To conclude this “testimony”, I’ll finish up with WHAT IN THE WORLD we were doing in the Dominican. Next week, I’m anxious to tell you all that is CURRENTLY going on in our “ministry” lives J. This has been fun to get on “paper”. All I had journalled before was my personal salvation testimony, so going back and seeing how God has moved us over the years has been sweet!
First of all, Score International started as a sports-missions organization. They are based in Chattanooga, TN. Now, they have two overseas headquarters (Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic). Not only do they still do sports missions trips, they do construction trips, medical trips, evangelical (VBS) trips (although ALL of SCORE’s trips are evangelical) and MORE! Check them out at www.scoreinternational.org. If you are even slightly thinking about taking a missions trip (to anywhere in the US or the world) please check them out! Their service is impeccable, and you WILL have the trip of a lifetime. We actually are going on a basketball-missions trip in August (to the D.R. YEA!! I’m SO excited!!!)
Kevin was the Director of the Caribbean for SCORE, which meant he was in charge of coordinating all of the mission teams that were coming to the D.R. from the U.S., scheduling their ministries, working with national pastors and leaders to find out where needs were and hosting the teams while they were there. We did everything from pick up teams at the airport in Santo Domingo, to arranging their room assignments, planning each day’s ministry and Kevin also preached about every evening in Devotions, usually a life-changing Spirit-filled time! It was so AWESOME!
Some ministries we were involved in:
Just about every group wanted to visit the orphanage that we worked closely with. That was GREAT for me, because that meant I got to go their at least twice a week!! It started as a girl’s orphanage, but in the last few years, they added some little boys, because they didn’t want to turn them away. If I understand correctly, the boys now have their own separate home, a block away from the girls. We would go there and just play and LOVE on those precious children! My own kiddos played right along with them, like brothers and sisters J. Some groups would have a program for them. Many groups would have gifts and supplies for the orphanage. One touching moment, shortly after we moved there, my daughter, Julia, brought her “blankie” with her to the D.R. One day, she told me she wanted to give her BLANKIE to someone at the orphanage! This was huge!! You can imagine if your children have/had comfort items, and how much they mean to the kiddo… I have SO much to say, but in order to keep it relatively short, I will stop.
Whether it was basketball, volleyball, softball or the national favorite – BASEBALL, sports teams would come down to the Dominican, and play against national teams. Sports always draws a crowd, so at half-time or after a game, someone would get everyone’s attention and the gospel would be shared with hundreds, sometimes even more than a thousand in some venues. I cannot tell you HOW many people have come to Christ through this ministry, and it is SUCH a reminder of how we are to go TO the people to tell them about CHRIST!! Many of these people would never step foot in a church, but “take me out to the ball game” for sure!!
FEED A VILLAGE
Some groups would choose to “feed a village” for a day of ministry. This meant going grocery shopping the night before (with money that they raised) and getting up early in the morning to start cooking the rice and sausage, chopping cabbage and carrots and making the juice! It truly was a labor of LOVE. Then, when the food was prepared, we would load in the busses, and go to a remote village and bless the people with a hot delicious meal! Of course, after physically feeding the people, the GOSPEL was always shared!
One of my most favorite aspects of our time there was the Medical Ministry. Although initially I was “just a translator,” it didn’t take long for me to learn basic triage and would help in other aspects of this ministry, even pharmacy… LOL I loved this ministry so much because we were meeting such a huge need for these beautiful people; medications that they wouldn’t otherwise had access to, simple procedures (to us Americans) would be done that left untreated could’ve been life threatening. The people were SO grateful when a medical team was in their village! Finally, once the person was treated, we would have one on one time to talk with them about how much Jesus loves them and how to have a relationship with Him and be saved! It was a VERY fruitful ministry.
There were so many other things that teams did, like pass out tracts in the walking/shopping street or at the market in the capital. The teams usually had one “free day” where they would go shopping or have a beach day. Even those days, having their hearts stirred for ministry, would be profitable for the kingdom, because people would be witnessing and sharing Christ, even on the beach!!
The last aspect of our ministry in the D.R., and equally important to the ministry to the Dominicans, was our ministry to the groups that came for one week or so. We were with them throughout their entire stay, we prayed together and had devotions together, laughed together, played together. We would talk with people who were sensing a call from God on their lives! No one who came to the D.R. left the same person. God did marvelous works in the hearts of the team members, and they often left more blessed and filled even though their goal was to be a blessing there. This was also one of the hardest aspects of the ministry, because in one week, we would grow SO close to people, and then they would go back. Thankfully, we are still in touch with so many via email etc.
I LOVED our time with SCORE because we truly were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus EVERY day, not just while we were at church. We learned so much about God’s love, the Bible and its instructions were ALIVE to us because we were doing what He tells us to do. My kids were exposed to feelings of compassion for people that I pray were seeds planted and will grow in them for the rest of their lives! This is why I am so excited about our new church!! We hope to put action to our faith, do what Jesus did and GO to the people, serve them and share Christ with them. (But, I will blog about THAT, next week J) Thanks for enduring if you have read this far! Our Father is SO incredible and gracious to have allowed us to be a part of this fabulous ministry, and to continue to serve Him in the U.S.!! To HIM be the GLORY!! Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!