This month the youth in Hato Mayor have been busy putting on day-camps for the children in the communities we are working in. They started in the mornings with worship and Bible study, then enjoyed different activities throughout the day - crafts, music, a Bible video clip, etc.. They cooked lunch over a fire, and like true Dominicans, they finished the day with a good game of baseball!
It was a great way to spend a little extra time with the kids outside of the regular class setting, have some time to dig a little deeper with the Bible stories they've been working on and to just have some fun together. We pray that God would use all of this to help these kids know God loves them and that they would all chose to become disciples of Christ.
Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
The Surreal Part
One Saturday in particular, we were in the community of Guayabal. I found myself reminiscing about my first mission trip to the Dominican Republic 10 years ago. We spent a lot of time in Guayabal on that mission trip and other trips that followed.
Some of the kids we met on those trips are still attending classes in Guayabal today. Mayra, the little girl on the right in the first picture is the same girl 10 years later on the left in the second photo.
Every time I go back to that church, I'm reminded of my first experiences as a missionary. It was extra special this time to see the youth doing such a good job with the kids leading the camp and then to see my son clapping and dancing and joining in the fun with the kids from Guayabal. It was surreal!
My Bible study led me to Matthew 16:25 yesterday,
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."
10 years ago, I was just getting started on this journey of trusting God with my life. It wasn't easy to let go of control and of my plans for my life. Leaving my job, my home, my family, my country and everything familiar has been very challenging at times, but I can say that I'm so thankful to God for putting me on this path.
I am humbled and amazed and can't help but praise God for His goodness and faithfulness. I thank Jesus for saving me, and teaching me to follow Him. I thank Woodridge Church and the leaders of the mission teams for taking us to the Dominican Republic.
I thank Pastor Carlos and Teresa for welcoming me in their home and their church family, for teaching me about missions and giving me the opportunity to work with the youth of their church, and I thank all of you who have prayed and supported us over the years who have helped us to get to this point.
I pray that God would use Joselo and I to help others know how great God is and how extravagant His love is for us, and I pray that He would help me to let go and trust Him like that again and again.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all
we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.