I’m not gonna lie….,medical missions is my favorite. This is where I feel most useful. Today we served over 300 people in the village of Las Mercedes. The pastor and his family welcomed us with open arms and opened their church for us to construct a makeshift clinic. People waited for over two hours to be seen by the providers. No one complained about the wait though. Mamas brought babies for us to see. Older men and women were seen from everything from skin rashes to hypertension.
The youth worked in the HOT sun with the kids and today everyone looks a little sunburned.
We did home visits for some of the people who could not come to the clinic we got to share the gospel with many and we accomplished much through the power of Jesus name.
Last night in devotions John reminded us that today is our last day. We looked at each other and a collective sigh went out. We miss our families and a hot shower is number one in everyone’s list, but we are so glad you sent us to minister. Crossroads has developed such a friendship with the DR church.
Today we repeat yesterday in a new village. Pray for wisdom as we minister and pray for wisdom and we are patients. Pray for open hearts as we share the gospel.
There are not many pictures of clinic days as we are all full blast busy but please go to Josh’s FB page for live feed from day 7.
Love you Crossroads family and friends!
This is the part of the trip where we are tired and beginning to run low on our mojo. Most everyone’s clothes are dirty and we have become experts at bathing in lukewarm water.
The coolest dynamics of any mission trip are seen in day 6. This is the part of the trip where we really begin to know each other. That is a good thing for instance: Corey is the king of Taco Bell. Shannon and Stephanie get the first cups of coffee every morning. Stacey keep us all laughing and hugs every woman in every church like she is their BFF. Paul and Wayne have evaluated the electrical and Plumbing system of every village and found it lacking but have no fear, they have plans on how to restore order to this maze of wire. John is our “beautiful boy” and the baseball minister in every village according to the DR girls. Karen is always quiet but never stops working. She is constantly serving. Ramsey has become all of our favorite and it’s been so awesome to hear his insights. Sadie shared a testimony that blew our socks off. Tori has a child on her or near her in every village. Who knew that Squirrel was such a comedian? Ethan Michelle are invaluable as our internal translator and Ethan threw it down in our midweek service with a message straight from God. And can I say I love Jordan? She’s almost as sassy as me and I love it! Jamie has finally figured out there really is no schedule but that doesn’t stop her from asking Lydia what’s on the agenda. She’s a champion paint scraper and reminded us last night in her devotion of the mighty power of God. Lydia and Josh are the glue that holds us all together. Sort of like the parents of a wild disorderly family.
You don’t just go on a mission trip, you become a family of sorts. And that connection is what allows you to work together and God can accomplish His works for the Kingdom…… like scraping and painting a whole church and we are all excited to know this surprise awaits this Inglesia on Easter morning:
Praise God for this team! Praise God for our church family that sent us and is praying for us. Crossroads family you are accomplishing great things through His power and in His name!
Pray for us today as we minister in medical clinics in the villages in Santo Domingo.
Today we left our friends in Puerta Plata and traveled back to Santa Domingo. We ministered at Iglesias Evangelical Oracion tonight in their midweek service.
I would share photos and stories but to tell you the truth……
Tonight was so sweet and so precious that I can’t put it down in words…..
God is doing amazing things beyond what we could ask or imagine…..
Everywhere I looked today I saw my grandsweetie. Maybe it’s just because I miss her. Maybe it’s because I saw lots of beautiful brown eyed brown skinned babies in the village of Havior. Or maybe it’s because a lady in the village told The Mister she was going to name her baby “Wayne” in honor of him.
I have hopes and dreams for my grandsweetie. I pray she comes to know Jesus when she is young and serves Him all the days of her life. I pray she does big and great things for God. I prayed for her this morning when her mama sent me this picture:
Today we saw lots of mamas bring their sweeties and grandsweeties to hear about Jesus and maybe get their face painted and pick a prize from the big black tote that carry all sorts of treasure. I wonder what hopes and dreams they have for them. Do they hope that they will do great things for God? Do they hope that they will survive and maybe, just maybe find work that will help them move out of Havior? Do they even hope and dream or are these people without hope? And today it seemed fitting that I should pray for them along side my grandsweetie. I prayed for their souls to know Jesus because I think maybe I may be the only one today who prays a prayer like that over them. I asked God to do great things over the little girl that was about 14 months like my Addi-girl. She smiled just like my grandsweetie does when I rubbed his little earlobes.
