To the Ends of the Earth
Dominican Republic Trip July 22-27, 2012
They came from California, New Jersey, Texas and Michigan to spread the love of Jesus Christ to those in need. We were able to experience James 1:27 in its fullest by serving orphans and widows.
We were able to bless many widows by sharing the Good News of Christ with them and delivering food. A couple of stories stand out in my mind on our widow visits. We had the opportunity to visit a widow named Reina who was in her eighties in a tiny village called Honduras. She had been widowed for many years and had no children or relatives. Reina’s face lit up on our visit. She had said that usually she starts her morning opening the door and going outside to spend time with the Lord. On the day we visited, she slept in and said that instead of going outside she opened the door when we knocked and the Lord came inside to visit her. We proceeded to talk with her and cover her in prayer. She was suffering from hip problems and having a hard time seeing due to cataracts but that did not stop her from being full of gratitude. I asked if she would let me kiss her and she gave me permission. She began to cry and said she hasn’t been kissed in many, many years. With tears continuing down her face she told us that if we just came to visit without the groceries she would have been grateful. The groceries were a bonus for her. She praised God for His faithfulness to provide love. She said that without love, gifts mean nothing. Reina taught us a powerful lesson that we can give the gift of love to others on a daily basis. Love costs nothing but is priceless. God shares His love so freely with us that we should freely share it with others.
How we ever found this next house is beyond me. We worked with a local Pastor of a congregation of about 60 people. When God speaks of reaching people in Act 13:47 … “bring salvation to the ends of the earth” this will be my new picture. We met a widow who started out with a hike through the grass, stepping on manure, passing cows, goats, pigs and horses and ended up to a little shack where her brother and sister lived. They all were in their late 70’s- 80’s and had no kids or spouses. Her brother’s home was destroyed by a hurricane and he lived with their sister in a very isolated area. Her sister’s house was leaning very badly. The group before us built a new house closer to the widow so they can be together as a family. Our project for the day was to paint the new house. By the end of the day, they had a bright new safe house and were closer to each other so they can help and love one another.
We visited a girls’ home in La Romana that held 180 orphaned girls. Upon entering we were immediately welcomed by many girls wanting to hold our hands. We played ball, jumped rope, colored, painted nails and poured love into these girls that desperately wanted attention. It was heart breaking having to leave our new friends but I know that they will see that the love we freely gave them is the same love that God freely gives to all of us.
We were able to go to Emmanuel House that ministers to over 70 needy children through feeding, education, and biblical instructions. We had fun playing and singing with the boys and girls. One of the boys on our trip, Parker, brought his guitar. He brought Christian songs and handed out the words to the kids so we could all praise God in Spanish. What a joy to watch all ages, sizes, and backgrounds come together to worship our time with the Lord. Parker, who is 16, was able to use his gifts to share the love of Christ with others.
Our week ended with a day of fun as we white water rafted down the Yaque del Norte River, the longest in the Caribbean. In the company of professional guides, we went through canyons and – what an adrenaline rush! This was a perfect way to end the week.
Every Good Goer trip uses simple things to reach out to those in need. No special talents are needed. God uses all of us to glorify Him and to spread the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. What He freely gives to us, we can give to others. A hug, a kiss, a song, a smile, and a willingness to give of yourself freely is all it takes.
What are you waiting for, let God use you for His glory. Put your faith into action TODAY!