Saturday, April 12, 2008

Our First Team in 2008

We had our first team of the year. The BCS Team (that’s Bradenton Christian School for those of you who are not familiar). There was an awesome group of 17 Juniors and Seniors (with the 3 teachers included) on the team. We were so glad that Jesse, Jen Doll, Jenny, and Krista were able to make it back again this year.

They arrived and went straight to the church to minister to the youth group at Palabras de Vida. Sunday we went to church and then we set off for La Romana to work for two days at a girls’ home. Of course, when it came time to leave the orphanage…no one wanted to leave.

Wednesday we dug out the paintbrushes and headed for Ina’s to paint her newly built church/ministry center. That was loads of fun! We had bright blue paint all over us by the time we finished. We split into two groups half going to take all of the children to play baseball and the rest continued to paint and dig up roots and stumps so that the cement floor could be poured.

When we ran out of paint we decided to take a break to eat lunch but as we ate the clouds grew dark and we had a heavy downpour so we had to call it a day earlier than we planned. At least we were able to play with the children, paint and dig up stumps. We tell every team that the key word for a trip to the DR is “flexibility”! That came into play that day.

Thursday we packed a lunch and headed for Bani to paint at Restoration Ranch! The BCS Team that came last year went to the Ranch just after the land was purchased and they learned about prayer walking. It was an awesome testimony for them to return for a day this year and to see God at work and prayers coming to fruition. Several walked the land and prayed for 2 hours while others painted the front gate, gazebos, and benches. We then walked over to the site were the houses are being built and prayed together. You could tangibly feel the presence of the Lord. Several of us were in tears and we all look forward to seeing what God does at the Ranch not only in the here and now but in the future. Jenny and Mr. J (Jonathan) were on the same page when they had the idea of giving each team member a small stone to take back to the U.S. as a way to remember their time here and as a reminder to continue to pray for Restoration Ranch and the country of the Dominican Republic. How beautiful is that?!

They were able to relax and enjoy Friday as we drove to Jarabacoa – a mountainous area of the country where it always seems to be about 10 degrees cooler. After hanging out at the recreational center playing ping pong, swimming in the cold pool and eating Dominican style food we headed out on the hike to the waterfall. It was a beautiful hike and Mr. Greg (the Science teacher) was in his element. =) He was thoroughly enjoying himself with all of the plants and so forth. When we arrived at the waterfall we were in awe of the wonder of God and His creativity. To top it all off two of the girls from the team and Isaiah were baptized in the pool below the waterfall. Yeah, did you catch that… "and Isaiah…”, that’s my Isaiah. He had told us he wanted to be baptized and we told him that we would do that the next time we were in the States but when Jonathan talked about it with some of the team members Isaiah talked to Jonathan and Isaiah decided he wanted to do it then too! I was balling of course! =) Tears of joy running down my face as my husband bent down in the ice cold water to speak to my youngest son about his fairly new relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I think that they were both a little numb by the time it was over. lol =)

Needless to say it was a very successful and life changing trip for all of us but it didn’t stop there… After we said our sorrowful farewells at the airport on Saturday the team had a long lay over in Puerto Rico. They ran into another team from Florida who had also spent their Spring break on a mission trip here to the Dominican Republic so they were able to spend some of the time exchanging stories. Jesse, who plays guitar, and Cody felt like they should play some Praise & Worship music and sing. As they were doing so quietly they felt like the Lord was telling them to do so but to do it louder. So…unashamed they did just that. Others from the BCS team and the other team began to join them and before they knew it the Lord’s presence was in the airport and though they had several people walk by and stare or walk by and laugh they also had those who stopped to listen. There were even several who the team members began to pray for as the Lord moved. In fact, there were a couple of them who said that they weren’t sure what to pray as they did not know a lot of Spanish but that when they decided to be obedient and pray anyway the Holy Spirit gave them the words and they were praying in other tongues and in Spanish (Spanish that they did not know before!)!!! God is so awesome! He even shows up and shows out in the middle of a waiting area of the airport in a foreign country!

Now you probably think that the story is over now huh? Wrong again! Several of the youth/students have put their faith in action and they are meeting and taking meals to the homeless in the mornings, meeting and praying before school, and looking for ways to reach out to their communities. Talk about being impacted for God…their lives are changed...forever! You know what? Yours can be too! Why don’t you ask God to show you how to impact your community? Or plan to go on a mission trip and see how other people around the world live. I have said this for about 12 years now…” I believe every American should take at least one trip to the mission field in his/her life. It will change you, impact you, and help you to see with new eyes.” Ask God how He wants to use you and then open yourself up to be used and be obedient even if it sounds crazy, like singing out loud in an airport, God will use you for His glory!

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The Wright's said...
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