So much of what we do in the Dominican is take groups out. We go to Pasitos de Jesus, Emanuel House, Lily House, Josiah’s House, Tercer Cielo, villages and towns etc. to work, share the gospel, give food, teach, play with kids etc. But what about in our own backyard, here in Juan Dolio? One of the long-term DR missionaries, Erica Jude, shared with us about different things we/groups can do to have more of a long-term effect. One of those things is to teach about keeping your house/neighborhood clean. What that will do is lessen the amount of mosquitos (and rats) and thus lessen the possibility of getting Chikungunya or other diseases, keep you healthier and avoid expensive trips to the doctor or hospital.
With that information, Joey sprung into action. He took the initiative to organize a group to go out in the neighborhood behind where we live, clean up the basketball court and share the gospel.
Here are a few pictures from our walk to the area that we were going to work in that day. I had no idea there was a greenhouse back there…. Beautiful! But, check out the garbage along the way…
Once we got to the basketball court, we set our stuff down (gloves, garbage bags, rakes, shovels) and started inviting people to our brief “program.” After visiting several houses with several verbal commitments, we had one boy show up. “Well, God, if this is who You gave us to share to today, this is who we will share with.” But, while we were waiting, another boy showed up with a soccer ball which immediately became a basketball. The kiddos started playing (including JJ, Joey and Emma) and next thing you know, we have a group of about TEN! Praise the LORD. JJ, a SCORE intern, shared in Spanish about keeping this area clean to cut down on the mosquitos/rats etc and then proceeded to share the gospel IN SPANISH ~WAY TO GO, JJ~! One boy said he prayed to receive Christ. All were invited to Youth Group this Friday and church on Sunday. THEN… almost every one of them helped us pick up garbage from that area. We filled 10+ garbage bags! Erica even noted that later that afternoon, there were still some people cleaning up garbage at 5:15! We pray this is the start of building relationships with the Juan Dolio neighborhood.
Here are some more photos of Wednesday morning. Can I just tell you what a blessing it is to hear your 12 year old son say, “Mom. I think God is doing something in my life!” The excitement he had preparing this outreach, executing the outreach and now planning what’s next is a true testament to the grace of God in his life. I pray this is just the beginning….