They arrived Saturday afternoon and went directly from the airport to the church (Palabras de Vida) to share in a time of praise and worship, prayer and teaching with the youth group.
~Sunday was full of prayer and praise as we went to Palabras de Vida with Pastor Raffy Paz in the morning and Iglesia Accion Misionera with Pastor Juan Santos. It was their first visit to Jaun Santos' church and it was unforgetable. Jonathan was given the opportunity to prech the sermon of his life. What I mean is that he had thought long and hard about what he would say if he could only preach one sermon for the rest of his life and this was his time to share that sermon. After his message many came forward for prayer - some were first-time salvation prayers, some for healing, some for encouraging but all were to grow closer to God. They even learned a littel merengue at the end of it all! Dancing for joy is just part of the Latino culture. We love it!!
~Monday was spent working hard at Restoration Ranch. We were able to accomplish a lot of work in a short amount of time. The group was split up into smaller groups which allowed them to split up and work on several tasks at once. One group was cleaning up the apartments of the first building. They had to pick up all of the broken pieces of block and chip away at chunks of concrete that has spilled or fallen and such during construction so that the floors would be as smooth as possible. Another group helped to fill in all of the trenches that were left from plumbling being laid. They busted up a concrete pad that was left from the big concrete truck and moved all of the debri to fill in the footers of the next building. A team helped me to organize the kitchen and begin on organizing sheets and towels into plastic bins. During the entire time we were at the Ranch teams of 4 rotated in and out to prayer walk the entire property. It was a long hard day that ended with a quick trip to Las Salinas where the salt mines are along the coastline. We walked up the beach and spent some time in taking communion before returning to Santo Domingo for dinner and rest. =)
~The team started out Tuesday morning traveling to San Pedro to visit another missionary and helping to pass out invitations to a big event as well as establishing a plan for the Baseball team of BSC to come and be a part of all that is going on in the Hales' baseball ministry in San Pedro next year. Then a quick trip to the market on the way home.
~Wednesday included a trip to Ina's and clean up and minsitry in Cercadillo. Ina is trying to help the community to establish a sens of pride in their area and one of the ways to do that is to teach them to throw trash in a trash can and not on the ground. We started the process by dividing the kids of Cercadillo into teams with our youth mixed in and we raced to pick up trash. The team who filled the most bags won a prize. Then some went to share their testimony with the kids and play baseball while others helped to tote water from the well pump area to the homes. That was soem heavy labor!! Later that evening we were able to take the team to ride on the Metro (our new railway tram system that is both above ground and below). all 25 of us gringo Americans laoded on the tram and headed from Villa Mella to the Malecon to Euri and Zinyada's home where we celebrated with Brittany in her disperdida (farewell party).
~Thursday was when the trip was winding down. They headed over to work with Jerry Poppe in Los Alcarrizos to help by painting the Haitian church and its newly added area for children's church. They also gathered around to pray for a child who is deaf and play with several of the Haitian children. That evening we got all cleaned up and dressed up and went to "The Cave" to eat dinner. A real splurge for us, the Burge family, as we have only been there one other time. It was a time of great food and great fellowship to end a great and impacting trip!
~Friday morning was off to the airport to say so long until next time. It was also time for us to say farewell to our daughter, Brittany, for 6 weeks as she traveled back with them to attend school with them and have the high schol experience. =)
Healing and Freedom were the theme for this team's trip and they accomplished both...prayer and fulfilling of healing as well as being set free from old ways of living and thinking. Lives were touched on both sides and God was glorified!