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It is our warmest day in the city and we continued today with two teams at work. The team that was I the cool refreshing mountains yesterday returned to work in the immediate area around the HMM compound. We continued the futball camp in the morning with another great group. The second team walked around the corner for concrete work. That work consisted of removing dwelling furniture, digging out a few inches of dirt, and then mixing concrete Dominican style…it is like making pasta….on the road. Other payed workers smoothed and stained the concrete to complete the task.
The homeowner was a recent widow. As the love of Christ and our love was explained to her she accepted Christ desiring to turn away from her sin and believe. Her husband was a believer. There is still hardness in the family as her teenage and older kids sat in utter rejection of the message. Pray that this mom will attend the last two nights of the ladies Bible study and will use her new Bible to grow and her children believe as well.
The afternoon has us doing additional site work for concrete work Thursday and the third afternoon of the basketball camp.
Pray for rain! There has been no rain in this area for 6 months. Around the shanty homes they have many fruit bearing trees and plants for family consumption or to sell. The air is hazy because of dust, pollution and occasional wildfires in the area.
Pray for the staff of HMM that does remarkable work with a tremendous spirit. They translate for us, worship with us, transport teams, and escort us and proudly share about their country and area.
Happy Mother’s Day and Hola from Barahona, Dominican Republic!!! We had a great trip in yesterday. The ride up the coastline was breath taking. We had an opportunity to tour the market this morning and see how the locals provide food for each other and money for their families. It is such a different pace and atmosphere than the local grocery store back in the states. We will have some beach time this afternoon for a couple hours and then we will worship with Pastor Michael and his congregation tonight. Thank you so much for your support and prayer for this week. We are excited to see what God is going to do in and through us here. God bless and adios amigos!!!!
This is our last full day in the Dominican Republic. The team finished last minute details and took a well-deserved rest. Packing up tonight and will leave the compound for Santo Domingo around 7:00 am, scheduled takeoff is 2:00 pm. Continue to check the blog and we will keep you posted on our progress.
The morning started at 5:45 with the rooster crowing outside the window closest to the road. I hit the snooze button and another rooster crowed at 6 am (twice as loud). What a sound to wake up to! We ate a great breakfast, had devotion, and headed to the different job sites. We knew that we all had challenges ahead of us today. The medical team had made house calls the day before and needed to follow-up on them, we needed more medicine, and our hearts were still full from all the needs of the families from the day before. The construction team had decided to do the impossible by completing a 30 ft by 40 ft foundation for the children’s church. Our team worked extremely hard and poured 20 cubic yards of concrete by hand. We praised the Lord for allowing us to complete this project in one day. We were reminded of the importance of this building for the community when Kevin and I and the interpreter went to a home of a mom whose child had just died. The 11 year old girl was lying in a casket in the middle of the house with the entire community all around the house in a state of grief. We were allowed to pray with the grieving mom. Our prayer is that this new children’s building will offer opportunity for the entire village to come to know Christ as this young lady had possibly done.
They lived only 3 houses from the new church.
We had a great share time tonight and emphasized how each team member had given 100% of themselves this week. We also appreciate each individual in Columbus who has prayed, given financially, and have allowed us to be in Barohona, Dominican Republic. There is just as much ministry in Columbus, MS as here and we are excited about getting back to ministering at home with you.
By the way, my day ended with a donkey braying outside my window. Goodnight!
In His Service,
“Hola” (Hello). My name is Melodie and this is my first mission trip and my first time to blog other than writing my thoughts on paper. I want to keep this simple because that is what I have learned as I go along on this journey. I am a nurse and here with Dr. Pam Lacy. She asked me to come with her because we would be giving medical care to the sick. Well it’s a lot more than that. We saw a lot of patients and the others have accomplished “BIG” projects but it is thru the simple things that God reveals himself to us.
