My head was bowed, eyes closed as I listened to a prayer in a language I didn’t understand and felt a tiny hand sneak its way into mine. My heart smiled . . . could this moment be more exquisite?
It was our last full day on the Island, a day in a long line of days stuffed full with a thousand precious moments . . .
Moments of uproarious laughter as our team rode the bus from one destination to another. Moments of amazement and wonder as we worshiped God with our Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ and it didn’t matter that we couldn’t understand the words.
Artistic moments as we painted animal characters on the walls in the children’s ward of CURE hospital. Singing and laughing as we decorated and put a little bit of love into each one. Unbelievable joy as we watched a little boy place his hand on each little drawing he could reach as he walked down the hallway.
Moments of sadness and joy all mixed up together as we visited a little girl’s family that CURE was helping. The tiny great grandmother with no teeth who wrapped me in a hug and wouldn’t let go. The immaculate little two room shack they lived in with wooden planks for storing kitchen items and an outside oven which consisted of two broken bricks that held a pot beans over an open fire. Discovering that they would not have eaten that day if it weren’t for the groceries we brought them. Picking up rocks and trash in their yard and making a huge fire pit for them to burn in the evening to keep the mosquitoes away. A little Barbie doll stored carefully in its original box, taken out only infrequently to play with and then stowed carefully away in its original package. Playing “Wonder Stick” with the neighborhood kids who just showed up as we worked.
Blessed moments as we visited with a family in their simple home. Shedding tears with the mother as she shared her story of helplessness and despair turned to hope. Singing “How Great Thou Art” and listening to the words of Scripture read by our Dominican brother.
Humbling moments as we stood surrounded by moms and children in a trash dump. Tiny hovels built around the smell and filth. A little girl walking barefoot in the rubbish. Breaking down as I thought of my beautiful home and contemplating about what it must be like to live in a place like this day in and day out never knowing whether you will have anything to eat. Digging in the trash for food out of desperation. A cry welling up deep in my soul as we got in our air conditioned bus to ride to our next destination.
Moments of pure, unadulterated joy as we served the children of the trash with good food and loads of fun all afternoon. Facing painting for hours on end and glimpsing the light of hope in their faces.
There are so many other moments it would fill a book and I am forever changed by them. I will treasure them in my heart and pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ as they serve and share the love of Christ with the lost and hurting of the Dominican Republic.
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2.8-10
Thank you for your prayers!