In December 2016, I traveled to the Caribbean for the first time and experienced the Island culture, observing firsthand their need for the Gospel. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure why the Lord took me there, but through prayer, the Lord revealed that He wanted me to return and do His Kingdom work in this region of the world. During my studies over the following months, I learned even more about the mission needed in this part of the world, and my heart was continually turned to the Caribbean.
When I joined with A Jesus Mission, I was excited to hear about the ministry happening in the Dominican Republic, and this is my summation of our recent visit to the Barahona mission base. When I received my first email containing my flight confirmation to Santo Domingo, I was blown away by God’s faithfulness to bring me back to this area only six months after revealing this calling to me! My time in the DR was productive personally, in our team-building, and in God’s Kingdom work.
Kingdom Work on A Jesus Mission
Recently, the Lord has been humbling me and showing me that everything He does through me is by His grace. Being with A Jesus Mission has been simply unreal because I’ve been serving alongside believers who are responding to the same calling on their lives while embracing the same passion. I’ve long wanted to be involved in an organization like this, and God’s faithfulness to bring me to this place – in spite of myself – has brought my heart to a place of surrender, where all my service and work is completely and solely in response to His grace in my life. Any selfish motivations have been removed. He has done so much for me, it is really the least I can do for Him and the only way I can imagine existing.
Characteristics of the Team
Being involved in ministry for the past few years, I’ve worked with many groups of people and experienced the contentions that can come with large groups attempting to work together, even when only for a couple of weeks. From day one on this trip, I was blown away by the unity of our group in the Gospel. It was clearly evident each person on the team was placed there by God. The team was so well rounded that we were able to accomplish much in a short amount of time. Because each person had a humble, servant heart for Jesus and the same passion for the ministry and the work God has for us, the team worked incredibly well together. There wasn’t any contention, even with the wide variety of backgrounds, denominations, doctrinal beliefs, and church histories. Each individual involved poured everything they had into the ministry, no one had to be asked to do anything twice, and everyone built up and encouraged each other at every opportunity! This was truly one of the most beautiful displays of the unity of the Church in diversity that I have ever personally experienced.
You can add to God’s Kingdom Work
Barahona itself was not much different from what I was expecting. The culture is similar to South America, and my previous missions work in Peru prepared me for the different society in the DR. While this trip was more inwardly focused than maybe most of us would have personally chosen, we all knew the work we had before us, for this time was focused on the base: establishing structure and preparing this place for the longevity of the work that we desire to accomplish in Barahona. We were able to start building relationships with the community and the local church, and a few people had the opportunity to get out into the city and the streets to engage with the neighborhood. The majority of what we accomplished suited our goal well. By the time we left, the compound was ready to receive the next team arriving within a week of our departure. As we return to Barahona, as other teams visit, and as full-time missionaries move down to the compound, God’s Kingdom work will be more effectively accomplished in the community without having to spend time working on the building!
Continue the Work at Barahona
Our two weeks in Barahona changed me, grew our team closer together, and accomplished the necessary, practical work that needed to be done on the base. I’m so grateful for the provision of the Lord and the work He is doing in Barahona. It is humbling to be involved and to have been an instrument of His work in the Dominican Republic!
Soli deo Gloria.