We also had a coffee party, which is a lot like a tea party but with Dominican Republic coffee that is without the finest coffee I have ever tasted. Margarite who is a believer here in Puerta Plata has cooked for us and today surprised the ladies with coffee. The kids were sent inside to work while the men were exiled to the porch. It was perfect. This was a women’s only coffee time. As we sat around and sipped coffee and talked we decided that we don’t do this enough back home, you know slow down and enjoy each other and sip coffee and laugh. How in the world can we share Christ with our neighbors if we don’t take the time to know them? So that sweet little group of Crossroads girls promised each other that when we get back home God will keep us focused more on relationships and less on schedules. More focus on loving God and loving each other instead of rushing.
Y’all please pray with us for the people of Puerta Plata. Please get ready to listen to us go on and on about them when we get home. We are in love with these sweet believers who are working tirelessly with such limited resources to bring others to Christ. Some of these believers literally live on nothing and give all they have so that they can wil the lost in this corner of the world. Puts me to shame. Lights my fire.
And not just me….this whole Crossroads crowd is being transformed….just like we asked God to do…….
Sandy Patti said it best…”Love in any language……pulls us all together…never apart” and I sang it too with a hairbrush microphone in front of my mirror…but that’s another story for another day.
This morning we drove a few hours to church in Puerta Plata. It was well……you can see it was wild and free and loud and beautiful
I stumbled along and echoed a “Dios” whenever I heard just for good measure. Mostly I sat with my eyes closed and soaked up the wonder of praising God for bringing us here, for loving me and my brown skinned sister next to me. The audience was a sea of waving brown arms and I could feel the abandon in their worship. I thought about my sisters and brothers back home at Crossroads, equally engaged in worship.
Because worship is done when we dance in the aisles or listen to an organ play. Worship is done with sweat rolling down our faces and a 4 hour service just the same as it is done by our own PreacherMan back home who has spent hours in study to bring us Gods’s message. He does it week after week and it causes us to grow in God’s grace. Because worship is adoration to a God who is infinitely worthy of far more than our meager attempts at showing His glory.
And so as I stand with a microphone that magnified my voice ten times louder than it does back home I feel overwhelmed to see these brown skinned brothers and sisters explode into praise as we sing tears fall down my white face. Sometimes it’s just too much.
And as I finish my song and warm brown hands slips into mine and she leans to whisper some words of love in Spanish in my ear as she kisses my cheeks. I have no idea what she just said but I pretend that she says”We are children of our Father and He loves us.”
The passports are filed and are safely stowed in the clear catch-alls around our necks that Josh provides on every mission trip. Come to think of it, my current catch-all has some unidentified smudges left over from New York. The clothes have been packed along side of a half dozen beef jerkys and a jar of peanut butter, because well, you just never know how the food situation may turn out.
This is mish-mash of old and young, college age kids and middle age moms and dads, some on their first mission trip and others have done this before and know what is going down. And we all wait at gate E-3 with half a dozen tourist going to spend spring break in Dominican Republic. Right there Josh opens up The Word and shares the immutability of God and although our today and yesterday looks far different from our yesterday, we can trust that God is the same. Always.
I look at the couple next to me. They are obviously going to be poolside for the next week. I look on the other side of me to girls in my group laughing and bright eyed with excitement. They will sweat and work hard and give out love like it’s free. Their excitement is palpable.
Why? Why would they go? Why spend your spring break in a village with dirt roads and people you don’t know? We are on the plane now and Josh passes us the napkins that held his pretzels a few minutes ago. He has scrawled a verse under the imprint. Maybe he knows that some of us need a little extra courage.
See, those disciple in the book of Luke were right. It’s about changing the world. Not always with a huge evangelistic crusade, sometimes it happens one by one. A mission trip is about exposing ourself to the hugeness of the need and listening to God ask me, “What are you going to do about it?”
I’m not sure who, if anyone, is going to have a radical transformation because I spent a few days on a mission trip. I pray someone does, but God assures me that transformation is about obedience. If I let Him, He wants to refocus my attention to more important things, like the urgency to share the gospel with these people and the ones at home. Because I get complacent in my spoiled American life. Because I am in desperate need of Him to rock my world, maybe shake up my perspective a tad.
This mission trip may not change the world, but I hope it changes me.