“To those who send him, a trustworthy messenger is like the coolness of snow on a harvest day; he refreshes the life of his masters” – Proverbs 25:13
“Good news from a distant land is like cold water to a parched throat” – Proverbs 25:25
This summer I was privileged to lead a team from our church on a mission trip to Clavijo in the Dominican Republic. This village is about 2 hours NE of Santiago (the 2nd biggest city). Our mission was to hold a VBS and a medical clinic. Our team was challenged by leaving the comforts of our own homes and “roughing it out” for about 10 days as we traveled and served in that community. We were able to see many of the Dominican and some Haitian people in that village learn about Christ and living a life in pursuit of Him. Several people came to saving faith in Jesus while we were there while others strengthened their faith in God. Many heard the gospel message and were encouraged by our mission team. Looking back since we first began going to Santiago, Dominican Republic in 2008, we have seen 8 church plants begin and continue growing! God has raised up leaders to lead these churches. God has been so good! We give Him all the praise!
The people of Clavijo greatly encouraged us by stating to many of us that they wish we could stay longer even if we did not do any activities, just to visit and be with them. One of the things I observed was that these people live simple in comparison to us, Americans, and they are so giving. They gave us everything of what they have just so they can share with us. Last year, I remember walking down a river through some rocky terrain and one of my sandals broke. A man saw me walking bare footed and handed me his sandals! The very same thing happened to one of our Dominican mission team members this year and somebody did the very same thing to him! Others invited us just to sit with them and have coffee, and even another man gave us a bunch of sugarcane for all our team – all this just from the kindness of their heart! It’s amazing to me that people who have so little will give of all they have to strangers they don’t know that well. That to me is amazing! The Lord teaches me so much from these loving people every time I go. I believe that is why missions is so vital to our churches, because as we go we share the gospel and help those in other places but God also teaches the one that goes great life lessons as well. It’s a double blessing all the time! If you have not been on mission trips, I challenge you to ask God to give you the opportunity to go on mission for Him and when He opens the door for it – you just step out in faith and do it!