and violinists. (Granted, they do have an official violin teacher, but I’m thankful to be able to help them with their practices.) I think this is the most enjoyable year of schooling that we have had yet! Even little Jake is enjoying making some clothes for his Scruffy Puppy. I would like to take a moment to thank my mom and Jeana for teaching me to sew while we were home! Presently, schooling is going very well in all areas. Thank the Lord! Would you take a moment to praise God for helping us school/train our children? Please ask Him to continue to pour out His wisdom on Anthony and me.
My blog entry is getting too long. I would like to include one photo from our vacation. It was tough to decide which picture to include, but here it is. Our last prayer request is that God would use our family to bring glory to Himself.  This is why we do what we do. It is why we are here. Thank you for your support and prayers! We have been blessed beyond measure. 
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  James 1:17

Aug 6, 2011

Hurricane Emily, Travel Plans, Updates

It's been too long since we posted an update! Currently, Hurricane Emily is showering us with an abundance of rain. The streets are flooded and thus, driving is very nice. We appreciate your prayers in this matter and should anything change we will let you know.

Well, if you have looked at our countdown you have probably noticed a change. We are so excited! Our family has pulled their money together and purchased tickets for us to come back home for a month. The kids are pumped! Grandparents will get to see baby Adelyn for the first time in almost a year and a half. So much has changed with baby Adelyn. She is walking, talking, screaming and filling our lives with joy 24/7. She has her siblings completely wrapped around her little fingers. It is so cute to watch each of them nurture and care for her.

DeNiel has been very busy starting homeschool with Jacob. My wife is truly incredible! She is doing such a fantastic job with our kids. They are truly blessed to have a mother that walks with the Lord and longs to teach her kids a biblical worldview and how to walk with Him. The girls started school this week. Kylie is in the 6th grade and Brooklin is in the 4th grade. They are both little ladies and learning to love the Lord.

I have been very busy with property issues, teams, discipleship and personal study. The office is getting closer and closer every day to being organized. We almost have all the titles for every IMB owned property in order with the local government. I have been working on this for about 7 months. My goal was to be done by October 1st. I don't know that we will make this deadline. However, I am so thankful for the Christian lawyers that God has put in my life. When we meet it's a time to work but it also a time of mentoring. As my language increases, the level of discipleship that I am able to offer also increases.

The Lord has blessed me this year with my language acquisition. Last week I was asked to preach on a Wednesday night. The lesson was great! Everyone was involved and we didn't finish until 10pm. We started the teaching time at 7:30pm. Granted, my Spanish is NOT perfect but it is so much better than before. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging my Dominican brothers and sisters in an in depth study of the Word.

Recently, I was able to work with a team for a week in Santiago and the Lord really used this time to solidify how to properly share the Gospel. Now, I know this sounds weird but if you would be interested in discussing this more with me please, let me know and we can Skype about it. It would take me 10-15 pages to lay it all out for you.

One last thing, it was a blessing to have Kolby with us for three weeks during the month of July. I believe the Lord used that time to show Kolby God's sovereignty. Pray for him as he begins college and seeks the Lord for God's will in his life.

In closing, please continue to pray. We are always so thankful for the prayers that you offer on our and the Dominican's behalf. I will be preaching Sunday, August 7th. We also have a fellow missionary friend that will be living with us for two weeks. We look forward to seeing many of you in the States!

In Him,
The Gillens

Jun 26, 2011

Wow! How the weather has changed since our last post. The heat has been brutal here in the Dominican Republic. I (Anthony) was so exhausted from the heat yesterday that I went to bed at 8:30pm. The only thing we do nowadays is sweat and drink water. Food is just not appealing at this point. However, ice cream at Burger King has become a necessity. Did I mention that they have air-conditioning?

One of the reasons that we are struggling with the sudden change in temperature is because of our week in Guatemala. We recently traveled to Guatemala for the OGM. This is an Occasional General Meeting for all missionaries serving in the Americas. It was a great time of encouragement and meeting old friends. A BIG THANKS goes out to all of our SBC Churches for making this possible.

The Lord has blessed our time with discipling and door to door evangelism over the last month. DeNiel and I were both able to translate for a mission team in Bayona. One lady was filled with anger and bitterness towards her ex-husband. He had left her and her 3 kids for another woman. The sad thing is that they were both involved in their church and professing believers. As we talked with the woman, we realized that she had left her church family due to being embarrassed and was hurting more over the loss of her church than her ex. Granted, she experienced much pain but had been unable to fully heal due to the loss of her church family. As we spoke with her and walked through the scriptures, you could see God literally restoring a joy within her life for her church family! Would you join us in prayer that she would be restored to her church family and that she also would receive total healing through her many broken relationships including her ex?

