The Gift of Fellowship
It has been a couple of days since our last update, there is a lot to post on. We spent another afternoon continuing work on the building. It was rewarding to see progress made as cement was mixed, concrete blocks were laid and the area behind the building was further cleaned and leveled.
There have also been the many occasions for fellowship with the people of Vida Nueva Baptist Church. Fellowship is a beautiful gift enjoyed among the people of God. There are no language or cultural boundaries that can keep God’s family apart, because we truly are one in Christ (Eph. 4:4-6). We have tangibly experienced this over the past few days on several occasions:
- On our second night here the team was split up as we gathered for dinner at different homes. Each of us returned with different accounts of delicious Dominican food and the generous hospitality of our host families.
- The night before last we were treated again to this warm hospitality as the entire team was invited to the home of a dear couple named Marino and Luz. Luz shared her testimony of how Jesus rescued her from a broken home and the desire to end her life. When she heard about the love of Jesus for the first time she was amazed. She ran to Him by faith and her life has never been the same. Marino was shown his need for a savior through a friend. Afterward he went on to share Christ with many others. God has used both Marino and Luz to reach many in their family.
- Yesterday we visited a man named Chico in his home. He has given his life to Jesus and has cared for many churches over the years by training up their young musicians and helping them grow in musical excellence. Chico has been battling an ongoing infection in his body for several months, at times it did not seem like he had much longer on this earth. We entered his home and met this dear brother lying reclined in a chair, wearing a hospital robe, holding a nylon stringed guitar in his hands. Thomas was asked to share the testimony he shared last Sunday at church, how the Lord carried him through his life-threatening health trials, the questions he asked God, and the way he wrestled with the thought of leaving behind his wife Shelley and little daughter Grace. This obviously touched Chico deeply as tears ran down his face. I found out later that he also has a little girl, and is wrestling through these painful questions in a similar way. Thomas encouraged Chico to continue trusting in Christ through this agonizing time. Chico gratefully nodded in agreement. We concluded our time together singing worship songs together in Spanish, some with a little English mixed in. We enjoyed that musical moment before the Lord for what it was: a preview of heaven.
- Last night we met with the Young Married small group of Vida Nueva. John asked me to speak for 5 minutes on an issue of marriage. So I spoke for 15 minutes on an issue of marriage : ). It was o.k. No one seemed to mind a few extra moments on such a critical issue. We then played bunko with a very rowdy, fun-loving group of Dominican brothers and sisters and concluded the evening over another wonderful meal. True fellowship is enjoyed when believers gather together to talk about God and the things of God. Experiencing it is like enjoying a drink from the clearest, coldest river after traveling through the driest desert on the hottest day.
Another key component of fellowship is the partnering together to further God’s work. We thank you for your fellowship with us in this effort and for your ongoing support in prayer. Over the next few days please pray as we begin final preparations for the camp.
- Pray for ongoing unity on the team. We can tell that you have been praying in this way : ). We need to stay FAT – Flexible, Adaptable and Teachable.
- Pray that all of the folks from Vida Nueva who are still considering whether or not to attend will decide to join us.
- Pray that God would prepare all of our hearts for the retreat, both the Dominicans and us, to draw near to Him.
- Pray that the final preparations for the lessons will go well: for Thomas and Andrew as they put the finishing touches on their breakout sessions, for Brandon as he completes his preparations for the kids lessons, for me that I would be able to clarify some key points and terms with our translator Luis so that each session will be useful and clear.
- Pray that our “double-whiteboard” approach will be helpful. In other words, I will be writing on one board in English, Luis will write the same thing in Spanish. Pray that this makes things more clear, not less : ).
- Pray that each moment we spend up in the mountains will be used by the Lord to draw all of us closer to Him and each other. That we would come away understanding more how much He does to pursue us (Eph. 2:4-5), and how we need to respond by pursuing Him (Eph. 4:1).
More in Dominican Republic Missions Team Blog - 2013
June 19, 2013Back Home, Safe And Sound
June 14, 2013Ready To Go Up The Mountain
June 13, 2013The Gift of Fellowship