So here is my story….Sherry and I had to go to town to find some paper plates for VBS. After several stops we were unable to purchase paper plates. So we called back to the compound and informed them we could not find paper plates but we had found some white paper bags. We purchased the bags and came back to the compound. In the meantime, everyone was getting things in order to prepare for the next day but most of all making sure we shared the message of Jesus’s saving grace to as many we came in contact with. A decision had been made to take labels and place them on cups of water as we gave them to the people. For whatever reasons it was…the labels were not working out placing them on the cups so we had to find an alternative. The alternative was, and you guessed it, we placed the labels on the little white paper bags. Sound simple? It was…God knew those labels needed a way to be shared.
Note from Bro Kevin
The impact of Melodie’s story may not be that apparent to you, but as we sat in devotion tonight, that simple illustration of God’s provision gripped our hearts. We served over 120 medical patients today, reached a milestone on the children’s ministry construction (we are looking at expanding our work on that) and had an off-site VBS where over 70 children and 15-20 adults heard the Gospel. God is good!
My heart is overwhelmed. It’s only day two, and we have seen so much. We have seen old friends and made new friends, shoveled dirt, and loved on sweet babies. Tonight we even had the chance to worship with a local church. Yesterday, we worked on the children’s church down the road from the compound. A few of us took a break to take candy around to some of the kids around the site. On our little field trip, I met a girl named Cindy. At that moment I became “Cindy’s Americano”. If any of the other kids even tried to hold my hand, Cindy would give them an evil glare and politely move their hand. Cindy wanted to do everything I did. So when I started shoveling rocks, she did as well. In fact, she did a better job than me and showed me a more efficient way to do it. She did not stop working all day. At one point I looked up and she was over at our water cooler pouring cups of water and passing it out to some of the workers. She also gathered some of her friends to help us work. I was overwhelmed by her humble heart and her willingness to help. Christ calls us to serve others as we would serve him. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). We came to serve and help Cindy, but Cindy served and helped us as well. This just shows that we are all equal and are “the least of these” without the grace of God. Cindy has nothing by worldly standards, but in my eyes she has everything. So thankful to be able to serve alongside these sweet people in the DR.
It was a great day to be on mission. We had over 220 children in VBS this morning, our construction team began the foundation on a new children’s ministry facility and the medical team sorted and packaged literally thousands of medications! By the way, 220 children packed in a small church singing praise songs at the top of their lungs is enough to bring you to tears, even when they’re singing in a different language. After lunch the VBS team joined the construction team for an unplanned and unexpected task. It may very well have set the tone for the entire trip.
Question: how do you move 16 tons (that’s 32,000 pounds) of dirt and rock without any power equipment? Answer: One hand, one sack, one shovel and one wheel barrow full at a time. Frankly, it was depressing. All the truck had to do was place the material in the proper spot and we could have been doing “real” ministry instead of wasting time relocating dirt and rock in the tropical heat with no shade. But God thinks differently than we do; His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Is 55:9). Could God really be at work in such a mundane way?
Consider this life lesson: When you approach such a monumental task in your own strength, you will shortly be overwhelmed. My one shovel full does not even make a dent; and the needs of humanity and the spiritual darkness in this world are even more overwhelming. But when the body of Christ comes together to serve in the strength of the Lord, both a rock pile and the strongholds of sin and Satan are overcome. We moved 8 tons today and look forward to completing it as a team.
Consider the practical outcome: We are bonded closer together as a team through a common challenge and victory. Some of the ladies took the opportunity to walk through the neighborhood (a different neighborhood than the parent church) to meet the children and give them candy. This resulted in a small army (figuratively and literally) of children who actually jumped right in and helped move all that stuff. What a connection to make with the group you are striving to reach.
Consider the eternal: We pray that all, but certainly many will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in the very building for which they helped lay the foundation. People will be in heaven for an eternity because we moved a small mountain on a couple of hot, tropical days in the Dominican Republic. We are serving a greater purpose than our own comfort and convenience and are co-laborers together in the kingdom of God. What a blessed day!
Please continue to pray for us. Look for daily posts from different team members throughout the week as they share insights on what God is doing in and through them. God is good…all the time; and all the time…God is good!
Praise the Lord for a very uneventful trip to the Dominican Republic. The team is looking forward to a good night’s rest and kicking off VBS and construction in the morning. The medical team will be setting up and start seeing patients on Monday. We’ll provide a more detailed update tomorrow and throughout the week. God bless you.