During our time with the mission team, we had the pleasure of spending time with a friend we met at language school in Costa Rica. It was great catcing up on old times and reflecting on our journeys. Plus, he brought us a trunk filled with goodies! His family truly blessed us with the trunk! Ken is traveling back to the states today and has had many opportunities open up for him in ministry. Would you pray for Ken that God would make it abundantly clear where He would have him serve?

These next several weeks many short-term mission teams will come. Please join us in prayer that God will:
*use these teams to glorify His name and accomplish His will, drawing the lost Dominicans and Hatians unto Him.
*protect them, and us from the extreme heat.
*use this time to grow Kolby,  our summer missionary who will stay with us for 3 weeks & help w/ Anthony.
*continue to cast His vision in our hearts for a godly family as we raise our four sweet children.
We cannot express our thankfulness for your prayers on our behalf and the behalf of the Dominicans. God is working powerfully and we have had the opportunity to see several prayers answered! Praise God!

Apr 24, 2011

April Updates

Recent Travels
We are so thankful for the prayers of His saints that continue to intercede on our behalf. The recent trips to Haiti, and Lima, Peru were successful. I am happy to report that the missionary family in Haiti officially has a place to call home. The Board recently approved our proposal for their rental home.  The family was so excited when I called them with the news. The wife cried out "Praise the Lord!" Would you join me in praying for them to receive their belongings from the States and the Dominican Republic without any issues and in a timely manner? The kids are in need of their home school curriculum.

My recent trips made it very difficult for me to continue my discipleship with Alex and Christian, but upon my return they were more than eager to spend the night with us and just hang out. We went swimming, played Wii, and ate at Taco Bell! They loved it! I know this doesn't seem too spiritual but the guys were able to relate to us on a personal level (I believe discipleship is a life on life process). The weekend was great and we are all looking forward to the next time that we get to just "hang out." Would you please join me in praying for Alex and Christian as we continue to walk through Romans in our time of study? Pray that the Lord will continue to draw them unto him, guard their purity, and further solidify their desires for his Kingdom.

Mask and Snorkel Anyone?
This weekend was a getaway weekend for the family at the beach. It was truly a refreshing time to experience the awe and wonder of our Lord's creation. The view of the ocean with the waves crashing on the shore was amazing, and to observe the ocean melting into the horizon, breathtaking. The time spent with our Lord was truly incredible. During this time, the Lord really spoke to me through Jacob. We had been out swimming and kayaking with the kids in the ocean the first part of the day, so late afternoon I opted for some personal time snorkeling. It was beautiful watching the different species of fish feeding around an old abandoned dock. Sometime had passed and Jacob came running down to the ocean shaking like a leaf from swimming in the rather cold swimming pool. He asked if he could go snorkeling. Reluctantly, I gave up my personal time and said, "Of course but you are freezing cold."  He said he didn't care he just wanted to be with me (he's such a smooth talker). So, I gave him my snorkel and used his .50 cent snorkel (another sacrifice but who's counting). We had been floating around for three or four minutes pointing at different fish and giving each other thumbs up under the water when Jacob pops up with a BIG SMILE and says, "Daddy, this is AWESOME and I love snorkeling with you. I never knew it was so AWESOME under the ocean!"

Wow! I realized right then that like Jacob, I once believed everything my eyes were seeing was 'it' and I had no idea of the AWESOMENESS of God all around me. Jacob's story is a lot like salvation. He saw the ocean but never saw the fish until his eyes were opened with a mask and snorkel. He was asking me today, "Dad, when are we going snorkeling again?"

I want to close with these questions. Has God ever opened your eyes to experience his glory? If he has, then you realize what a sinner you truly are and your need for his forgiveness and salvation. This world is like the ocean view I described earlier. It's beautiful, but in order to truly experience life you need the word of God to open your eyes to see the life that's waiting in Jesus Christ. Once the Lord opens your eyes, you will never want to go back to your former way of life. Like Jacob, you will always want to go deeper than the surface. You will want to experience the depths of Christ love! Are you ready to grab your mask and snorkel to experience the depths of God's love?

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:1-5).

Mar 23, 2011

Continued Prayer

As I read over our last blog entry I realized that this entry may be a little redundant, but we are still seeking prayer warriors to intercede on our behalf and on behalf of the missionary family returning to Haiti. Anthony is in Haiti for the week trying to secure housing for this family. Would you please take a moment right now to pray for:
*Anthony & this family to find THE house that God has for them.
*A fair price, as housing is very expensive in Haiti right now.
*Lastly, a peace for this missionary family as they are transitioning.

Also, Anthony is traveling to Peru soon. Please pray for our family to experience the peace of God and His protection while Anthony is gone.
Once again, thank you. Thank you for being the other half of our ministry here as we could do nothing apart from Christ. Praise God for His grace and that He hears the prayers of His saints.

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”